Brimming with confidence
Roja Kannan's hard work was evident in the nritta passages.
MATURE PERFORMANCE: Roja Kannan. PHOTO: S. R. RAGHUNATHAN.
There is a newfound confidence and maturity in Roja Kannan that translated into a spirited performance brimming with enthusiasm. She is a dancer-teacher and a hardworking one at that. One could see the extra effort she put into the nritta passages where the pace and the space covered were appreciable. It is the mimetic aspect that needs to be tinkered with. Though a literal translation may be acceptable in a varnam, extending the same technique into the expressional segments of a performance is not a quite good idea.
Guru Adyar K. Lakshman's nattuvangam and Radha Badri's expressive music were the high points of the afternoon programme at the Narada Gana Sabha. The former's participation was an unexpected bonus and it was a treat to watch the mastery with which he wielded the cymbals. Even the tone of his cymbals tell a tale of mellowed vidwat, its resonance soft yet firm enough to be heeded. Supported by a very interactive mridangist in Nellai D. Kannan, the well-modulated theermanams were a delight to the ear.
Roja handled the Ponnaiah Pillai varnam, ``Manavi" in Sankarabarnam ragam, Adi talam with maturity. The theermanams, executed with good timing, were vibrant structures of rhythm and energy. The speed was balanced by the softness of the love poetry where the nayika's amorous sentiments towards Lord Brihadiswara were captured effectively.
The interpretation of Oothukadu Venkatasubbier's ``Thaye Yasoda" in Todi ragam was an exercise of padaartha-abhinaya, where the abhinaya did not go beyond the obvious. But Radha's moving rendition of the Viruttam, ``Pullai Pirandhalum' in raagamalika, ahead of the daru ``Varugalamo Aiyya," both by Gopalakrishna Bharati, made a deep impact. The music amplified by the superior acoustics and Kalairasan's sensitive stringing created a compelling picture of devotion and surrender. Roja's concluding thillana in Behag (Misra chapu), composed by the Thanjavur Quartet and choreographed by Kadirvelu Nattuvanar was marked by her customary stamp of sincerity.
Send this article to Friends by
Chennai and Tamil Nadu