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  • 10/16/16--07:36: Dance reviews
  • Navarathri festival

    Many organisations celebrated Navarathri with music and dance festivals, apart from dolls exhibition. One such organisation Sadhana Sangama Trust is conducting classes in dance, music and yoga, under the direction of Vidushi Jyothi Pattabhiraman. In the 11-day Navarathri cultural festival, ample opportunities were provided by the Trust to young and upcoming dancers and musicians to perform and exhibit their talent.

    Seven students of Sadhana Sangama Dance Centre opened their programme with a salutation to their Guru through "Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu" and Mishra Alaripu and Kautvam. Their Nritta was pedestrian, nor could their facials live up to the demands. Whereas Ranjana proved a promising dancer - a postgraduate in dance and also doing MPhil now. Ranjana chose Narasimha Kautvam and her abhinaya skill came to fore in the Antahpura Geethe (Enee Mahanandave - DVG), graciously. Her florid jathis matched well with appropriate glances and her easy stance made an immediate impact. Of course, with more attention on Nritha and experience, Ranjana can reach great heights.

    Earlier, Tushara L Acharya gave a pleasing Harikatha recital. She is a first-year MBBS student and has already performed 200 Harikatha recitals so far with several medal and honors to her credit. In the current concert, she gave a Harikatha on Daksha Brahma. With her melodious voice, singing popular compositions like - Mahadeva Shambho, Om Shiva Shambho, Ambiga Na Ninna Nambide, Bhale Bhale Dorakithu, etc, added colour to her Harikatha. With appropriate humour here and there, she was successful in holding the audience' attention till the end. Srinivas on harmonium, Jagadish on tabla, Sreesha on Khanjari and Lakshmish Acharya on thaala - accompanied her.

    Colourful Nitya Nritya
    Nupura conducted the annual Nitya Nritya dance festival with not only Bharathanatya, but also Manipuri and Odissi recitals along with academic sessions. Connoisseurs are happy that Nupura has resumed the festival from last few years, though shorn of its earlier gaiety and grandeur.

    Curtains came down on this year's Nitya Nritya with a dance ensemble by the students of Bharatanjali. Six students under the direction of senior guru Bhanumathi opened their programme with a fine Malhari in the raga Gambheeranaata. A infrequent composition of L R Lakshmi in the ragamalika narrating the story of Lord Subramanya was also delightful. Changing their roles, young students performed the Tulasi Das well known lyrics "Sri Ramachandra Kripalu" which also revealed a good grounding. They concluded with a popular Uthakadu Venkata Subba Iyers Kalinga Narthana. They easily carried conviction with beautiful choreography and good Nritha.

    Guru Sheela Chandrashekhar (Natuvanga), Srivatsa (vocal), Bhavani Shankar (mridanga) and Karthik Sathavalli (flute) - gave inspiring support from the wings. Sharmila Mukherjee, a senior Odissi dancer, is also a good choreographer and teacher. She along with her seven students started their programme with a Mangalasharan on Lakshmi Devi (Raag Shivaranjini and Ektali). Sharmila displayed greater depth in the Ashtapadi of Jayadeva (Sakhi He, Raag Mishra Pahari Tal-Jati) and the Pallavi (Charukeshi) was also evocative. Changing their roles in quick succession, young dancers performed the Oriya Abhinaya (Ahe Nila Saila, poet Salbeg's prayer in Raag Arbhi) beautifully. They concluded with the 'Moksha' (Bhairavi) and their performance was impressive.

    Budding artistes
    The Bangalore Lalithakala Parishat presented a Bharathanatya recital as their 884th programme by the students of Kalasindhu Academy of Dance, under the direction of Poornima Gururaj, a senior dancer and teacher. Pushpanjali in Amrithavarshini gave them a good start. 'Jaya Jaya Saraswathi' of Mahipathi Dasaru, is a welcome change from the routine invocatory pieces. Poornima had selected the theme on Shiva and Shive and all the items were based on a variety of compositions available on the subject.

    After Natesha Koutvam to represent Ananda Thandava, they chose a popular swara jathi of Shyama Sastry (Bhairavi) and a composition of Dwaraki Krishnaswamy. Two or three students in each charana performed with abandon, standing out for their good Nritta. In the Swathi Tirunal composition (Shankarabharana), Sambashiva and Shiva Kama Sundari - were portrayed impactfully. Their movements overall testified to their self assurance, but their Abhinaya has to gain in depth.


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  • 10/23/16--06:10: Annual music conference
  • Annual music conference

    The Karnataka Ganakala Parishat conducted the annual music conference successfully, last week, under the able leadership of Vidwan R K Padmanabha. Music concerts (vocal, veena and flute) in the evenings and academic sessions in the mornings, attracted a large gathering, on all the days. In the "Vidwath Sadas," Dr Vageesh received the prestigious title, "Ganakalabhushana" and the title "Ganakalashree" was conferred on Pattabhirama Pandith, young talented vocalist.

    In Karnatic music there is an old tradition of singing a Navagraha Kriti, on the relevant day of the concert and it will be usually one of the Navagraha Kritis of Muthuswamy Dikshitar. But for a welcome change Dr K Vageesh chose a Navagraha Kriti of Dr L Muthaiah Bhagavathar, "Rohineeyam Budham" in the raga Suruti.

    It was followed by a self-composed composition in the raga Rasikaranjani. Connoisseurs also enjoyed two devotionals - the Bhadrachala Ramadas's popular devotional "Nee Naama Entharuchira" and the "Harichitasathya" of Purandara Dasa. For a detailed elaboration Vageesh chose raga Dharmavati, the 59th mela, which was known as Dhaumya and Dharmavati earlier. The raga unfolded with pleasant melodic characteristics and paved the way for the "Tharamugadura" of Veena Seshanna. "Ramachandra Bhavayami" was another evocative krithi.

    Phrases were pleasing and melody cascading for "Upacharamu," a classic krithi of Saint Tyagaraja. Vageesh's vocal was traditional and a good beginning for the conference. He was well supported by three seasoned instrumentalists - C N Chandrashekhar on violin, C Cheluvaraj on Mridanga and G S Ramanujan on Ghata.

