A concise Bharata Natyam performance of devotional fervour: The Youth Dance & Music Festival presented by Delhi’s Sahitya Kala Parishad at the Amphi Theatre of Central Park, Connaught Place features some striking talent from Delhi’s dance and music scenario. The ambiance contributed to the beautiful arrangements made by SKP. Normally many of the ‘public place’ events do not exude a neat and corporate look, this youth fest certainly was well turned out.


The stage black and neat, the green rooms clean and equipped with make shift dressing tables, carpets, very subtle and appropriate compering etc, and not to forget the neatly packed snack boxes and water bottles.

The artists list also is impressive and the talent seemed happy and proud to be a part of this festival. May be the organising committee may think of reducing the number of artists and give some more time to each artist , after all half an hour is barely sufficient for classical artists to showcase their art doing some justice to its content.

The Bharata Natyam performance presented by , a student of Guru Chitra Visweswaran was precise and rather concise. An invocatory item including an Anjali in Sunadavinodini raga followed by Kali Kautvam set the short performance to vibrant start. The descriptions of the Mother Goddess in her various manifestations as Chanmundi, Kaalaratri, Jayanthi, Bhadrakali, Maayakari, Kshamadhatri brought out quick picturesque visualisations. The postures and poses depicting them were arresting and evoked the audiences to clap in appreciation for each one of them.

The piece de resistance of this performance that sent the audiences in raptures of Bhakti and Spirituality was the ever popular, rhythmically melodic Surdas bhajan Gopi Gopalabala Raasa Mandalamahi. The composition paints a beautiful and imaginative delineation of Krishna’s Maha Raas and his stunning Radha dancing and romancing with him. Radha’ mukha or face is referred to as ‘sharad chandra’. The entire composition is replete with descriptors that have a ringing sound to them like dhruma dhruma dhruma mridanga…….chananana Roopa Ranga….driguta driguta talaranga…….Chakita takita Yamuna neer…

Arupa’s choreography of the piece was commendable within the format of the most stylised Bharata Natyam. Her evocative expressions and lissome movements enthralled the audiences. It was the concluding ‘Namavali’ on Vishnu where Arupa depicted the dashavatara that got the audiences totally excited. Her renditions of the curvy and flowy movements of Matsya, the sharp neck and shoulder movements of Kurma, the aggressive large movements of Narasimha, the dwarf like movements of Vamana, the regal look of Rama, the angry look of Parashurama, the ever so delightful Krishna with his flute and the galloping movements of Kalki received instantaneous applause from the crowds. Vasudha Shastry in her soft yet strong voice did complete justice to the composition. She was ably supported by Himanshu Srivastav on Nattuvangam, Mahadevan on Mridangam and young Raghavendra on the violin.

Arupa would do good to work on her pure dance portions that need strength yet retaining the fluidity popularised by her Guru Chitra Visweswaran.

Usha RK, Arts Consultant