‘Padavarnam’, presented by Urmila Satyanarayanan’s students, had many fresh elements
‘Padavarnam’ was a seminal work for Urmila Satyanarayanan for two reasons — it established her commitment in training students, and secondly, established her individuality as a dancer-teacher. The presentations, though time-tested, had new elements, new movements and new emphasis to demonstrate her creativity, and represented a departure from the days of gurus K.N. Dandayuthapani Pillai and K.J. Sarasa. The movement vocabulary included sharper, more angular movements on the diagonal, extensions of the nattadavu family, and some Ravi Varma-inspired poses and steps. There was a change in the treatment of varnams as well, with less extended abhinaya passages and more nritta.