Author: Vidwan Deepak Kumar, Puttur
Kalanidhi Narayan molded many artistes who are now eminent personalities in classical dances of India especially Bharathanatyam. I had a rare opportunity to learn under her few years back in a workshop in Bengaluru and I would say those are golden days in my dance career. ‘Kalanidhi Mami’ usually sits and teaches concentrating more on facial expression. However even sitting she gave utmost care for body language also. While teaching Kshetrayya’s Pada, she told us not to shrink the body when showing the nayaka’s character. This is how she made her teaching easily adaptable for the presentation in standing of moving around the stage. Mami always kept the Tambura tuned on and start with a small alapana of the raga so as to create the ambience. She sang very beautifully and had good sense of Nada Saukhya. She could interpret a single line of song in number of dimensions and we were looking stunned at her talent. Every choreography was so polished and we experience the ultimate motto of art i.e., union of Jeevathma and Paramathma in her dance in real sense. She was telling to emphasize on the eyes while expressing to reach the spectators effectively. Just by her eyes mami could tell the whole story, such a powerful expression. I once asked her to present the famous ‘Indendu Vacchitivira’ pada in 9 rasas, and to shock me, she depicted that pallavi in 9 various emotions. Bharatha Muni said that when Satvika takes the leading role, other 3 abhinayas – angika,vachika & aharya , have very less or no work. This could be experienced from the performances of Kalanidhi Mami.