Bharatanatyam and Mohini Attam performances lent energy to the NRI Festival of dance and music. A review by manjari sinha
The NRI Festival, organised by Swaranjali on 9 and 10 January at the Epicentre, Gurgaon, presented a number of upcoming vocalists, instrumentalists and dancers. The first evening had vocal recital by Aparna De, Sarod by Pratap Kumar and Electronic Tabala by Subhash and Dhanukh Chand, while the second evening presented a Tabala duet by Prasen Bharadwaj and Rishik Raj, vocal by Deboshri Chakravarty followed by Bharatanatyam by Neha Bhatnagar and Amrit Sen and Mohini Attam by Shobha Subramanium and Aishwarya Subramanium.
After impressing with her organisational capacity by mounting an innovative festival like Parkaya last week, under the banner of her organisation Sarvam, Neha was in her Bharatanatyam dancer avataar this evening. Trained under the well-known guru Saroja Vaidyanathan at Ganesha Natyalaya, Neha and Amrit presented solo and duet items in Bharatnatyam.
The dance segment of the NRI Festival opened with an invocation to Nataraja, the Lord of dance, by Amrit with “Angikam Bhvanam yasya….” from Abhinaya Darpana of Nandikeshwara, followed by the Natesha Kautuvam in raga Hamsadhwani. The lines were neat and clean although the dancer needed to put in some more vigour depicting the Tandava aspect of Natesha the Nataraja. This was followed by Neha&’s solo Abhinaya piece on the Javali in raga Kanada depicting the love-lorn Naayika asking Krishna not to play his flute, which attracts everybody by its enchanting melody. She wants to dance alone on his enchanting flute without being disturbed by others who flock together because of the sweetness of his flute hindering their privacy. The melodious composition of Purandara Dasa was beautifully choreographed by Rama Vaidyanathan. Neha did full justice to the Javali, epitomising the Shringara Rasa with her graceful movements and moving Abhinaya.
Neha and Amrit concluded with a duet on Adi Shankaracharya&’s "Ardhanaarishwara Stotra" in Sanskrit. Opening with “Vaagarthaaviva sampriktau vaagartha pratipattaye/Jagatah Pitarau vande Parvati-Parameshwarau”, both the young dancers skillfully depicted the Tandava and Lasya aspects of Shiva-Parvati alternately in "Namah Shivaayai cha Namah Shivaaya". This was also choreographed by Rama Vaidyanathan.
Shubha and Aishvarya Subramanium opened their Mohini Attam performance with “Natha Ganapathi…”, an invocation to Lord Ganesha. This was followed by a Padam in Yadukul Kambhoji set to Misra-Jhampa Tala in praise of Guruvaayurappa, seeking His blessings to cross the Bhavasagaram. Their Mohini Attam duet created a comely contrast with their lyrical movements after the quicksilver Jathis and the geometrical grace of Bharatanatyam. Both the Bharatanatyam and Mohini Attam dancers used recorded music for their performance.