Sunday, 19 March 2017

Ritu-2017 - A Report

”Pancha Deviyam” Kuchipudi Performance
Sunitha Menon

 Ritu-2017, a festival conceived by Ms. Sisira Praveen and team, who is dancer herself, who also turned into organizer to create platform for dancers to perform. This being the inaugural Ritu festival is dedicated to Kuchipudi and the artistes would perform for the conceptual choreography of Dr. Vasanth Kiran.

 Two up and coming artistes were selected among many applicants to perform in the junior slot, Ms Vaishnavi Margam from Warangal, showed promise, credits to her Guru Mr Sudhir Rao. The second artiste Mr Amarjit Shill, Bengali training at Srinivasa Art Academy under the Guidance of Guru Dr. Sobha Naidu, he chose Meera Bhajan for the evening, in the character ‘Meera’, the stree vesham which he prefers to perform in. He needs to realize the maturity levels as the compositions need delicate handling.

The artists of Dr.Vasanth’s team were next to perform . Their Recital began with ‘Kuchipudi Salaam’ a compositions that gives a glimpse of Kuchipudi’s nuances like Nritta, Nritya, Natya, Chari, Karanas and ends with a Salaam, which is an ode of King Abul Hassan Tanesha, the then Golconda Nawaad who gifted the land, which is today’s Kuchipudi in Krishna District. This composition was penned by Dr. Vasanth himself.

Theme for the evening was ‘Pancha Deviyam’ the concept of five goddesses uniting ultimately into Goddess lalitha. The dancers took a sequential entry one after that other, Ms Prateeksha Kashi as Goddess Parvati, Ms Aswini Nambiar as Goddess Lakshmi, Ms Maalyada Anand as Goddess Saraswati, Ms Rachana Narayanakutty as Goddess Gayatri Devi and Ms Sonu SatheeshKumar as Goddess Savitri. The intricate jathis and choreography, pleasant music and perfect costuming made it a visual treat for the audience.

Each dancer shining as solo performers, came together which was a rare treat. Alliance University is the common thread where department of Performing Arts in headed by Dr Vasanth Kiran and the three among five dancers are Post Graduate students of Kuchipudi and the other two faculty members.

The lyrics had depth in its content which was penned by Dr. Vedantam Ramalinga Sastry and Music by Prof. Durga Bhavani Vedantam. The quick-silver movements and the finale of them uniting into Goddess Lalitha, was a moment of goosebumps. The energy of was felt by one and all and the team received standing ovation.

The team of ensemble lead by Dr. Vasanth Kiran, Ramya Suraj and Sruthy Chandrasekhar on Vocal were melodious, Sreehari Anand on Mridangam, Raghunandan on Flute and Sangeeth on Violin gave an apt accompaniment. It would have been even more impactful if only the sound system could have been better. Overall, it was surely an evening well spent and this show deserves many bigger platforms. Kudos to the organizers of Ritu-2017.

The inaugural ceremony  was presided by entrepreneur Mr Gokulam Goapalan and the Member of Parliament Mr. Mullappally Ramachandran.

Contributor Sunitha Menon's Notes:

I reached by the late noon to see Dr. Vasanth was busy engaging an ‘Abhyaasashaala’ (workshop) on Shiva Tarangam for twenty odd students from all over Kerala and it was evident that he is a task master. As I spoke to him for quick minutes before he rushed to change over to wield the cymbals for the evening’s much awaited performance. He had arrived straight from Kolkata after performing for Purush Festival.

Art and especially dance has always had a special place in my life. One dance form that is close to my heart is Kuchipudi, though I hail from Kerala. I have come across a name in the recent past, being  choreographer, Dr. Vasanth Kiran.

About Contributor:

Ms Sunita is an art connoisseur, practitioner and Dance enthusiast. Trained in Bharathanatyam and Kuchipudi forms,  is an IT professional from Bengaluru.

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