    Pleasing flute

    Curtains came down on Musician's 47th Conference on Sunday with a fine flute recital by T R Srinath. He is a senior flautist and a recipient of "Ganakalashree" title. He was accompanied by two senior musicians - S Seshagiri Rao on violin and A V Anand on mridanga and young khanjari Vidwan Guru Prasanna followed with good understanding.

    Devamanohari is a well known "rakti" raga, which belongs to Kharaharapriya Varga. It was the high point of Srinath's concert which was tuneful, neat and carried the essence of the raga. Earlier, he opened the concert with the stately varna "Sarasijanabha' in the raga Kambodhi set to Atta thala. Swara for "Siddivinayakam" of Muthaiah Bhagavathar (Mohana Kalyani) was delightful.

    "Sumasayaka" in Karnataka Kaapi, is quiet popular in dance also. Two lesser known compositions were rendered - "Sharanam Vijaya" in the raga Vijaya Saraswathi and with Chitteswara and "Vidhi Mukhambhuja" of Chandrashekhara Bharathi Swamijee of Sringeri in the Desh raga. He concluded with two devaranamas - Rama Mantrava Japiso and Venkatachala Nilayam. In total it was a matured and tuneful performance.

    Music concert

    The Smriti Nandan founded by Vidushi Lalita Ubhayaker and supported by philanthropists like Smt Tara Chandavarkar, with the object to scout and project budding Hindustani musical talents, they conduct "Devnandan Ubhayaker Yuva Sangeet Utsav" every year.

    This year's festival opened with a "Mangal Vadya" - Shehnai, on Saturday. The artiste, Hassan Haider Khan, hails from a family of great Shehnai players.

    He was initiated under his father Ustad Ali Ahmed Hussain Khan and continued with Pandith Arvind Parekh. He has performed in leading organisations - both national and internationally (USA, Canada, UK, France, etc) and has received several awards and honours, also.

    Hamsadwani unfolded slowly in the Shehnai of Hassan Haider Khan, enriched by certain flourishes and patterns that were exclusively instrumental in nature. The raga in both vilambith and druth was developed with varied shades.

    Each phrase sounded neat and lively, catching the attention of the listeners. Srivatsa Koulgi accompanied on Tabla.

    Divine Dhrupad

    Pelva Naik, who gave a Dhrupad recital, hails from an artiste's family and was trained by Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar and has been guided by Ustad Mohi Bahaduddin Dagar also. She is serving the music field through her performances, teaching and conducting workshops.

    Rag Rageshri by Pelva Naik generated a serene atmosphere in the Canara Union Hall. A pleasant voice and a cultivated style lent a dignified visage to the music of Pelva who exemplifies the Dhrupad form. She started from the lower register, weaving leisurely patterns in a unhurried way.

    In the next stage the movement began to pulsate, with lively embellishments. The bandish in Jhap Taal of ten beats, was also evocative. Pelva Naik was successful in bringing out the distinct character of the raga through Dhrupad, aesthetically. Sanjay Agle supported her on Pakhawaj.


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  • 10/30/16--07:33: Music and dance reviews
  • Melodious Veena

    The Suswaralaya College of Music is serving the music world in many ways from 1999, under the able guidance of H S Sudhindra.

    Apart from teaching, its publishing wing has caught the attention of musicians and organisers. Its publication of the "Directory of the Karnatik Musicians of Karnataka" has been very useful and popular.

    The institution presents the "Swaralaya Shrunga" award to a senior musician in the annual music festival every year. This year's award was conferred on Vidwan T S Chandrashekar, senior percussionist, last week.

    Sahana, who gave a veena recital in the festival last week is a disciple of M J Srinivasa Iyengar and has been guided by T N Seshagopalan and T V Gopalakrishnan also. She has completed her MA and PhD in music and is an 'A' grade artiste of Akashavani and has won prizes from the Bangalore Gayana Samaja, Nada Jyothi Ananya Prathibha Puraskara, etc.

    Shanmukhapriya was the high spot of Sahana's current concert held jointly with Suswaralaya College of Music and Sri Rama Lalithakala Mandira. The Adi Thala Pallavi was spacious and appealed as much by the melody.

    The impact was further buttressed by the ragamalika swaras in Valachi, Behag and Revathi. Earlier, she also presented ragas like Chakravaka and Kaapi. Varali was evocative as expected.

    The bill of fare included - Tatwameruga, Bhavayami, a thillana and for a good measure the "Vaishnava Janatho" also. It was classical and with bright "meetu" throughout. Kotipalli Ramesh and G S Ramanujam gave a good support on the mridanga and the ghata, respectively.

    Ankura dance festival


    Karnataka Nritya Kala Parishath, the representative body of the state dancers, conducts the Ankura, the dance festival to encourage talented, young and budding dancers.

    This year, artistes from different places like Belagavi, Sagara, Mysuru, Sirsi, Puttur, Mangaluru, apart from Bengaluru - were invited to perform and exhibit their talent. Though Bharathanatya dominated, there were Kuchipudi and Odissi recitals also.

    Josephine Savitha, a student of Guru Bhanumathi, presented the inaugural programme of the festival on Monday. It was followed by a Bharathanatya recital by Vishakha Hegde from Belagavi.

    She is a disciple of Rekha Hegde and has passed proficiency in dance and is learning music also. In the beginning she chose a composition each on Ganapathi and Devi (Kanjadalayathakshi). A varna in the raga Abheri stood out for its steady laya.

    Aishwarya A Revankar, a student of Gopal Sagar, has completed her Rangapravesha and has won prizes too in a few competitions. "Durga Stuthi" was her opening piece and a popular vachana of Akkamahadevi "Helava Kenjadegalla" in ragamalike. The interesting thillana (Tiger Varadachar) in the raga Natabhairavi was on Rukmini Devi Arundale, which was performed with good a Abhinaya, and a pleasant smile.

    Final programme of the day was a duet by Nagashree H L and Sanjana Gogate, students of Kripa Phadke, Mysuru. Both have passed the Vidwath examination in Bharathanatya and have completed the Rangapravesha also.

