Expanding Dance Vocabulary an Exercise wiith Sudharma Vaidyanathan

Sunday, 2018-12-09 13:00 PM - Sunday, 2018-12-09 13:45 PM
Expanding dance vocabulary an exercise
conference, Dance, Speech, sudharma, vaidyanathan, vocabulary.

Sudharma Vaidhyanathan has blossomed into a confident dancer

The bar has been raised by the hardworking, talented millennials, born 1980-2000, who are exploding on the cultural scene of Chennai sabhas. Having grown up with technology, they are exposed to the best and aspire to get there in the shortest possible time.

Sudharma Vaidhyanathan is one of the hopefuls. She has metamorphosed from an earnest student to a confident dancer boasting of excellent timing, clean lines, dignified execution and mindful expressions. The attention to detail in both nritta and abhinaya is visible. She is a disciple of well-known dancers of the Vazhuvoor bani, Srekala Bharath and A. Lakshmanaswamy and a winner in the Spirit of Youth Festival in 2015 for dance.

Sudharma Vaidhyanathan puts her best foot forward

At The Music Academy’s concert, her repertoire was an interesting combination of the rare Husseni swarajathi in praise of Siva as Sabhanayaka of Vazhuvoor, ‘Mayyal konda’, Rupaka, Samu Nattuvanar and the Paras javali ‘Madapayale’, Adi, Subbarama Iyer and the challenging Ashtapadi (‘Mugde Madhu madhanam’, Pilu), usually taken up by more mature dancers. Sudharma came out with flying colours in all.

Interesting swarajathi

The swarajathi is interesting academically for many reasons; for one, the lyricist Samu Nattuvanar, is the grandfather of Vazhuvoor Ramiah Pillai who established this attractive, lasya-driven bani; another is that he borrowed the music template from Melattur Venkatrama Shastri’s ‘E mayalaadira’ just as Ponniah Pillai of the Thanjavur Quartet did for ‘E mandayaanara.’ Resource person and scholar Sujatha Vijayaraghavan says, ‘While the music template is the same for these three compositions, and the practice of using another’s music template was not uncommon, the lyrics would usually be different.’ Another interesting point is that in ‘Mayyal konda’, the heroine is in love with Siva, worshipped as Gajasamharamurthy, and the reference to the king, Chinna Samarendra was only to praise him as a pure devotee. The place mentioned as Brahmapuri is taken as a reference to Vazhuvoor.

Sudharma Vaidhyanathan puts her best foot forward

The swarajathi was dedicated to the memory of guru K.J. Sarasa who had passed it on to a select few students. The jathis were hers, but Lakshmanaswamy has lengthened some and changed some adavus. The sollus were, however, as rhythmic, if not as brief.

Sudharma covered the stage, managing to do justice to the rhythmic sollus without losing stamina. A movement, from muzhu mandi to an upright position, balancing on one bent leg with the other leg raised and the foot placed on the balancing knee (aindram), accomplished in a jiffy during a charana swara, showed just how agile and supple she is.

Most progress is, however, seen in the dancer’s emotive capacity. Her portrayals are involved and restrained.

Sudharma Vaidhyanathan puts her best foot forward

In the charanam the nayika recalls how the nayaka left her with the promise not to be away for long; Sudharma personalised it very well by facing the audience as if she was telling them this.

To suit the large stage at Music Academy, she used the diagonal and sarpa-nadai kind of walks during the sahitya sections. Sudharma’s crowning glory is her confidence.

K. Hariprasad (vocal) was an asset, accompanied by Sashidhar (flute) and Eashwar Ramakrishnan (violin). Nellai D. Kannan (mridangam) anchored the rhythm with Lakshmanaswamy (nattuvangam) guiding the group.


Courtesy : The Hindu