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PRAJAVANI Review

Dance is visual music. It is universal, all-encompassing

PRAJAVANI (Regional Newspaper, Karnataka, India) Dated: Mon, July 27th, 2009.

Sheela dazzled!
Sheela is an abundantly talented Bharatanatyam dancer, currently residing of the United States of America. Under the tutelage of Guru Bhanumati and various eminent teachers, she earned her proficiency in Bharatanatyam. Sheela recently presented a stirring performed at the JSS Auditorium in Bangalore. With angashuddham (clarity of technique), acute sense of rhythm, and fluid expression, she presented a splendid performance that enthralled the rasikas (audience).

With the strong support lent by young and spirited artists Praveen Kumar (cymbals), Srivatsa (vocal), Dr. Nataraja Murthy (violin), Madhura (flute), and Lingaraju (mridangam), Sheela began her performance with Pushpanjali featuring her choreography. Her nritta (footwork), laya (rhythmic nuances), various adavus (steps), innovative arudhis (dramatic pauses) were a rasika's delight.

In Oothukadu's Ananda Narthana Ganapathy, she portrayed various forms of the Lord as she extolled His virtues. Choreographed by the late Guru Narmada, the item was mesmerizing. The next item, shabdham, was choreographed by Guru Bhanumati. Intelligent use of silence and stillness through the piece conveyed layers of meaning. Guru Bhanumati's and Sheela's mastery of the art was evident.

The varnam (Swamiyai Azhaithodiva), composed and choreographed by the late Guru Dandayuthapani Pillai, spoke of the pangs of a naayika's (heroine) separation from her lover. Sheela grasped the complete essence of every aspect of the varnam, rendering it with flawless nritta (footwork), nritya (interpretation) and deft abhinaya (emotive expression). Two padams in Tamil Aduvum Solluval in Sourashtra raaga, En Palli Kondirayya in ragamalika and Saint Purandara Dasa's Khadagola Thaarenna (Yamuna Kalyani) were portrayed eloquently. Sheela concluded her performance with a Thillana in Desh ragam.

By Dr. M. Surya Prasad (Dance Critic, Editor of Gunagrahi)

(Translated from Kannada)

Quotes

“The problem is not making up the steps but deciding which ones to keep.” - Mikhail Baryshnikov