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Vidhya Subramaniam plays the messenger well
Narada Gana Sabha saw Vidhya Subramaniam's bharathanatyam performance on a balmy Christmas morning (December 25). Aptly called "Thoodhu", the presentation showed different cases of messengers on the Indian scenario. Vidhya started out with a Pushpanjali, depicting the role of Krishna the messenger in the Mahabharatha war. After a costume malfunction, which was quite well managed, she continued with the varnam ``Sami nee rammanave’’ in ragam Kamas, asking her Sakhi to take her message to her Lord Brihadeeswara of Thanjai. The choreography was crisp and neat. The arudhi was one to look out for. It wasn’t too long yet eye catchy. Vidhya's sancharis were noteworthy. Her depiction of how Shiva's snakes embraced her when she embraced Shiva was very well done. The nandhi procession of Brihadeeswara was shown very beautifully by Vidhya.

One could see some visible differences in terms of quality when compared to her performance at Bharath Kalachar a few months ago. This could also be attributed to the fact that she got it right with the costume this time - vibrant red and purple, the hues were wonderful on stage. Vidhya continued with the Ashtapathi ``Dheera Sameere’’ in ragam ShyamKalyani. One has to mention the beautiful voice of Asha Ramesh and this piece, tuned by her, was simply beautiful in terms of depth. Here the messenger, Sakhi, advices Radha to go and meet Krishna, who is all decked up and waiting for her on the banks of Yamuna. This was followed by a deep Saveri-based Ganam Krishna Iyer piece ``Unnai Thoodanuppinen’’, the case of a messenger who betrayed. Angry and filled with sarcasm, Vidhya fitted the role of the nayika perfectly.

Vidhya was adept in abhinaya, clearly her strong point. There were times when one would have felt that she was made for the srungara bhava. She portrayed romance with such fluidity and lucidity. She went on to do "Gana Reengharam seiyum karuvande" in Ragam Sindhubhairavi, where a bee is the messenger. The nayika asks the humming bee to take her message to her Lord. Vidhya signed off with a tillana in Poorna Kalyani, with lyrics changed to one on Nanganallur Anjaneya, to suit the theme. Vidhya's Nritta couldn't be called top class though she managed well enough with her Abhinaya and natural poise.

The supporting members of the orchestra proved good. On the mridangam was Sakthivel, a most sought-after player for dance. Balakrishnan on the Nattuvangam did a good job, though one felt at times he did not really support the dancer’s feet movement. There are times when rasikas prefer good old nattuvanars instead of ganjira players on the nattuvangam. Kalai Arasan on the voilin did his job well.