Kuchipudi dancers galore! Alekhya to Rama Devi, Sethuram, Saritha Dilip, Swathy
Somanath and more, the three day Kuchipudi solo dance festival will feature dancers
at this withered venue for 3 days. A bit about the venue first: this theater needs
badly renovation, for its roof leaks when it rains, the shrunken chairs give you
a backache and the smeared walls of the green rooms make the performers restless
- and there is more that we are ignoring. Yet, this venue becomes a platform for
many festivals, felicitation functions and musical nites!
The reason could be its low rentals, its large local audience to fill in the hall
and, above all, the fact that Hyderabadi dancers and musicians are not choosy
about a venue or the audience, and cannot say no to an offer! What seems to matter
is going on and on, churning out performances!
Anyway, the present festival, organized by Sri Vaishnavi Kuchipudi Nritya Kala
Niketan, saw Alekhya commence with the traditional Tarangam of Narayana
Theertha. The dancer traced the image of the auspicious symbol of the Hindu pantheon.
This very first Tarangam, "Jaya Jaya Swamin Jaya Jaya", attributed to Ganesha
by the poet, was vibrantly choreographed, while a contemporary Varnam of
Balamurali Krishna, "Om Kaara Pranava Nado Oo", illustrated, in a wholesome manner,
the divine symbol Om, and its pervasive presence in the five elements.
In this, the dancer, balancing the rhythmic pace, rendered the spirit and substance
of earth and space.
A Javali by the same poet with the soft dance of a heroine in love provided
a brief interlude, before the dancer went on to perform yet another ornate number.
This piece of Annamacharya, "Parama Purushudu", set to Mohana raga, described
the Vaishnava God and his omniscient aura. He is at once a child for Yashoda,
and the one who protects the whole of mankind and also the one who preaches the
Geeta. Alekhya's recital was backed by Raghunandan's nattuvangam, Vinod's
percussion and Sweta and Lavanya's vocal support.
Later in the evening, Rama Devi staged her solo recital. Here the dancer chose
to commence with a rare piece, illustrating the evolution of the 'Ganesha' form
with an elephant head, with a brief drama backed by the poetry of M N Murthy.
Yet another story of birth and growth comes in this Thyagaraja composition, "Sri
Raghukulamandu" (the birth of Rama and his brothers, after the Putrakameshti
Yagnam and so on). Rama too chose to break the monotony with a Srungara
Javali, before concluding with a Tarangam, "Madhava Mamava Deva".
The musical support comprised of Renuka's nattuvangam, Srivalli Sarma's
song and Sridharachari's percussion. Both the artistes were felicitated in the