The Trio Sisters... reviving old celluloid classics.
THERE WAS a good crowd at Bharat Kalachar for the premier of ``Celluloid Classics" and they were not disappointed by dancers Radhika, Shobana and Gayathri and their students, who had hand-picked the `classics' from Tamil films to present with dance on stage.
Interestingly the films date between 1945 when Meera was made, and 1980 with Salangai Oli, when the line between classical and film music was very thin. Background score with elaborate orchestration is inevitable where film music is concerned, but was adapted with subtlety in some songs to suit the requirements of the dancers. Theermanams were also added as in the case of ``Maraindirindhu Parkkum" from ``Thillana Mohanambal," danced well by the proficient students of the sisters. There was also a modification of the context, where the hero-heroine slant of the original was replaced with devotional fervour. Importantly, the modifications had enough finesse that they did not impinge on the beauty of the song.
The solos performed by the sisters were interesting pieces, especially the delineation of nayaka bhava in ``Amudhum thenum" from ``Thai Pirandhal Vazhi Pirakkum," by Radhika, where the hero declares his love and admiration for his heroine.
Vatsalyam by Gayathri in ``Singara Kanne" from the film ``Veera Pandiya Katta Bomman" had a touch of spontaneity, and ``Katrinile Varum Geetham" from Meera was a soul-stirring composition in terms of the superb singing by Neela Sukanya and the sensitive abhinaya by Shobana. Baby Jyotsna enthralled with her Arunagirinadhar Thirupughal.
Singers Chinmayee and Neela added to the bhava of the music, so did T. K. Padmanabhan (violin), K. J. Vijay (flute), K. P. Ramesh Babu (mridangam and tabla) and Venkatasubramaniam (keyboard.) Srikanth as narrator also provided some drama.
The dance remained traditional, the music was delightful and the audience was satisfied. But, in the end one wonders if these old favourites can only remain at best enjoyable, or can evoke the intensity that classical pieces do.
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