Friday, 11 November 2022

Young talent played its part too - Taalam: column by Leela Venkataraman

While much of my writing surrounds high profile events held in the capital, one tends to forget the part played by young talent. Belatedly, to compensate for the lack of coverage given to their participation, I begin with mention of Nava Lavanyam, presented by International Academy of Mohiniyattam, wherein one was treated to how Mohiniattam dancer Jayaprabha Menon's approach to training her students with constant exposure to Theyyam, Kalaripayattu and Sopana Sangeetam, along with providing sufficient room for self-expression by the student, supported, when needed by teacher guidance, would seem to be paying dividends. The evening saw a presentation of self-choreographed, original items by most of the students, and what impressed was the apparent effort, varying ability in each performer notwithstanding, at internalizing the chosen theme, instead of a superficial treatment. The evening began with a Swathi Tirunal lyric Madhupavalitakhandam, sung in viruttam and set to ragam Hamsadhwani, dedicated to Ganapathy, presented by the entire group, and even while each dancer seemed involved, Jayaprabha's concept of group choreography, while adequate, is not exceptional.

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