Under the aegis of Kalamandalam, Malini Basu presented an interesting performance in her Bharatnatyam Arangetram at the Satyajit Ray Auditorium of the ICCR recently. A young talent from a multifarious educational background, Basu grew up in New York and Miami in the USA. She&’s currently studying in Class XII there and is an award-winner at science fairs and competitions, including a Yale University science and engineering prize. Trained in Bharatnatyam under Guru Thankamani Kutty, her taalim was showcased to the fullest in every piece of her performance.

Ganesh Kirthanam, based on the devotional urge for Lord Ganesh and Nataraj, impressed for its expressive clarity in the language of abhinaya. A devotee of Ganesh prays not to limit her longings with the fulfillment of earthly desire but to bless her with eternal happiness by unabashed dedication to the Lord. In Nataraj anjali, the worshipper with all her humility asks the Lord to remove all obstacles in her path and protect the people around by filling their hearts with virtues. The worshipper begins by offering the first flower at the feet of Nataraj as a token of gratitude for her guru.

Avoiding any frivolous movements, Basu stressed on abhinayanga to bring out the sedate charm and thematic depth of the piece. The raga Hansadhwani in one and Natta in the other were perfectly in tune with the lyrical message.

With uniform skill, Basu, brought out episodes from the Ramayana next, like Ram&’s marriage to Janak&’s daughter Sita and her abduction by Ravana. Then she performed Sabdam Jayadep&’s composition Dasavatar depicting Lord Krishna&’s 10 incarnations to

save the innocent from wicked souls.

Basu&’s command over laykinianga wonderfully shone in the thillan — the concluding and most exciting phase, where speed, stability and lines of pure dance posture were required. She remained true to Kutty&’s artistic treatment and her rhythmic footwork captivated everyone in the audience.