Dances of Divinity, conceived and artistically directed by Aravinth Kumaraswamy and Choreographed by Mohanapriyan was presented with live orchestra by Lingalayam Dance Company at the Parramatta Riverside Theatres on the 30 May 2015.
Few dance companies in Australia attempt upskilling their students by giving them opportunities to work with international dance directors and dancers.
Lingalayam Dance Company blazes this trail with pride having consistently produced shows such as Rasa Unmasked which toured and performed internationally was a joint collaboration of Lingalayam and Ramli Ibrahim, a dance director from Malaysia and Alex Dea, an ethnomusicologist of international repute.
Expectations to see the interaction between the male dancer of Apsara Arts Singapore, Mohanapriyan and the female dancers of Lingalayam Dance Company were set high and did not disappoint.
The Mallari set the scene of the temple court where the reigning deity is carried upon a palanquin. This was depicted beautifully in a synchronised entry by Ritika Ramaswamy, Vineetha Menon Asha Mistry and Mohanapriyan. Breathtakingly beautiful the Thirupugazh written by poet Arunagirinathar followed Muruga mounted upon his beautiful peacock.
This varnam in Aadum arul jothi by Mohanapriyan captivated audiences. Dancing as Lord Nataraja in a powerful display of prowess, power and purity of dance the varnam depicted various stories of valour and courage, how Nataraja overcomes the arrogance of sages, honours his promise to his devotees, depicted with the auspicious day of Thai Poosam.
Finally winning in a competition of dance with Goddess Kali. The varnam composed by Rajkumar Bharathi in a ragamalikai and thalamalikai was the highlight of the show.
With the intelligent use of lighting conceived by Anandavalli and the strength and power in the footsteps of Mohanapriyan, the varnam was a decided winner keeping audiences on the edge of their seats.
The Nattuvangam by Aravinth Kumaraswamy added to the dramatization complimenting each dominant step of the dancer. The vocals of Ahilan Sivanandan, Mridangam R Ramanan and Violin Kranthi Kiran Mudigonda once again met all expectations.
The varnam was followed by Ananda Natanam Adinal where Shakti, the female consort of Shiva, was brought to life by Kavita Balendra and Kavitha Suthanthiraraj. Both senior and experienced dancers of the Lingalayam Dance Company continued the pace set by Mohanapriyan in the Varnam. No mean fete.
Describing the cosmic energy created by the five elements and her ability to defeat destruction and ensure the reign of peace in a composition of Suddhaananda Bhaarati set to Ragam Bilahari, both dancers nimble footed synchronised presentation with exquisite sculpturistic poses was studiously graceful.
The items depicted by Abirami Vallal and Swetha Ramamurthy, both senior and experienced students of Anandavalli, describing the beauty of Alermel Manga as she sensuously dances for her Lord, followed by Mohanapriyan’s depiction of a popular padam ‘Aadathe Asangaathe Vaa’ were cheerfully exquisite .
The concluding thillana showing rhythmic body movements, fast footwork with nano second coordination between all dancers, Abirami Vallal, Brindha Thiru, Medha Sengupta, Shalini Parthiban and Mohanapriyan in Lalgudi Jayaraman’s thillana in Madhuvanthi spaced with enticing sculpturistic poses made for an ideal ending.