In an aligned terrain
Dancer, choreographer, teacher Radhika Shurajit's latest presentation, `Konjum Salangai,' based on yesteryear film melodies, was an exercise in expertise.
Photo: K. V. Srinivasan
VISUALLY ENTICING: `Konjum Salangai'
Just a fad, you thought, as you settled down to watch dancer-choreographer Radhika Shurajit's `Konjum Salangai' a dance tribute to poet and lyricist Kannadasan, for Karthik Fine Arts, at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai. These days you come across classical dancers presenting thematic ballets based on film songs. The original numbers are played in the background to which the dancers perform. But Radhika stumped you with a live orchestra and imaginative choreography that blended beautifully with the items showcased. Her concept, choreography and nattuvangam, and Churchill Pandian's script and co-ordination made the effort worthwhile.
Radhika sought refuge in the literary premise of `poetic liberty' and her incorporations exemplified her prowess. Playback singer Saindhavi, and Krithikaa Shurajit rendered the melodies of yore with the right tone and tenor. Saindhavi, did miss the cue in a couple of places but her rendering was flawless.
Opening with the evergreen title song from `Konjum Salangai' that transported you to the era of P. Leela, Radhika created the mood for nostalgia and classicism in one stroke. Even a slow-paced refrain such as `Aarumuganaa Porul ... ' (so well sung by Krithikaa) sprang to life with the fluid movements of child dancer Jyotsna Ramesh. When `Mannavan Vandhanadi ... ' was begun, Sivaji Ganesan, Padmini, K. V. Mahadevan and the scintillating voice of P. Susheela, who all had a part in creating the timeless classic, came to your mind's eye. Again as the `Kurunjiyilae ... ' number from `Kandan Karunai,' was projected as a colourful, foot-tapping bonanza, with the dancers exhibiting perfect cohesion, you wistfully remembered the present Chief Minister of the State, who was a picture of elegance in the sequence.
Doe-eyed dancer Maanu, the heroine of Ajit's `Kadhal Mannan,' provided a treat for art lovers. She brought out the grace and charm of yesteryear beauties Devika and Saroja Devi to perfection. Costume for `Konjum Salangai' as a whole showed taste and the perfect tableaux and striking silhouettes were exercises in expertise.`Kavignarukku Oru Bharatanjali' as Radhika Shurajit called it, was a crisp tribute indeed! Probably the concept is an offshoot of her endeavour to take classical art to the common man.
What better way to attempt it than to present film songs, which render themselves to the Bharatanatyam format!
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