Narayani Natyalaya Students Score A Perfect 10

Bharatanatyam dancer and Guru, Santhosh Kumar Thamang, celebrating the 12th anniversary of his Bharatanatyam School, Sree Narayani Natyalaya, also paid respects to his Guru, Vidwan Late T. K. Narayan, who’s birth centenary falls this year, & Vidushi Jayalakshmi Narayan, the direct disciples of Sri Muthu Kumara Pillai of Kattumanar Koil. 

The students of Sree Narayani Natyalaya began the evening’s performance with Pushpanjali, set in Raagam Amruthavarshini and Talam Adi, composed by Dr. Narmada and choreographed by Natyacharya, Santhosh Kumar Thamang. The young dancers looking their best on their Big Day, danced to the music with their little feet tapping in enthusiasm. In this composition, the dancers offered flowers and paid obeisance to the Ashtadikpălas, the Guardians of the eight directions.

After Pushpanjali, the Bharatanatyam dancers performed Alarippu in Raagam Chatusram. As it is popularly known, a Bharatanatyam dancer starts learning Alarippu, the first in a Margam tradition, a pure Nrittha composition, paying salutation to the Almighty, guru and audience. Dancer Michelle Jose who presented the Alarippu exhibited beautifully a range of movements, from subtle eye and shoulder movements, to intricate footwork with ease. 

The dancers kept the Rasikas on their toes tapping to the Jathiswaram, composed by the Tanjore Quartet, set in Ragam Kalyani and Talam Roopakam. In a Bharatanatyam repertoire, Alarippu and Jathiswaram, are considered as compositions that are essentially rhythmic in their structure, and the next composition was a Shabdam, which is on a deity and this one was on Goddess Saraswathi, a Sri Venkata Subramanyam composition set to Ragamalika and Talam Misra Chapu.

The next performance was Padavarnam on Muthuswami Dikshitar composition, Roopamu Joochi, in Ragam Thodi and Talam Adi, in which the skill of the dancer is put to test. The saathvika abhinaya in the Bhakti Sringaram was quite visible in the dancer’s presentation. 

Harani Srinivasan took the solo bow, with a Sanskrit composition of Mysuru Lingaraju Urs choreographed by Vidushi Gayathri Kesavan, daughter of Late TK Narayan, portraying the Sringara Lahari exquisitely. Next solo performance was by Nikhil Dev to a Thyaraja Kriti, Dandamu Pettenura, in Ragam Balahamsa, sung by Carnatic veteran singer M Balamurali Krishna, which took the Rasikas to another level. The beautiful Krithi on Lord Rama was well appreciated with the audience. After a Krithi on Lord Rama, it was on the Lord of Dance, the Nataraja, to Shiv Stuti, Adi Shankaracharya composition picked from Shivananda Lahari, which was choreographed by Gayathri Keshavan. The dancer brought the energetic effect of Lord Nataraja on the stage.

Avani Upasana Kashyap brought the stage down with her performance to Ambujam Krishna composition, Palikina matalu Vinaleda, set in Ragam Shankarabharanam and Adi Talam. The dancer, pleads to Lord Rama to hear her prayers as he came to the rescue of Gajaraja. 

Again, it was another Keerthanam on Lord Shiva, Shatkaala Govinda Marrar composition, Chandramoule – Shambo set to Ragam Bouli and Talam Mishra Chappu danced by Michelle Jose. She did justice to the composition by intricately portraying the wearer Rudraksha mala and Vibhuti. 

The Bharatanatyam Margam believes in ending on a high note and the Thillana is a sprightly, lively dance, which was based on Bhakti Rasa, set to Ragam Revathi and Talam Adi, composed by Lalgudi L Jayaraman. The dancers performed brilliantly the complex foot work, and picturesque postures. The Thillana was followed by a Mangalam picked from the Shiva Manasa Pooja composed by Sri Adi Shankaracharya, set in Ragam Revathi and Eka Talam and left the Rasikas saying Yeh Dil Mange More.

The distinguished guests for the evening included Dr. Yashoda Thakore, renowned exponent of Kuchipudi and Devadasi Nrityam; Dr. Vijaypal Pathloth, an exponent of Kuchipudi and Shri Anna Rao, promoter of Natya Swara. Speaking after the programme, Dr. Yashoda said that the evening was one of devotion and commitment to perfection. “Today, plagiarism is a big issue and there are systems set up to avoid it. Santhosh defeats all technology through humanism, devotion, and reverence. The world knows his students are good. But there was a certain complexity about today’s performance that filled my heart,” she said and added that his Guru was blessed to have him as a student and vice-versa. 

On the other hand, Dr. Vijaypal congratulated Natyacharya Santhosh for completing a Pushkara of his Dance Academy. “It always gives me immense pleasure, happiness and satisfaction whenever I witness the performances by your shishyas. Each one has performed the intricate footwork, brisk movements and postures with perfect aramandi and effortless pleasant faces throughout the presentation. The line-up of items was different and unique from the regular repertoire,” Dr. Vijaypal said. 

The students who participated in the evening included Harani Srinivasan, Ankita Chowdary K, Bhavya Shruti Karnam, Mounika Bandalameedi, Avani Upasana Kashyap, Maanavi H, Asmita Reddy,  Ananya Sureddi, Harshita Reddy Kothakapu, R. Jananishree, OhanaTumati, Mishka Bharadwaj, Swathika Chitturi, Saanvi Patra, Ishita Mukherjee, Sushumna Begala, Parvathy Umesh, Nishka Jumberthi, Sahasra, Prakya Anoushka, Saanvi Mayukha, Souri SiriChandana, Vrinda Prasanth, Stuthi Bhat, Piyushi Mahendrakar, Ruchita Reddy Kothakapu, Sharanya Tripathy, Aishwarya Lakshmi Nayak, Urvija Tamang, Soma Vidhigjna. V, Nirvignaa Kadali, Saanvi Panda, Michelle Jose, Riddhima Agarwal, Chaitra and Nikhil Dev Natarajan.

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