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Capturing all the subtlety and nuances of the magic of bharatanatyam, Guru Rangashree’s disciples enthralled the audience with their rich dance repertoire.

By Deepa Pant, December (2008) edition of bazaar
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POETRY IN MOTION - Capturing all the subtlety and nuances of the magic of bharatanatyam, Guru Rangashree’s disciples enthralled the audience with their rich dance repertoire.

Indian Dance Company Kinkini’s silver jubilee celebrations were a true celebration of the Indian heritage. The brilliant juxtaposition of rhythm, melody, mood, movement, and music was inspirational and uplifting and spoke volumes about the incredible journey of the Indian classical dance bharatanatyam that has transcended cultures and countries.

Finding acceptance across borders, the disciples of Guru Rangashree have imbibed the finest nuances of Indian classical dance form- bharatanatyam and delighted audiences in a series of recitals. Not only were they outstandingly talented, but they performed with excellence and did their guru (teacher) proud.

The celebrations were spread out over three days and the varied repertoire was traditional but well thought out. Each piece brought to fore the elements of bharatanatyam and kept the audience mesmerized.

The program on day one was inaugurated by the Greek Ambassador Evangelos Denaxas, who lit the lamp to formally inaugurate the evening. Speaking of Kinkini, he appreciated the efforts of the organization in popularizing Indian classical dances in India and abroad.  

The items selected for performance, aptly depicted the many splendored range of the bharatanatyam repertoire, incorporating the three elements of pure dance or 'Nritta', 'Nritya' or interpretive dance and ‘Natya’ the expressive dance, in traditional items such as pushpanjali, shloka, jathiswaram, varnam, padam, ballet, and tillana.

If it was precision and synchronization in the group dance of young energetic dancers --Aashrith, Abhijith, Akshara, Meghana, Rohini , or the multitude of emotions subtly portrayed by Master Class disciple Priyanka Pant, and senior disciples Priyanka Saminathan, Sucharitha ,Krishna Prame and Paavithra, showed their prowess in Bharatanatyam with their captivating solo performances marked with verve and vivacity.

The dancers performed immaculately with the geometrical precision of nimble footwork, precise movements, and perfect postures. 

On the second day, Guru Rangashree marked the   “Arangetram,” the rite of passage in bharatanatyam that certifies a dancer’s mastery of the art of one of her disciples; Dhruva Viswaraj.

Dhruva performed nine dance pieces depicting the range of the Bharatanatyam repertoire, and received rave reviews from the Chief Guest, Dr. Sulaiman A. Al Othman, Mayor of Shamiya and Guest of Honor, NR Sampath, General Manager, Kuwait India International Exchange Company and Father Tony D’ Souza, Director of Don Bosco School.   

The final day saw a duet recital by dancers par excellence Sucharitha and Krishna Prame who gave a beautiful presentation in ‘Dwandwa’. Exquisite abhinaya and nimble footwork are the forte of Sucharitha; while Krishna Prame matched her every bit resulting in a brilliant two-hour performance.

The Chief Guest, Alison Shan Price, Principal of the British Academy of International Arts praised the dancers warmly. She remarked with amazement at how the dancers were able to fill the space with just the glance of their eyes and head movements and said that she was carried away by the splendid performances. The Guest of Honor Dr. Usha Raja Ram praised the underlying discipline, perfect foot work and the emotional expressions of the young dancers.

The orchestra was another high point of the evening’s delightful recital. If Vidwan Srivathsa’s soulful singing was the highpoint, Vidwan Chandrashekar on the Mridangam (percussion)

contributed rhythmic virtuosity to the presentation and Vidwan Venugopal on the flute gave fine support and was incredibly melodious and transcended the audience to another world altogether.

Guru Rangashree is a well-known exponent of bharatanatyam and one of the leading artists in Kuwait. She has trained under world-class dance gurus who belong to the Mysore, Pandanallur and Vazhavoor schools.  

The classical dance of bharatanatyam is a confluence of many artistic genres; from dance to theatre to music and literature. It is firmly rooted in Hindu mythology and exhibits all three main components of dance. ‘Nritta’, or pure dance featuring rhythmic patterns of footwork and beautiful abstract movements of the body; ‘Nritya’, or interpretive dance; and ‘Natya’ or ‘abhinaya’, which is expressive dance, featuring a vast vocabulary of ‘mudras’ or hand gestures and facial expressions that mime the words of the song. 

The pure dance technique of bharatanatyam is characterized by clean, deliberate movements, exuberant leaps and bends, subtle eye and neck movements, and intricate footwork. The lyrical content of the songs is primarily devotional or mythological, and is sung in the Carnatic style of classical Indian music.


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