Works

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BHASKARAAYANAMAHA

Taken from the Krishna Yajur veda, Taittiriya Brahmaham the recited beejaaksharas are the seven colors of the sun, represented by the seven horses in Surya’s chariot. The letters ha and ra represent aakash - space and agni - fire respectively as both these elements constitute surya - the sun.

At the onset of sunrise, the sun is addressed as mitram, the well-wisher. The aspirant asks for good health for all beings. With the ascent of the sun, the world arises and acquires strength from it. As the sun destroys all obstacles, the aspirant is ready to face any eventuality.

The dancer energizes her self and shares the power of the sun with the audience. She offers her body as an instrument of movement.

Raga Suryakanti, Ravichandrika, Surya
Composer Sri Raj Kumar Bharati
Choreography Leela Samson

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PARINATI - THE TRIUMPH OF LOVE

While Krishna made love to all the gopis, Radha felt her hold on him loosen and envy drove her away. Forlorn, she hid in a thicket of wild vines and told her friend the secret. “My heart recalls Hari in his love dance, playing seductively, laughing, mocking me. Sweet notes from his alluring flute echo nectar from his lips. His restless eyes glance hither and thither, while his head sways his earrings dance upon his cheeks. O friend, he seems to mock me, laugh at me.Meeting me under a dense kadamba tree, I know not how he calmed my fear of the unknown. Just one glance from him, and it seemed as though Manmatha himself arose out of an ocean of love to delight my heart. My heart recalls Hari here in his love dance, playing seductively, laughing, mocking me.”

The Sakhi then approaches Krishna, reeling under the burden of ardent love as he waits helplessly for his beloved, Radha. She describes Radha’s plight to him. “ She slanders sandal-balm and moonbeams. The cool mountain breeze seems laced with the venom of deadly snakes. She lies dejected by your desertion and fearing Love’s arrows she clings to you in fantasy, O Madhava. She covets a bed of flower arrows and vows to win the joy of your embrace. She lies dejected and clings to you in fantasy, O Madhava.”

Sri Krishna goes to seek Radha’s forgiveness at dusk and stammers these blissful words, “ If you speak, moonlight gleaming on your teeth will dispel the darkness in my heart. Let your moon face lure my night-bird eyes to taste nectar from your quivering lips. Radha, pure and cherished love, abandon your baseless pride! Love’s fire burns my heart – let me taste the wine from your lotus mouth. Place your lotus feet upon my head – a sublime flower destroying the poison of love! Let your foot quell the harsh sun burning its fiery form to torment me. O my love! Abandon your baseless pride! I feel unbearable pain from love’s fire – let me taste the wine from your lotus mouth.”

Raga Sindhura, Paraj, Savani Tala Adi Tala, Mishra Chapu, Khanda Chapu
Author Jayadeva
Composer Madhup Mudgal
Choreography Leela Samson

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VARNAM – ‘AATTKOLLA VENDUM’

“Bless me oh Ranganatha, You who hold the benevolent Conch in your hand”.

Andal who's life and poetry is celebrated throughout Margazhi is known for her innocence & undying love for Sri Ranganatha. This remarkable child’s enchantment with the blue hued charmer has him alone in her heart.

In this Varnam she pleads with the Lord to take her in his embrace, having gone mad in search of his love. Just a glacé beckoning her would remove her distress. She withers like the lotus flower, completely lost in thoughts of him and she sees him in every atom that surrounds her. Manmatha’s arrows torment her, and she seeks the refuge of the panchajanyam to cool her burning pain with its holy waters. Knowing that he would wear the garland strung by her father, she wears it first before it is taken to the sanctum of vata pathra shayee.

Andal composed the thirupaavai, which speaks of her love and of the vratham she undertook to attain oneness with him. She has a divine dream in which she sees her marriage procession with Maha Vishnu and she describes this in length to her sakhis.

“My heart trembles for you, Oh Lord. Time is running out on me”.

She appeals to the megham – the clouds, the parrot and the conch to deliver her messages of love to the Lord. Only to attain Narayana have I taken birth. I desperately await union with him. Please tell him, my dear Conch. She pleads with Manmatha not to shower his flower arrows on her, and says please take me to the feet of my revered lord. Everyone laughs at my plight. Please do not delay in taking my message of love to him.

Raga Kalyani Tala Aadi
Lyrics G. Vijayaraghavan
Music K. Hariprasad
Jathis Karaikudi R Krishnamurthy
Choreography Leela Samson

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VARNAM - 'SENTHIL NAGAR MAEVUM'

A devotee addresses Lord Muruga thus, "Oh, son of Lord Shiva and the presiding deity of Thiruchendur, please show me your compassion. I think of nothing else, but you. Do you not understand this heart of mine. Why this indifference? Is it right for you to delay? I have no solace. You are my only resort".

The dancer continues to question lord muruga beseeching him to come riding upon his beautiful peacock to dispel the suffering his absence has caused.

Raga Nilambari Tala Adi
Composer Violin maestro Late Sri. Lalgudi Jayaraman
Tirmanams Karaikudi R Krishnamurthy
Choreography Leela Samson