There are some performances where dancers immerse themselves so deeply in their art that their joy is transferred to the viewers, evoking an exalted feeling of rasanubhava.
Meera Sreenarayanan’s performance at the Music Academy dance festival fell in this category. From the moment she entered the stage, she drew the rasikas into her fold.
The margam format of mallari to thillana was conceived as a thematic one, and had Muruga as the nayaka. Mallari in raga Gambhiranattai, composed by violinist Eshwar Ramakrishnan, with sollukattus by Charudatt had an interesting dimension. The temple atmosphere was re-created with Mylai Karthikeyan playing the nagaswaram and Adyar Silambarasan playing the thavil.
Starting with the engaging visualisation of the idol being carried on a palanquin, Meera established the stayibhava of the hero, with descriptions of his attributes.
The introduction of the heroine, a virahotkhanditha nayika, was done through the Kapi raga Varnam ‘Mohalahiri Meeruthe’ composed by Kunnakudi Venkatrama Aiyar. Sancharis filled with subtle nuances, poetic metaphors were expressed through exquisite abhinaya, the rhythmic teermanams danced with flourish and the perfection and grace in the adavus made for a colourful bouquet.
A padam ‘Prananathan enikku nalkiya’ composed by Iraiyiman Thampi in raga Kamboji, speaks of the heroine who wakes up to recall her intimate moments after a night of passionate love. The eroticism embedded in this composition was handled aesthetically. The impact was largely enhanced by the expressive singing of Bijeesh Krishna, whose fine nuances and melodious rendition reflected the varied moods with finesse.
The romantic mood turned to anger and sarcasm in the Javali ‘Janathanamu maatalu’ in raga Saurashtram when the nayika is upset with the nayaka for being with another woman.
Continuing with the focus on Muruga, there was a prelude highlighting Kavadi Attam and the rituals associated with it The recital concluded with a thillana in raga Simhendramadhyamam composed by C. V. Chandrasekhar.
The soulful musical ensemble consisted of Bijeesh Krishna on vocals, Indira kadambi on the cymbals, Charudatt on the mridangam, Eshwar Ramakrishnan on the violin and Ananthanarayanan on the veena.
The performance with its impeccable blend of aesthetically choreographed pieces and well-composed music had a lasting impact on the rasikas.