Nuanced abhinaya exhibited in Vasudevacharya’s compositions

Nuanced abhinaya exhibited in Vasudevacharya’s compositions

Many of Mysore Vasudevacharya’s compositions have been popularised by our musicians. Dr. Vasundhara Doreswamy’s performance at Nadabrahma Sangeetha Sabha on the evening of 28th May proved that Acharya’s compositions can also be adapted by dancers for Bharathanatyam.    

On the occasion of 153rd birth anniversary of Mysore Vasudevacharya, Vasundhara included seven of Acharya’s compositions in her recital.

The compositions were choreographed by Vasundhara, Balasubramanya Sharma sang, Natuvanga performed by her disciple Bhramari, violin played by Thandava Murthy, mridanga by Hanumantharaju and flute by Rakesh.   

Vasundhara is known for her crisp and convincing presentations and her flexible body which she has maintained with care and concern obeys her in all her bending and expanding yoga postures.

Her first choice for the evening was the popular ‘Bhajare re Manasa shri Raghuveeram’ in Abheri, which  is a composition normally sung by almost all the musicians who perform at the Sabha. Vasundhara began her recital with this evergreen composition wherein two episodes from Ramayana — the killing of Mareecha and Vali were effectively displayed at ‘Ravana Mathanam.’    

While the spectator wondered why the killing of Mareecha and Vali was shown and not of Ravana at ‘Ravana Mathanam,’ the artiste moved on to ‘Girija Ramana Natajana Sharana’ in Gambheera Nata. Here the artiste brought to fore different aspects of the mythological characters effectively. ‘Kama dahana’ and ‘Ananda Tandava’ were highlighted.

‘Devadhideva Shri Vasudeva’ of Vasudevacharya is a favourite of all musicians and listeners. At ‘Ee velana aaru Shatrulanu’ Vasundhara illustrated the six enemies — Kama, Krodha, lobha, Moha, Mada and Matsarya and at ‘Shri Janakeesha,’  Seeta’s swayamvara was shown brilliantly. Tana varna in Bilahari was a proof of Vasundhara’s mastery over the footwork in jatis and her energy. At ‘Palimpa’ Vasundhara covered Draupadi’s vastrapaharana and at ‘Bala Gopala’ Krishna’s stealing the butter and later the entire universe shown in his mouth to his mother Yashoda.

‘Shyla sute, Shiva sahite’ is a rare composition in Vasanta which describes Parvati as the mother of Ganapati and Shanmukha. Vasundhara excelled in the episode of    Parvati (Chamundeshwari) killing the demon Mahisha. Javali in Kamach explored the pangs of separation suffered by the nayika from her beloved, wherein she recalls several episodes of their being together. The concert concluded with the tillana in Suruti.  

Hanumantharaju showed good rapport with the dancer’s portrayal and her varying speeds in jatis. Bhramari’s bold natuvanga to her Guru’s performance was appreciative and Rakesh did well on flute.

—Dr. Padmavathi Narasimhan                     


June 8, 2018

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