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splendid show with refined artistry


Be it a child or an old scholar, hearing stories is what all of us love. Particularly, the story of Rama has not only been the audience’s favorite but that of authors and poets too. If this weren't true, we might not have had the Valmiki Ramayanam, the Kamba Ramayanam, the Rama Charit Manas and so on. 

The story of Rama has caught the attention of even composers like Swati Tirunal who composed the immortal ‘Bhavayaami Raghuramam Bhavyasuguna Ramam’. This is the most common item on the dance platform and was presented recently by Madhuvanti Arun, one of the senior disciples of Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam. The programme was titled ‘A Tribute to Swati Tirunal’. This thematic presentation had fine elaborations of the major episodes in Ramayanam such as Seeta Swayamvaram, Mareecha Vadham, Jataayu Moksham, Rama Ravana Yuddham, Agni Pravesam and so on. All the scenes were portrayed colourfully, taking the audience to a different plane. Madhuvanti’s refined artistry, and mastery over all aspects of dance were lucidly evident. The audience also had the delight of enjoying the dance of other accomplished dancers like Adit Narayan, Archana Narayanamurti and Baby Medha Hari, who were part of the show. This dance presentation attracted the attention of not only dance lovers, but also renowned Gurus who were among those who graced the occasion despite the heavy downpour that day.


The Padma Seshadri sisters Randini and Roshini extended wonderful vocal support, while Ramesh (Flute) and Sankar (Violin) played the following and the fillers without overlaps. Without the experienced J Padmanabhan on the Mridangam, this programme could not have been a grand success. It was he who filled the vacuum with his timely effects and at the same time maintaining the pace of the item.


It was at the Narada Gana Sabha that the dance troupe from Kuchipudi Arts Academy showcased the dance ballet ‘Sri Krishna Parijatam’. The artistes opened with a song ‘Jayam Jayam’ in Bilahari set to Adi Tala, which was followed by the ‘Ananda Tandavam’ in Ragamalika. These two songs were performed well, whence the ballet started. The main theme of the ballet was the tussle between Rukmini and Satyabhama for the fragrant Parijata flower. Epic has it that Sage Narada once gave Lord Krishna this lovely flower, leaving him the choice of gifting the same to any of his wives. Krishna gives the same to Rukmini. This episode was presented with the help of a Tarangam - the dance on brass plates. The next scene saw Satyabhama in her place singing and dancing happily with her beloved Krishna in her heart. At the same time she is worried about Krishna’s delay in making his presence. Narada enters and poisons her mind by disclosing the fact that Krishna has given Rukmini the Parijata flower. When Krishna comes to Satyabhama he finds her in distress and in order to pacify her gives her a Parijata tree. Promptly, Narada goes to Rukmini’s place and discloses the fact that Krishna gave a whole tree to Satyabhama while giving her, Rukmini, only a flower. Krishna finds himself trapped once again. He cleverly promises that Satyabhama would have the tree while the flowers would fall in Rukmini’s garden. This miracle happens to the contempt of Satyabhama. Enraged Satyabhama goes to quarrel with Rukmini while Krishna is unable to support either. Seeing Krishna in a critical position Narada intervenes and says, “I wanted the world to see all three of you together. Hence, it was I who played the mischief.” Hearing him Rukmini and Satyabhama are pacified. All the artistes of the Academy did full justice to the role played by them in this interesting story, and brought the characters live.

Lakshmi V N



Posted on December 26, 2001


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