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Anurati Krishnamurthy presents an impressive debut
In dance you have to move in measure; each step, each gesture of the hand, each eye movement, is deliberate. It requires courage to dance before an audience of a few hundred people, and if you are doing it for the first time in a solo performance, hundreds of eyes are watching. To come out successfully therefore is a feat, no doubt. It is a rare instance when we come across a dancer who, in her very debut, clearly demonstrates that she has understood her medium.
Natya Nivedanam by Anurati Krishnamurthy at the Redgum Centre in Sydney on 11 October stood as testimony to this fact. Anurati is the daughter of Krishnamurthy and Gayatri, well known dance teachers in Sydney’s Indian community. She hails from the Thrayee School of Dance in Sydney run by her mother.
Clearly, she has dance in her blood. In abhinaya, it was a pleasure to see her excel. From the very first item, one saw a confident dancer at ease in her movements and expressions. That arrangetram feeling was totally absent.
The main item in the performance was Nrithyopaharam, a dance feast indeed. Beautifully choreographed, it formed an intricate dance structure. Three stanzas from ‘NinnE Nera Nambi nAnurA’ in Atana Raga were presented with rich nritya and abhinaya. They portrayed various aspects of Krishna’s mythology – the stealer of curds, one who ate mud and showed his mother the universe in his mouth, killed Kaliya the serpent, protected Draupadi’s honour and led Arjuna to war. The faster, second part of this item proved very impressive with the words ‘ChinnI Krishna rArA, nannu pAlimpu’. This item is akin to Varna and may be considered the acid test of the dancer’s talent and skill. You came out in flying colours, Anurati. It was a sheer joy to watch the various moods of Krishna, mischievous as well as solemn.
‘Poonkuyil’ is a Tamil composition popularised by many great singers and one I like very much. Anurati danced to it admirably. It is a song where a girl finds the atmosphere around her intoxicates her with love. Shringara is the theme. The lover (God) appears on a peacock chariot to excite the girl, but soon disappears leaving her in expectation again. Beautiful poetry in the composition, melodious singing of it by Krithika and the effortless dance by Anurati in slow tempo all converged to produce a pleasant experience which I will remember for long.
‘Nadamadi’ was a ninda-sthuthi, where Anurati gave a good expression of anger, bhakthi and love. Another great dramatisation was seen in the item ‘Maiya Mori’ which again presented a few incidents from Krishna’s life. His pleading in the beginning that he did not steal the butter and his reappearance at the end to declare that it was he that indeed did it, better heightened the drama. An impressive Thillana in Kapi raga had many picturesque poses.
Music provided was of wonderful quality. We had Krithika Shurajit Vikram (from India) and Sindhuja Ganapathy giving vocal support. Master of the craft, Bala Shankar was on mridungam. Shobanaa Balachandra (from India) played the Nattuvangam while Balaji Jagannadhan gave the violin support. It is pleasure to note that the young Sindhuja was born and trained in Sydney. When she and Krithika sang together, there was a stereophonic effect especially in the items Nrityopahara and Thillana. Balachandra and Balaji brought in their many years of experience in playing for dance debuts.