Text: Kavitha Krishnamurthy
The monthly festival organised by Sai Arts International under the supervision of Sai Venkatesh, its founder on the first of every month completed its 110th programme. The evening began with a performance by the tiny tots of Sai Arts International. The little ones began with a Pushpanjali in raga Valachi set to Adi tala. They then moved on to a Kowthwam on Lord Ganesha and ended it with an Alaripu in Tishra Eka tala. Their perfect sense of rhythm left the audience in awe. They were trained and presented by Kum. Ashitha Rajesh Kumar, an aspiring artist and senior student of Guru Dr Suparna Venkatesh.
Kum. Srini Nelluri, a disciple of Guru Dr P Rama Devi commenced her Kuchipudi recital with the traditional Mandodari Shabdam, narrating the story of a frog turning into a young woman upon being wooed by Ravana. The dancer also recited a dramatic dialogue drama giving everyone a glimpse of the evolution of Kuchipudi from the Yakshaganam. She proceeded with a Keerthan by Annamacharya, ‘Deva Devam Bhaje’ in raga Hindola set to Khanda Chapu tala.
The monthly festival then witnessed another vibrant, dynamic and energetic Kuchipudi performance by the duo Kavya and Dharmaraj, disciples of Guru Anupama Mohan. Kavya began with ‘Maya Gopabala’ in raga Kapi set to tala Adi. The dancer depicted various episodes in Lord Krishna’s life like Gajendra moksha, Geethopadesam and Govardhan Dharan. Kavya looked confident and relaxed. Her mukha abhinaya was her strongest point – subtle, graceful yet powerful. Dharmaraj performed ‘Ardhanareshwara’ in Ragamalika set to Talamalika. They concluded their recital with a duet ‘Shivastuthi’ in raga Bhairavi set to tala Adi.
Kum. Shubha K, a disciple of Guru Anuradha Vikranth performed a Varnam ‘Baare Raghuvamsa Chandrane baa’ set in raga Ramapriya and tala Adi, in praise of Lord Rama. Here the heroine of the rectal Sita sits in the Ashokavana recalling various episodes of Rama’s life. She calls out to her beloved and pleads him to come and save her. The piece was well choreographed by Guru Anuradha Vikranth. Shubha enjoyed being on stage and danced to her heart’s content.
The last performance of the evening was ‘Shakti Stuthi’ by Guru Tatini Das and group from Assam. The Bharatanatyam ballet concluded the evening on a high note. All the participants were later felicitated by Sai Venkatesh.