On Day Two of Kalalayam’s Nrutyotsavam, Dr Haripriya Nambudiri, who combines scholarship with dance skills, in her solo Putana in Kathakali style gave a cherished performance. In immaculate resplendent traditional costume and aharya, she rendered her visual narrative so beautifully weaving into it the sattvika abhinaya highlighting Putana’s inner conflict on seeing the adorable infant Krishna, one wouldn’t take eyes away from it even for a moment.
Her hand gestures, swaying body and rhythmically varying padachalan give an idea of the changing locations and objects as she sets out for Gokul and finally sees infant Krishna. With exquisite expressions, her face reflects her emotions and states of her mind – curiosity, appreciation, wonderment, affection, conflict and ferocity. It was a treat watching conflicting emotions on her highly expressive face, including eyes and eyebrows. The climax comes when the beautiful face turns into a contorted ferocious one of a demoness with her long dark hair coming loose, whose life gets sucked out by Krishna. Music is integral to this exceptionally creative thirty-minute choreographic work.
In her Odissi performance, Dipti Mishra portrayed Khandita Nayika from Jayadeva’s celebrated epic Geetagovinda. The Nayika keeps waiting for Krishhna, her lover, all night. He is nowhere to be seen. When her patience is running out, he finally comes profusely apologizing. She sees on him telltale signs of his romance with another woman – bloodshot eyes, lips having kohl and teeth marks, body having nail-caused scratches. And offended she says, ‘Go away, Madhav, go to the one who can relieve your melancholy.’
Set to the traditionally rich absorbing Odissi music, the dancer’s performance was interesting. Neither does her training nor do dedication and expertise go unnoticed in her selection and performance of the beautiful piece. Whereas she chiefly relied on emoting teary-eyed, one looked for a bit of restraint in the visual portrayal of a dignified Radha even in moments of humiliation and outrage. A fifteen-minute performance also looked too short.
Jugnu Kapadia, a Bharatanatyam dancer from Surat, emerged so strikingly with her skills in the form, that it was a matter of surprise to many she performed for the first time in Ahmedabad and though she has won much acclaim at a young age has not been in the reconing locally. With remarkable poise, clarity of lines, a sense for physical symmetry and abhinaya, she offered brief invocations to both Krishna and Shiva and did episodes of Gajendra Moksh and Draupadi Vastraharana with glimpses of dignity and subtlety in her thirty-minute performance.
Five students of J G College of Performing Arts (Preksha, Krinal, Dharna, Devanshi, Payal), gradually shaping pretty well with their training, modest participation in and exposure to such events, deserved notice doing Saraswati Pushpanjali and Sandhya Tandavam in Bijoy Sivram’s choreography. Getting these girls to see the significance of their movement covering the stage, he has them breaking into relatively fresh pleasing formations and joyously portraying traits characteristic of the two iconic beings associated with knowledge and performing arts. His choreography has been getting recognizable.
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