Introduction

Bharathanatyam is one of the classical dance forms of Southern India said to have evolved from the sacred sources. It has a close association to spirituality and hence to the temples and is said to have been performed by the Devadasis or the temple dancers in South India. This kind of temple worship later on moved to the courts and palaces of Kings in the 18th century who used to patronize the dance form. As years passed by, this ancient classical art has evolved into what we recognize today as Bharathanatyam with changes in technique and style of presentation through its presence on the proscenium stage in todays time and age. This style has two primary aspects: the Nritta or pure dance which is characterized by lines and dynamic movements where the dancer uses her limbs, face and torso to create geometric patterns in space using rhythmic footwork and movements. The second is Abhinaya where the dancer with her eyes, facial muscles and stylized gestures of the hand expresses her feelings, thereby expressing her inner self as an artiste. This wonderful dance form is highly structured as it is bound by a formalized code of grammar and at the same time is liberating in experience as it takes both the dancer and the viewer to the land beyond where one gets to see, feel and experience emotions that are universal and time less.

Commencing her dancing career as a child of four under doyens like Shri. S.K.Rajarathnam Pillai, Smt. K.J.Sarasa, Smt. Kalanidhi Narayanan and Smt. Bragha Bessel, Lavanya Ananth is one among the rising talented dancers of India. Lavanya represents the graceful Vazhuvoor style of Bharathanatyam.

Lavanya Ananth imparts training in Bharathanatyam to selected students under the ageis of her school 'Natya Sameekshana'. Lavanya Ananth has performed in various prestigious festivals and leading sabhas both in India and abroad and has won several awards and honors. She has also presented several lecture demonstrations and programmes for the SPIC MACAY Chapters in Rajastan. In May 2000, She was selected by Indian Tourism to represent India at the India Festival Week at Sichigaham, Japan

Lavanya Ananth

Dance: Lavanya Ananth

Accompaniments:

Nattuvangam: Srilatha

Vocal: Murali Parthasarathy

Mridangam: M.S.Sukhi

Violin: Veeramani

Program

1) Devi Sthuthi (Prayer Song): Nrittanjali- a rhythmic musical invocatory song with pure dance movements etching patterns and movements of the body to melodious notes of music. This is followed by verses from Sri Lalitha Sahasranamam, Sri Rajarajeshwari Ashtakakam which extol the concept of the Universal Mother "Amba" in all her varied forms of Shambhavi, Kaali,Tribhuvaneshwari and Meenakshi. Raagam: Raagamalika, Thaalam: Adi, Music: M.S.Sukhi

2) Varnam: The Varnam constitutes the main song of any Bharathanatyam presentation. I present today "Swamyiyai azhaithodi vaa" which depicts the Shringara Bhakthi of the heroine for Lord Nataraja the Cosmic Dance form of Shiva where she requests her friend to bring the Lord to her. Raagam: Ragamalika, Thaalam: Adi

3) Tumaku Chalatu: The saint poet visualizes the touching scene where Queen Kaushalya rejoices at the beauty of her divine son Rama. The mother enjoys watching the unsure first steps of toddler Rama with little anklets on his feet creating sweet music to her ears.This poem envisions the maternal love or Vaatsalyam thus creating a tradition of Bhakthi worship. Ragaam: Misra Khamaj, Thaalam: Adi/Tisra Nadai, Lyrics: Saint Tulsidas, Music: Pandit D.V.Paluskar.

4) Chaliye Kunjanumu: This beautiful song laden with love depicts the Sambhoga Shringar of Radha and Krishna. The heroine beckons Krishna to join her in the evergreen woods filled withpicturesque trees, the magnificent waters of the Jamuna river and the sweet singing cuckoo birds. "Come let us go and enjoy ourselves on the banks of the Jamuna", Radha says to her beloved Krishna. Raagam: Brindavana Saaranga, Thaalam: Adi, Composer: Maharaja Swati Tirunal of Travancore (Hindi).

5) Tillana: Ragaam: Kadana Kudukalam, Thaalam: Adi, Composer: Sri Balamuralikrishna.

6) Vande Mataram: National song of India portraying the different aspects of Mother India.