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Delicate Mudras and Powerful Abhinaya by Kritika Subramanian
Disciple of Preeti Vinayak Shah (Atlanta) shines at Arangetram


From the premises, décor, repertoire and presentation, nothing about this Arangetram was the usual. The Paces Academy Fine Arts boasted of the best lights, media and acoustics. The Arangetram of Kritika Subramanian began with a simple offering of flowers to the majestic Nataraj that was set at the corner of the stage.

Kritika Subramanian, a student of The Narasimha Academy of Arts in Atlanta, has been in training for the past ten years. Under the tutelage and guidance of Preeti Vinayak Shah, Artistic Director of the Academy, Kritika was groomed in the Kalakshetra style with emphasis on Angashudham and Taalashudham. She also trained intensely in abhinaya before the Arangetram under her Guru.

On June 7th 2008, a confident shishya ascended the stage. The artists on stage were Atlanta veterans -Smt. Lakshmi Prabhakar on vocals, Mridangam by Sri. Subra Viswanathan, Violin by Smt. Jassotha Balaburamaniam and Nattuvangam by Guru. Preeti Vinayak Shah. The invocatory item was to the popular Purandara Dasa kriti, “Gajavadana Beduve.” Entwined into this item was a Ganapathy Korvai. A traditional Jatiswaram in Ragam Vasantha followed.

Shabdam caught the audience by surprise with the chosen deity being Ayyapa. This item has been composed by Preeti’s guru Sri. M. V. Narasimhachari. From birth to Sabari, the item created a meditative mood that served well for the varnam that followed. Thodi Varnam, “Roopamu Joochi,” had crisp and accurate nattuvangam by Preeti Vinayak Shah. All four jatis were executed by Guru, Shishya and Mrudangist with perfection of rhythm, thalam and originality. Kritika’s abhinaya skills were tested during this piece and she delivered with intense feelings and subtle body language.

After the varnam, chief guest, Hon Fran Miller, was invited on stage. He said, “I have never witnessed anything like this before and I am enamored at the effort that Kritika has put forth.”

The Arangetram continued with “Nada tanumani sem” with choreography by Preeti Vinayak Shah. This item was an instant hit with Kritika’s precise footwork and chiseled poses. The second Padam was the every green gem“Krishna Nee Begane.” Kritika moved the audience to tears with her mature abhinaya and made the item into a conversation between mother and child.

The Thillana, another unique composition by Sri. M .V Narasimhachari, was intricate with unexpected rises and dips in the tempo. The essence of dance was conveyed through the shloka “Yatho Hastha Thatho Drishti,” in Ragam Hindolam. Mangalam in Madhyamavati on Sri Rajarajeshwari concluded the program.

Smt. Lakshmi Prabhakar’s Thodi was appreciated as was the support given by Smt. Jassotha Balasubramaniam on the violin. Sri. Subra Viswanathan glittered on the mridangam as he accompanied Preeti Vinayak Shah on the complex jati sequences.

With thrilling footwork and moving abhinaya, Kritika Subramanian has entered the performing arena with confidence and poise.  


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