It turned out to be an excellent evening for both Guru Geeta Chandran and her shishya Anandita Narayanan, as the former was made proud by a splendid solo Bharatanatyam performance by the latter. Organised by Natya Vriksha, the evening performance titled “Aarohanam: Steps to Discovery” was held at the Chinmaya Mission Auditorium in New Delhi’s Lodhi Road over the weekend.
Narayanan started the performance with a five-beat cycle Khandam Alarippu which was a humble offering of the artist to God, her Guru, whom she fondly calls Geeta Akka and the audience. This was followed by a nine-beat Sankeerna Jatiswaram in Purvi Kalyani raga, that simply captivated the audience.
At the heart of Narayanan’s “Aarohanam: Steps…” was the soulful Vanajaksha Varnam in Bihag raga. Describing beautifully the beauty of Lord Krishna, the lyrics evoked admiration while the choreography which included intricate jatis interspersed with graceful sancharies brought to the fore varied aspects of Lord’s life.
The portrayal included the awe-inspiring moments of Kalia dhamanam, where Krishna effortlessly tames the mighty serpent Kaliya. Following this was a Mirabai bhajan titled “Baso More Nainan Me” in which the devotee expresses her unwavering devotion to her beloved Lord Gopal, who she says not only serves as a friend to his devotees but also bestows eternal happiness upon saints.
The dancer concluded her performance with a Tillana in the Hindolam raga invoking Lord Shiva.
Narayanan, expressing her happiness about “Aarohanam: Steps…” said: “It has been an incredible journey of learning, filled with countless discoveries that have helped me evolve both as a dancer and an individual. This journey has brought me closer to myself and deepened my connection with my rhythms, allowing me to reach new heights.”
Praising her student, Padma Shri Geeta Chandran said: “For Anandita, dance is a medium to show her creativity to the world. She is an amazing dancer and performer and is constantly learning. There is always something new to be seen in her performances.”
In her performance Narayanan was accompanied by her Guru Geeta Chandran on Nattuvangam, K. Venkateshwaram on vocal, Manohar Balatachandrine on mridangam, Varun Rajasekaran on ghatam and G. Raghavendra Prasad on violin.
Renu Karnad, Managing Director of HDFC was the Chief Guest at the event.