    "Sannutanga Sri Chamundeswari" of Dr L Muthaiah Bhagavatar, suited the occasion. Crisp "Shollukattus" accounted for a dainty imagery which appeared ideal for the young and upcoming students. Then they sprang a surprise by selecting Tharanga, which is common in Kuchipudi, in which they showed their keen sense of Laya. Devotional "Govardhana Giridhare" - was their concluding piece.

    These young students can reach great heights with continued training and their Abhinaya has to gain substance.

    Tuneful rendering

    Promising musician Aishwarya Vidya Raghunath gave a vocal recital under the joint auspices of the Malleswaram Sangeetha Sabha and the Karnataka Ganakala Parishat, on Sunday.

    She had the privilege of learning music under stalwarts like Seethalakshmi Venkatesan, P S Narayanaswamy and Vegavahini Vijayaraghavan. She is a recipient of a scholarship from the Ministry of Culture and prizes from the Music Academy, Bangalore Gayana Samaja, Narada Gana Sabha, etc. Though a BioTech engineer Aishwarya has taken music as her profession.

    Aditi Krishna Prakash on violin, B R Srinivas on mridanga and Narayana Murthy on ghata accompanied Aishwarya Vidya Raghunathan, in the current concert. She chose mainly 3 ragas for elaboration. Mayamalavagowla, Kamach and Shankarabharana - were proof of her good training and talent.

    "Tulasidala" - revealed all the nuances known to the melody. Kamach was chaste and absorbing and "Seethapathe Na Manusana" with nerval (Premajuchi Na Pai) had a nostalgic fervour. "Neerajakshi" in Hindola was another good selection.

    Her Shankarabharana was more convincing for its professional finesse and ardour. The evergreen krithi "Swararagasudha" was equally good. With her good voice and lively presentation, Aishwarya's music was appreciated by all those who were present.

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  • 11/06/16--06:24: Music reviews
  • Concert of a different kind
    The music programme organised by the Ananya on Saturday on the occasion of Kannada Rajyotsava, was not just another programme, but a concert with a difference - a blend of Kannada lyrics with melody.

    Three young musicians - Balasubramanya Sharma, Pavan Rangachar and Ramya Vasist - joined together to present a concert through the Kannada lyrics, from Pampa to Padmacharan, where Kannada dominated. Kannada language, literature and culture was presented through the lyrics of different poets, vachanakaras, haridasas and modern poets of 20th century - which can be called 'Lalitha Sangeetha' aptly.

    The trio opened their programme with few lines of Pampa in the form of Gamaka, followed by the lyrics of Kumara Vyasa. "Kannada Jaanapada" (folklore) is also very rich with vibrating tunes and rhythm. Out of them few padas like "Bandeva Nimma Charanakka" brought variety and colour to the programme. To mark the significant contributions of Shivasharanas, few vachanas of Allama Prabhu (Nene Endodaiah) and Basavanna (Neerige Naidile Shringara) and Akkamahadevi (Akka Kelavva Nanonda Kanasa Kande) were presented. To highlight the Haridasas' contribution, Devaranamas of Sripadaraja (Baro Namma Manege), Vyasaraya (Krishna Nee Begane Baro), Kanakadasa (Yadava Raya Brindavanadolu), Raghavendra Swamy (Indu Enage), Prasanna Venkata Dasaru (Dada Seriso Bhavada) and Vijayaja Dasaru (Sada Enna Hridayadalli) were rendered though they could have selected at least one pada of a woman Haridasaru.

    Then they jumped to the poets of 20th century. To open with lyrics of B M Sri (Karunaalu Ba Belake), was the right choice, followed by D V G (Mankuthimmana Kagga), Kuvempu (Anandamaya) and D R Bendre (Naaku Tanthi). A programme of this magnitude requires good amount of preparation and rehearsals.
    Thus, efforts of the trio is commendable, though with some more editing the programme can become much more impactful. Seasoned instrumentalists - Jayaram (flute), Pradeshachar (violin), Gurumurthy (mridanga), Gurumurthy Vaidya (tabla) and Prasanna Kumar (rhythm pad) - shared the honours with the vocalists.


    Not wholesome

    Nadasurabhi, a leading sangeetha sabha of Bengaluru, conducts music concerts every month, apart from special programmes like 'Karnataka Vaibhava,' Aradhana of Purandara Dasa and Tyagaraja, lecture demonstrations and music courses on specialised topics. It's special initiative "Take Music to Schools" is also well appreciated.

    In the annual music festival, they confer the title "Sangeetha Surabhi" on a senior musician every year and this year veteran musician Dr T V Gopalakrishnan received the title. There were seven music concerts in the 23rd annual music festival, held last week. Ramakrishna Murthy is a young vocalist, who has come to limelight very quickly, with his talent and good presentation. In his concert for Naada Surabhi on Wednesday, as usual his choice of raga and compositions were good enough to please the connoisseurs, unfolding the tested melody. Bhegade, Ranjini ragas were convincingly rendered and Todi was the main item of the evening. Seasoned connoisseurs felt Todi - the main item of the evening, was not wholesome, as his voice was not at its best - especially in the "Thara Sthayee".

    However, "Mathada Baradeno", the legendary composition and the raga Mayamalavagowla caught the attention. When music lovers were expecting some more, the concert ended all of a sudden. But Charulatha Ramanujan on violin and M C Bharadwaj on mridanga gave good support on their respective instruments.

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  • 11/13/16--06:46: Music reviews.
  • Enriching melody
    The Chowdiah Memorial Hall is known as the one and only violin-shaped auditorium in the world and a memorial to the great violinist T Chowdiah. With a capacity of 1,011 seats and state of the art lighting and sound, naturally it has become a prestigious auditorium of Bengaluru. It is governed by the Academy of Music, which was founded in 1961.
    Academy conducts a music festival every year, in memory of K K Murthy, the man who conceived the idea of this auditorium and presents awards to senior musicians which is known as the "Academy of Music Chowdiah Award".

    This year's award was conferred on Ganesh and Kumaresh, popular violinists, by Shivamurthy Shivacharya Mahaswamiji of Sirigere.

