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Anuradha Venkatraman and her amazing abhinaya

Danseuse Anuradha Venkatraman has added an extra spark to Raamdhari Singh Dinkar’s poem “Rashmi Rathi”. Dinkar was an amazing poet during our freedom struggle. He was known as a Rashtrakavi. He was awarded the Padmabhushan. His poem Rashmi Rathi meaning the “Sun’s Charioteer” is about Karana who is one of the important characters of Mahabharata.

Anuradha in the initial part of the video depicts the feelings of Kunti the mother of Karana. The story goes like this “Kunti had received a mantra from Durvasa Maharishi that she could summon any god and have a child from him. When she grew up out her curiosity wanted to test this mantra and so tried it on the Sun god (surya deva). Unfortunately it worked and Suyra Bhagawan appeared before her. When asked to go back he said he was compeled to fulfill the mantra. That’s how Karna was born. She abandoned the child in a basket in a river as he was an illegitimate child. This child was found by a charioteer and his wife and he grew up with them, thus came to be known as Sutaputra.

The terrible feeling of Kunti has been beautifully expressed with appropriate mudras and abhinaya.

As you watch the video try and understand each mudra that is being used. Example, notice the hasta Sandamsha being used close to the belly to show a mother or that she is pregnant. Her eye movements and expression to show the sense of guilt and fear is also noteworthy. The term “Suta putra” meaning a charioteers son has been depicted by holding the Katakamukha mudra in the right hand to show as if hold the reins and the left hand with suchi mudra to show the chariots roof.

I wish I could see the whole performance. You can watch her other performance in her youtube channel DanseuseAnuradha.


  1. Anjali Damerla

    This indeed was a very beautiful performance. Thanks for posting this clip. I watched this with my daughter who is learning Bharatanatyam.

  2. Anju Rajpal

    I recently had a chance to see her performing live in Jaipur. The same composition. It was febulous. Amazing the way she switches to the one mood to other…Great performance!

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