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‘Nava Durga’ – A gift for Navarathri

Photo: Santosh Srinivas
As we reel under the festive grandeur of Navarathri, it is that part of the year when culture and traditions come together carrying with them people from different strata of the society sharing happiness.

Classical dance being a cultural product of the land, it is impossible of it being left behind. This celebration of good over evil found a local manifestation in ‘Nava Durga’ a Kuchipudi ballet presented at the Botanical Gardens, Hyderabad by Vempati Ravi and troupe from Chennai.

When you expect a creation from Vempati Ravi, rest assured it would be an overwhelming combination of rich content, detailed presentation and an elegant finish only to leave you wanting for more.

Photo: Santosh Srinivas
Justifying this was ‘Nava Durga’ with Smt. Prabha Ramesh in all her exuding charm, grace and loads of experience playing the role of Devi to the fullest. Decked aptly with just the right amount of Aharya, her presence on stage lent extravagance and add to it the lush greenery at the backdrop.

The ballet commenced with a brief showcase of the nine facets of Durga in our erstwhile trademark pose of a straight human line with hands projecting out depicting the weapons! This was followed by each of the characteristic elements of Durga being elaborated by nine dancers separately. This is where Shri Ravi once again exhibited his craftsmanship in choosing crisp jathis, good swarams and sahitya to fit each dancer and her personality. His reputation for the quality of dance that he brings to the stage was rightly appropriated, for each dancer was brilliant in both the technical and expressional aspects.

Though the Mahishasura and his accomplices danced to the routine Khanda Nade sequence, their vibrant and enthusiastic dancing gave a much welcomed rustic flavor. The final killing of the demon though could have been with a little more involvement, a prolonged affair to make it larger than life!

Mr. Kishan Rao felicitated the artistes and Hyderabad could not but be overjoyed by this fitting finale for the Dushera celebrations.

Photos: Santosh Srinivas