For a Rasika Rains don’t Ruin…
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For a Rasika Rains don’t Ruin…

September 13, 2019

Sri Mysore B. Nagaraj curated the 39th edition of Articulate Festival for Articulate Trust for Arts at Veene Seshanna Bhavana in city on Aug. 18 as part of every month 3rd Sunday concert series to a packed hall.

The festival started with a pandanallur style of Bharatanayam by Spoorthi Aurobbindo, her inaugural choice was a Tamil  Kriti of Sri Papanasha Shivam, in raga Sriranjini and Adi tala, “Gajavadana karuna sadana”. In her second segment, a Sanskrit Krithi “Mahadeva Shiva Shambho” was performed in the Nruthya format set to raga: Revathi and Aadi Taal, composition of Thanjavur Sri Shankara Iyer. Sphoorthy, in her concluding number, performed a Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar’s composition in Kamala Manohari Raga set to Adi taala “Kanja dalayathakshi  kamakshi.” All the three numbers were choreographed by her Guru Vasundhara Doraswamy of Mysuru. Spoorthi sailed through the dance numbers in the allotted time and set a good mood for the evening classical dance concert.

B. Deepak Kumar and Preethikala, the Puttur couple who trains aspirants in Bharatanayam at their Sri Mookambika Cultural Academy, presented two Nrutya compositions after their Madurai Muralidharan’s pushpanjali in raga Vijaya Vasanta and Aadi tala. The first Nrutya was on Shiva, in raga: Revathi and Aadi Taal,  composition of Thanjavur Sri Shankara Iyer “Mahadeva Shiva Shambho” followed by a Kannada composition “Jaganmohanane Krishna,” a composition of Sri Purandaradasa in Raga Malike and Aadi tala.

Very often a artiste becomes a Guru when their active performance period slows down, but this enchanting Guru couple is still in their prime performance time. The energy that exuberated in all the three numbers was enchanting to watch. The Shiva extolling number has been presented by many artistes, but dominated by technical interpretation just because the object was Shiva. But Deepak and Preethikala gave two fleeting sancharis, befitting the sahitya bringing out the Lords Leelas. Ravana winning Atma Linga and Shiva locking turbulent in his matted locks received huge applauses from the audience. Similar appreciative reaction of audience was witnessed when the couple enacted the episode of showing Yashodha the universe in his little mouth, The subduing of the serpent Kalinga and the story of Bhasmasura vanquished by Vishnu in the female impersonation as Mohini in the final Purandaradasa’s Devaranama. The purpose of awakening a spiritual euphoria in the audience, through dance and stories of the Gods was undoubtedly achieved. The couple was at their impish best.

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Laetitia Sieffert of Geneva, Switzerland, currently disciple of Guru Sujatha Venkatesh of Omkara School of Indian Dance, Switzerland, performed three choreographic works of her Guru. A  Papanasam Shivan’s Padam “Ananda Natamiddum” in Raga Kedaragowla and Taala Aadi followed by Haridasa Sri Kanakadas’s devaranama “Bagilanutheraddu” in raga Mishra Hindola set to Kandachapu taala and concluded with M. Balamuralikrishna’s  Tillana in raga Sumanesh Ranjini in Aadi Taala in which the poetry that’s enacted in the tail end extols Lord Rama.

Tall, fair and high cheek boned, absolutely Caucasoid from Europe, unfolding nuances of Eastern classical dance, though not new, was very attention arresting. The geometry that Bharatanatyam demands in its movements were perfect. The emotive aspects bringing out the emotions was just sublime. Her training in western classical ballet gave her advantage of holding complicated postures in standstill position while delineating Shiva was just statuesque. Kanakadasa’s desperate yearning to see the Lord from the outer walls was beguilingly enacted. The crispness of execution and deep understanding of Karnatak music and taala system, Laetitia showed how passionate she is to learn and practice this hoary art of India.

Ameera Jagadish Patankar, disciple of Guru Shama Bhate of Nadroop, Pune, presented her Kathak short concert in the concluding segment of the festival. Her choice were traditional shloka “Krishna Vandana” and Teen Taal, Bhajan “Baje Muraliya” and a “Chaturang” in Raag kedar. All the three numbers choreographed by Guru Shama Bhate.

Kathak is identified with its mercurial movements where at one time the dancer unleashes high energy only to freeze on the 1st beat of the taal cycle in a statuesque pose. The Bramaris executed with feverish speed and the hastaks done in the utmost subtlety is another facet of the art. A Hindu dance art that is pregnant with stories and gilded with finesse due to patronage of the Islam rulers. The cadence of the ankle bells echoes the percussion syllables creating a canvas of audio colours. All these Ameera showcased exquisitely establishing her mastery over the art form especially in the taal and its mathematically intricate and precise compositions. 

The highlight was her rendition of, not so often seen repertoire of Kathak, “Chaturang” that had in its cauldron four aspects of music and dance, Tarana, Percussion Bhols, Sargams and Sahithya that exalted Lord Shiva. Highly admirable performance by Ameera indeed.

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For a  true rasika, a downpour does not deter him from savouring the rasa during the August rains.

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