Meenakshi Chittaranjan gave a dance performance on 28 December 2022 at Bhavans Rajaji Vidyashram, Kalpak. Photo credit: KV Srinivasan
Pandanallur Parampara- Timeless Gems presented by Meenakshi Chittaranjan and her students was a tender and well-thought-out repertoire that showcased the genius of the Thanjavur Quartet. The talented artists accompanying them made the recital rather memorable.
Held at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Kalpak, there was no drama or popularity in this performance, it was just Bani’s loyalty. This was more evident in the quartet’s Vasantha Jatheeswaram. There were hardly any exaggerated movements or overtly stylized expressions. Instead, this nirata-based piece was performed at a leisurely pace.
Guru Stothi, ‘Maya Thitha Swarupini’, in Mayamalavagula, Roopakam, one of the gems of the quartet, set the tone for the evening.
Meenakshi chose to create harmony between herself (as dancer-choreographer) and her students, and they weaved the pieces together seamlessly.
The varnam was the central piece in the Chakravakam ‘Enramam’ (Aadi), with some fascinating imagery. Meenakshi’s views on her relevance in those days were part of a noble Nayika and her longing for divine union – “As long as we are human, love and its related emotions can never be popular or irrelevant. “.
Varnam was an offering to the Lord. Narta’s passages had precise rhythms, executed with simple, clean lines.
Kavi Kanjara Bharti’s ‘Enmail Avaroku’ in Bhairavi (Mishra Chapu) was full of moment-to-moment impressions that also provided a nice break after Varnam. Thalana, a composition by Lal Gudi Jayaraman in Mohana Kalyani followed by Mangalam in Madhimavati (Thanjavar Quartet) brought the recital to a close.
Pandanalur Pandyan was on natuvangam, vocals by Gomathinayakam, mridangam by T. Viswanathan and violin by R. Kalirasan. Other dancers were Aparna, Kritika, Navedita and Sahana.