A sneak peek into “Shanmukha” rehearsals at KL

I was at the final rehearsal of Mr. Nadarajan’s Muniandy’s upcoming show “Shanmukha”- all about Muruga as he says..  The rain and traffic made the journey to the MTC auditorium last an unbearable 1 hour 15 mins from my home… It should have lasted just 15 mins.. But I guess that’s part of KL..

When I reached the hall, a big part of the crew was stuck in the traffic and The Guru was patiently waiting for the members of the orchestra and students to arrive.

So have you put in the “saleable elements”?- I ask him. He just smiles and says he doesn’t believe in those gimmicks. Mr. Nadarajan Muninady is a graduate of the Kalakshetra who wants to pass the unadulterated Kalakshetra style to his students..

After some more waiting the rehearsal began with a Pushpanjali (that tham tham thangita thaka tat ho danga thakutha.. commonly seen among Sri. V. P. Dhananjayan students). 6 of his 8-9 year olds started off with this pushpanjali . Nadarajan , a serious Guru instructed these kids to put away their slippers neatly. They were further instructed about their entry, placement and exit very very carefully…He didn’t want them to doing their “athouthu chalanam” on stage J

His 3 senior students(who had had their arangetrams) started the next piece Kakka kakka kanagavel kakka and If I recall right Mr. Nadarajan joined in the latter half.

The 3rd item I saw was a solo  by Mr. Nadarajan, enna solli padinalum unthanmanum urugavillai” in Neelamani composed by Ayanampatti Adishesha Iyer a totally abhinaya oriented piece..This is a song currently popularised By Smt. Aruna Sairam if I am not wrong. Despite being totally involved in the abhinaya, he turned to correct the singer who worded ”latchiyam” instead of “alatchiyum” in the Charanam.

Then it was the varanam, that started with the usual tha-ritha-ritha –ginajathi which his 3 senior students performed..

Unfortunately it was already too late and I had to leave…

The excellent mridangist, whose name  my aging memory fails to recollect, was the one who accompanied Ajith for Ujjwala too.. Bhavani Logeswaran, who sang for Ajith was also giving her best today…Pathma was the other accompanying vocalist. The Nattuvangum artist had come from India- Vidya Ravi, (not sure of the first name again) who looked very comfortable conducting the orchestra. Meena Kumaree who was the excellent narrator at Ajith Bhaskkar’s show also pitches in here in the same capacity.. She was in her practice costume was probably dancing too.

It was reassuring to see such passion for Bharathanatyam and adherence to tradition.  The kids had good araimandis and the savustavum of the students showed that Shubanjali , Nadarajan’s Dance Academy does take this seriously.. A few kids need to improve their natyarambham and complete their theermanam adavu in the faster speeds.

 But I am sure these kids who look genuinely interested and happy to be dancing, have found a dedicated Guru who can bring out the best in them if they continued to show the same interest and dedication as they did now. It was also a pleasure to see the motivating parents who had driven their wards all the way in the cursed traffic and rain after a day’s hard work for the nth rehearsal.

It’s a pity that I may not get to see this program actually, would have loved to watch the varnam in entirety and the thillana.

The show is to be held at MATIC Auditorium today (Oct.11th) at 8pm. Ticketed at 30 and 50 RM

For More Information contact: 012 633 1911

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