A Bharatnatyam performance by Rukmini Vijayakumar proved to be a big draw on the 11th day of the Saptak Music Festival at the LD Arts College, Ahmedabad on Tuesday. The 41-year-old danseuse, who has acted in several movies, the latest release being Sita Raman (in Tamil and Telugu), built her performance around the theme of Krishna, an apt choice, given the natural affinity the people of Gujarat have towards the youthful God.
“Krishna represents the supreme consciousness. He represents self-discovery, our quest for finding our place in this word. This evening, I will try and portray the different ways in which people perceive him,” she said.
Sushri Rukmini’s first dance, based on Raag Valachi, depicted the story of Andal, a Mirabai-like saint of Tamilnadu, who believed Krishna to be her husband. This was followed by a Varnam in Raag Chalkeshi, and then a dance based on the song “Main Nahin Makhan Khayo.” The performance ended with a dance built on a Mirabai bhajan. Rukmini was accompanied very ably by vocalist Nandakumar U, Harsha Samaga M on the mridangam, Mahesh S on the flute and DV Prasanna Kumar on the nattuvangam.
The second performance of the evening was by vocalist Debapriya Adhikary with Samanway Sarkar on the sitar, accompanied by Rohen Bose on the tabla. Since the earlier performance had overshot its time slot, the duo was obliged to keep the performance short, with only two Bandishes based on Raag Kalyan and Raag Purvi.
The last performance of the evening, which went on past 2 am, was a rather spectacular fusion of Shastriya Sangeet with Rajasthani folk music by Pandit Vishwamohan Bhatt and his son Salil Bhatt playing the mohan veena (a.k.a slide guitar). The concert began with Raag Jog, which then merged into the Rajasthani folk song Kesariya Balam Padharo Mhare Desh. The Rajasthani folk ensemble consisted of vocalist Ustad Anwar Khan, Ustad Gazi Khan on the khaadtaal, Himanshu Mahant on the tabla, Firoz Khan on the dholak and Sawai Gazi Khan on the morchang.