‘Deciphering dance messages’ – Leela Venkataraman

‘Another striking Mohiniyattam recital this time at India International Centre‚ was by Trivandrum’s Dr Neena Prasad‚ a disciple of Kalamandalam Sugandhi and Kshemavathy. The Pada varnam in Suddha Dhanyasi raga choreographed by Kalamandalam Sugandhi – built round ‘Kandarpa Vichitha Mohini’ ( the apsara form taken by Vishnu) who with her womanly wiles manages to distribute the entire ambrosia churned from the ocean by the Gods and demons amongst the former alone – was very competently presented ... the dancer’s grace and fine presence added on to chiselled movement and focused expression with no clutter. Even Tandav passages in the keerthanam on Siva ‘Sahasra koti janapalane’ in Revati raga had grace. The astapadi ‘ Ramate Yamuna Pulinavane’ with a fantasising Radha imagining Krishna with another woman‚ finally coerced by the sakhi to join her beloved‚ was another fine item‚ with Changanassery Madhavan Namboodiri singing soulfully the music he had composed.’