The heart-touching dance ballet of Singabupala’s ‘Dasa Kama Avasthas of Nayika’ led by Dr. Yashoda Thakore, Dr. Sindhuja, Dr. Sampreeti Malladi and Apeksha Pingalli brought the curtains down to the week-long Dance and Music Festival hosted by the South India Cultural Association (SICA) at Ravindra Bharati on Wednesday 8 November 2023.
An erudite and accomplished ruler, renowned for his patronage of literature and learning, Singabupala’s contributions to Sanskrit literature included remarkable works such as “Rasarnava Sudhakaram,” “Sangeetha Sudhakaram,” and the celebrated drama “Ratna Panchalika.” Dr. Yashoda and her senior students’ performance delved into the concept of the ‘Dasa Kama Avasthas’ described by him in his venerated text ‘Rasarnava Sudhakaram’.
Among the Dasa Kama Avasthas, the evening’s performance began with ‘Abhilasha (Desire) Avastha’, portrayed by Dr. Sampreeti Malladi, in Pattabhiramayya composition, ‘Apadooruku Lonaitine’, choreographed by Bragha Bessel set in Khamas Ragam and Adi Talam, in which the nayika’s heart brims with a fervent desire to be with her lover. Sampreeti then presented ‘Anusmriti (Reminiscence) Avastha’ bringing out attractively the moments spent with her lover in Annamayya composition ‘Eppudugani’, set in Kambhoji Ragam and Misrachapu Talam, choreographed by Dr. Yashoda. In the ‘Udvega (Anxiety) Avastha’, Dharmapuri Subbayar composition, ‘Sakhi Prana’, set in Jhanjhuti Ragam and Adi Talam and choreographed by herself, the dancer brought out the despair and resentment as her yearning for her beloved remains unfulfilled.
Dr. Sindhuja, who portrayed three Avastha – Chinta (Contemplation), Gunakirtanam (Praise) and Vilapam (Lamentation), did full justice to the portrayal of the Nayika avasthas. In the Chinta Avastha, Sindhuja’s restless demeanor, tears in her eyes, and aimless fidgeting with her ornaments were lapped by the rasikas in the Hari Kamayya composition, ‘Toyajakshi’ set in Jhanjhuti Ragam and Adi Talam, choreographed by Dr Yashoda. +9
Composer Hari Kamayya’s ‘Cheli Nenetlu’ set in Pharaju Ragam and Adi Talam choreographed by the dancer herself, helped her to do justice to the nayika’s Gunakirtanam Avastha, where her speech quivers with emotion as she passionately praises his attributes. Sindhuja presented the Vilapam Avastha, in M S Subbalakshmi composition, ‘Chalu, Chalu’, set in Valaji Ragam and Adi Talam, choreographed by her Guru, Dr. Yashoda, she stunningly brought out the yearning for her lover.
While Dr. Sampreeti & Dr. Sindhuja shared the six avasthas between them, their Guru Dr. Yashoda presented the remaining four avasthas – Unmadam (Madness), Vyadhi (Illness), Jadatha (Apathy) and Marana (Death). Presenting the Unmadam Avastha, in a Mangalampalli Balamurali composition, ‘Marulu Minchenura’, set in Jhanjhuti Ragam and Misrachapu Talam, choreographed by herself, Yashoda spectacularly brought out the dramatic mood swings, oscillating between laughter, song, and introspective silence without apparent cause.
The Rinda Saranya founder presented her own choreographed Jayadeva composition, ‘Savirahe Ashtapadi’, set in Darbari Kanada Ragam and Adi Talam, to express Vyadhi, Jadatha and Marana avasthas. As the Nayika, Yashoda brought out the deep sorrow of yearning for her beloved, Krishna, where she remains lost in thoughts of her unattainable love but cannot be with him and wishes for her own demise. A live orchestra led by vocalist Sudha Srinivas provided valuable support to the dancers and the sutradhars led by Apeeksha.
In the week-long SICA festival, on the opening day, it was Vocalist Neyveli Santhana Gopalan, followed by Vocalist Saketha Raman, Vocalist Mahathi, Flutist Dr. B Vijayagopal and Indrayuddh Majumdar on Sarod, Vocalists Ranjani & Gayatri and Priya sisters – Shanmukhapriya and Haripriya respectively regaling the audiences of Hyderabad.