Mahathi Kannan

Friday, 2023-11-24 18:15 PM - Friday, 2023-11-24 00:00 AM
Mahathi Kannan

Born into a family of musicians and dancers, it is no surprise that young Mahati Kannan has grown into a promising artist. At the Sangeet Akademi Virtual Dance Festival, 2022, she debuted with ‘Gaj Mukha Naadhan’, a kavuthuvam taken from a 300-year-old manuscript. A musically rich piece, it had solitude and lyrics flowing uninterruptedly.

To commemorate the centenary year of KN Dhandayuthapani Pillai, Mahati chose a Jathiswaram composed by him. Since this raga was based on Hansanadham, it was choreographed by Mahati’s aunt Padma Subrahmanyam using the Karana movements of the swan and Mahati captured the movements and flight of the bird brilliantly. The high point was when the vocals merged beautifully with the ‘dha ni dha ma’ movements.

presented with ease
The varnam ‘Vanamala Shree’ chosen for the evening was composed by Kunnakudi Venkataram Iyer in Raga Valaji. Beginning with the Krishna Tulabaram episode, it went on to a tried-and-tested episode, with Krishna stealing butter, breaking utensils, and teasing the gopis with the Vamana avatar. Mahati easily moved from one expression to another. Alternating between vocal and instrumental music in each line of the varnaam, creating for a rich intonation experience.

‘Madura Madura Meenakshi’ was followed in Raga Bageshree composed by Swami Dayanand Saraswati, where suggestive acting and simple gestures were used to portray Goddess Meenakshi.

The joy of rhythm and movement was traced with lyrical input from Isaikavi Ramanan in ‘Gati Beda Prabandham’ composed by Padma Subrahmanyam in Raga Kedaram. The musical ensemble included Gayathri Kannan, B Kannan (veena), Nagai Sriram (mridangam), and Shruti Sagar (flute) on vocals.

Ideal for a young dancer, the choice of songs for acting was more focused on suggestive communicators.