Kinkini 2014: Annual Recital of Sunanda’s Performing Arts


By Rita Winter Shirer
HOUSTON: On Sunday May 25, Kinkinni 2014 unveiled the talent of 250 students of Kalashree Sunanda Nair. The annual recital of Sunanda’s Performing Arts Centre brought the rich tradition of Indian Classical and Folk Dances to the jam-packed audience at Cullen Hall. From the gentle sways of Mohini Attam, to the crisp jathis of Bharata Natyam, to the explosive merriment of Folk Dance, the touch of Sunanda Nair showed in every glance and step.

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The emcees introduced each dance with a poetic description, and each dance fulfilled its promise. Ancient stories of Ganesha, Krishna, Shiva and Shakti came alive onstage through dynamically choreographed and beautifully performed dances. The costumes were also exquisite, diverse and colorful.
The first dance dedicated to Ganesha, Maha Ganapatim, was presented by some of the youngest students with infectious joy. Other dances dedicated to Ganesha included Ananda Narthana Ganapatim – a lively and athletic presentation of statuesque poses and crisp synchronization. A ladies group performed Ananda Ganapati in the Mohini Attam style with flowing elegance. This is a devotional piece showcasing Ganesha’s attributes of power and grace, inherited from Shiva and Parvati. The Ganesha Kauthuvam also spotlighted Ganesha in all His munificence.

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The young students’ joyous portrayals of Krishna as a child brimmed with playfulness as they described Krishna’s divine beauty in Keshadi Padam. Their smiles were irresistible; their elocution a tribute to months of hard work and dedication. In Kuzhaludi Manam Ellam, the gopis’ devotion to and longing for Krishna was performed by a ladies group with tenderness and beauty. The healing powers of Krishna’s compassion were expressed with dignity and refinement in Kubja. The Kaliya Mardhanam presentation was captivating – from the sweeping portrayal of Krishna playing with friends, to His victory dance over the sea serpent. In Muralidhara Kauthuvam and Aadinaya Kanna, the dancers took us to the banks of the river Yamuna to join in the fun, dancing to the irresistible sound of Krishna’s flute.
Shakthi, the divine feminine power, was given its due when the dancers took over the stage in Pancha Shakthi. Such athleticism, agility and beauty are honed only after years of dedication. The Goddess Devi showed her radiant face and majestic walk in Udurajamukhi. The dancers manifested the grace and power of Saraswathi, Lakshmi, Parvathi, Durga and Kali. The Goddess Lakshmi was invoked in Bhagyada Laksmi Baramma, through the tender expression and jathis of these young dancers.
Adikondar Antha Vedikai, the young children’s dance to Nataraj, showcased their athletic prowess as they danced with integrity and precision beyond their years. In Muruga Kauthuvam, the swift footwork, powerful leaps and abhinaya depicted Murugan in his benevolence and beauty. The senior students paid homage to the Lord of Dance in the Shiva Stuti with finesse and power.
A Thillana radiated the stage through intricate, swift jathis and regal poses. Dheem Tana followed, portraying some of the school’s youngest dancers in all their youthful energy and joy. Shining like jewels, the young dancers also told the story of Yashodha and her motherly love for Krishna.
The finale was an explosion of colour, sound and merriment. To have such precise and intricate choreography executed so brilliantly and energetically by so many dancers – shows the mark of a Guru, and the dedication of students who respect the rich heritage to which they pay homage.