Artistic Journeys: Bharatanatyam Performances by Navyashree K N and Radhika Shetty

In a celebration of classical dance and thematic storytelling, Nrityaangan, Mangaluru, recently showcased two remarkable Bharatanatyam performances supported by the Karnataka Government’s Department of Kannada and Culture. Navyashree K N and Radhika Shetty, each with their unique styles and narratives, captivated audiences with their mesmerizing portrayals.

Navyashree K N: A Dazzling Display of Traditional Bharatanatyam

Navyashree K N, a disciple of P. Praveen Kumar, mesmerized the audience with her exquisite Bharatanatyam recital. Her performance was a testament to precision, grace, and emotive storytelling. With crisp adavus, nimble footwork, and fleeting facial expressions, Navyashree effortlessly brought characters to life on stage.

Her rendition of T.S. Kalyana Sundaram Pillai’s varnam in Kamboji, ‘Naadhanai azhaiththu vaa sakhiyae’, showcased the nayika’s passionate love and longing for Lord Muruga. Navyashree’s expressive portrayal, accompanied by graceful steps and intricate jathis, spoke volumes of her artistry and dedication to the craft.

‘Jagadhodhaarana aadisidhalu yashodhe’, an eternal favorite of Purandaradasa, provided Navyashree with ample opportunities to exhibit a range of emotions as she transformed herself into the quintessential mother, evoking love, mirth, and adoration.

Radhika Shetty: ‘Manushi – A Quest’ Through Emotional Narratives

Radhika Shetty, the founder-director of Nrityaangan, took the audience on an emotional journey with her thematic presentation titled ‘Manushi – A Quest’. Through poignant narratives, Radhika depicted the eternal search of four women, each driven by unfulfilled desires and unwavering determination.

Radhika began by portraying the journey of River Saraswati, once the cradle of Vedic culture, now a symbol of mystery and longing. With heartfelt expressions and evocative movements, Radhika breathed life into the tale of Saraswati’s journey from vibrancy to insignificance.

Meerabai’s unquenchable desire for Krishna unfolded through three bhajans, each reflecting a different facet of devotion, frustration, and surrender. Radhika’s portrayal of Meerabai’s emotional turmoil resonated deeply with the audience, capturing the essence of longing and submission.

The depiction of Devaki’s sorrow and sense of loss, as Krishna’s biological mother, brought forth themes of maternal love and sacrifice. Radhika’s intensely emotional portrayal, supported by poignant stanzas from Kulasekara Azhwar’s ‘Perumal Thirumozhi’, left a lasting impact on the audience.

Radhika concluded her ‘quest’ with the devotion of Akka Mahadevi, incorporating select vachanas into a mesmerizing thillana. Through rhythmic inputs and soulful renditions, Radhika’s performance left a profound impression, marking it as a memorable journey of art and emotion.

In Conclusion

The Bharatanatyam performances by Navyashree K N and Radhika Shetty exemplified the richness of Indian classical dance and storytelling. Their captivating narratives, expressive movements, and emotive portrayals served as a testament to the enduring power of art to evoke emotions, provoke thought, and inspire audiences worldwide.


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