The Chandigarh classical dance festival organised by the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi (CSNA) began on a majestic note with a scintillating recital of Mohiniyattam by Vidushi Gopika Varma, the acclaimed dance doyenne from Chennai, at the Tagore theatre on Friday.
Honoured with the ‘Outstanding Performance Award’ by the House of Commons, London in 2003 and Tamil Nadu government’s prestigious ‘Kalaimani Award ’in 2004, among others, Gopika Varma commenced the recital with an invocatory devout dance exuding spiritual fervor on recorded Carna-tic music.
In order to share her concern over the subjugation and molestation of the innocent women, she relied on a composition of Gurudev RN Tagore about the mythological myth of Ahallaya, the wife of Rishi Gautam. Gopika depicted the anguish and the pain of Ahallaya after the treacherous king Indra fraudulently played with her modesty. Gopika enacted diverse roles in the sensitive dance drama. Later she weaved a story out of Maharaja Swati Tirunal bhajan ‘Jamuna kinaare..’
Her best, however, was another musical creation of Swati Thirunal titled ‘Janam Maran’ with philosophical orientations.
She concluded with an obeisance to Lord Ayyapan, the spiritual deity of Kerala, through a dance composition amidst genial applause.
Her Mohiniyattam recital had extreme grace and fluidity of movement, transmitting radiance through movements and expressions coupled with nostalgia, purity and sanctity. l finesse.
Kathak Queen Shovana Narayan and her troupe will perform tomorrow.