Uma Ramesh put together compositions on Shiva for her thematic performance

Uma Ramesh put together compositions on Shiva for her thematic performance

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Bharatanatyam dancer Uma Ramesh.
| Photo Credit: Photo: Special Arrangement

It was a thematic margam and the chosen deity for the evening was the lord of dance Shiva. Uma Ramesh, in her performance for Brahma Gana Sabha, chose to make this thematic presentation more meaningful by conceptualising a recital that moved from the physical to a philosophical state.

The introduction to Shiva began with a brisk Mallari in raga Gambhira Nattai and a padigam by Karaikal Ammaiyar in Kalyani. This padigam eulogises the dance of the lord of Thiruvalangadu kshetram, where he dances inspired by the sounds of the saptaswaras and musical instruments. Uma’s choreography of the physical structure of the temple in the Mallari began with a description of the temple pond filled with lotus, and the architectural details, the shrines of Vinayaka and Murugan, and the grand procession of the deity on his vahana.

Meaningful sancharis

Then, there was a transition from the descriptive mode to an emotional state of love, with a nayika asking her confidante to go and fetch the lord, whose absence is making her heart feel heavy. ‘Samiyai azhathodi va’, a Thanjavur Quartet varnam in Khamas, offered a fine display of meaningful sancharis and nritta patterns.

Moving deeper into the feeling of bhakti and surrender, Uma presented Gopalakrishna Bharathi’s ‘Varugalamo aiyya’ in Manji. Nandanar requests the Lord to cast his benevolent gaze on him so that he can get a glimpse, and asks if he could come in. Uma’s abhinaya captured the poignancy in the lyrics.

‘Parashiva’, a poem composed by Subramania Bharati in raga Sarasangi, dealt with the philosophical idea of the union of the body and soul, leading to an exalted state where the devotee merges with the almighty.

Uma concluded with a thillana in Nadanamakriya by K.S. Balakrishnan, who also did the nattuvangam. The orchestral team consisted of S.R. Praveen (vocal), Vedakrishnan (mridangam), Kalaiarasan (violin) and Sujith Naik (flute).

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