The audience at  Kalasindhu Dance Studio in Banashankari on Saturday (3.8.2019) experienced a great carnival of Mysore style of Bharatanatyam by Kalashri’s  D. Keshava.  His Lecture demonstration was filled with renowned dancers, scholars and filmmakers such as Poorinima Gururaja,  Mala Shashikant,  Padmini Shreedhar, Sheshadri Iyenger, Nanada Kishore, Suma Krishnamurthy, Dr.VidyaRao,  Anil Kumar, Shri Hari and many young students from Kalasindhu.   

Vidwan D Keshava demonstrating Mysore style of Advus

Vidwan D. Keshava is an authority on Mysore style of Bharatanatyam, who was trained in dance, music and acting from Mysore University during 1969 and 1975. He is the first male dancer in Karnataka to receive titled Natyavisharada. He was fortunate to become the senior-most disciple of Padmabhushana Dr K. Venkatalakshamma, the last representative of the famous temple dancing dynasty in the State of Karnataka. With a sheer passion to spread the fragrance of Bharatanatyam far and wide, D. Keshava, with his Swiss wife Esther founded ‘Kalari’ in Basel, Switzerland in 1976. This is the greatest contribution of the couple to the field Mysore style of Bharatanatyam.

Keshava’s recent performance consisted of deep insightful demonstrations of  Mysore style of various adavus with knowledgeable information on how to balance the body for each adavu followed by Jathiswaram in raga Kalyani set to  Roopaka Tala was commendable. Sholaka  ‘Mathaha Kim’ from  ‘Krishna Karnaamrutha’ and his presentation of abhinaya items Shabdam ‘Sarasijakshulu’, Javali ‘Matadabaradeno’,  and ‘PokiriTanamulu’ showed excellence in his Abhinaya. He also demonstrated a short Padam ‘Vaadu alagite’ and the highlight of the evening was Mysore Vasudevacharya’s ‘Premathonato Mathadava’ which was very unusual for a male dancer presenting Javali, where the nayaka longs for the nayaki. 

Vidwan D Keshava with Syed Sallauddin Pasha with Sheshadri Iyanger and Poornima Gururaja

During the demonstration, the Keshava received plenty of queries from the student’s community which were answered and substantiated with resourceful answers. The event witnessed the screening of a documentary on Dr. K. Venkatalakshamma.  One can never forget the instant reactions from the students and the audience for his performance ‘Premathonato Mathadava’. Everyone was moved by the love and affection between Nayika and nayaki, Keshava beautifully establishing the sthayi bhava.

At the age of 74, Vidwan D Keshava gave a dynamic performance with full of energy, passion and perfection. His nritta, aramandi and angashuddhi are lessons for youngsters. In the end Keshava said, “since there are a lot of youngsters who want to learn the rare compositions of Mysore style, I will be back soon with series of workshops in a couple of cities in India in the coming year”.

Author : Syed Sallauddin Pasha is trained in Bharatanatyam under Guru Smt Narmada, Smt Padmini Rao and Smt Meenal Prabhu and Kathak and Choreography Under Dr Maya Rao, Aesthetics under Dr Choodamani Nandagopal, Karnatic Music Under Smt RA Rama Mani. He is internationally recognized for his therapeutic wheelchair dance theatre productions for differently-abled.  His pioneering work has created socio-cultural equality, dignity, empowerment  and excellence in art and culture. Pasha received National Award from President of India for his three decades of empowering persons with special needs. He trains innovative wheelchair dance Bharatanatyam to differently- abled at his dance studio ‘Ability Unlimited’.

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