    After the awards presentation function, Ganesh and Kumaresh gave a violin duet concert. The evergreen varna "Viriboni" in Bhairavi itself showed an element of potential that is proof of positive perceptive recital. Ganesh presented "Sree Chakreswari" and "Bhuvaneshwariya" with brief swara. Natakuranji is a fairly ancient rakti raga of super-eminence with heavy emotional impact. There was utter spontaneity in the racy phrases of the time-tested melody by the brothers, which they dedicated to Chowdiah, the maestro of seven-stringed violin. Based on the swaras suggested by the audience, they presented the raga Rasikapriya. The violin duet by Kumaresh and Ganesh was refreshing, marked for its flair and fidelity. Well known percussionists Tiruchi Hari Kumar on mridanga and Tiruchi Krishnan on ghata accompanied with aplomb.

    *********************************************************************

    Vintage charm

    Vidwan T V Gopalakrishnan (TVG) is a multifarious talented musician of our time. He is not only a vocalist, but also a percussionist, teacher, composer, researcher, organiser, voice culture specialist and the list is endless. Naturally, he is also a recipient of several awards and honours including Padmabhushan, Sangeetha Kalanidhi and Sangeetha Natak Akademi award.
    To this long list, one more was added last week with Nadasurabhi conferring its "Sangeetha Surabhi" title on Dr T V Gopalakrishnan. A majestic varna in Saveri gave a hint of what was to follow, in T V Gopalakrishnan's vocal concert. "Vandisuvudu Aadiyali," the invocatory piece in Naata, was sung with brief swara. A number of old time favourites with vintage flavour were rendered, which audience also enjoyed. For instance, "Terateeyakarada" in Gowlipantu and "Manavyala" - so on.

    In the footsteps of his Guru, TVG also sang swara in four "Kaala" for "Saamagana Vinodini" of Lalitha Das. Octogenarian Gopalakrishnan, assisted by his disciples Devi and Pavandeep, chose Shankarabharana for a detailed elaboration. Though voice was reminding his age here and there, the musical sensibilities were in full focus, depth and dignity of the raga through alapana and crisp swara - brought out the evocative imagery of the raga. The aesthetic grace, subtle gamaka and meaningful pauses - elevated the concert to a great height. Equally edifying was the legendary Jawadi "Saaramaina" and the Reetigowla Kruthi. "Lokabharitano, Indina Dinave Shubhadinavu" and the popular thillana in Jinjoti raga - in the last stage of the concert, were also sung with good feeling.
    T V Gopalakrishna seemed to maintain a neat balance between art and scholarship. The violin accompaniment of S Varadarajan blended beautifully with the vocal and the percussion duo - Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma and M Gururaja, shared the honours.

    *********************************************************************

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  • 11/20/16--06:25: 'Sama Rasa' of 'Ninada'
  • 'Sama Rasa' of 'Ninada'

    Team Ninada of the PES institutions conducted "Sama Rasa," a two-day music and dance festival, aimed at promoting Indian classical music and culture among youth.

    Dr Vidya Bhushana, who presented the inaugural concert of the festival on Saturday, is a popular artiste, known for his melodious vocal and compositions of Haridasas. He presented a number of Devaranamas which were familiar meat for the listeners and they created a happy atmosphere. The opening "Kondadalu allave" in abhogi was rendered with brief swara.

    "Jnanavirali Enage" of Prasanna Venkata Dasaru in the raga Desh, was a meaningful Devaranama. The impact was further buttressed with another pada "Madhukara Vruthi Nannadu" in the raga Hindola. Though raga - swara was brief, were complementary to the compositions. With his melodious voice and good diction Vidyabhushana's music was Lively through out. "Pillangovia Chelva Krishnana" is another most sought after devaranama from him. That being a "Uthvana Dwadashi" day the pada "Vrindavanake Mandira --- Thulasee" suited the occasion.

    Pradeshar on violin, H S Sudhindra on mrindanga and Udayaraj Karpoor on tabala accompanied with good understanding.

    A pleasant presentation

    Bharathi Pratap, known to music lovers of Bengaluru from the last few decades, is trained under Maruti Rao Inamdar and Pandit Rama Rao Naik. She is continuing her practice under Vidushi Lalith J Rao. An electronics engineer, she has taken up music as her main pursuit. An 'A' grade artiste of Akashavani, Bharathi has performed in several organisations, in and outside the country and is a recipient of Kalpana Chawla Memorial Award.

    Bharathi opened her concert with "Shree" and invested with a detailed elaborate sangathies in both vilambit and drut. A good flexible voice, the "Vilambit gati" tested her sound grounding. Then Chandrakauns brisk nom tom - exotic melody of its characteristic lilt - was also pleasing. Tarana in Malakauns was equally attractive. The vachana of Akkamahadevi in Jinjoti was a fitting finale for a good concert. Udayaraj Karpoor and Vyasa Murthy Katti gave good support on tabala and harmonium

    Rare ragas to the fore

    Of the 72 'Melakartha' ragas, some of them have not reached connoisseurs and have become rare or less-known ragas.

    Realising this problem, a few musicians and composers have composed new compositions to popularise these rare melakartha ragas. Latest addition to this list is R K Padmanabha, (RKP) the popular musician teacher and composer. For this, RKP had selected Devaranamas of Purandara Dasaru. He has composed music (Varnna mattu) in all the 72 mela ragas and has also brought to light several Kannada Devaranamas. RKP himself performed these ragas at Shree Purandara Mantapa, Kalayani Nagara, for the last one year. Every month he presented one chakra and the last chakra was rendered last Sunday morning.

    Raga Sucharita (Sadhu Sajjana Rollage) gave a glimpse of the impressive fare that was to follow. Jyothi Swarupini the 68th mela, was a judicious mix of swara and rhythmic control (Naivedya Kollo). Dhatuvardhini Nechanaiah Hari is another raga waiting in the wings, which deserves better attention from our musicians. So also Kosala (Dhuparathiya) and Rasika Priya ragas (Kanninolage Nodo) are also less-known ragas. RKP also presented Jhenkara Dhwani, Kharahara Priya, and a few other ragas neatly.

