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Monday, January 18, 2021

True to her name

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With crisp, flexible movements and lovely expressiveness Alekhya Subramanya’s arangetram was a delight to attend, writes DEEPA GOPINATH

Bharatanatyam debutante Alekhya Subramanya shared the silver screen with Brett Lee and Tannishtha Chatterjee in the movie Unindian. Indeed, a few minutes into her arangetram (debut solo performance), Alekhya’s star quality was evident.
versatile bharathanatyam dancer Alekhya
A student of Guru Nikhila Kiran, Alekhya presented her arangetram at Marana Auditorium in Hurstville on 6 May. She performed a traditional Bharatanatyam repertoire, accompanied by the silken tones of international vocalist Smt. Bharathi Venugopal.

Alekhya has a dance style that makes the challenging and disciplined art form look effortless. Her fluid movements, crisp footwork and well-developed bhavam (facial expression) held the audience’s attention for the entire evening.

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Coupled with impeccable balance that saw her execute the trickiest poses without so much as a tremble, these qualities will see her continue to develop into a dancer of well-rounded talent. ‘Alekhya’ is ‘painting’ in Sanskrit, and her sparkling stage presence indeed makes Alekhya the dancer a pleasure to watch.
The Varnam, typically the centrepiece of the repertoire, was focused on Goddess Parvathi and her yearning for her Lord Shiva (Sarojakshi, Raga Yadukulakamboji, Thala Rupaka). Both the content and the choreography of the piece allowed Alekhya to highlight her grace and femininity, contrasted with touches of the Goddess’s fierceness. These qualities were also nicely portrayed in an expressive piece Kanjadalayathakshi (Kamalamanohari, Adi).
versatile bharathanatyam dancer Alekhya
A well-loved piece on Lord Shiva, Natanam Adinar (Khanda Jaathi Atta Taala, Vasantha) was the perfect opportunity for Alekhya to further display her athleticism and the aforementioned impressive ability to hold beautiful poses. From an abstract dance perspective, the university student did full justice to the Alaripu (Chatushra) and Thillana (Janjooti, Adi) with light yet purposeful movements.
Guru Nikhila Kiran’s choreography was intricate, creative, and most importantly, allowed Alekhya to display her best qualities as a dancer. The musical ensemble accompanied the dancer perfectly, each member bringing their own melodious expertise to the stage.  Alongside Smt. Venugopal were local artists Sri. Janakan Suthanthiraj on mridangam, Smt. Soumya Sritharan on veena and Sri Venkatesh Sritharan playing the flute.
Alekhya Subramanya’s arangetram was a delight to attend, and was an impressive solo ascension to the stage. With crisp, flexible movements and lovely expressiveness, Alekhya will no doubt continue to evolve into a versatile and refined Bharathanatyam dancer.

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