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Yashoda Thakore - A Graceful exposition of Vilasini Natyam
17 December, 2012

- Nayikaa. V.

Grace and emotive clarity were prominent features of Yasoda Thakore’s Vilasini Natyam for The Sri Krishna Gana Sabha. A talented performer of the Kuchipudi style, she has been learning and performing Vilasini Natyam under the renowned artist Swapnasundari. Flowery moves rather than sharp energetic delineations seemed to be the mainstay of this dance form. One could see quaint mannerisms like flicks of the wrists and sideward eye movements in this style. The ‘dance of the devadasi’ had its own charm that incorporated intricacies in both rhythms as well as in emotive essays.

Dr. Yashoda began her recital with the traditional invocatory to Ganesha: Vighna Vinayakara. A relaxed stance and nimble footwork on the toes dovetailed with the dancer’s sincere prayer to the elephant god.   Ragas Revati and Mohanakalyani in Aditalam featured predominantly in this piece.

The varnam in Malayamarutham and Aditalam featured one theermanam and devoted more space to visualizing the heroine’s distress.  “The cool breeze torments me; won’t you come to my aid, O!Lord Vishnu who is the lord of Gunturu”?Implored the heroine. While Yashoda’s histrionic embellishments were enjoyable, the pure dance sections could not be executed without discrepancies. The little tala portions reflected a lack of coordination in a few places between the nattuvannar and the dancer which disturbed the main mood.

Sarcasm, wounded dignity, pouts and sulks were on display as the khanditanayika for the following lyric. Ye Reeti in Chakravaham and Misra Chaapuwas performed totally in a seated position.   The heroine demolished all the hero’s false excuses bit by bit such as “How did the ‘kumkumbindi’ appear on your feet? ”The artist’s imagination was conveyed with only hand gestures, facial expressions and slight body turns.

The best was reserved for the last. Parijatham set as raagamalika began with Sahaana and centered on Satyabhama the proud and beautiful wife of Lord Krishna. In this performance, the dancer had selected an extract which showed Satyabhama requesting her Sakhi to reunite with her Lord after a lover’s tiff. Yashoda was in her element in this combination of melody, dialogue, mime and crisp rhythmic patterns.  The depiction progressed froma dialogue verbalized between the dancer and the vocalist Sudharani, to brisk dancing later. Good synchronization between the orchestral team and the dancer in the Parijatham made a remarkable impact.

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