The Journey of the Keys

Quietly, the keys hit their note, as the controlled voice embellishes the sound, comes the poetry. In the corner of my eye is a movement and then I hear footsteps… Blue Divine !!‘Where the difference between the singer and the song no longer exist, there is Music’ said Anil Srinivasan and in so saying began the journey of the keys joined by the voice, the poetry and the story told by the footsteps bringing to fruition an entrancing evening at the Parramatta Riverside Theatre here in Sydney

In an exquisitely intricately laced partnership Sikkil Gurucharan and Anil Srinivasan explored poetry from the 4th century to the 19th century poetry from renowned texts, setting the pace for the evening with Kalidasa’s composition followed by Nightingale in the Grove, in ‘Punkuyil Koovam Pooncholayil Ore Naal‘ and the sensitive selection of the keys in ‘Thanimayil Inimmai Kanden‘ ‘In solitude I am found’. This is ‘The Blue Divine’ – a production initiated by Anandavalli, Artistic Director of Lingalayam, whose attempt to link the music, the musicians, the Poetry, the Story through the medium of dance with her students young dancers from her company across two countries is decidedly an ambitious experiment.

As the silhouette of the dancers mysteriously draw one’s eyes away from the Piano and Sikkil Gurucharan, one can actually hear the bells of their feet, see the expressions and the colorful costumes, feelings reign breathing life into Jayadeva’s Lalitha Lavanga.

No sooner is the romantic spell cast Sikkil and Anil draw us into the sensitive folds of ‘Madhava Mamava Deva Krishna’. If Narayana Tirtha’s composition was not sentimental enough, the next numbers cast a spell binding quiet in Hari Tum Haro, a Meera’s composition and in the equally soft Pibara Ramarasam – the story of Rama. Anil’s commentary in between the only spell breaker casting a crease in the velvety smooth aura of their unique music.

In ‘Saramaina Matalentho Chalu Chalu ra’ the musicians were yet again joined by the Lingalayam Dancers who portrayed the story of the Feet that Brahma Washed. The Dance into Infinity with Bhavayami followed. The sentimental journey ended with a long awaited Thillana.

Anil Srinivasan’s ability to blend the realms of each raga and remain true to the mood and interpretation of the lyrics is admirable. The voice of Sikkil Gurucharan and his imagination set the standard for the evening. The dancers of the Lingalayam dance company did an excellent job of conveying the stories. The Anil Sikkil partnership while new to Sydney has been in existence for a long time now. Their honed act is unmatched, what is required of the audience is an open mind to welcome experiments such as Blue Divine which show a decided potential to take these traditional artforms into unchartered waters

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