    He had selected meaningful devaranamas, which was an added attraction. The rendition was charmingly accented and lyrically sensitive. C N Chandrashekar and C Cheluvaraj accompanied on violin and mridanga respectively.

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  • 11/27/16--06:24: Kaartheeka Sangeetotsava
  • Kaartheeka Sangeetotsava

    Nadaranjani Sangeetha Sabha conducts music concerts every month, apart from a music festival during the Kartheeka Maasa of every year.

    In the 16th Karthika Sangeetotsava held last week, there were four music concerts, including flute, chitra veena and vocal. There was also a special demonstration on 'Different Dimensions of Music'.

    Dr R N Srilatha, senior vocalist of the state performed in the Karthika Sangeetotsava on Wednesday. Being the daughter and disciple of R K Narayanaswamy, she belongs to a reputed music family of the state. She has an MA, PhD from the University of Mysore and has served in the Fine Arts College as a Professor. She has performed in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal and other states. She is known for her lecture demonstrations. She has authored a few books also.

    In the current concert, it was an all-women team, for a welcome change. Nalina Mohan, Ranjani Venkatesh and Bhagyalakshmi Krishna accompanied the vocalist on violin, mrudanga and morching, respectively.

    Sriranjani is a beautiful 'rakti raga'. A 'shadava raga', which belongs to Kharaharapriya 'varga'and from trinity period many composers, have excelled in this raga. Dr Srilatha chose Sriranjani for the Pallavi "Ranjani Sriranjani Nadaranjani" set to Chatusra Jhampe, in Khanda Nade.

    Flowering of the twin arts of ragalapana and thana, were full of 'bhava'. It was further buttressed with ragamalika swaras in Sri, Ranjani, Janaranjani and Sumanesha Ranjani. Earlier, Srilatha sang Purvikalyani convincingly, for 'Satilena Guruguha Muruthy' with nerval "Koti Manmatha". With a prelude of a ugabhoga (Dhyanavu Krutha Yugadi), the famous devaranama "Devaki Kanda Mukunda" a Jawadi "Maralu Konnadihi" and a thillana in Anandabhairavi - pleased the gathering, in the concluding part.

    Kalanadam


    Nadam conducted the annual dance festival Kala Nadam, last week which provided an opportunity for the connoisseurs to witness Bharathanatya, Kathak, Odissi and it was aimed to present the proceeds in aid of Angels Orphanage.

    Jyotsna Jagannathan, who gave the inaugural dance, is a disciple of Dr Lakshmanaswamy and has been guided by Bragha Bessell. She is continuing her training under Malavika Sarukkai. She has received honours from the Kartheek Fine Arts (Nadanamamani), Yuvakala Bharathi (Bharat Kalachar) and conferred with Dr MGR Award (Music Academy).

    Jyotsna Jagannathan opened her programme with verses from Adi Shankaracharya. The opening stance in 'Ardhanareeswara' itself vouched for a lively performance. The Charukeshi varna of Lalgudi Jayaraman was proof of her good training and talent. She executed the brisk 'Theermanams' with ease and assurance. With her expressive eyes, Abhinaya was also beautiful and Jotsna's career is worth watching.

    Kumar Sharma, a disciple of Sita Ramji became famous through his dance direction for reality shows. A Masters in music, Sharma also has researched on folk dances of India.

    Kumar Sharma chose Teen Taal of 16 beats for his Kathak recital, which was in all the Vilambit Laya, Madhya Laya and Dhrut Laya. Shiv Paran, Thaat, Paran, Todas, Gath Bhav etc. Short Tumri on Radha and Krishna and ended with a Tukda in fast tempo. No doubt he performed with ease and gay abandon. His foot work was also fine, though Abhinaya was no match to his good Laya.

    The final show of the evening was Kathastra, a multimedia production. A blend of Harikatha, literature (Kavya), music, dance and 3D visuals. Based on the Kumara Vyasa's well known Bhaaratha, it presented the familiar story of Paashupathastra. Group dance, beautiful photos on the background screen, Harikatha, martial art, animation all combined with popular appeal. No doubt, it was appealing, but with some more editing it may become more impactful. Kudos to young Bharat R Prabhath and Sharat R Prabhath for their talented efforts.


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  • 12/11/16--07:00: Versatile dancer
  • Versatile dancer

    Y G Srilatha, who gave a Bharathanatya recital as part of the "Every Friday Cultural Evening Programme" is a versatile artiste.

    Though a engineer by profession, is not only a dancer but also a good Veena player and a vocalist. She is a disciple of Revathi Narasimhan of Natya Niketan and has completed the Vidwath examination with distinction and has performed in many parts of the country including The Indian Fine Arts Society (Chennai), Girija Kalyana (Nanjangudu), Nritya Kala Parishat, Khajuraho Dance Festival, Noopura Ninada, Pallavotsava.

    She has choreographed few dance dramas and is also teaching at the "Natana Tarangini." After the customary inaugural piece, Srilatha chose a popular Keerthana: "Mamava Meenakshi" which is mainly a concert stage piece. The real testing piece was the famous Dhanyasi varna "Nee Indu Mayam."

    But Srilatha handled the numerous variations of each passage through the different stages revealing a good grip over the rhythm in the neatly synchronizing footwork. The Abhisarika Nayiyka Bhava was neatly depicted in the Bhegade pada "Yarukagum Bhayam."

    It was more restrained than exuberant. Dramatising the situations, her Abhinaya was pleasing in the devaranama "Hanumantha Deva Namo." She presented the thillana (Dhanashri) with aplomb. With some more experience she can improve her Abhinaya. In total, Srilatha performed with a liveliness and elan.

    In the side wings, Guru Revathi Narasimhan directed wielding the cymbals, while Bharathi Venugopal provided good vocal support. The instrumental support consisted of Gurumurthy on mridanga and Vivek Krishna on flute.

    Tuneful flute

    Heramba and Hemantha, twin brothers from Coorg, hail from a culturally rich family background.

    Their grandfather Ambale Subba Rao, was a senior musician and teacher while their aunt is a senior dance teacher. Their initial training was under A V Prakash and are continuing their practice with Neyveli Santhanagopalan now.

