Rhyme of the Jathis

Chidambaram Suresh and Shobha

Chidambaram R Suresh is a multitalented artist. A dancer, singer, composer and a master Nattvangist who received his tutelage from Prof CV Chandrasekar he entranced his audiences with the powerful composition of his jathis through the evening of Aanandha Koothan, the Joy that is Dance.

Dancer Shobana Suresh and her sister Nikhedana Sasisekaran executed the jathis composed by Suresh in perfect harmony with correct postures, angular and strict movements with grace lending meaning to the  sometimes hard to understand rhythmic patterns. Educated in the fine art of Bharathanatyam under the tutelage of CV Chandrashekar, both Suresh and Shobana are professional dancers and graduates of Dance from Annamalai University. Their dedication to the art has brought them the respect they deserve in the community in Sydney. The performance was a sold out success. Despite having migrated only recently, it was commendable and generous of them to contribute to the Aust Medical Aid Foundation an organization that is offering scholarships to medical students in financial need in Sri Lanka

The show commenced with the resounding voice of a first gen second year Sydney Uni student, Sruti Balaji singing Ganesha Stuthi and Alarippu in Gambeera Nattai set to Sandha Thalam of 6.5 atcharas and 13 mathras, the forceful note of Bala Sankar’s Mridangam and Chidambaram R Suresh’s jathi’s were to give the audience a taste of what was to come, not only for its content but also for its perfect execution.

Nikedhana Sasisekaran and SriRam Panyam on violin

Suresh is indeed a master craftsman of rhythm and this dominated the show. The Jathiswaram and the padam ‘Eththai kandu’ choreographed by Prof CV Chandrasekhar received its due respect for its remarkable execution by all dancers. Hamsa Venkat provided support on  Nattuvangam. The intermittent announcements by Sri Sutha came as a respite allowing some of what one saw to sink in before the next piece began along with the softening sounds of violin accompaniment by Sri Ram Panyam.

The Varnam usually an enactment through dance of more than one mythological story, once again was slightly different portraying the story of Markandeya and Bhakti rasa. Expressing all three components Nritta, Nritya and Natya to the song ‘Karunai Niseya vendume’ in ragam Nattakurinji thalam Adhi, sung by Shubha Harinath, nattvangam by Suresh, the dancers Shoba and Nikhedana maintained  fierce vertical lines through their sanchari bhavas in a well choreographed and synchronized medium indicative of hours of dedicated practice.
The highlight of the evening however was the duet when Suresh and Shoba danced together in Adinarae Iraivan, a composition of Chinnamanur J Sridhar, in Naatai choreographed by Suresh, it stood out for its angular beauty. The ending with the spectacularly technical pancharatna thillana was perhaps the most entertaining for the audience. The dancer’s fantastic footwork was executed to technical precision. The evening’s grandeur stood out for Suresh’s intellectual approach to dance which sometimes dominated the rasa bhava of the dance.

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