Silver jubilee celebration
WELL-SYNCHRONISED GROUPS of young, confident students performed in the silver jubilee celebrations of Nrithyakshethra, School for Bharatanatyam, founded by Samanthakamini Palaniandy, and her daughter Chamundeswari, now taken care of by eminent teacher and composer, Madurai R. Muralidharan, and his wife Chitra. Established in 1978, the institution has trained more than 500 students. Participating in the celebrations were well-synchronised groups of young, confident students from Nrithyakshethra, rhythmically and interpretatively precise in their presentations.
Sivakamasundari, Aparna Jagadeeshan and Amritha Asok Kumar were impressive in Muralidharan's Anandabhairavi varnam ``Dasaratha Kumara." Youngsters Deepalakshmi, Kavyalakshmi, Vishaka, Sindhu, Gayathri, Vidya, Madhubala, Seerisha, and 10-year-old Priya Banerjee performed the pushpanjali, ``Murugan Kauthuvam," and the Ambujam Krishna composition in Mohana Kalyani, ``Adinain Kanna."
Also celebrating its silver jubilee is Shri Krupa Dance Foundation established by Vishal Ramani in California. Furthering her artistic alliance with Nrithyakshetra, Ramani had brought some of her dancers to Chennai to take part in the anniversary celebrations.
Nitya Venkateswaran from California possesses an appealing blend of confidence and enthusiasm that was evident even from her opening pushpanjali in Gambhiranattai. Disciple of Vishal Ramani, Nithya is a multitalented young dancer, well versed in Bharathanatyam, Modern dance and Flamenco. Her short yet vibrant recital illustrated a keen involvement that was apparent in her good footwork, and keen rhythmic sense in the Shivashakthi piece. Her perceptive portrayal in Gopalakrishna Bharathi's ``Varugalamo" in Manji ragam demonstrated a good sensitivity towards the protagonist and his pitiable condition.
Cute, baby-faced Gayathri Hariharan from California is realising a long cherished dream of dancing, but this young woman was so overwhelmed by stage fright that it precluded her from giving off her best. However once she warmed up in the second half of her Nattakurinji varnam, she proved to be a graceful dancer with a good grip over the adavu patterns, her mobile face coming to life in the Kapi javali, ``Saako ninna sneha." The orchestra, though elaborate, was a let down. For one, the poor sound balancing led to many of the instruments being drowned, especially the sitar, played by Sashi Achari. Gomathi Nayakan's deep, resonant voice was excellent, but required sruti alignment occasionally. Madurai R. Muralidharan on the nattuvangam, Mayuram J. Shankar on the mridangam, Sitarama Sharma on the violin, and Venkatesan on the flute, were enthusiastic contributors.
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