By Dr. Padmavathi Narasimhan
City ‘s ‘Bhushan Academy’ presented a Bharatanatyam recital in memory of Lalita Murthy, wife of senior art patron K.V. Murthy on her birth anniversary. Badari Divyabhushan, grandson of cine star of yesteryears Kalyan Kumar, and his wife Anjana Bhushan performed ‘Ramabhyudayam’ for Nadabrahma Sangeetha Sabha on the 9th of December. Badari was accompanied by his wife Anjana Bhushan and his students Anupama, Bhoomika and Divyashree and his little son. The music for the event was by Priyadarshini Govind.
The opening piece was ‘Lalitarpanam’ dedicated to Lalita Murthy, which was a set of Shlokas in praise of Devi. A lot of pieces from various shlokas and compositions like Muttuswami Deekshitar’s ‘Ardhanareeshwaram’(only the first line) and the Annapoorna shloka ‘Nityanandakari varabhayakari’ by Adi Shankaracharya were chosen.
‘Ramabhyudayam’ began with the shloka ‘Poorvam Rama Tapovanani Gamanam,’ explaining the story of Ramayana in short. Sita and Rama meeting for the first time in the garden, Rama lifting the bow, and Sita parinaya were highlighted. While ‘Oothakkadu Venkata Kavi’s ‘Kalyana Rama’ in Hamsanada (wrongly announced as Deekshitar’s) was playing, the couple changed their attire magically in seconds, which drew wide appreciation from the cheerful audience.
Entry of Manthara was very dramatic with Badari himself playing the role of Manthara. Tamil song in Hindola ‘Ramanukku mannan mudi tharittale’ (Arunachala Kavi) offered sanchari at ‘Parashuraman Garvam Teettavandi.’ A Navarasa shloka covered the rest of the episodes like Shurpanakha for Hasya, Lakshmana cutting off her nose and ears for Bheebhatsa, Sita’s fear on seeing Ravana (fear), Adbhuta rasa in vanaras, Raudram in the slaying of Ravana by Rama and shantam in accepting back Sita.
The entire ‘Ramayana’ which offers so much scope for Bharatanatyam was staged too short and the mangalam obviously gave a wrong message to the disappointed audience who left the auditorium while two more items were yet to play.
In ‘Brochevarevarura’ of Mysore Vasudevacharya, the dancers enacted Paduka Pattabhisheka, Hanumanta’s ‘Samudra Manthana’ and ‘Anguleeyaka Pradana’. ‘Bho Shambho Shiva Shabho’ in Ravati brought out the glory of Shiva.
The significance of the title ‘Ramabhyudayam’ was not clear as ‘Abhyudayam’ means benefit or well-being and Ramabhyudayam would mean the benefit or well-being of Rama, which does not seem to make sense. The entire dance was classical based but not completely classical. The nrutta part is essential in any Bharatanatyam concert, which was missing. Though the intention of the dilution is perhaps to reach more people, classicism is to be considered especially while performing for a Sabha as it would not be called a Bharatanatyam concert otherwise.