Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Experienced nayikas attract large turnout - Taalam: column by Leela Venkataraman

It was a strangely warming sight at the Habitat watching helpless organisers turning away throngs of people waiting outside, because of no vacant seat in the packed Stein auditorium! And this, wonder of wonders, for Lalit Arpan, the annual  classical dance festival hosted by Kathak artist/teacher Shovana Narayan’s institution! With a different theme each year, avoiding a feel of predictability, this event has allowed itself sufficient elasticity to respond to varying impulses. This year’s choice of the Ashta Nayika theme based on Vidyapati’s poetry, featuring senior, ‘Padmashri awardees’ only (made very clear in the introductions) certainly attracted a large turnout, particularly on the opening evening. Rasa as an intellectual perception calls for a deep mental culture an artist develops through years spent in the art form. So the selection of seniors was dictated by wisdom, and Vidyapati’s poetry given its Jayadeva like bold sensuality in describing the sringar of the Radha/Krishna relationship, is hardly for the less mature performer though the Radha of Vidyapati, a parakeeya like Jayadeva’s, is less brazen about her relationship with Krishna.

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