    They have already performed in prestigious Sabhas like Music Academy, Bangalore Gayana Samaja, in Delhi, Singapore, Hyderabad, Tirupathi, Trivandrum, Udupi, Gauhati, Mysore, Udaipur, etc. They are recipients of few awards and prizes including Kishore Prathibha (Government of Karnataka), Naadbhed (Spic Macay and DD) and CCRT National scholarship. But this year it is a hat trick for the brothers as they have bagged three national prizes - that is "Best instrumental Award" in the Spirit of Youth Festival, Chennai; M S Subbulakshmi Fellowship, Mumbai and "A-grade" of Akashavani.

    With these background the flute duet of Heramba and Hemanta (Yadugiri Yathiraja Mutt) aroused quiet interest among both connoisseurs and lay listeners. After opening briskly with a familiar varna, they chose "Orajupu" in Kannadagowla. Kannadagowla is a "Shadava raga" and belongs to Kharaharapriya varga.

    Compositions of both Tyagaraja and Dikshitar in Kannadagowla, are quiet popular. This composition gave the duo an excellent start.

    The evocative raga Purvikalyani was also convincing. In any instrumental concert "Raghu Vamsha" (Kadana Kuthuhala) is a common item! Bhairavi alapana and the kruthi "Upacharamu" revealed a flurry of fine sangathies, evoking nostalgic memories among the discerning.

    From the varna to mangala, no moment was dull. The duo performed with good feeling and was melodious through out. All they need now is more experience to reach great heights. The accompaniment of Vittal Rangan (violin), B K Chandramouli (mridanga) and Narayana Murthy (ghata) - was inspiring to young flautists.

    Blend of lyrics, melody


    The Ranga Samsthana, under the leadership of Bandlahalli Vijay Kumar, is doing yeoman service in the fields of Sugama Sangeetha and folklore.

    In the "Kannada Naada Vallari" held on Saturday, a number of youngsters from different schools and colleges of the city sang a number of Bhavageethe and folk songs. Apart from well known poets like K S Narasimhaswamy, Bendre, N S Lakshminarayana Bhatta, Kuvempu lyrics of few lesser known poets were also chosen. Many of them were well tuned by S Somasundaram, veteran director and tunesmith.

    Young vocalists reeled off a variety of popular lyrics. They succeeded in projecting not only the intricate texture of poetry as in "Jogada Siri" but rendered their music in such a way that the one supported the other. The tuning of "Vasantha Baro" (Dr N S Lakshminarayana Bhatta) was quiet tuneful, the opening of "Jaya Jaya Kannada Rajeswari" with swara phrases, was quiet attractive.

    So also the swara prelude for "Doora Teeradinda" (Ka Vem Srinivasa) was attractive. They also presented Enthachenda (Kuvempu), Mungoli Kugyavo (Dr Chandrashekhara Kambara), Hombannada Madesha (folk), Bringada Benneri (Bendre), etc. They sang neatly with good pronunciation and sruthi and they can improve with some more intensified training. Vasanth Kumble, Anup and Ramesh supported on keyboard, tabala and rhythm pad, respectively.

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  • 12/18/16--06:17: Music and dance reviews
  • Hanuman Jayanthi concert
    Senior musician S Shankar presented a vocal recital under the aegis of Malleswaram Sangeetha Sabha as part of Hanuman Jayanthi celebrations.
    Shankar's Kedaragowla set the tune for a steady pace, his striking voice giving the well-tailored varna a touch of class. "Panchamatanga" was a good selection - especially in the initial stage of the concert. "Anjikinyatakayya" is always a good devotional and "Bhajare Re" is another familiar kruthi.
    "Ramanatham Bhajeham," with brief alapana and nerval, was also pleasing. In the composition "Manasu Svadhinamaina" Saint Tyagaraja says - "To the man of wisdom who has absolute control over his mind, what need is 'Mantra' (or yogic practices)?"
    The Shankarabharana alapana, nerval (Aa janmamu durvishaya rahi tumi ki) and swaraprasthara steered the concert to a sparkling course. Nalina Mohan, B K Chandramouli and G Guru Prasanna - gave good support on violin, mridanga and khanjari, respectively.

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    Needs improvisation
    Radhika Chaitanya, who presented an Odissi dance recital for Bangalore Lalithakala Parishat, has practised both Odissi and Bharatanatya styles. She has learnt Bharatanatya under B Bhanumathi and has passed Vidwath examination and has performed in many places also. She is continuing her Odissi training under Sarita Mishra, senior dancer of Bangalore. Radhika also teaches young aspirants at her school, Dharini.
    Radhika opened her programme with Mangalacharan, customarily. It was followed by the well-known sloka "Manikya Veena," in which Devi is described as the one who plays Veena and enjoys music.
    Pallavi in Shankarabharana demands fine movements, though her Nritta had little depth. In Guru Gangadhar Pradhan's lyrics Sakhi warns Radha that her (Radha's) love with Krishna has become talk of the town! The denouement in Radhika's characterisation stood out for its neat choreography, though her facials came alive only in parts, and fell short in its overall appeal. She concluded with Mahakali, followed by a Mangala sloka.
    Radhika has to reduce her weight a little which may help her movements and make her abhinaya more impactful. After all, the body itself is construed as a vehicle of expression. As she is deeply interested in dance, and a sincere practitioner, it may not be difficult for her to receive higher training and equip herself.

