News & Notes

Parampara Festival - Hampi Vaibhavam

In the dance segment of this year’s edition of Parampara, the Reddys showcased Hampi Vaibhavam. History tells us about the glory of Krishnadeva Raya, the king of Vijayanagar, who was born in Hampi and ruled from there. Literature, art and architecture flourished in his empire. Choreographer Raja Reddy gave us a glimpse of the magnificence of the Tuluva Empire by rephrasing it Parampara Festival Hampi Vaibhavam with classical genres, as it exists during modern times. Soon after, Jayaprabha Menon presented her group of Mohini Attam dancers - Radhika Menon and the Nair girls, Krishnapriya, Keerthana and Aishwarya performed Mukhachalam, displaying the characteristics of a pure nritta piece, with graceful circular movements, unique to the genre. Odissi dancer Sharon Lowen’s students, Viswanath Mangaraj, Pooja Kumar, Nitisha Nanda and Devyani Sharma, performed a Shankarabharanam pallavi in ‘Hampi Vaibhavam’. Bharatanatyam performers, Vishnumaya, Sreya, Answara and Charutha, all groomed by Jayaprabha Menon, regaled the audience with Maharaja Swati Tirunal’s Sankara sree giri nath prabhu


The group of Kuchipudi dancers, disciples of the Reddys - Prakriti Prashant, Avika Basi, Atisha Pratap and Sulagna performed a piece from tarangam on the rims of brass plates. Lastly, the four groups came together, forming beautiful designs changing constantly, to the delight of aficionados. The message of the golden age of the kingdom of Vijayanagar was proclaimed clearly. Santosh Nair’s dance-theatre performed The Game of Dice from an episode in the Mahabharata Santosh Nair used Kathakali and Mayurbhanj Chhau to interpret the characters and their conflicts through contemporary dance to suit the times. The dramaturgical structure of the piece was visualised by the choreographer in a way that they left the audience awestruck, although they knew the history behind the piece. Minute details were marvellously conceptualised.

The gripping martial art, innovative and soulstirring music and effective costume designing helped in the telling of the story. The success of the venture was gauged by the participation of the audience who remained glued to their seats. Performing artists, Santosh Nair in the role of Sakuni, Himesh Parcha as Yudhishthira, Sahul Bhatia as Bhima, Pankaj Singh as Arjuna, Shree Ram Sankhla as Sahadeva, Rahul Chhetri as Nakula, Neha Sharma as Draupadi, Sumit Kumar in the role of Rudra Bhima, Nanda Kumar as Duryodhana, Sudhir Kumar as Dusshasana, Unni Viswanath as Narasimha Bhima and Priyanka’s introduction made quite an impact. Santosh Nair, the choreographer, Sharat Chandra Srivastava the composer along with Nalini Sharma the production executive, light man Atul Mishra, Parool Trehan and Sandhya Raman who planned the costumes, with Kapil Dev in-charge of the masks, made a good team.


On the final day, artistic director of Sankhya Dance company, Bharatanatyam exponent Vaibhav Arekar took the meaning of parampara literally and performed a dedication to dance guru Kanak Rele. Vaibhav Arekar has a charismatic stage personality. Kartick Hebbar the vocalist was pure joy. Nattuvangam by Kaliswaran Pillai, mridangam by Satish Krishnamurthy and violin by Sridhar made the moments memorable. Susant Jadav was the overall in-charge who also gave a different dimension to the show with his imaginative lighting. Anjenaya Raghu Ram duta a paean to Hanuman written by Maharaja Swati Tirunal, composed in Saveri raga and Adi tala, included incidents from the Ramayana. Sita Dahana, Lakshman’s injury in battle and Hanuman carrying the Sanjeevani mountain to Lanka to revive him, were all reflected in the performance. It is a piece Vaibhav had learnt almost 25 years ago. Seeing him dance is a testimony to the fact that the standards were set right from the start.

The presentation had a perfection that comes with dedicated practice coupled with passion. After this presentation, Vaibhav gave the audience lighter moments by expressing joy through dance. There was riotous laughter when Parvati had to deal with her two sons Ganesa and Kartikeya teasing each other about one’s long trunk and ears and the other’s numerous heads. But the last one, about the meeting of Vishnu and Siva and the funny incident of Siva becoming digambara in front of Vishnu when the latter’s vahana, Garuda, frightened the snake with whose help Siva had tied the tiger skin as his loincloth, drew loud guffaws from the audience