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A week-long dance Tapas!
CHENNAI, January 15: Tapas dance festival this year presented a unique blend of various classical dance forms performed by leading dancers from January 8 to January 14 at T.N. Rajarathinam Pillai Muthamizh Peravai Hall.

The festival began on January 8. It started with Bharath Kala Rathna Shri A. Lakshman’s Bharathanatyam recital. It was a rich treat for the eyes. The execution of adavus was perfect. The recital was marked for his remarkable energy levels and nimble movements. It was a befitting tribute to Guru K. J. Sarasa. Shri Lakshman's depiction of Krishna in his Charukesi Varnam was moving. His never-exhausting energy was evident in the Padam 'Chittigave'.

On January 9, there was again a Bharathanatyam recital by Yuva Kala Bharathi Swarnamalya Ganesh, which revealed the versatile and extraordinary talents of a multi-faceted personality who gave an excellent exposition, incorporating her own innovative skills.

On January 10, there was a scintillating Kuchipudi performance by Prof. Sailaja. She was fluent, flamboyant and fantastic. She performed with total intensity. Her orchestra was equally excellent and exuberant, which provided a seamless synchronization. In fact, their rendering of Astapthi and Shankara Shree Giri in Hamsanandhi further enhanced and embellished the performance.

On January 11, there was again a Bharathanatyam recital by Kalaimamani, Nritya Choodamani and Puraskar award winner Narthaki Natraj. True to her Gurus, linage and reputation, she enthralled the audience with a chaste, crisp and charming Bharathanatyam sans frills. She had excellent support from her orchestra. The vocalist especially brought out the beauty of Thodi, weaving some excellent phrases. To top it, Narthaki Natraj had an announcer who described the details of each piece, enabling the audience to grasp the exact rasas in full. On January 12, there was a Kathakali recital by Natna Bhaskara Sadanam Balakrishnan and Vidya Tapasvi P.T. Narendran. It was a performance of high quality. A whole range of subtle expressions was conveyed in superb ways. The orchestra made the optimum use of ragas like Kambodhi to bring out the many splendors of Kathakali. January 13 saw an exhilarating performance by a group of Kathak dancers, students of Devaniya along with their guru Jigysa Giri. Interestingly, this school too boldly ventured into innovation. Even more interesting was the way they laid emphasis on esoteric and philosophical aspects of spiritual journey.

On January 14, there was a Bharathanatyam recital by Smt. Mahalakshmi Ashwin. Her excellent presentation was an apt finale for the week-long dance festival. She presented a wonderful thematic performance on Andal. There was an excellent depiction and exposition of all the intrinsic aspects of Andal. She chose 'Mennadai Annam' from Nachiyar Thirumozhi set in Ragamalika. She followed this up with a Padam 'Engum Kuzhalisaiye' penned by Ashwin Kumar Iyer set in Sahana and Kaapi. The jewel in the crown was Guru Pada Stotra Panchakam, written by Ashwin Kumar Iyer that she presented after Thillana. A well done Margam!