Bharatha Choodamani, Australia, staged Krishna Leelarnavam, which was a realistic and artistic rendering of the life of the god-child and divine hero
Padmasri Adyar K Lakshman’s Bharatha Choodamani, Australia, staged a spectacular dance drama in Melbourne on 9 October. The lyrics in Tamil by the poet Kavi Kannan (R K Murthy) of Chennai as an abridged rendering of Krishna Leelarnavam (the ocean of Krishna’s Leela) resonated well with a chiefly Tamil speaking audience.
Dance dramas by any school of dance inevitably include dancers at various stages of maturity in their art. Artistic director Narmatha Ravichandhira of Bharatha Choodamani deserves credit for the judicious casting of characters that enabled several artistes to interpret and perform the emotions realistically.
A noteworthy feature of the performance was the seamless transition between scenes with the aid of slides used to illustrate the story lines. Narmatha’s choice of ragas namely Brindavanasaranga, Durga, Bowli, Revathi, Neelambari, Desh, Kathanakutookalam, Punnagavarali, Behag, Kaanada, Rasikapriya, Sahana, Chakravaham; and her composition of tunes and choreography were striking by the harmony between the music and the emotions in each episode.
Equally impressive and pleasing were the konnakkol and jathis throughout the recital especially those for the Kalingan (snake) and Krishna dance, Hamsan-Krishna fighting scene and the kurukshetra war scene. The escalating arrangement of jathis played by Ravichandhira in the Draupathi Vasthiraharanam was particularly impressive being an adaptation, I understand, for this purpose from a composition by Guru Kaaraikkudi Mani.
The melodic part of the whole recital was enriched by the sustained mellifluous support on the mandolin by Srimathi U Nagamani of India besides Narmatha who herself rendered the vocals as well as the nattuvangam, like her Guru Padmasri Lakshman.
The polished performances of Narmatha’s senior most students namely Prashanthini, Vithiya, Meena, Manoshy, Shivani and Anishya and sub-senior students Varshini, Akshara, Vaishali, Aarthi, Krishny and Roobini were marked by maturity of skill and their captivating presence on stage. The accompanying photos illustrate their grace and artistry.
Sai-Sarangan and Sai-Nivaeithan along with their father M Ravichandhira OAM, provided very effective percussion support to the changing pace on stage. Kasthuri and Maiyuren were impressive in providing effects with the key board and violin respectively.