has a simple, unassuming presence, until she begins to
weave magic on her audience with her sophisticated mimetic
eyes are so eloquent, one glance enough to convey the
depth of admiration for the nayaka or the pain of separation
from Him.......Her talent has been honed to a rare refinement.......She
understands the power of subtlety, where less works
better than the converse.
Sankarabarnam tillana in Adi talam became the most vibrant
piece, where music, dance and rhythm came together in
a scintillating finale.
The Hindu, Friday, January 20. 2006
It is called Transformation... which is what happens to
both audience and the dancer when Bragha does her Bharatanatyam.
One often speaks of stage presence but here the presence
is only of the dance.
She has a potency, an insight which sings and dances with
a glory and splendour in which the body ceases to be,
and the dancer becomes the dance.
Nandisoll blossoms into a dance statement of beauty and
The fire of total involvement in the dancer is on a
different plane altogether...
The dancer's nritta, apart from the perfection of her
jumps and line, exudes a great joy.
The little 'arudi-s' were examples of rhythmic beauty
and strength... The dancer's abhinaya was superb. She
displayed amazing ability to hold a moment in stillness
and silence... A neat Tillana in Paras provided the
finishing touch to an exceptional recital. Bragha does her
- The Hindu-January 8, 1999
She is very good in nritta and great in abhinaya. I've
never seen, in my half a century of knowledgeable
dance-viewing, a better essaying of "Ramo nama babhuva
(Some years ago in the Music Academy mini hall) and
Idaivida and Payyada a while ago for Narada Gana Sabha.
In her exposition of the emotive content, she was
slow, sure and absolutely riveting.
Bragha Bessell is a rare joy for dance and dancers
alike. Her concentration, her constant striving for
Her dance indeed was a many-splendoured thing.
- Sruti March 1999
Vande Mataram Varnam was presented in fine manner by
Bragha, Her nritta was marked with firmness...
The theermanams were rendered in a gripping manner...
Bragha's depiction of the changing moods of the divine
couple was done skilfully.
- The Hindu- September 26,
: her nritta was marked with firmness and neat execution:
especially the theermanams were rendered in a gripping
The Hindu, Friday, September
has something far more potent, and that is an inside
which sings and dances with a glory and splendour in
which the body ceases to be, and the dancer becomes
- Exceptional Recital
experience of a life time
Humble to a fault, this dancer attributes all her proficiency
to her two gurus, Kunchitapadam in her initial years
and, now for several years, Adyar Lakshmanan.
If any proof were needed that the Devi of dance in all
her burnished glory and fullness prefers that patra
or vessel which has no ego, then Bragha is the standing
- The Hindu, Friday, October
is a dancer totally unconcerned with being pretty on
art. Her Bharatanatyam is a jewel to be treasured.
BRAGHA NEW REVIEWS 2008
There was considerable crowds at the Music Academy, and
Kalanidhi Narayanan along with Bragha Bessell did not
the apt demonstration by Bragha Bessell proved the
ability and experience she gained from her guru.
a small girl stood before our eyes, not as Bragha Bessel
depicted Mugdha Naayika in the javali apadooruku.
Kalanidhi along with Bragha's wonderful training under
her made it an eye opener to all aspiring artists.
New Indian Express January
Bragha excelled in the subtle shades that produce
memorable cameos of a lover.......her last look — where
the sad nayika, despite having told her sakhi she does
not want to see her lover now that her beauty and
enthusiasm have all wasted away, still is obviously
anxious to catch a glimpse of him — was poignant.
The Hindu - January 25th, 2008
Bragha Bessell's wonderfully mobile features effortlessly
communicated a child bride's fear (bhayanaka) of the
unknown in her reluctance to approach the bridal chamber
in 'Nandhetiki Pommanere' (Pantuvarali).
The Hindu- December 21st, 2007
Bragha Bessell is never static ……. She drew the rapt
audience into the narrative poems, enriching and
interpreting the nuances, complexity and richness of
She pulled you in like a magnatic force, setting
standards of originality, innovation, deep study and
excellence. Very simply, this is abhinaya at its finest
and Bragha is at the height of her powers. She cast a
spell of the audience as she used her amazing mobile
face and gestures to spin stories of a woman's love……..
Bragha has a deep insight, intuition, intellect, an
emotional epiphany as she reveals the various literary
nuances of the padams. ………exquisitely rendered padams,
she always portrays the right emotion for each moment
rendering it timeless.
Bragha over the past two months ….intensive workshop and
…….the delicate grace and emotive padams taught by
Bragha in her workshops, …….it was evident that the
students had learnt well at the feet of the guru and the
result was a performance hard to stop thinking about. I
have been watching these dancers over the years and I
found that even though there was pure technique and
creativity, now there was an added depth of
understanding, a context, and an understanding of
character whether it was passion , coyness, longing, or
desolation , so much so that the evening became
provocative, perceptive and spiritual.
Indian Post News Service – Los