Welcome return of well-known, Indian dance drama

Divyusha Polepalli as Krishna, left, and Vanaja Dasika as Satyabhama.

Dance / “Parijatham”, Sadhanalaya Faculty of Arts, Gungahlin Theatre, November 6. Reviewed by HELEN MUSA.

THIS manufacturing of “Parijatham” by the Sadhanalaya Faculty of Arts marks the welcome return to the stage of this well-known dance drama.

One of many earliest choreographic works by the late Vempati Chinna Satyam, who regularised the Kuchipudi dance type in India, it was within the repertoire of Canberra’s Kailash dance firm throughout the ’90s. Amongst his pupils have been Padma Menon and Vanaja Dasika, the founding director of Sadhanalaya.

Like many dancers within the Kuchipudi repertoire, it represents a type of devotion to the Lord Krishna, the playful blue-skinned avatar/god identified for his flute enjoying and his dalliances with earthly cowgirls and heavenly consorts.

The subject material is mild.

“Parijatham”, named after the sweetly-scented night time jasmine, depicts Krishna’s dilemma over which of his paramours, the sleek Rukmini or the fiery Satyabhama, he ought to give the flower to. In Greek literature Paris has to resolve which goddess ought to get to the golden apple of discord, however right here the end result is devotional.

Kuchipudi, nearer to the bottom than its southern-Indian counterpart Bharatanatyam, is characterised by animated facial expressions and often a tour de drive breakout part the place one of many principals (nowadays often all feminine) dances on a brass platter, however on this manufacturing resulting from a medical situation within the forged, that athletically difficult phase was not doable.

However with the liveliness of the manufacturing, this was not missed.

Costumed in good color, the efficiency on an almost naked stage was backed by recorded music within the Carnatic model, with each female and male vocalists matched by the facial mime of the dancers.

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In step with the constructive subject material, devotion to Krishna, the tone was comedian all through, particularly within the character of the sage Narada, usually male, however right here represented with feminine traits by Jade Das. He/she is the mischief maker, who provides rise to the battle within the drama.

Because the demure Jamila Rukmini, Suhasini Sumithra displayed the sleek shoulder and arm actions of the Kuchipudi type, and, in a spectacular pas de deux with Divyusha Polepalli as Krishna, some extraordinary toe actions. This phase, symbolising concord, and love, was an early spotlight.

Vanaja Dasika because the proud and useless Satyachama, Rukmini’s rival for the affections of Krishna, was initially somewhat extra mild than anticipated, though her mudras – hand gestures – have been beautifully calculated, and her actions full of life and virtuosic.

However she rapidly fired as much as an explosive encounter with Rukmini, leaving Polepalli as Krishna, trying distinctly nervous, and the mischief-making. Narada trying more than happy with him/herself earlier than the blissful ending ensued. Right here all of the characters right here confirmed experience within the artwork of facial features, Abhinaya.

This thrilling debut manufacturing for the Sadhanalaya Faculty of Arts was funded by Arts ACT, and may, I consider, have been carried out in a extra intimate stage state of affairs to the permit the viewers to narrate higher to the animated interaction of the characters.