Smile and the world will Smile with you! But when there are 60 smiles that beam on you through four hours, along with moving hands, footsteps and expressive stories, touching music to add to it, the smiles become a tale in themselves. This is in fact the story of Adharam Madhuram .. as the phrase of the poem of “Madhurashtakam” was brought to life with “Swagatham Krishna” the theme of the dance choreographed by ICCR panelled, dancer and teacher in Sydney, Manjula Vishwanath, made a splash. Manjula mixed the dance presentation with elements of Bharathanatyam throwing in a the Rass Leela danced to a Garba and or a folk style of dance.
A little Krishna with a mask of blue body paint on her face, hands and legs runs onto the stage to face an amazed audience. Other dancers join in cheerfully, hand in step the story progresses from the Birth of Krishna, told by Narayana, to his escape from prison, to the Evil Puthana trying to poison him, to Yashoda’s love and then to the fight and killing of the Evil King Kamsa. The Killing of Kamsa was an important landmark in the production showing Little Krishna danced by Vaidehi being able to execute complicated footwork to a powerful Jathi which was fast and furious. Manjula Vishwanath as Kamsa made for a convincing partnership between Guru and Shishya.
Managing all the props which were for once really tastefully done, the dropping of the heavenly cradle, the make up and the arrangements backstage were managed by the many volunteering parents of the tiny tots, the senior students of Rasika Dance Academy and the dedicated team of the SVT committee members. Raising a handsome amount of funds for the Temple, the Rasika Dance Academy, proved its mettle in producing a show of immense possibilities and amazing talent. The lighting on stage was most effective providing the necessary aplomb and cinematic effect to each scene. However what was most effectively portrayed was the winning of the snake Kalinga in a breathtaking choreography that sees Krishna standing on the snake to the song Kalinga Narthana Thillana.
The children in their various stages of learning the Bharathanatyam, proved that Sydney shall in a few more years see some amazingly promising dancers. The choice of songs was exhaustive from Swagatam Krishna, Kadagola Tarenna ,Ootukadus Kalinga Mardhana Thillana,Raravenu gopala instrumental,asaindadum mayil ondru,madhura nagarilo,brindavani thillana, instrumental raas, geetopadesam yada yadahi dharmasya the slokam, apaprt from jathis and other sanskrit songs.
Students who performed were as follows:
Madhumita as Putana played the evil role very convincingly; Neesha as Duhsyasana was enchanting; Anita as Shakatasura showed immense agility; Shreya as small Krishna was entrancingly and beautiful
Vaidehi as the little grown up krishna was sure and confident yet so little; Sruthi as Yashodha was sweet and graceful. Her years of experience in her favour;
Lalitha as Mushtikasura and Yudhishtra was convincing and graceful; Anjana as the big Krishna was confidence oozing with a delightful integrity and understanding of her role. Her posture was picture perfect, the slight tilt of her chin gave her a God nymph like look was befitting; Abisri as the narrator was tasteful and unfaltering;
and of course Kamsa and Radha by Manjula Viswanath brought the right amount of bhava experience and maturity to this dance drama. The 14 small kids as little gopikas
10 little kids as the gopikas to the little krishna; 10 gopikas for the older krishna and Madhvi as the narada were all enticing to say the least.
A production of this size only can be possible with an unbeatable amount of energy, enthusiasm and the final applause goes to Guru Manjula Vishwanath for taking on a project of this size and proportion.