The enduring attraction of Kuchipudi’s conventional items


Kuchipudi dancer Shreelakshmy Govardhanan performing on the Music Academy’s dance pageant on January 7, 2024.
| Photograph Credit score: RAGU R

Sreelakshmy Govardhanan is a assured Kuchipudi dancer, who has come into her personal. She is a disciple of Guru Pasumarthy Rattaiah Sarma.

Whereas exaggerated mime is a given in lots of Indian classical dance kinds, Kuchipudi provides a bit extra. And, Sreelakshmy’s fluid model amps that up. 

Kuchipudi dancer Shreelakshmy Govardhanan at the Music Academy’s dance festival on January 7, 2024.

Kuchipudi dancer Shreelakshmy Govardhanan on the Music Academy’s dance pageant on January 7, 2024.
| Photograph Credit score:

Sathyabhama overtures to Krishna within the Krishna Sabdam ‘Swami ra ra’ (Mohanam, Adi) have been sensuous and superbly timed. The demure heroine of yesteryear is passé, and has been changed by this daring lady with no inhibitions. The sabdam opened with jathis that have been quick and dynamic, as Sreelakshmy stuffed the stage with vibrancy. She has added bounce to the normal, racy however grounded vocabulary.

The engaging dancer displayed a sureness of intent and nuance as she gave recent life to outdated items. The primary two introductory daruvus — Sathyabhama Pravesha Daruvu and the ‘Siggayeno yamma’ music in Madhyamavati — from the dance drama ‘Bhama Kalapam’ have been the opposite feathers in her cap. Nothing can beat the attraction of conventional repertoire, particularly when offered with sufficient power and involvement.

Sreelakshmy is gentle on her ft and her footwork is nice. Her Sathyabhama is a proud lady. Krishna has left her and she or he is repentant. She asks Madhavi to convey him again (‘Rave madhavi’, in Anandabhairavi). Madhavi asks for his identify, and true to the habits of yore, Sathyabhama can not say it aloud. She mentions his equipment and Madhavi will get it unsuitable each time — as an alternative of the shankha, she errors him for a vendor promoting shells; for the chakra, she imagines a cymbal maker; and for the ‘makara kundalam’ earrings, she visualises a  poor Brahmin, resulting in some laughter.

Kavya Hareesh (nattuvangam) made a great Madhavi from the wings at the same time as she performed the programme competently. Okay.P. Nandini’s bowing was chic. The  standouts have been her introductory Bhairavi and Behag for sringara rasa. Bijeesh Krishna’s music was bhava-laden; his alternative of ragas for the Krishna navarasa piece was out of the field — he selected Varali for hasya and Charukesi for karuna. He tailor-made the ragas suitably to mirror the temper. Kalamandalam Charudatt (mridangam) added to the power of the efficiency.

Sreelakshmy concluded with a tarangam, the footwork on the brass plate. It was preceded by the story of Poothana’s demise. It was visualised by Sreelakshmy, written by Vasudevan Namboothiri and tuned by Ajith Edappily in ragamalika, talamalika.

Poothana’s story was dramatic — the asura modifications her type to that of a wonderful damsel, the fierce stroll turning into a swish one. This stroll is recalled once more within the story when she forgets herself. Nuanced mime, this! Poothana’s demise is gradual — a tender tug at her breast by child Krishna will get stronger and the asura in her takes over to push Krishna; her eyes roll, and it’s over. The deft footwork on the plate was a becoming finale to a well-rounded efficiency.

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