Friday 24 November 2017

Delhi diary - Taalam: column by Leela Venkataraman

The dance component of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s 9th consecutive Sangeet Samaroh (Nov 6 – 8, 2017) predictably sponsored traditional fare. Bharatanatyam by Priyadarsini Govind had the blend of extreme lavanyam and sensitive abhinaya which, over the years, one has come to expect as the hallmark of this dancer. Starting with a Gambheera Nattai opening attached with a homage to Muruga in Shanmukhapriya, the dancer went on to the centrepiece of the varnam in Ragamalika set to rupaka talam, the composition a vintage piece from the time honoured repertoire. “Sami  nine  kori  naanu  raa,” the nayika declares her overwhelming love (prema  meera) for the Tanjaipuri vaasa. But after the statements set to Todi, Shankarabharanam, Athana, in the Kalyani part, there is a sudden change of tone and mood as the besotted devotee drowned in love, becomes the confident swadheenapatika and addresses the Lord that he will not find another like her. Persuasive in her subtle mood changes, the yearning of the nayika who looks longingly at the divinity on top of the hill, looking from where she is, so unapproachable changing to the feelings of a woman so sure of her love in the latter half was well brought out. The nritta links, even while Priya’s rhythmic exuberance has a quieter expression now, retains the correctness in movement profiling.

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