Rama reincarnated on stage

 A report by Meena Venkat in New Indian Express

TALK about abhinaya, and there are only very few names that come to the mind, such as Kalanidhi Narayanan. She has become a living legend in this field.

There was considerable crowds at the Music Academy, and Kalanidhi Narayanan along with Bragha Bessel did not disappoint.

To provide varied emotional states within the prescribed time, Kalanidhi Narayanan took a few parts of certain compositions and the apt demonstration by Bragha Bessel proved the ability and experience she gained from her guru.

The first item was taken from Soundarya Lahari of Adi Sankara, which depicts the Navarasas of devi. Kalanidhi’s approach to abhinaya came out fully in this single piece itself.

Different shades of a particular rasa were depicted by making slight changes in the body language and also the intensity going up with every hand.

The next was Yaro ivar yaro of Arunachala Kavi, Where Narayanan showed different thought processes by contradicting the usual approach of considering it as Seetha’s emotions on seeing Rama.

She depicted it as Rama walking in the beautiful city of Mithila and on the first sight of Seetha in Kannimaadam, pouring out his feelings. There are very few compositions taken for dance, which show the feelings of a man.

This approach gives a totally new dimension for compositions. A small addition such as Rama dropping the arrow on leaving the place conveyed loads of message to the onlooker and the extent of Kalanidhi Narayanan’s experience in composing dance for an item.

The total self pity of a Naayika in separation was shown in the padam adi oku yugam and a small girl stood before our eyes, not as Bragha Bessel depicted Mugdha Naayika in the javali apadooruku.

Sharing her experience and knowledge to the audience by her lecture, Kalanidhi along with Bragha’s wonderful training under her made it an eye opener to all aspiring artists.


2 responses to “Rama reincarnated on stage

  1. Comment moderated

    Kalanidhi Narayanan’s and her students’ “pop” abhinaya is “realistic”, and down-to-earth.

    Nowadays ——— Chennai have grown so confident they think they can portray Seetha’s emotions on seeing Rama. People lost the sense of the sacred and the sublime.

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