Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mangal Dhwani

I am sure that everyone who witnessed the two-hours long dance recital 'Mangal Dhwani' by Abhinava troupe of Bangalore on the Saturday evening of 21 Jan 2006 at the 36th Rotary Dist. 3180 Conference 'Shathottara 2006' will agree with me that it was a marvellous bunch of dances. Performing arts at its best, a visual treat.

The Abhinava troupe transformed the stage in front of the famous Lalitha Mahal Palace of Mysore into mythical Amaravathi of Lord Indra, the King of Gods.

The choice of songs and lyrics was well researched and the costumes were a true expression of the myriad hues of nature. The choreography was of the highest artistic merit.

Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar, under whose command the beautiful palace Lalitha Mahal was built in 1931, was a great patron of arts. Believe me, he would have been delighted to watch the presentation, and Nirupama and Rajendra would have been conferred with the title of Asthana Vidushi and Asthana Vidwan respectively.

Like the first rains in June, the piece 'Monsoon' (Music by Praveen Godkhindi) drowned us in its musical and visual extravaganza. The abhinaya of Nirupama was so natural that when she pretended to catch the first drops of rain, we too felt the sharp cold drops denting our palms.

The presentation of Kuvempu's poem 'Haalu halla hariyali' was creativity at its best. The presentation of the 'dohey' from the immortal epic, 'Ramacharitha Manas' of Goswami Tulasidas was awesome, and the dancing duo of Niru and Raju gave it a new visual dimension.

The riot of colours and vibrant portrayal of Gopis in Raas-leela was a magical presentation; it seemed as if a medieval miniature painting suddenly sprang to life and performed before us.

The piece, 'Ta-dha' was a test of creativity for the dancing couple in which they came out with flying colours. It had Jazz and African music incorporated into the traditional Kathak orchestra. The dance was free flowing like a mesmerising aalaap.

The tribute to Saint Thyagaraja 'Jagadaananda-kaaraka' was most apt coinciding with the season. The performance of several dancers in unison was reminiscent of the mass singing by celebrated musicians at Thiruvayur. The dancers transported us from the sylvan surroundings of Lalitha Mahal to the fertile banks of Cauvery.

The penultimate item 'Nigaah' was a magical piece which would have pleased Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Oudh to no end. The finale 'Kadam Kadam' was highly energetic with deft footwork and the audience were left asking for more.

The visual message was powerful. The Abhinava troupe mesmerised the Rotary audience with their performance. Hats off to Abhinava.


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