Of esoteric insights and enthralling dances
Recently the dance aficionados of Hyderabad came under the spell of “Divya Treiyam”– a brilliant production conceived and curated by Usha RK, who...
Recently the dance aficionados of Hyderabad came under the spell of “Divya Treiyam”– a brilliant production conceived and curated by Usha RK, who often makes waves in the Indian classical dance circles with her highly innovative series of dances. This much-acclaimed creation of hers brought simple yet mysterious ideas into the domain of Dance artistically.
Divya Treiyam was born with an endeavour to introduce our young dancers to an in-depth understanding of some of these perceptions, which the young dancers took up earnestly. The result is an auditorium that reverberated with the vibrant energy of the dancers and the audience who soaked in the aesthetics of an elevated art form.
Divya Treiyam is woven around the attributes of gods in the Hindu Pantheon. To illustrate the concept, three aspects were chosen: Divya Pushpa (flower), Divya Vahana (vehicle) and Divya Astra (weapon), and performed by six young and dynamic Bharata Natyam dancers. The unique, well-researched presentations drew mostly from the Hindu mythology with evocative choreographies by the dancers (under the guidance of their gurus and Usha RK). The highly impressive music and the traditional lyrics by the young talent from Bengaluru – Arjun Bharadwaj added splendour to the marvellous presentation of this ‘bouquet of dances’.
Divya Pushpa: Japaa & Parijatha
Dressed in a red and green costume Tanya Saxena portrayed Japaa (the red hibiscus), the favourite flower of Ganesha and Goddess Kali. Red like the blood and bright as the sun, Japaa blooms year-round and adorns Kali who destroys evil. She is red like her eyes, her hands, her tongue and the redness of Japaa satisfies her thirst for blood hence it is dear to the goddess. With graceful yet vibrant movements Tanya danced and made her gurus Saroja and Rama Vaidyanathan proud.
Matangi Prasanna fitted the role of Satyabhama, the proud and beautiful wife of Krishna. The story revolves around the celestial Parijatha flower, much coveted by Satyabhama but granted to the gentle queen, Rukmini. Dressed in white and red (the traditional colours of Satyabhama’s costume as well as that of Parijatha flower), Matangi’s depiction of varied emotions flowed seamlessly. A student of Gurus Kiran and Sandhya Subramaniam, Matangi was agile, full of grace and her elegant chaaris further lifted her dance. Using Parijatha as a metaphor for Krishna, the essence of the story is that of total surrender to the Supreme.
Divya Vahana: Nandi & Garuda
Daughter and disciple of Gurus Kiran and Sandhya Subramaniam, the young Rasika Kiran impressed all with her sincere portrayal of Nandanar. An ardent devotee of Shiva, the low caste Nandanar is denied entry into the temple. Dressed in an elegant costume Rasika’s tender frame swayed to the “Nandi Chol”, a unique rhythmic piece that pays tribute to Nandi, an icon of strength and virility - the celestial drummer of Lord Shiva. Alternating between the roles of Nandi, Nandanar and Shiva, her “abhinaya” flowed effortlessly from one rasa to another, excelling in “Karuna”.
Shivaranjani Harish as Garuda (the vehicle of Lord Vishnu) was grace personified. Disciple of Gurus Kiran and Sandhya Subramaniam, Shivaranjani, with her sinuous movements looked literally like a bird in flight. Garuda, the son of Vinatha and Kashyapa, bravely confronts Indra (the king of gods) along with an army of snakes and successfully gets the pot of Amrutha (nectar). Impressed by his courage and victory, Vishnu takes Garuda as his mount and grants him eternal solace. Endowed with a pleasing countenance and excellent stage presence, dressed in a lovely golden costume, Shivaranjani’s Garuda Kouthvam was a blend of elegance and energy.
Divyastra: Brahmastra and Sudarshana
Pavithra Krishna Bhatt, a disciple of renowned gurus like Sri Deepak Mazumdar and Anita Guha has carved out a niche for himself among fine male dancers in Bharatanatyam. With perfection in ‘nritta’ and precision in movements, his dance was striking: the male vigour combined with a rare grace and energy. His depiction of Brahmastra started with Brahma Kautvam that described the origin and usage of this most powerful weapon. It was later followed by the tale of Ramayana where Rama used it against Ravana in the battle.
Mithun Shyam from Bangalore, a student of late Padmini Ramachandran can be described as a ‘high voltage live wire’ on stage. His super energised dance was certainly the most outstanding- a fitting finale to the spectacular Divya Treiyam. With an unbelievable energy and vitality, he truly set the stage on fire with his portrayal of the most powerful and the only mobile Astra – Sudarshana Chakra held by Maha Vishnu. His ‘Rasa Abhinaya’ in ‘Roudram’ was overwhelming- his picture of Shiva after the death of Dakshayani was stupendous, to say the least.
Satish Venkateswaran’s admirable singing was ably supported by his wonderful team- Ramya Janakiraman (nattuvangam), Lingaraju (mridangam) and Raghunandan (flute).
Kudos to Shankarananda Kalakshetra for its wholehearted efforts in bringing Divya Treiyam to Hyderabad!
By: Vijaya Pratap