Ragini Krishnan... perfect posture.
THE ANNUAL dance series of Kartik Fine Arts, that concluded recently, Keerti Ramgopal from Bangalore, a disciple of Padmini Ramachandran. Keerti is a vibrant dancer with ample potential to blossom into a refined performer. Hardwork and sincerity marked her performance. Keerti has a pleasant, expressive face. Her Nritta was neat and precise and she revealed complete control in her movements on the stage. Considerable experience and skill were to be seen in her approach to both Nritta and Abhinaya. However, compared to a previous performance in the past by Keerti, the crucial note of firmness in footwork and clarity in the different adavus, particularly di... di... tei were missing.
Keerti began the recital with Hari Narayana Kavutuvam and proceeded with the Navaragamalika varnam of K. N. Dandayudhapani Pillai, ``Swamiyai," conducted with perfect grip by Padmini Ramachandran. A perfect co-ordination existed during this number, especially at the section of theermanams which had the solid stamp of the Vazhuvur Bani. Janardhan, the percussionist, also from Bangalore, gave excellent support. One could hear the adavu structures repeated with such accuracy in the expert accompaniment of Janardhan. However Keerti's presentation of a Viruttam like piece prior to the Varnam and at the end concluding with the Pallavi line after the last charana swara section were a deviation from standard practice. Now and then, Keerti also lost on the Sthayi Bhava, especially in ``Thaamadam," when she did not dwell on the main note of anxiety of the lady in love at the delay in the arrival of her beloved. Jhannavi Jayaprakash (vocal) and Narasimhamurti (flute) were the other participants of the orchestra.
Ragini Krishnan, daughter and disciple of Jamuna Krishnan from New Delhi presented a brilliant performance in the annual Pongal festival of Sri Krishna Gana Sabha. Ragini exhibited fine talent, composure and confidence in her recital. Her ability for handling the intricacies of Nritta and Abhinaya was mature and refined. A perfect posture, neat execution of the adavu structures, supple movements which helped with the exact depiction of the beauty of every adavu were the highlights of young Ragini's performance. Only she should avoid looking a little over-confident.
Ragini presented the Varnam, ``Adi Sivanai" of K. N. Dandayudhapani Pillai, centering around the Nayika's adoration for Lord Siva. The rhythmical patterns set by K. N. Dakshinamurti Pillai had the enjoyable intricacy, the old world charm, and the blossoming in stages of the rhythmical beauties. Ragini was at a total control at these sections as well as in the vibrant arudi junctions, especially in the latter half. The delineation of the lyrical content of the varnam, set by Jamuna were depicted with suitable skill. The sancharis were measured and fitted well, although a deeper analysis of Tillai (Chidambaram), as one of the Panchabhoota Kshetra, and the Lord as the all-pervasive (Akaasa Kshetra), in addition to the description of the place. Similarly, for Naadi Illaada Paranjyoti, Ragini's depictions could have dealt with the endless (Anaadi) quality of the the Lord-Supreme with appropriate interpretations. The mridangam accompaniment of Chandrasekhar, a disciple of Karaikkudi Mani, elevated the level of the performance, creating a fine blend of music and rhythm.
Ragini did not present any major Padam composition. A Surdas Bhajan, describing the beauty of child Krishna and His pranks enjoyed by His mother, followed by Apaduruku, well-known Javali were the numbers chosen by the dancer for this occasion. Both the numbers brought forth considerably the talent of Ragini in the interpretative aspects. However, a regular Padam would have given more weight to her presentation. The Bhajan had some some lively moments. Ragini tried the casual approach, especially in the Javali, with the result the recital suddenly seemed to lose its regal ambience.
One of the main contributors to the success of the programme was the soulful vocal accompaniment of Vasanthi Krishna Rao. Her music lifted the entire performance to a higher plane. However, from Maate, in the second part of the Varnam Vasanthi could have guided the orchestra through a faster tempo, a normal practice adopted in the Bharatanatyam format. Nattuvangam by Santhanam, son and disciple of Sri Sadasivam well-known exponent in New Delhi, was dignified.
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