37th year Art festival 2011
Day 29 was great. The evening featured the charismatic actor dancer of the yore, Dr Vyjayanthimala Bali, a septuagenarian now.
Inspite of the cyclonic weather and the gusty winds, a lot of her fans carrying great expectations, got to the venue on time. Many dancers and musicians in the forefront, were part of the audience.
'Vyjayanthimala gave a breathtaking Bharathanatyam performance for 75 minutes in the traditional format.
Coordinated by her friends circle, the show was compered by one of them, who told us, that it was their dream come true to make her perform the full length recital. She thanked Kartik Fine Arts, and its chairman Sabaretnam (she referred to him as a Ratnam - jewel) profusely for making it happen.
Vyjayanthimala commenced with a Thirugnana Sambandar Kauthuvam in Arabhi ragam, composed by the Thanjavur quartet. The piece narrates how Thirugnana Sambandar convinced a Pandya king who had embraced Jainism, to revert. She expressed the story beautifully by her abhinayam.
The magnum opus, K N Dhandayuthapani Pillai's composition, Karaharapriya raga varnam - Mohamaginen, was the main item. Her performance was spectacular.
Narayana Theerthar's Tharangam in Bagesri ragam, Govindamiha, was the item next, before the fabulous performance came to a close with 'subhamangalam' in Vasantha by Dikshithar.
Fast paced jathis and the grace filled movements were touching. Vyjayanthimala looked amazing in a resplendent red, and was perfectly at ease throughout, typical of a veteran. The music group added to the glitter of the show.
In the 2nd programme of the evening, danceuse Rajeswari Sainath gave a lively recital.
With a Hemavathi ragam piece as the start, she took up a varnam on Lord Brahma as the main item. In the ragam Abhogi, the lyrics is penned by Kavi Kannan. 'Naanmuganukkaen alayam illai' is a wonderful piece that discusses why Lord Brahma has no abode on earth. Rajeswari brought out the mood of the lyrics with wonderful expressions. The jathis were all vibrant, and in the nattuvanar's handling it was all the more enchanting.
The artiste's dance was brisk throughout, especially for the jathis, and she kept the rasikas attention hooked to her.
For the kamas raga padam, 'Theruvil vaarano, thirumbi paarano' composed by Ganam krishnaiyer, Rajeswari's performance was vibrant.
The rhythm patterns for the recital has been formulated by Mrindanga maestro, Guru Karaikudi Mani.