A graceful, elegant and stupendous rendition
The monthly programme by the South Indian Cultural Association (SICA) on Friday featured a young talent. The programme highlighted Akhila’s talent, an outstanding student of Hemamalini Arni.
The monthly programme by the South Indian Cultural Association (SICA) on Friday featured a young talent. The programme highlighted Akhila’s talent, an outstanding student of Hemamalini Arni. The privilege of being a student of such an eminent guru, the doyen of Bharatanatyam seniors in Hyderabad, was amply requited by her. It can indeed be said that any student of Arni is a chiseled product of a meticulous and thorough individual grooming, which is epitomised by the lineage of the legendary Balasaraswati and Vazhuvoor Ramiah Pillaih. It is no mean feat to creditably uphold this tradition by a series of excellent and memorable performances by young Akhila since her Arangetram, of which this is the latest.
Alarippu in Ragamalika is a delicate rendering of the movements and behaviour of the sacred bird peacock (Mayuri), which served as the vehicle (vahana) of several deities in Hindu mythology. The long neck of the bird, the fluttering of its wings, the fanlike tail opening in display and the characteristic gait were all skillfully presented by the artiste.
Bhaja Govindam, Ragamalika, by Adi Sankaracharya is a traditional composition, in which the founder of Advaita reminds us that he also yielded to none in stressing the efficacy of the path to devotion (bhakti marga) in attaining liberation (mukti).
The refrain which defines this song and names it, invokes the almighty in the aspect of Lord Vishnu. Summarising in brief, the importance of devotion to God as a means of spiritual development eschew the vain attachment of men to worldly desires; it is a rather difficult and esoteric item to perform but was competently done by the artiste who brought out the episodes in each verse.
‘Sakhi Prana’ (Javali) in Senchurutti Ragam is said to have been composed by Dharmapuri Subbaraya Iyer for the great Vina Dhanammal. The nayika shares with her friend her sorrow and anger at her beloved who had betrayed her - ''Oh friend! Look what my soul mate has done to me. He sweetly told me he would just come back and then took the other lady’s shelter. He abused me when I invited him. Dharmapurivasa, who was earlier with me and knows all my secrets, has forgotten me." Delicate abhinaya by Akhil marked this piece. ‘Madhurashtakam’ in bihag by Vallabhacharya is drenched in his love for Lord Krishna. Its rhythmic couplets extol the sweetness present in every aspect of the lord, his features, adornments, actions, etc. This piece performed by Akhila with lyrical grace was very much appreciated by the audience at her previous programme also. A brisk ‘thillana’ in kedaram was as usual the last item.
Nattuvangam was by Renuka Prasad. Sangeetha Kala was on the vocals, the violin was played by Sai Kumar, Mridangam by Sridharachari and Veena by Sudhakar. It should be mentioned that this young but highly talented danseuse is leaving for the US to pursue her undergraduate course.