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Putra Poutra Bhavathu - A Fabulous Recital

Sujatha Meyyappan

On September 25, 2010 National Heritage museum was packed to witness the “Putra Poutra Bhavathu” presented by the Jayshree Bala Rajamani, the artistic director of “Bharathakalai School of Dance” along with the jazz band “Natraj”. This program was to benefit the children of “Bharatiya Samaj Seva Kendra” based in Pune, India, which is a family and child welfare agency that works with children and families to help in adoption and assist children's education.

After a brief video about BSSK, Guest's of honor State Rep. Jay Kaufman and wife Cathy lit the lamp and initiated the recital.  The program started with Raga Ragashri, an 11 beat composition by Phil Scarff, for which Jayshree offered flowers to the Gods and executed an Alarippu excellently. It was followed by ‘Shiva's Tandav’ composed by Phil Scarff. Jayshree interpreted this song as the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva and she depicted Lord Shiva’s third eye, matted locks, ash smeared body in a brilliant way. The dance clearly portrayed Jayshree's powerful dance moves which ably suited the high energy Tandava.

The next item was ‘River’ which is a beautiful Melharmonic composition of Chitravina Ravikiran. Jayshree brilliantly enacted the story of Holy River Ganga, its birth & descent and Ganga offering Salvation to King Sagara’s sons.

The second half of the program started with ‘Avu Matodzo’ a West African traditional music. Jayshree depicted the Navarasa with vivid exposition and gamut of emotions. The combination of this incredible energy piece with all percussion interaction and Jayshree’s energy in portraying the war scene with captive movements gained applause form the audience. This is one of my favorite pieces as well.

That was followed by the famous ‘Enna Thavam Seidhanai’ in Ragam Kaapi. Jayshree effortlessly transformed the mood of the auditorium, portraying 3 different vignettes of Yashoda bonding with her adopted son. This piece beautifully brought out the Motherhood emotions, in a way reminding the audience of the wonderful world of mother & child and how adoption can positively impact the lives of children and their family. Jayshree dedicated this dance to her beautiful children and then to the wonderful gift that is adoption!

The final item of the evening is a ‘Thillana’ in Ragamalika with crisp footwork followed by a Slokam rendered by Jayshree for Peace & Happiness for the world over.

The program was effectively and creatively narrated by Rajshree Kozak, enabling the audience to feel the stories as depicted by the dance.

The world jazz group Natraj seamlessly melds the classical music of India, African traditional music and contemporary Jazz with amazing improvisation of raga to create their own unique style which showcased the artist’s brilliance. The troupe included Saxophonist Phil Scarff, Bassist Mike Rivard, Tabla & Multipercussionist Jerry Leake, Drummer Bertram Lehmann and Violinist Mat Maneri. Rendition of items by “Natraj” was amazing.

Combination of Bharathanatyam – an Indian classical dance form, acclaimed jazz music and different world music tradition is not very often taken together on one stage. It was very carefully handled by a stunning effort of talented artists like Jayshree & all members of Natraj band in bringing out the essence of multicultural collaboration. Through Jayshree’s Bhava, Hand gesture and “Natraj’s” rhythmic precision, one could not disagree with the convenient readability of the distinctive moods throughout the program. Definitely, the whole auditorium was taken on a journey through a blend of world music and Bharathanatyam.

Overall it was one of a kind experience for everybody in the auditorium. The performance by Jayshree and “Natraj” band will definitely be in our cherished memory for a long time.

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