Thiruvananthapuram: Parshawnath Upadhye is akin to a jungle brook – serene and silent at one moment and exuberantly emotive at another. Like the gurgling stream that flows downhill, the Bharatanatyam exponent evokes mystically mesmerising emotions as he goes about enthralling the audience that sits in rapt attention. Parshwanath dances like the rivulet that flows on hugging the mud banks on either sides and planting a hearty kiss on the forest blooms that kneel to catch a glimpse.
Parshwanath Upadhye, who performed at the Nishagandhi Dance Festival on Monday, knows for sure what the Bharatanatyam repertoire stands for. The fluid motion, and the enthralling movements that oft poke his anklets to break into a hearty giggle, come easily to this artist, who has already earned himself a name among the stalwarts. To enthral and to educate, to delight and to help imbibe the artistic nuances of the Indian dance form practiced across the world, his performance spurred the audience kept asking for more.
Setting the wonderful chilly evening in motion with the traditional kauthuvam, he tugged at the chords of the dance aficionados’ heart with an emotionally charged tribute to Lord Krishna with the varnam that followed. From the naughty Manmadha to the fiery Kaaliamardana and more, Parshwanath enacted to perfection the myriad hues of the dusky lover lord who reigns supreme. And then, with the devotion-immersed portrayal of Lord Rama awaiting best pal and conscience keeper Hanumayya’s return after meeting his beloved Sita who had been kidnapped by the demon king of Lanka, Parshwanath went on an emotive trip as the audience hitched a ride to the most adored Ramayana moments. Closing the evening’s show with a Dr M Balamuraleekrishna Thillana, the artist prompted a standing ovation as he danced his way into the audience’s hearts with a well deserving salutation to the accompanying artists.
Rohith Bhat’s vocals and Aditya PV’s nattuvangam played perfect accompaniment to the fluid style of Parshwanath, while Harsha Samaga, Mahesh Swamy and Suma Rani excelled on the mridangam, flute and sitar respectively, in a setting so unique that the Nishagandhi was ready to bow in obeisance.
Parshwanath Upadhye was a revelation, a mesmerising one for sure. Dance students, aficionados, and the common man who had walked into the Nishagandhi looking for an hour or two of quality entertainment would again want to stand up and applaud the man who can actually dance doing what he knows best up there, on the stage. The yearning has grown, to watch more of this man.