Celebration of talent, team spirit
The students of Vidya Mandir celebrated golden jubilee with dance and music.
ECLECTIC: From Sri Krishna Leela Vaibhavam. PHOTO: R. Shivaji Rao.
The sumptuous feast of music and dance presented by the students of Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Mylapore, was a true celebration of talent and team spirit. The cultural evening brought the curtains down on `Potpourri,' a five-day cultural festival commemorating the school's Golden Jubilee Celebrations.
Dressed in traditional splendour and arrayed on the steps, theatre style, the musicians, ranging from the third to the 12th standards, looked like a colourful Navarathri Kolu display. The music was also as captivating. The 50-minute `Amrutha Lahiri' presented by more than 90 students, comprised singers and their accompanists on the violin, flute, veena, mridangam, ghatam, kanjira, tabla and cymbals.
Singing with full-throated zeal, the group, trained by Sikkil Gurucharan and J.Vaidyanathan, navigated smoothly through the opening thodi varnam, followed by the Hamsadwani kriti "Vaathapi Ganapathim" and Thyagaraja's Jaganmohini kriti, "Sobhillu Saptaswara."
But it was Papanasam Sivan's composition "Unnaiyallal," in Kalyani, adi taalam, that brought out the best. The raga introduction was handled with maturity by the front-row seniors Ramya Kannan, M.Lakshmi, Shraddha, Vaishnavi, P.Sandhya, Sai Janani, R.Kavya and Anusha Srinivasan. While the instrumentalists R. S. Sudha, K. P. Nandini, R. Giridhari, Keshav and Parvathi offered melodic support, the percussionists Ritvik Raja, Krishna, M. D. Aditya, Jayadev Bhaskaran, Varun, B. Aditya, Varun Ananthakrishnan, Bharatram and Varun Athreya offered precision. The thani avarthanam was particularly invigorating as the group's attention turned to time-keeping. The youngest violinist Shyam is to be applauded for his enthusiastic participation.
The talented musicians continued with a Narayana Teertha composition in Sindhu Bhairavi, a Meera bhajan before they concluded with a Thirupughazh.
The dance production `Sri Krishna Leela Vaibhavam,' showcasing 110 children was a triumph in its very logistical challenge.
Scripted by Revathy Sankaran and choreographed by dancer-parents Roja Kannan, Priya Murle and Lavanya Ananth, the production was an eclectic compilation of well-known compositions and dance styles like Bharatanatyam, Mohiniattam Kuchipudi, Kummi and Dandiya.
The Harikatha format permitted some humour in the tale, in which Narada invites Lord Vishnu to `Bhoolokam..' Tongue-in-cheek parallels between Krishna's childhood and modern realities and light-hearted jibes at parents were strewn along the way with studied sincerity by narrators Harini and Divya.
The young dancers and the baby Krishna Krithi were endearing in Narayana Teertha's composition, "Krishnam Kalaya." Subramanya Bharathi's "Theerathe vilaiyattu pillai" with an older Krishna performed by Sumana, was a breezy sequence capturing the carefree spirit of children at play.
But the choreography was at its best in the Kalinga Narthana Thillana, a composition of Oothukadu Venkatasubbier in Gambhira Nattai adi taalam where 16 dancers combined grace and agility to create beautiful imagery of Krishna's victory over Kalinga the snake-demon.
Another stunning item was the authentically-recreated raas championed by Vibhuti Desai and performed by the High school students. Rukmini in "Kannane yen kanavan" in Kalyani and Sathyabama in an excerpt from the `Bama Kalapam' were effective in their devotion to Krishna.
`Gitopadesham' and Balamurali Krishna's Kuntalavarali thillana completed the lengthy but enjoyable show. The older Krishnas Swetha and Swapna also put in creditable performances.
Expressive rendering and spirited percussive support by alumni Sharanya Krishnan and K. S. R. Aniruddha, with M. S. Kannan on the violin, T. Sashidhar on the flute and the involved choreographers on the nattuvangam gave the programme added lustre.
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