The Leela Samson magic

The Leela Samson magic
Highlights

The scintillating performance by Padma Shri awardee Leela Samson and her students on Sunday evening at the Hyderabad Public School during the literary festival was a delight to behold. Exquisite choreography, elegant costumes and recorded music of surpassing quality came together to create a masterpiece.

The scintillating performance by Padma Shri awardee Leela Samson and her students on Sunday evening at the Hyderabad Public School during the literary festival was a delight to behold. Exquisite choreography, elegant costumes and recorded music of surpassing quality came together to create a masterpiece.

Meticulous attention to every detail, the hallmark of a great artiste and teacher was present throughout the performance. Turquoise blue and cream were the colours in the theme blending to create a beautiful visual effect. The students first opened with a Purandaradasa Keertana depicting ‘Kaliya Mardana’.

Leela Samson presented an excerpt from Kalidasa's ‘Kumara Sambhavam’ in Sanskrit. she glided on to the stage and held the audience spellbound with her virtuosity. Ganga harathi showing the story of the ganges, polluted on the one hand yet sacred and holy was a study in contrasts by the maestro with her students. Crisp jatis and moving abhinaya alternated and mingled.

The piece ended with a ‘harathi’ offered by small lights balanced on the palms of the dancers, adding to the aura of worship to the divine. An ashtapadi by Jayadeva on Krishna, the eternal enchanter gave ample scope for Leela to display her refined mastery of expression and technique in solo items.

It is a tribute to her consummate artistry that she created an effect of floating through the air as though unimpeded by the force of gravity, something artistes much younger would find impossible to match. The crowning glory of the event was a delightful and melodious bandish in Urdu by Ras Khan seamlessly interspersed with jatis and containing addition of some lyrics into Tamil by Rajkumar Bharathi. Outstanding was the vocalist for this piece, Sharmishtha Chatterjee.

By Anna Rao

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