31 December, 2013
The first thing that strikes the viewer at Smitha Madhav’s performance is her perfect physique suitable for a dancer. Decked in a deep green costume embellished with zari and the befitting crown on her hair do, Smitha engaged full attention of the audience in an hour long performance at the Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan’s Tag centre, Kilpauk.
She began her recital with Nandi Chollu, choreographed by Shreejit Krishna. The Nandi Chollu is a particular type of jathi where the sollukattus are that of the maddalam. It was a rhythmic delight and set the brisk pace for the repertoire to follow.
For the Varnam she had chosen the Neeradum Paruvam from Periazhwar Thirumozhi, Divya Prabhandam and the nritta and abhinaya segments were both captivating. The voice of Sri Veeraraghavan enlivened the presentation.
Shiva stances in the Namashivaya item delineated with good expression the story of Kannappa Nayanaar. Thinnappar, a simple devotee of Shiva belonging to the hunter community chances upon a lingam in a dilapidated area when he goes hunting. Unable to tolerate that negligence, he starts doing pooja, not worried about the customs but with pure devotion. He offers animal flesh, water for abhishekam collected in his mouth and also flowers that are carried in his hair. To test Thinnappar’s devotion Shiva plays a leela. One day the Lingam’s eye starts bleeding that doesn’t stop with all efforts. Thinnappar overcome with devotion takes his own eye and places it on the lingam. When the second eye bleeds, he keeps his leg to mark the spot and then attempts to removes his eye. At that time, Shiva appears to bless him and since then he was known as Kannappar. Within the brief song, Smitha had packed this entire story.
Hindi bhajan composed by Swati Tirunaal, Chaliye Kunjan Mo in Brindavani ragam and Adi taalam where Radha beseeches Krishna to come to the bowers. Beautiful references to nature, describing the garden the overflowing Yamuna, the call of Koyal bird; it was a beautiful setting for Krishna to meet Radha. Smitha translated the emotions very well.