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Five stars of classical dance

Wednesday, June 13, 2018
By Vijay Shanker

The Anjali Bharata Natyam Research Trust (Vasai) presented the debut Bharata Natyam performance by five dancers at the Mysore Association auditorium, last Saturday. It was sheer pleasure and a rare spectacle to watch the dancers perform with uniformity and perfect synchronisation.

The five stars of the evening were Rhea Veedu, Kushi Kadam, Bhoomi Bhanushali, Ishita Agarwal and Sujuna Nambiar, disciples of Kalashri Lata Surendra who heads the Anjali Academy of Dance and is an accomplished performer, teacher and choreographer. Lata has performed at several prestigious occasions, both in India and abroad and has also trained many students in the art of Bharatanatyam.

The dancers commenced the performance with invocatory numbers in praise of the presiding deities of Indian dance – Lord Nataraja and Lord Ganesha. In the Vasanta Jatiswaram, forming a fine synthesis of 'swara',and 'Jathis', in other words of music, melody and rhythm, it was a rare sight to watch dancers confidently perform the intricate movements with perfect rhythm and co-ordination. Strangely the juniors were more confident, while at times some of them were a little nervous, but they performed with lot of involvement and sincerity.

The most elaborate item of the evening 'Thodi Varnam', which demands the dancers command over 'nritte, nritye and natya', is a test for every dancer and the theme and the choreography were especially tailor-made for the young dancers who would reach out as 'little goddess' that represent the universal mother – the symbol of love, compassion and sacrifice, whose benevolence would protect and bless the devotees, saving them from evil forces and demons. The large expressive eyes and innocence of Rhea, the firmness of Kushi and the clarity of movements left a lasting impression on the audience.

Besides the Padams, the dancers concluded with the brief and complex Thillana. The dancers received fine orchestral support from Guru Lata Surendra for nattuvangam, melodious vocal by Sivaprasad and mridangam expertise by Chandran. The special guest of the evening included accomplished Bharata Natyam exponent Asha Sunilkumar and Kathak exponent Paullomi Mukherjee. On the whole, the performance proved that little children too can dance well.

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