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    Appealing vocal
    Every one knows Dr K Radhakrishnan as an internationally acclaimed scientist.
    For a welcome change he presented himself as a musician on Saturday evening. As a Carnatic vocalist, on the platform of MES Kalavedi, he regaled a well-attended gathering. Padmabhushan awardee Dr Radhakrishnan has learnt from several stalwarts including Dr R K Srikantan, and is still continuing his practice under Vidwan R S Ramakanth and has been trained in dance (Kathakali) also.
    "Viriboni," the celebrated varna in Bhairavi, gave Dr Radhakrishnan a bright start in the concert. By changing the speed from "Ethugade," he added more pep to the opening piece and "Vatapi" is an ever popular invocatory composition.
    Then he presented a number of well-known compositions in different ragas and languages. For instance, "Makelara Vicharamu" lent a nostalgic appeal to the
    enjoyable fare. "Deva Deva" is another popular keerthana of Swati Tirunal.
    In the Athana composition, Tyagaraja appeals - "O Bala! Why your grace eludes me? Do come in all your majesty adorned by royal ornaments... Let me submerge in the divine tranquility."
    Dr Radhakrishnan sang this with deep involvement. Kannada devaranama "Krishna Muruthi" and the devotional "Yenati Nomu" - are favourites of connoisseurs always.
    From the treasure chest of Tyagaraja, he also chose "Rama Katha Sudha" and sang enjoying himself. In the end of the concert, "Mamava Mamava" and "Vandanamu" - were also pleasing.
    Seasoned instrumentalists Dr R Raghuram (violin), B K Chandramouli (mridanga) and A S N Swamy (khanjari) - gave enthusiastic response, throughout the concert. Dr Radhakrishnan tried his best to bring out the emotional appeal of both composition and the music.

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  • 12/25/16--06:49: Music and dance reviews.
  • Talented dancer
    It is refreshing to see some one talented and serious mounting the dance stage. Priyanka Iyer, who performed at the Yavanika, under the series EFCEP, is a heartening comment on the emerging generation of Bharathanatya dancers.
    She resides in the USand is far removed from her culture. But, like many Indian children whose families are serious about maintaining their traditions, Priyanka was encouraged by her parents to take up Bharathanatya. She is a student of junior class (11th grade) at Wisconsin.

    Priyanka commenced her training at a tender age under Shubhashree Hariharan and has been continuing her practice under Kripa Bhaskaran of Natyarpana Dance Company, Milwaukee. She is a recipient of apprenticeship award from the Arts Board of Wisconsin and completed her arangetram in 2015. She is also learning vocal music and a member of the School Chamber choir.

    The easy manner in which Priyanka ran through the opening piece (Ganga Stuthi) spoke for her sound grounding in the basics. The Pada (Chakravaka, Papanasham Shivan) that followed was equally impressive. The familiar varna "Innum En Manam" of Lalgudi Jayaraman in the raga Charukeshi was lively, some complex nritta heightening its rhythmic impact. Her 'Abhinaya' surfaced in the Devaranama (Jagadoddarana) and pada (on Murugha) convincingly. She concluded with a thillana, neatly.

    A dancer brought up in an alien milieu suffers from some handicaps which show up in sharp contrast while performing in India. But Priyanka proved to be an exception. Besides good stage presence, she revealed a suppleness in movements and a good grasp of rhythm.

    From the side wings, Prasanna Kumar wielded the cymbals, Deepthi Srikantha - vocal, S V Balakrishna on mridanga and Raghunandan on flute - supported with good understanding.

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    Rasa Sanje
    Rasa Sanje - the annual dance festival was conducted by the Venkatesha Natya Mandira, last week. Four senior students of Venkatesh Natya Mandira opened the programme on Sunday with a Alaripu, customarily.
    Then they selected a new varna composed by Kartheek Hebbar in ragamalike, based on the life of Shankaracharya. Here, salient features of Shankara Bhagavadpada are well narrated by the composer. Supriya Shivarudrappa, Divya C M, Aparna Sastry, Nithash Radhakrishna and Biyanka Radhakrishna performed capturing the devotional flavour of the meaningful lyrics. With neat and experienced movements they earned the favourable impression from the audience.

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    Glory of Wodeyars
    Talented and experienced dancers Satyanarayana Raju and Lakshmi Gopalaswamy chose a very interesting subject "Wodeyars of Mysore" for their dance duet. Wodeyars - Maharajas of Mysore, were known for their patronage of arts - especially music and dance. In fact some of them were themselves good performers and composers. Lakshmi and Raju narrated from Yaduraya to Jayachamaraja Wodeyar, mostly based on the classic works such as Kanteerava Narasimharaja Vijaya and Chikkadevaraja Binnapa. The entire story brought out the major contributions of Wodeyars to society, some of which are not easy to show in dance. While Lakshmi lent a touch of glamour, Rajus masculine stance helped in creating the needed mood.

    Several well-known events-episodes passed before the audience with typical motifs, stylished movements and expressions. Thus "Wodeyars" is refreshingly different from the usual dance dramas and a welcome change.

    The musicians attracted not only by their performance, but also from their "Durbar dress." Srivatsa's vocal was melodious and Soundarya's wielding the cymbals was inspiring. Harsha Samaga and Mahesh accompanied on mridanga and flute respectively, with aplomb.

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  • 01/01/17--06:27: M S legacy
  • M S legacy

    Now, Kumari S Aishwarya is not a stranger to Benglauru's connoisseurs of music. Great granddaughter of Dr M S Subbulakshmi, Aishwarya is just 21 years young and is a student of BA. She is continuing her music lessons under Smt Jambu Kannan, apart from her grandmother Radha Vishwanathan and also taking guidance from Dr Nagaraj Hawaldar.

    M S Subbulakshmis daughter Radha Vishwanathan received the Veene Raja Rao Memorial National Award on Wednesday. Her granddaughter Aishwarya gave a vocal concert after the award ceremony.

    Aishwarya prayed Dakshina Murthy in the beginning and sought blessings, followed by the familiar varna "Ninukori." "Vachamagochara" was another fine selection. For a detailed elaboration, she chose Kalyani, the ever-green raga. Though it is a commonly heard raga, she made it interesting with lively phrases.

    The choice of "Nambi Kettavarillavo," the stately devaranama of Purandara Dasa, anchored well to the lilting gait to leave a lingering effect. With crisp nerval (Garudagamana Sri Purandara Vittalana) and swara prasthara, the Dasara Pada was wholesome. With a prelude of Ugabhoga (Ninnane Paaduve) the "Naneke Badavanu Naneke Paradeshi," popularised by M S - is also a favourite of music lovers.

    B Raghuram on violin, Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma on mridanga and Sunad Anoor on khanjari supported with good understanding. Though there is a long way to go, Aishwarya, with her good voice and good training, has a bright future in the years to come.

