Song of Surrender

Friday, 21 September 2012

The Narasimhacharis focus on the splendour of jatis

By S. Janaki

There is never a dull moment when the Narasimhacharis perform – whether they dance, do nattuvangam or present a lecdem. Their choreography is famous for intricate mathematical permutations and combinations, and sudden bursts of speedy footwork. It was no wonder that their lecture demonstration on “The splendour of Jatis in natya” for Natyarangam drew a sizeable audience at the Narada Gana Sabha mini hall on 16 September.

Launching into the components and quality of jatis, M.V. Narasimhachari explained that a jati should be intricate, have built in pauses, create “bhramippu” (wonder), and the dancer must feel comfortable performing it – only then can it be effective. The person who creates the jati, the nattuvangam artist who recites the jati and the audience who watch the jati must be able to enjoy it, only then can there be rasotpatti.

Variety in jatis, enunciation and voice modulation in their delivery also add to the build up of emotion in a dance performance. However, there is no need to throw your voice or adopt strange mannerisms and funny syllables while reciting jatis, advised Narasimhachari. Vasanthalakshmi recited the various jatis with élan and amazing grip – a perfect example of poise and aesthetic delivery.

Students demonstrated simple and complicated jatis composed by the Narasimhacharis. Mridangist Guru Bharadwaj played intelligently – matching the footwork or the sollukattu as the situation demanded.

The Narasimhacharis dealt with the tala dasa prana, kaala, kriya, tala anga, eduppu and yati patterns. The vishama yati gives you more freedom to experiment. A long karvai offers scope for creativity. Try out various permutations and combinations within a specific count. To add colour and pep, try to shift the emphasis from one syllable to another when the same phrase is repeated. When you conceive a trikala jati, first recite the third speed, find your comfort level and then proceed to compose in the appropriate slower speeds. There were so many useful tips for young aspiring nattuvanars and dance teachers.

The lecdem provided interesting insights into composing jatis, their intricacies and nuances. Such sessions will not only help the dancer, but also the audience, to better understand and appreciate the nritta component of a dance recital.

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