Hamsadhwani’s NRI Dance Festival in Madras


Hamsadhwani’s 13th NRI Music and Dance Festival is rightly dedicated to the memory of R. Ramachandran, the sprightly and cheerful gentleman, the first to think of providing a platform for NRI musicians and dancers.

At the inaugural, veteran dancers Shantha and V.P.Dhananjayan along with their senior student Divya Sivasundar, presented a thematic natya recital titled “Bhakthi Prabhavam.” Simple devotional themes were portrayed simply and sincerely at a simple pace; without any frills or fireworks.

Even the nritta-based “Shakthi Prabhavam, an ode to Mother Nature in her three forms (Parasakthi, Saraswathi and Lakshmi) from Bhaaratiar’s Navaratri Kritis in ragamalika, Aadi talam, was kept simple. The entry had a stunning sequence of sollus based on Panchabhutham, a prelude to the composition. The song itself was slow and serene and was rendered (Sasidharan) in a like manner. Divya’s portrayals reflected this equanimity. While the theermanams were graceful and precise, the araimandi posture was glaring in its absence. The stand-out pieces however, were the two solos — Dhananjayan as Hanuman in “Ananda Raama soundaryam” from Arunachala Kaviraayar’s Ramanatakam (Kedaragowla,Aadi) and Shantha in ‘Karpagavalli nin porpadangal pidithen’ in raagamaalika (Aadi), a composition of Yaazhpaanam Veeramani Iyer from Kalakshetra. With awe and reverence, Hanuman describes every limb of Raama and Dhananjayan’s eyes were full of wonder at the thought of that magnificent sight… Every facial muscle reflected this wonder and one could see the Kathakali training in every expression. Little things like the way he held the ‘adbhutha’ expression until all lights were switched off also added to its veracity. Unexpected and delightful was Shantha’s poignant rendering of the kriti.

There was a quiet dignity in Shantha’s depiction of the ‘Karpagambal’ episode in which Siva turns Parvathi into a peacock. The devotee’s pleas for compassion take on added depth when performed with selflessness and humility. The dancing couple concluded with a well-enacted but light-hearted Radha-Krishna duet in ‘Dhikku teriyaada kaattil’ in raagamaalika, (Aadi), a composition of Bharatiar, tuned and popularised by GNB.

The orchestra comprising R. Karthikeyan (mridangam), S. Sunilkumar (flute), R.Eswar (violin) and Lakshminarayan (tambura) did a fine job of keeping the melody on an even keel.

Source: The Hindu

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