How Dhandayuthapani Pillai created a unique Bharatanatyam repertoire

Dhandayuthapani Pillai, whose centenary celebrations concluded yesterday, has left powering a loaded treasure of dance compositions

Dhandayuthapani Pillai, whose centenary celebrations concluded yesterday, has still left powering a abundant treasure of dance compositions

Just one of the complications in educating Bharatanatyam to younger pupils is the absence of appropriate varnams that are geared toward dancers in the 8 to 12 age team. Amazingly, the multi-faceted and celebrated Bharatanatyam expert, K.N. Dhandayuthapani Pillai spotted this gap and developed a marvellous varnam ‘Annayai maraven adi’ in Abhogi raga. It narrates the uncomplicated and significant means in which parents endear by themselves to children. As a pedagogical software, this was a incredible eye-opener. Before young students can understand sringara rasa, they can be taught the varnam structure. So in several approaches, this varnam is 1 of my prime favourites.

I skilled under Swarna Saraswathy prior to having to the Dhandayuthapani design and style, finding out from his more youthful brother, expert K.N. Dakshinamoorthy in Delhi. He also taught me nattuvangam and urged me to train. And that’s how I went on to build my school Natya Vriksha.

K. N. Dhandayuthapani Pillai
| Picture Credit history: Distinctive Arrangement

More than the yrs, several elements of Dhandayuthapani model have stood me in fantastic stead. Foremost, of class, is the exceptional jathi theermanams, which are crisp and whole of magic in phrases of the arresting pauses and karvais, which are successful instruments for choreography, and I adapted them to the content material that I created later.

The sheer musicality of his varnams is yet another amazing part. Some of the dance abhinaya to the libretto were being fantastically linked with matching sangatis — a hallmark of his model. I have transposed this to my training pedagogy at Natya Vriksha.

Dhandayuthapani Pillai sir was an astounding poet and composer. I have usually danced his Karaharapriya varnam, ‘Mohamaaginen’, in which all the pristine varnam emotions are delineated with deep grace and natural beauty. And Karaharapriya in an night live performance requires the dance experience to another level.

Impact of the Thanjavur Quartet

His comprehension of dance imagery imbues the varnam with so a lot of prospects for the dancer’s creative imagination. The recurrent use of samayam, maaran and the pining nayika in a remarkably tethered method demonstrates the affect the Thanjavur Quartet had on him. But then, his perform in movies also furnished the flashes of the two poetic and lyrical genius that tends to make his varnams eminently danceable.

One more piece which is a will have to and considerably-loved by quite a few of us is his Kanada jatiswaram. I experienced worked with his senior scholar Usha Srinivasan on this piece and we would typically ponder how the korvais would sit so aptly on the cadence of the swaras. The piece for me also experienced fantastic prospective mostly for the reason that of its lilting tunes. I afterwards improvised and visualised it differently. And the finish products, which I connect with Sakhi-Swaram, works by using different childhood video games to make for an fascinating choreography.

Dhandayuthapani Pillai’s ragamalika thillana is one more piece which I have cherished. Numerous of my college students have learnt and executed it. The musicality and the appropriateness for dance are the two terrific attributes which sir brings out in this piece. It lends itself to dance patterns and sequences very easily for the reason that it was composed for dance. Therefore the attractiveness of the format of a thillana for Bharatanatyam comes across beautifully.

The author is a perfectly-recognised Bharatanatyam artiste.

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