A refreshing vision in turquoise blue floats on to the stage. The slight frame
and a serene face that suddenly breaks into a charming smile wouldn't make you
think she has tucked away so many years of journalistic experience. Where does
she find time to practice dance? U V L Ananda, a copy editor of The Times of India,
Hyderabad, presented a Bharatanatyam recital that revealed to you that one always
finds time for one's first love.
"It has been a passion right since childhood," says Ananda, speaking of her interest
in dance. "But I am performing after a long gap, and I'm a little out of touch."
It didn't show. The command over the art form and the dedication have brought
her a long way indeed, and while she may not be in the professional league, this
winner of many awards as a child artiste has matured into a competent dansuese.
The first half of the program had the slokam 'Yaa kundendu tushara…' followed by Ganapathi Kauvtham, Varnam etc. The tempo was slow and the choice of items could have been better. Swetha, the teenage vocal accompanist, was very good, and carried the whole show on her shoulders with a confidence rare in one so young. Little wonder, though. She is the grand daughter of the late C Nagabhushanam, stage and film actor. Genes!
The intermission saw a briskly conducted 'Sabha'. Dignitaries were brought on
to the dais and honored appropriately, but why was the dancer made to sit on the
same chairs and honored along with the gurus? Vegirahu Narasimha Rao, President,
Navya Nataka Samithi, cleverly avoided giving a speech, stating, "Sometimes silence
is more eloquent." Lakshmi, his daughter, conducted the Sabha proceedings with
poise and in a respectful manner.
The program continued with a change of costume and tempo. 'Adade Asangade...'
was a beautifully executed piece. 'Javali' gave Ananda a chance to show her skill
in abhinaya, which was nice and cute, though some of the expressions were more
in keeping with the modern times. 'Tillana' was a true Bharatanatyam item, performed
with precision and brisk footwork.
Ananda had the staunch support of well-wishers, it seemed. Seema, the gracious lady in white and wife of Anil Kumar, General Manager, The Times Of India, Hyderabad, lit the lamp at the opening. Many peer dancers, VIPs, critics and art lovers came to gauge the girl - would she dance as effectively as she wielded the pen? I think she does the balancing act with aplomb.