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A well-crafted exercise
The time-tested tale of Lord Krishna and his greatness was presented by Parvathi Ravi Ghantasala and troupe at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on December 11. The thematic presentation "Krishna Madhuryam" had members from other schools of dance, namely Srikanth and Renjith Babu, playing important roles in the story line. A concept of retired justice H. Bhakthavathsalam with music by L. Vaidyanathan and Hariprasad, most of the presentation seemed like a well-fused set of famous padams on Krishna performed by most dancers. Vandeham Gitacharya, Govardhana Giridhara, Tha deem tha rannatham (the famous piece on Krishna’s dance now doing rounds in the dance scene after its success in the music field), Theeratha Vilayaatu Pillai, Baro Krishnaiyya, Theeratha Vilayattu Pillai - all the pieces had beautiful formations and variation in terms of Nritta.

In a way, this was disappointing as well. The familiarity would have made it gripping for common audience. With some interesting factors like using Harikatha for connectivity, multi-media for special effects and bringing in an agile dancer Renjith for roles such as Kalinga and the crocodile, the production was bound to impress most of the audience. A discerning audience would expect a little more in terms of perfection and content. Parvathi's expression showed maturity. She was dexterous in transforming from Krishna in the initial parts to the angry Radha in the Ashtapathi "yahi madhava", showing finesse as a khanditha nayika and later to several other roles. There were times one felt why she was doing so many roles, changing from one to another constantly. A constant in terms one character for one person could have been maintained .The musical quality was quite appreciable and well recorded. The use of multi-media as such is gaining popularity in dance productions and in this case, it only seemed to add more credit to the production.

The scene between Krishna and Arjuna at the Mahabharatha war was choreographed quite well, the rhythmic movements of the chariot shown to perfection by the two male dancers in unison. When dance has outgrown themes of mythology, this presentation seemed to represent one more production showing once again the greatness of a Hindu God, venturing into another presentation similar to those that have been done so many times in the past. It could have been something more.