NATARAJOTSAVA DANCE FESTIVAL HELD
For more than two decades, Vasundhara Performing Arts
Centre, Mysore, is organising the dance festival
Natarajotsava to provide a platform to young talented male
dancers and couple dancers.
Natarajotsava-2008 was organised recently in
Jaganmohan Palace auditorium in which daily two
programmes were presented. The speciality of the festival
was high quality presentation by almost all the dancers and
participation of a German dancer, Pablo Ramacher added
international flavour to the festival as well as to
Out of six programmes spread over three days, it was
indeed a matter of pleasure for the viewers to witness the
presentation by two-generation disciples of none other than
First day's opening dancers Nitin and Radhika have
indirectly received the training of Bharatnatyam dance of
the same Pandanallur style through Guru Dr. Sanjay
Shantaram, who has taken his initial dance lessons from
Dr. Vasundhara decades ago.
Hemanth Kumar, also her senior disciple, has settled in
Kerala propagating Bharatnatyam dance along with his
dancer wife Vijayalakshmi.
Sandesh Bhargava, along with his career in Bangalore,
continues learning dance from Dr. Vasundhara during his
Nitin and Radhika presented Navarasa darshana
beautifully, which was followed by a solo dance - Devi Stuti
composed in Raga Kirvani and set to Aditala by Kumari
Radhika. Natuvanga by Dr. Sanjay Shantaram, vocal
support by Vidwan Srivatsa, flute by Vidwan
Narasimhamurthy and mridanga played by Vidwan Srihari
added depth to the presentation.
The first day's programme concluded with Bharatnatyam
by another young artist Parshwanath S. Upadhye who
started with Vishnu Stuti , followed by a Varnam. In sanchari bhava, he presented the birth of Lord Krishna,
crossing of river Yamuna by Vasudeva, Gopi vastraharana, Vishvaroopa darshana to Arjuna and the
essence of Bhagavadgita well. He concluded his dance recital by traditional tillanna.
The second day became more memorable when Sandesh Bhargava started his programme, in which
alongwith dance, the indepth compeering by Vidwan S. Nandakumar and melodious Natuvanga by Dr.
Vasundhara Doreswamy were the winning points. Right from melaprapti in Hamsananadi raga,
Siddivinayaka Seveyam param in praise of Ganapati, every item was well choreographed and balanced.
The sthayee and sanchari bhavas were expressive. Vidwan Shivashankar, an expert mrudangist played
mridanga to suit the presentation, Vidwan Nandakumar provided excellent vocal support, Vidwan
Tandavamurthy and Vidwan Rajesh provided violin and flute support respectively.
The second half of second day was totally captured by trio dancers Vidwan Chetan Hebbar, his wife Akhila
Chetan and the budding youngest dancer of the lot Rancy. The entire presentation was captivating due to
vigour and lightening presentation by Vidwan Chetan and Akhila Chetan. Truly speaking it was a
combination teaching of three Gurus: Vidushi Uma Rao - Kalakshetra style, Vidushi K.Y. Revati of
Bangalore — Vazhavoor style and Vidushi Nandini Ishwar.
Starting with Ganapati, Saraswati, Lakshmi and Nataraja stuti and a Shivashtakam, they presented the
masterpiece Ramayanadarshanam starting with Ekashloki Ramayana — Aadou Rama tapovanadigamanam
written by Rishi Valmiki followed by Saint Tyagaraj Pancharatna Jagadhanandaka.
Rancy made his impact while coping up with senior dancers like Chetan and Akhila. A Devi stuti by Akhila
Chetan was eyecatching. Akhila composed music and choreographed the entire programme. Their
presentation concluded with a tillana in Raga Vridavani. The vocal support by Vidushi Lakshmi, Natuvanga
by Vidushi Gayatri, violin by Vidwan Tandavamurthy and mridanga by Vidwan Swami was appreciated all.
The third day started with a presentation by Vidushi Rajyashree Ramesh, the first male dancer of Argentine-
German origin and a Ph.D. holder in mathematics.
The speciality of his Bharatnatyam presentation was alongwith the traditional Ganeshvandana, followed by
Shiva puja, Lord Nataraja stuti, he presented a contemporary topic connecting the disaster followed after
tsunami and seeking the grace and guidance of Lord to overcome the tragic aftereffects.
He was very well supported vocally by Vidwan K.S. Jayaram played flute, Vidwan S.V. Giridhar played
mridanga and Vidwan D.Y. Prasannakumar played morching.
The concluding presentation was a couple-dance by Vidwan Hemanth Kumar, an ardent senior disciple for
more than two decades of Dr. Vasundhara along with his wife Vidushi Vijayalakshmi Hemantkumar, who
have widely toured in India and abroad as well. The couple's Gurubhakti was at its peak in their presentation
starting with Ganeshstuti, Alaripu and Guruvandana, a famous composition of Devi Mahishasuramardini
Jaya Jaya he mahishasurmardini ramya kapardini Shailasute was instrumentally played along with
Natuvanga and an altogether different effect was produced.
Vidwan Hemanth Kumar presented Adipe nee Kanna. His entry on the stage for this item reminded viewers
of his Guru's entry. He was extremely good in Varnam, the most intricate part of Bharatnatyam, in which the
naughty Krishna as well as a Poornapurusha Krishna, who taught Gita to Arjuna on the 'Battlefield of
Mahabharata' were equally effective. Jayadev's Ashtapadi in Darabari Kanada — "Yamunateere" was
another good presentation by Vijayalakshmi.
They completed their programme with a total surrender to Lord Shiva Nataraja "Sarvam Shivarpanam",
which was indeed a thoughtful artistically wonderful selection. It was an experience to witness and watch
Guru growing taller when the disciple reaches at higher levels like Hemant Kumar and yet to be humble and
modest from all the aspects.
Vidwan Arun Gopinath was superb in providing vocal support, Natuvanga was managed by both
Hemantakumar and Vijayalakshmi alternatively. Vidwan played flute quite effectively and Vidwan Anilkumar
played wonderful mridangam to enhance the standard of entire presentation.
— Dr. Manik Bengeri
Star of Mysore-21/04/08