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Powerful stillness

Raja and Radha Reddy, along with their troupe, present a Kuchipudi production at the International Festival of Dance

The dancers weaving a variety of beautiful movements, poses and patterns set to melodic and the rhythmic notes of Jala jalam...sadam..padam.. gave a taste of things to come. Kuchipudi exponents Raja and Radha Reddy, along with their Natya Tranagini troupe, were in Hyderabad performing for Shreyasi - Parampara series. The Global Peace Auditorium, despite being in the industrialized part of the city, managed to attract a large gathering of artistically inclined city dwellers. The troupe presented a choreographed production "Mahanatam: A tribute to the Cosmic Dance of Shiva" set to music by NS Srinivasan and Dhoolipala Srinivas.

Though the concert started late, with no due apologies, the opening evocative music and array of imagery surely erased the slight annoyance, promising an aesthetic indulgence. The moment Raja Reddy, depicting Lord Shiva, took to the centre stage, all seemed to be in perfect equilibrium - the music, the expressions and the movements. In his slowly paced sequence of poses one could savor the harmony, classicism and power in stillness. The strength in his movements, statuesqueness and the sam did not gave a hint of his age. Radha Reddy in her depiction of Parvati complemented him with delicate lasya. This was followed by a medley of graceful and springy movements of the dancers in their creative portrayal of peacocks and deers. The imagery of Shiva and Parvathi's sthiti in perfect synchronism with the gati infused into the creatures was most enduring.

While the aesthetic content of the lyrics and music was carried out exceptionally well all through out by Raja and Radha Reddy, there were a few instances when the others in the troupe could not measure up to the veterans in strength, internalized emotions and symmetry. The choreography could have perhaps better employed the male dancer Shyam, who was striking in his limited appearance. The programme also seemed to end abruptly, not giving the expected climactic experience. May be one is always left wanting for more!