The 39th edition of the 8-day-long festival, Vasundharotsava-2023, was inaugurated on Nov. 4 by Kamakshi Devi of Mysore Royal Family along with Poorna Devi KemprajUrs from USA and Rotary North President M.K. Sridhar as chief guests at Sri Nadabrahma Sangeetha Sabha on JLB Road in city.
The first day programme comprised a solo choreography by Dr. Vasundhara Doraswamy called ‘Pavana Ganga’ for which Script and Lyrics were written by Dr. Jyothi Shankar and music composed by Vid. Srikanth. This musical encapsulated the story of descent of Mother Ganga onto Earth as result of Saint Bhagirath’s penance to wash away the sins of his forefathers and to grant them Moksha (Liberation). The performance was set in Vasundhara Bani with full of nritta, sublime abhinaya, sancharis, sculpturesque postures for a duration of 1-and-a-half hours. It was indeed a mesmerising masterpiece.
On the second day, the stage was adorned with Sri Shivarathri Deshakendra Swamiji of Suttur Mutt. The artistes were blessed by Swamiji and followed by Bharatanatyam performances by Dr.Samyukta Kemparaj Urs and Vid. Sandesh Bhargav in Vasundhara Bani. The invocation piece by the artistes was set in melaprapti full of striking nritta and sancharis. While Dr.Samyukta stole the show with her Dharu-Varna called “Maate”, Vid.Sandhesh captivated the audience with his strong nritta. Both the artistes were accompanied on natuvanga by Dr. Vasundhara Doraswamy.
The third day of the festival comprised of Bharatanatyam performance by Anjana Ramesh Sarma and Kathak performance by Mukta Joshi. Anjana Ramesh Sarma is a young danseuse who is a disciple of Kirti Ram Gopal and had special training in Karanas under Dr. Padma Subramanyam. AnjanaShowcased her forte in nritta with perfection. While Mukta Joshi, who is a disciple of Roshan Kumar, belonging to the Jaipur Gharana, showcased her experimentation in tribhangina, a combination of three dance styles which was well-appreciated by dance rasikas of Mysuru.
Fourth day, Bharatanatyam was presented by Meghana Bojala & Preethi Ramamurthy, who are the senior disciples of Vidu. Vani Ramesh, who accompanied them on natuvanga. The Telugu javali presented by the dancers was filled with abhinaya and was the highlight of the show. The second performance of this day was by SandhyaUdupa, a highly talented Bharatanatyam artiste and senior disciple of AcharyaIndraKadambi. Her nritta with lightening speed kept the audience mesmerised and her complete performance was a treat to watch.
The fifth day commenced with a Mohiniyattam performance by Sujatha Nair, a disciple of well-known Mohiniyattam exponent Jayashree Nair of Mumbai. During her performance, she presented a composition on Goddess Chamundeshwari followed by a Varna. Her performance was dominated by pure abhinaya akin to Mohiniyattam Repertory. The next performance was by senior danseuse Dr.SoundaryaSrivatsa, a senior disciple of late Guru Narmada. She started with the popular dharuvarna “Maatemaladhwaja…” She was accompanied on vocals by her husband, Srivatsa. Her abhinaya and nritta were both mature and praise worthy. Her performance was mind-blowing and akin to perfection.
One of the popular classical Indian dance in Odisha belt is Odissi. AnushreePadmanabha is born into a family of artistes. She is known for her exceptional dancing skill in Odissi. She was trained under SmithaPanigrahi and later under the tutelage of Sharmila Mukherjee. Her Odissi performance was full of abhinaya which made inroads into the hearts of rasikas. She concluded the evening with managalacharan and moksha. Next performance was rendered by a male dancer, Atanu Das from Kolkata. He was initiated to Bharatanatyam at a very tender age of three years under the guidance of KalpanaMallick. His performance started with Devi Stuthi and concluded with Tillana. He had control over nritta and abhinaya and his performance was appreciated by the audience.
The most-awaited event of the festival was classical Karnatak music by internationally acclaimed artistes Trichur Brothers — Vid. Krishna Mohan and Vid.Ramkumar Mohan. They were accompanied on mridanga by their father and Guru, Trichur Mohan, on violin by MathurSrinidhi and on ghata by Srikrishnan. They chose a composition in praise of Lord Shiva and rendered a mesmerising pure Karnatak classical music for a duration of two hours, and they kept the full house audience spellbound and were treated with a standing ovation by the rasikas at the end of their performance.
The last event of the grand festival was a performance by tiny tots and disciples of Vidu. Seema Jawahar (Bengaluru), Vidu. Vasundhara Doraswamy (Mysuru), Vidu. Premita Ramesh of Kalandika Academy of Arts (Mysuru). The whole performance was enjoyed by the full-house audience.