SAPTAK, A dance series organised by Bharat Bhavan’s ‘Anhad’, witnessed a mesmerising dance recital by one of India’s eminent Bharatnatyam exponents and dance guru Padmashri Saroja Vaidyanathan on Sunday.
Vaidyanathan took off with ‘Ganesh Stuti’ in raag Tilang in aditaal to set a pious mood for the rest of the evening. The invocation saw Saroja deftly moving to the devotional chant in Tamil beautifully sung by Lakshmi Sheshadri. In her second item, Saroja evinced a remarkable flexibility in facial expressions and dexterous footwork to match the lyrical tempo of Shiv Panchakshara Strotra ‘Nagendra Haaraey, Bhujgendra Haaraey Trilochanay… Om Namah Shivaya’.
This Sanskrit composition singing the glories of Lord Shiva was executed to perfection on ‘Khand cha Taal’ in raag Maalika. Vaidyanathan captured the essence of each of the verses with sculpturesque poses that culminated into ‘Mritunjaya Mahamantra’.
This was followed by a rendition of ‘Dashavatar’, which saw an extensive visualisation of ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. This final item infused colour and drama to the entire recital, transporting the audience to an altogether different level.
Saroja displayed exquisite brilliance in her performance by harmoniously blending her breathtaking postures with the melodious score resonating in the hall. The explanatory interlude was special as Vaidyanathan herself described the avtars and thus interacted with the audience.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Saroja said dance was her lifeline. Referring to her high energy levels, even at the age of 68, she said that Pranayam and Yoga kept her agile and fit and also enhanced the concentration level.
She was accompanied by her disciple Snigdha Venkatramani on taal, Baijanki Krishna on mridangam and VSK Chakrapani on the violin. Earlier, in the evening a two-minute silence was observed as a mark of respect towards the legendary writer Kamleshwar, who passed away on Saturday.