37th year Art festival 2011
Arunima Kumar (a Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee and a sishya of the Kuchipudi exponent, Swapna Sundari), gave a breath taking Kuchipudi performance, in stunning and dazzling costumes.
She was fortunate to have the presence of great art lovers and art promoters - Businessman, Nalli Kuppswamy Chettiar; Former Director of Doordarshan, Natarajan; L Sabaretnam, Chairman, Kartik Fine Arts, and many more, in the audience. Arunima took efforts to call them upon the stage to recognise their presence after her dance.
She performed for Oothukkadu Venkatakavi's composition - Siddhi Vinayakam in Arabhi ragam, a Meera Bhajan, A Sada shiv's javali. The final piece was a Shiva Tharangam of Narayana Theertha, Ananda Natana Vinodha, in a racy style.
The thambalam dance - balancing the feet on the edges of the thambalam for the jathis at the tail end, won a huge round of applause. She did a neat work. The audience was appreciative, and enjoyed her performance.
Parasah group, comprising the Bharathanatyam dancers, Roja Kannan, Priya Murle, N Srikanth and Aswathy, presented a thematic performance for songs composed by Tamil poet Subramanya Bharathiar. The production titled 'Meendum Bharathi, is staged for the 50th time.
These dancers, trained under different gurus, have joined hands together in presenting Bharathi.
The well known, Bharathiar's inspiring songs were presented separately and also as a medley of songs put together. The four dancers in cool blue costumes, presented a lively and captivating show. The stage had the backdrop of two huge vintage pillars that added to the aesthetics and brought in the mood of a mandapam. This went well with the theme and is a creative idea of the group!
The songs are, Bharatha samudayam, parukkulle nalla nadu, aaduvome palluppaduvome, vellaithamarai, kannil theriyudu, Om Shakthi - to name a few, interspersed with jathis.
In the earlier years, when this dance was staged at a few parks as part of the Tamil Sangamam, the programme created waves. The well known and highly stimulating Bharathiar's songs, when presented in a dance form by these talented dancers was a treat to watch, and was in a way the common men enjoyed and understood the classical dance forms.
Arts promoters, Nalli Kuppswamy Chettiar, Natarajan, L Sabaretnam, along with Raj Kumar Bharathi, the grandson of Bharathiar, were again thanked and honoured by this team.
Nalli Chettiar shared some trivia as he always does. He reminisced Bharathiar's stay at Dr Nanjunda Rao's house in Mylapore, when he contemplated arrest by the English, before moving to Pondicherry. This house, he said, is still being preserved as a heritage building in Alamelumangapuram.
He was appreciative of the group's ventures, and wished them well in all such endeavours.
This was again a day of variety.