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Tuesday, March 14, 2017
By Vijay Shankar

As part of the Umang series, National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) presented Bharata Natyam by talented and dynamic duo Snigdha Menon and Sakshi Pujari at the NCPA Little Theatre. The duo danced with professional expertise and maintained fine harmony in the performance.

Snigdha Menon and Sakshi Pujari are the disciples of Guru Gayatri Subramanaiam of the Takshashila Dance Academy and have been learning the divine art of Bharata Natyam for the last fourteen years. After the invocatory number, the dancers performed the Kamboji Varnam "Nadanai Alaitava Sakhiye" in which the "nayika"tells her "sakhi" to call her lord as soon as possible, as she in unable to bear the "viraha tapam"(pangs of separation).
She describes her Lord as he is none other than Lord Muruga who bound Lord Brahma and took him captive and who also taught Lord Shiva the meaning of the "pranava mantra". In the varied "sancharis" that depicts the plight of the heroine and it was interesting to note as to how both the dancers made a fine team. This number was a composition by T Nataraja Sundaram Pillai

In another padam, "Unnai Doodhana Anupinen"(raag Saveri) wherein the heroine anxiously waits for her sakhi and wonders as to why the delay, she confronts her sakhi and she is unable to wait any longer. This was a composition of Ghanam Krishnaiyya. In the ashtapadi, "Naatha Hare" the heroine is Vasakasajja nayika as she is well dressed and waits anxiously to meet her lord, the varied numbers depicted the mental state of the heroine
incorporating her relationship with her Lord, interpreted well by powerful "netra abhinaya".

The grand finale of the performance was the intricate Balamuralikirshna Thillana in raag Kadanakudahalam and adi tala. This number revealed the dancers mastery over rhythm and the technical mastery pertaining to "angashuddhi"(purity of movements) and precise execution of movements, revealing fine choreography by mentor Gayatri Subramaniam. On the whole a fine performance by the dynamic duo.

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