Sai Nrityotsav 111: A Melting Pot of Indian Classical Dances

Text: Kavitha Krishnamurthy

Never too tired to dance, it is my passion and it is my life. This is the attitude that Sujatha Ramanathan, a disciple of Guru Latha Raman carried with her as she performed on the occasion of Sai Nrityotsav 111. She began her recital with a ‘Swarajathi’ in raga Kamach set to tala Adi and continued with a ‘Shivashtakam’. Sujatha chose to exhibit her hold on Abhinaya through a Bhajan composed by Maharaja Swati Tirunal in raga Sindhu Bhairavi set to tala Adi.

Next came the Delhi based dancer, Shrutha S Gopalan, a disciple of Padma Shri awardee Guru Geeta Chandran. She began her recital with a traditional Mallari in raga Nattai, set to tala Adi. The next piece she chose dealt with devotion. ‘Chakar Rakho Ji’, a Meerabai bhajan. Here the Nayika asks Lord Krishna to keep her as his servant so she could serve him. The dancer paid complete justice to the item with her incredible abhinaya. Shriya concluded her performance with a Thillana in raga Rageshri, set to tala Adi revealing her adeptness as a beautiful dancer.

The most awaited performance of the evening was that of Kamalaksi Rupini from Brazil. She along with her musician partner Bruno Tonelli created magic on stage with their unique performance. She began with a ‘Thodayamangalam’, Jaya Janaki Ramana, a composition by Annamacharya. Next, she presented a Devaranama ‘Kadagola tarenna chinnave’ with absolute grace and beauty. What came next was something that Bangalore audience had never witnessed before. Kamalaksi performed ‘Mahadeva’, a shloka chosen from the Bhagavata Purana, she danced to the rhythm of the guitar which her husband played and concluded with ‘Radha Madhava’ a song which described the spiritual world where Radha and Krishna enjoy eternal love.

Shweta Arts International team

The spectators got to witness a Kuchipudi performance by Bhagyashri Manohar from the USA. She presented an Annamacharya Krithi, ‘Vachenu Alamelumanga’ in raga Mohan set to tala Adi.

Sai Nrityotsav 111 also witnessed a Kathak performance by students of Shweta Venkatesh. The kids proved that with the right amount of talent, confidence and patience one can achieve anything. Though it was their first Kathak performance they presented ‘Raag Taal Maal’, a complete nritta item with plenty of ‘Tukdas’ and complex footwork with complete ease.

Guru Suma Rajesh presented her team in a Bharatanatyam group recital. The items were wisely chosen to make an appealing package to a wider audience. They started with ‘Pranava Swaroopam’, then moved to present a ‘Shivashtakam’ in raga ‘Bhatiyar’ which the artistes presented with good coordination. In raga Purvi Kalyani set to Adi tala, the group performed a Devaranama ‘Hanumantha Deva Namo’ and concluded with a Purandaradasa keerthane ‘Tamboori Meetidava’. The dancers revealed an extraordinary display of behaviour and sense of rhythm. The program ended on a high note with felicitation to all the artistes. It was indeed a melting pot of Indian classical dance forms.