Mohana- Krsna beckons

Mohana- Krsna beckons . Picture Gallery . Critique . Productions


Ananda Shankar Jayant's ballet `Mohana... Krsna beckons' summed up the core of Oothukadu Venkata Kavi's melodies.

When poetic imagery gets translated through the vocabulary of Bharatnatyam it turns out to be a visual treat. By stringing together Oothukadu Venkata Kavi's (18th Century) musical compositions, Ananda Shankar Jayant carved out a lyrical theme rich in rhythm, sublime in spirit (sans sermonising) and colourful in design. Selecting such songs as could form a sequence to the subject (essentially Bhagavatha), with subtle emphasis on Madhura bhakti, she enriched the content of Venkata Kavi's poesy making for a memorable experience.

Mohana... Krsna beckons aptly summed up the core of Oothukadu's melodies. It was a pleasure to watch the entire Shankarananda Kalakshetra (Ananda Shankar's dance school) ensemble take to the stage with meticulous synchronisation, consistent footwork and sensitive haava-bhaava.

Absolute coordination in movements with abhinaya intact, they welcomed Krsna who seemed to appear from nowhere amidst them. If Asainadhadum Mailu (Simhendra Madhyamam) scored in aesthetics, Alaipayuthe En Manam in Kaanada scaled the peak in abhinaya. Asainadhadum was graphic beauty in motion: Radha spying Krsna dancing amidst a band of peacocks dancing (dancers adorned with a tiara of peacock plumes) in ecstasy.

Ananda Shankar's presentations are marked by original costume designing and stage décor.

The costumes are a study in themselves. While the young batch of dancers sported simple, elegant lehenga-choli with a short angavastra pinned across the shoulders with an uncomplicated hair-do and minimum ornaments, Radha's (Ananda) bright red lehenga-choli with a crossed angavastra made for a mute personification of passion. The underlying message of Krsna consciousness was invisibly visible. - Ranee Kumar, The Hindu, Hyderabad August 2006