Reaching out to the audience
Padma Subrahmanyam's theermanams were a lesson in creating maximum effect with minimal effort.
APPEALING: Padma Subrahmanyam.
Beginning with verses from the Chandi Path, in ``Shakti Darisanam," Padma Subrahmanyam moved to Adi Shankara's prayer to the three Devis Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati.
The dancer's erudite artistry infused each of Saraswati's vahanas with the essence of the animal, be it horse, elephant or swan. In ``Dharini Telusukonti," Padma swiftly created the mood of bhakti.
A simple, but deeply attentive, `alankaram' of the deity was enough to visually evoke Tripurasundari. The words `madagaja-raajagamani' gave Padma room to describe the powerful, majestic nature of Devi's gait. The brief theermanams were a lesson in creating maximum effect with minimal effort.
Subramania Bharathi's ``Oozhikoothu" saw Padma dance the feminine energy of the five elements of nature, combined in the Goddess. The awesome force of Shakti can only be tamed by one Siva. This was clearly expressed by Padma.
Appropriately, it was sweet Mahati Kannan who presented the image of goddess-as-child.
Padma then invoked the saumya aspect of the Goddess, and sought her grace, kataksham, in a kriti by Meenakshi Subrahmanyam. Where a lesser dancer might have narrated in a serious manner the story of Abhirama Bhattar, Padma's humorous portrayal of the King's messenger immediately appealed to the audience. Inimitable Padma aims to communicate with every single rasika, far up to the very last row. Sometimes, this is achieved at a cost the episode describing Athena of Greece, the Amman Kondadi, and `Mahavidya' by Kazi Nazrul Islam, broke the flow of bhakti that had been established in a very classical idiom until then.
A strong, proficient team provided enjoyable music. Vocal and nattuvangam were provided by Gayatri Kannan with vocal support coming from Vidya Kalyanaraman. Multi-faceted B. Kannan played the Veena, Shuddha Maddalam, Santhali Drum and Kanjira.
Nellai Balaji (mridangam), C. P. Venkatesan (flute) and Thanjavur Subba Rao Babu (violin) were the other accompanists. Little Shyamakrishnan playing the mini dholak, was the most endearing member of the orchestra.
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Chennai and Tamil Nadu