The joy of dance
Alarmel Valli... marked by exuberance.
ALARMEL VALLI has changed. Her dance this year seems to be quite different from what was seen earlier. There is deep music in her dance text, visualisation and movement pattern. Someone remarked after the performance for Bharat Kalachar: ``She is forgetting even herself. She is not worried about the audience or anything else. This is ecstasy." The same words had been spoken by Mrs. Y. G. Parthasarathy. It was the joy of dance all through that one witnessed. The performance was marked by remarkable speed with which Valli danced. It revved up and took off even with the invocatory piece ``Ahigiri Nandini". It was not her very special attami nor her lack of Araimandi that mattered. It was the sheer exuberance with which she danced that mattered. The Tamil Varnam in Sankarabharanam talked about the Swadheenapatika Nayika telling her friend that the Rajagopala she loves is incomparable. Valli wove an intricate pattern of devotion and romantic love in not only her Sancharis but also in the Nritta portions. There was a lyrical and wistful portrait of the nayika bhava in various modes and moods. The striking balance between the physical execution of intricate jathi patters and the depiction of moods and the external drama of the little stories and the inner and outer landscape creation was done deftly.
The Abhinaya pieces had more to offer. The Meenakshi Pillai Tamil piece, ``Vaaradirundal..." cajoling the little Goddess to come to the devotee or else ``I will not apply Kajal in your eyes nor will I put the tilak on your forehead nor will I play with you and take you out to show the Ratha veedhi or the temple Gopuram." The innocence of both the devotee and the little girl was finely etched. Valli's special forte is also her work in bringing to life Sangam poetry. This time she chose a poem from Agananooru that showed the melancholy of a lovelorn girl as described by her friend. The depiction had a penetrating illumination on the beauty of the landscape and the environment with the flowing stream and the beautiful lilies whose petals resemble the beautiful eyes of lovely girls who wear them in their hair. Our heroine is the only one who does not enjoy all this. Her friend finds out the reason for her melancholy and teases her about the handsome man from the hills who has stolen her heart. A very modern poem presented with startling visual and auditory (tuned by Prema Hariharan) images. A Swara nritta woven with a Sangam poem took the place of the Tillana. The dance of Valli that evening at Bharath Kalachar moved from one dream to another (sometimes one inside another) and the dance was a living use of the classical text and was vivid in its expression.
V. R. DEVIKA
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