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Passion meets execution

‘Natya Swara’ a new entrant into the cultural organizing space of Hyderabad has been contributing through an enthusiastic effort showcasing genuine and quality culture. The organization recently hosted a solo Bharatanatyam recital by Ms. Kiranmayee Madupu at the nature rich backyard of Saptaparni.

The mid summer evening had a lot to offer albeit the slight warmth in the weather. Kiranmayee executed professionalism to the core with a carefully chosen ‘Margam’, dexterously done up ‘Aharya’ and her charming and confidant conduct of the programme. Ever since I watched her in her debut performance, Kiran has always impressed with her immaculate sense of oratorship. Dancers may be good at their competency – 'dancing', but it adds colour to be good at talking to the audience yourself through the emotional and technical content. And Kiranmayee did this job with élan thereby exhibiting easy connect with an exclusive and august gathering comprising stalwarts like Dr. Shobha Naidu, Uma Rama Rao, Padmashri Jagdeesh Mittal and the like, the student community and her corporate colleagues.

The sculptor of the artiste Guru Hemamalini Arni, her gracious self, fondly dedicated the performance to the memory of the great legend devadasi Balasaraswati – the day being her birthday. It was rather apt that she has chosen ‘Nila Mayil…’ an abhinaya number composed by Balasaraswati to be performed on this occasion. The item instigated a sense of glory of being practitioners of an art form that was nurtured and brought down through oral tradition.

The invocatory Ganesha Stuthi was a short affair but the ‘Varnam’ offered wide scope for the dancer to revel in ‘Abhinaya’ which is her strength. The Annamayya Kriti served a deserving choice where the ‘Sancharis’ showing the wedding of ‘Valli’ and ‘Shanmugha’ and the popular ‘Krishna stealing butter’ story were effortlessly portrayed with
Kiran enjoying every bit of it herself.

The programme was a good 75 minute detailed affair and I must put forth that it was rather a tough task to cast eyes on both the dancer and the magnificent orchestra at equal levels. Raghu Chakravarthy with split second precision oriented nattuvangam and sharing a delightful chemistry with Mridangist Bhanu Prasad were a treat to watch and hear! Sangeeta Bala lent pleasant vocal support, accompanied by the most soothing display of violin by Sai Kumar- one of the best, given an amphitheatre atmosphere. The extensive use of ‘Sancharis’ only added to his soulful play. So did Sridharacharya on rhythm pads.

Something that could have been avoided was Kiran’s constant interaction with the orchestra signaling changes which somewhere might have disturbed her concentration in performance.

While the dancing community at large was conspicuous in its absence, what this programme managed to do was to touch an uninitiated group of audience with a spark and sip of what is known as Indian classical dance.