Geeta Chandran performing at Krishna Gana Sabha

Geeta Chandran performing at Krishna Gana Sabha
| Photo Credit: RAGU R

Geeta Chandran’s recital titled ‘My rainbow is blue’ was a clear indication that it would be an evening devoted to Krishna. Geeta’s study of the various rituals at Vrindavan, and the songs linked to each offering, interlaced with the emotions and colours she experienced as a devotee formed the broad inspiration for this solo show.

Working on the Krishna-Vishnu narrative, Geeta explored the form and attributes of Krishna in ‘Govinda Vandana’, based on the text Atharva Vediya Gopala-Thapani Upanishad-Poorva Vibhaga. The graceful hand movements mirroring the flow of water gradually transformed into the form of Adisesha; it was captivating to watch the movements gain momentum to depict Mahavishnu. Krishna and his leelas and the Vishwaroopa darshan were touched upon briefly.

Exploring rasa

Rasas are associated with colours, and it is believed the blue-black Krishna encompasses within him the myriad colours of all living beings. Using the ‘Govardhana giridhari leela’, Geeta explored rasa responses from different viewpoints. The expression of adbhutha laced with intense vatsalya bhava as Devaki watches Krishna, and Shringara rasa as the gopis dance the raas, were some moments that lingered. The raudra rasa of Indra, the shantha rasa of the sages, the jealousy of the gopas, and the compassion felt by his fellow Brijvasis were also explored through sancharis and narrative segments. Moving from one spotlight, where Krishna was visualised holding aloft the Govardhana mountain, to another with all the rasa explorations was an interesting idea that communicated thoughts with clarity.

Geeta’s sensitive portrayal brought alive the emotions of Biraha — the pain and pangs of separation — in Meerabai’s composition ‘Kahan gayo nehra lagaye’. The woman questions her Lord for abandoning her in darkness, and makes a passionate plea to be guided to the light of eternal bliss.

However, one felt that given the vast experience of her artistic journey, Geeta could have avoided the oft-repeated narrative and approached the theme with deeper insight for heightened rasanubhava.

The musical ensemble needs to be commended for its exemplary contribution. K. Venkateshwaran has a melodious voice, and he was ably supported on the mridangam by Manohar Balachandra, on the ghatam by Varun Rajasekharan, and on the violin by G. Raghavendra Prasad. Wielding the cymbals and rendering crisp jathis was veteran percussionist N. Ramamoorthy Sriganesh. The lighting design was by Charles and compering by Rajiv Chandran.

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By Dipak

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