Narmada was a veteran dancer, an able teacher and an experienced choreographer. In connection with her first death anniversary, the Shakuntala Nrityalaya had organised a dance programme by a unique personality.
Narthaki Nataraj, who gave a Bharatanatyam recital, was born into the third gender! She was subjected to social isolation, and poverty. However with determination and practice, she learnt dance under the able direction of K P Kittappa Pillai of Tanjore, the veteran ‘Nattuvannar’. She learnt under the old system of ‘Gurukula’ for more than a decade. She has certainly put in hard work to blossom into a fine dancer and her performance was a rewarding experience.
Nartaki opened her programme with ‘Sloka’, followed by a familiar ‘Keerthane’ ‘Mamava Meenakshi’, creating an immediate rapport. In the ‘Varna’ (Saamiyai-Kamach-Ponnaiah) Nartaki took the recital to greater heights, striking a balance between ‘Nritta’ and ‘Abhinaya’. The ‘Nritta’ stood out for its grandeur, enriching the majestic choreographic visualisation. Without an overdose theatricality, ‘Abhinaya’ in both Devaranama (‘Yake Nirdayanadeyo’) and ‘Kavadi’, was performed impactfully. The ‘Tillana’ in ‘Hamsanandi’ was also pleasing. Beenesh Mahadevan (Natuvanga), Chitrambari Krishna Kumar (vocal), Nagai Narayanan (Mridanga), Balaji (Veena) and Muthukumar (flute) supported from the wings.
Yakshagana, Harikathe, Bhajane and discourse, apart from music, were held as part of the ‘Haridasa Namana’ under the aegis of the Kanakagiri Lalithakala Sangha. Kanakagiri Hussain Sab, though a Muslim by birth, is known for his rendering of Kannada ‘Devaranamas’. His vocal recital here on Wednesday had ‘Devaranamas’ of different Haridasas. It was a propitious start for the concert freshening up with ‘Aarambhadali Namipe’ a composition of Shyama Sundara Dasaru. While ‘Guru Raghavendra Racharana Kamalavanu’ was of Gopala Dasaru, the ‘Neere Nodonu Ba’ was a ‘Devaranama’ of Janardhana Vittala Dasaru. With the music deftly appropriating with the lyrics, he gave a soulful picture of the ‘Vyasarajaru’ in the Vadiraja composition. The Pada of Jaganatha Dasaru (Mukhya Pranadeva) was appealing for its lyrical quality. With his melodious voice, Hussain sab sang with melodic grace and pleased the gathering. Dr Ravindra Katoti on harmonium, Rajgopal Kallurkar on tabla and Ramesh on thala - supported him.
RAWA is the cultural wing of Ananda Marga Pracharaka Sangha, founded by P R Sarkar. Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar has composed more than 5,000 compositions in different languages, including Sanskrit, Bengali and Hindi. It is known as ‘Prabhat Sangeet’, which includes different song forms like Ghazal, Thumri, Tappa, Keertan etc. Different possibilities of ‘Prabhat Sangeet’ were exploited through music dance and dance drama by RAWA as part of its golden jubilee celebrations last week.
The invocatory dance was performed by Keerthana Ravi, neatly, Archana Udupa chose songs - one in each - in Hindi, Sanskrit and Bengali. Popular artiste Parameswara Hegde sang ‘Malik Homere’ with good feeling. The ‘Shiva Shankara He Shubhankara’ was highly evocative and Bengali Song ‘Tumhi Bhulona’ was appealing for its lyrical quality. Acharya Tatwa Vedananda Avadhoot, known for his ‘Prabhat Sangeet’ selected two compositions - ‘Sephin Sandhya’ and ‘Akhiya Tum hi ko Chahti Hain’, with reverberating lilt. Based on Sarkar’s book, the dance drama ‘Pranam Tumhe Sadashiva’ by the students of Nupura was performed under the direction of Lalitha Srinivasan. Young dancers, changing their roles in quick succession, performed with ease and assurance.
Sanjay Santharam is known in the cultural field as an actor (both in cinema and TV), a dancer, a teacher and a choreographer. On the eve of his birthday, his students conducted a special programme called ‘Chaitanya Chinthana’ last Sunday. Based on his life and achievements the ‘Navarasa’ which was choreographed by Sajini, was performed by the students of Sanjay and Kshama. Several salient features were narrated in the ‘Sanchari’ effectively. Two compositions on the teacher - ‘Guruleka Ituvanti’ of Tyagaraja and ‘Guruvina Gulamanaguva Thanaka’ of Purandara Dasaru - suited the occasion very well. They concluded with a ‘Tillana’.