She entered exuding devotion - to the deity installed on the dais, to the Guru
to whom the recital is dedicated, to the supporting orchestra who had committed
to give their best, and to the choice audience who had come to witness an exemplary
artiste. Geetha Ganesan presented her Bharatanatyam recital for SICA with grace,
brilliance and aplomb.
Araimandi in perfect position (the late Rukmini Arundale would have given her a full 100!) and eyes sparkling a myriad hues and bhavas, Geetha displayed abundant talent with dedication to match. In the opening item, Vinayaka Stuti, her portrayal of Ganesha suited her petite form. Or so one thought. As the program advanced, she seemed to grow - in height as well as in stature. The elan with which she played all the characters of Ramayana held every one spellbound. It is an item that will be etched on memory land for a long time to come.
When a Varnam is announced in the repertoire, people sigh resignedly, drawing
on their enduring capacity to sit through a 45-minute affair. 'Sami', the Varnam
by Geetha, had two episodes - of Bhakta Kannappa, and of Parvati's attempts to
send a love letter to her Lord Shiva through water, the flora and the fauna. Interestingly,
despite an overdose of Mudras and Nritta, this item drew spontaneous applause
for the special sound effects of Dhamaru. It was only when the dancer departed
from the stage did we realize that it was over. Where did the 35 minutes go? Apart
from the resigned people, Geetha kept even the hardcore critic in the front row
glued to his seat! The next item, Javali with the Sringara rasa overflowing through
the artiste's expressive eyes, was a short, well-enacted piece.
Guru V S Ramamoorthy looked proud, almost smug, as each nuance of his choreography manifest itself perfectly through this pet disciple of his exactly as he had visualized it. He literally cooed (imitating the Koyal sounds of Tapovan) in ecstasy. Manjula Ramaswamy, his daughter, was the co-nattuvanar. The danseuse didn't need the mridangam, it seemed, for Manjula was rendering the Jathis with such force and clarity that every 'tha' and 'thai' reverberated through the auditorium.
Prema Rammurthy doesn't need an introduction to the Carnatic music lovers in Hyderabad.
And this evening, her vocal support was nothing short of a marvel. She dwelled
on every note with total involvement of emotion, some of it seeping into our veins,
too. When she sang 'Vaidehi enge?' (where is Vaidehi?), every devotee relived
In the end, as the last of the crowd was exiting through the door, Geeta was heard thanking each and every one of the team, saying that the program would have been only half complete without their support. Yes, Geetha, a very wholesome experience indeed! SICA is known to give us the best always!