Great poets are recognized by their mudra, their “signature” or style. “If you hear Padumanabha in the last stanza in a Karnatik verse, chances are it’s a Swati Thirunal work. If there were several gods invoked in a piece, you’d immediately think Purandara Dasa,” says Janani Narayanan, talking about her upcoming performance with Shrividhya Srinivasan, “Mudras: Essence of Music Composers Through Dance.”
“We wanted to highlight the poets’ unique signatures via dance, where mudras means unique hand gestures,” adds Srinivasan. Mudras includes other favorites among Karnatik circles, such as “Vatapi” and the thillana, “Kalinga Narthana.”
The duo are seasoned dancers with decades of learning and performing. Narayanan, known for her energetic and stately presentation, recently gave a well-received, full-length performance, “Nrityamala,” in Bangalore, India. Srinivasan brings a graceful elegance to her dancing and performed at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco last year.