Srividya & Ridhishri Shine @ Kalasagaram Fest

Bharatanatyam dancers Srividya Sripathi and Ridhishri Yadav, disciples of Padma Shri Ananda Shankar Jayant, made her proud by performing on the stage of the Kalasagaram Youth Festival. As is the case with every dance recital, the students of Shankarananda Kalakshetra, began the evening’s performance with a prayer to Lord Ganesha. Ridhishri began the performance with Pushpanjali, set in Gambheera Nattai Ragam and Adi Talaam. Srividya danced to Ganesha Vandana, set in Nattai Ragam and Adi Talaam, where Lord Ganesha is worshipped as Nartana Ganapathy. The dancer in her prayer asks Lord Ganesha, the creator of all life, to bestow his blessings and protect from all evils. In their opening presentation, the dancers gave a preview of what was to come.

After the individual presentations, the duo – Srividya and Ridhishri presented a Varnam, in Ragam Kamas and Adi Talam. In this rare Daru Varnam, in praise of the Mother Goddess, the poet Muthaiah Bhagavathar, worships the Divine Mother. The dancers in their beautiful attire displayed the various forms of the Mother Goddess – be it as Goddess Meenakshi,  Shatodari, Chandrakaladari, Chamundeshwari, Shankari and Gowri, beautifully emoting the grace, elegance, fierce and furious, clearly showing the years of hard work and practice under their revered Guru.

Srividya came back with a solo presentation of Subramaniya Bharatiyar’s timeless classic, Dikku Teriyade Katil in Raga Malika and Adi Talaam, where the dancer stunningly highlights the love of the Nayika for Krishna. The dancer exhibits the forlorn look and her love for the Lotus eyed Lord spectacularly.

Ridhishri donned the Bhakti look with a presentation of Meera Bhajan in Raagam Mishra Malkauns and Adi Talaam. Her pleading to Lord Krishna on saving Draupadi’s honour and to even protect her were explicitly and as poetry of Meera was set to music by Central Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee and Carnatic singer, Smt Prema Ramamurthy. 

The curtains came down with Shivoham, with both dancers taking the stage. The dancers as Lord Shiva and his consort Shakti, breathed fire and as Nataraja, Lord Shiva the God of dance, the Nritta and Natyam were in full force. In the presentation, the dance was a pictorial allegory of the five principle manifestations of eternal energy — creation, destruction, preservation, salvation, and illusion, presented through fervour laden devotional poetry and rhythmic mnemonics, that create roiling waves of resounding beauty, energy, and a vision of a primordial energy.

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