    Hindustani vocal

    The Sapthak presented two concerts - a vocal and another instrumental concert, in collaboration with Sri Akhila Havyaka Mahasabha under the banner "Shubha Sangeetha Sandhya." Sri Kiran Hegde gave a melodious flute accompanied by Udayraj Karpur.

    Kumar Mardur, who gave a Hindustani vocal recital, hails from a musicians family of northern Karnataka. He learnt from his father Somnath Mardur and is taking guidance from Pandith Ullas Kashalkar. He is on the staff of SRA, Kolkata, as a junior faculty member.

    As Kumar Mardur meditatively started to intonate Rageshree his searching mind surfaced. Though it is not a rare raga, we are not hearing it frequently. A facile, tuneful voice enabled Mardur to sing with ease. Rag Saraswathi was compact but pleasing and concluded with a meaningful bhajan of Kabir Das. He was supported by Keshav Joshi on tabla and Sateesh Kolli on harmonium. With some more concert experience, Kumar Mardur will be able to reach great heights.


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  • 01/10/17--02:55: Sankranti Music Festival
  • Sankranti Music Festival

    Sri Rama Lalithakala Mandira is celebrating the Sankranti Music Festival, with flute, solo violin and percussion ensemble, apart from vocal concerts, which will conclude on Tuesday (January 10).

    M K Pranesh, who gave a flute recital, is a disciple of M R Doreswamy, a senior musician. He is an 'A' grade artiste of Akashavani and has participated in both AIR and DD National programmes and has also performed in several countries.

    Kaanada varna set the pace for a tuneful fare. "Swaminatha Paripalaya" was a quiet familiar kruthi, a few decades back. "Echarikaga Ra Ra" is another evocative composition, followed by "Needucharana" and "Samajavaragama", rendered neatly. He crowned his concert with a good pallavi in Adi tala.

    Replete with stasis-ridden 'sangatis' Shankarabharana was impressive with spacious "swara prasthara" heightening the impact of the pallavi. The ragamalike swara was limited to two ragas (Anandabhairavi and Vasanthi) and few devotionals (Rama mantrava, Visweswara Darushanako and Pillangoviya) - were also pleasing.

    Seasoned instrumentalists B Vittal Rangan on violin, Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma on mridanga, M Gururaj on morsing and Somashekar Jois on Konakol also contributed to the success of the concert.

    Evocative vocal


    Shankari Krishnan, a disciple of Lalgudi Jayaraman and a senior musician of standing, started her vocal concert on Wednesday, with a varna in the raga Shanmukhapriya. She sang "Pahimamshri Rajarajeshwari" with brief raga and swara, followed by a familiar devaranama, "Smarane Onde Saalade."

    Latangi glowed with some lilting phrasings and a dignified composition "Kamalamba" came next. Raga Madhyamavati belongs to Kharaharapriya varga and a 'Audava' class. It glowed with some lilting phrasings in the voice of Shankari Krishnan. In the composition "Rama Katha Sudharasa" saint Tyagaraja says - "The story of Rama is a saga of Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha and will confer all these qualities on those involved in it and will serve as a beacon light to guide men". The interesting swara prasthara was also pleasing.

    Shankari Krishnan then plunged into the climax of the evening's programme in Saveri, with the raga, thana and pallavi. Impact of the Adi thala pallavi was further enhanced with the ragamalika swara in Varamu, Hamsanada and Vasanthi. She also impressed the audience with two Kannada devaranamas - 'Naneke Badavanu' and 'Innu daye Barade'. Lalgudi's thillana (Ragesri) was also attractive by its jaunty pace.

    N N Ganesh Kumar, Ranjani Venkatesh and A S N Swamy - supported on violin, mridanga and khanjari, respectively.

    Traditional music

    The 890th programme of The Bangalore Lalitha Kala Parishat was a vocal concert by O S Tyagarajan (OST). He took his initial training from his father, O V Subramaniyan, and advanced lessons from T M Tyagarajan and Lalgudi Jayaraman. He has performed in prominent Sabha and Sammelans, for five decades, in both India and abroad. Naturally, he has been awarded many titles and awards, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi award.

    In the current concert, Tyagarajan was well accompanied by Mathur Srinidhi on violin, M T Rajakesari on mridanga and B N Chandramouli on khanjari. "Yela Nee," the classic keertana, gave a steady start. It was followed by 'Ninna Neranammi' and 'Lavanya Rama' is known for its lilting melody.

    In the "Ekamresa Nayakim Isvarim" Dikshitar pleads - "Oh, Mind! Worship Goddess Kamakshi, the spouse of Lord Ekamresha …. She is benevolent to her devotees and bestows on them the desired boons".

    What a classic imagery of Chamara as Dikshitar wove in "Ekamresa Nayakim." It was classical and traditional throughout and he made a touching impression. The concluding piece "Sada Enna Hridayadalli" was also rendered with good "Bhava."


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  • 01/15/17--05:46: Impressive Kuchupudi
  • Impressive Kuchupudi

    Vyjayanthi Kashi is a senior and popular Kuchipudi dancer. In her programme for Kalapremi Foundation, Vyjayanthi presented a number of Pravesha Daruvus with different characters like Ganesha and Satyabhama, which was packed with customary pieces of the Kuchipudi repertoire.

    In "Amrutha Manthana," dramatising different characters and situations Deva-Danava and Mohini - proved how she is thorough in the style.

    Portrayal of Poothama was also impressive. In the Tharanga, dancing on brass plate sans water-filled pot, though a brief version, a rich variety of Jathis attracted with matured, polished and graceful performance.

    Successful Nrityotsava

    The Kalapremi Foundation conducted Nrityotsava - a festival of Indian dance with Bharathanatya, Kathakali and Kuchipudi recitals in collaboration with the Bangalore Club for Kathakali and the Arts. On Saturday the festival opened with a Bharathanatya recital by Sneha Narayan.

    Sneha Narayan, a postgraduate in Bharathanatya received her initial training from G B Janardhan and higher lessons under Praveen Kumar and is continuing her studies with B Bhanumathi and Sheela Chandrasekhar. She has already performed in a few places like Delhi, Madras Music Academy, Mumbai, Bengaluru, etc.

    "Devi," "Shakthi Swarupini" - mother of all living beings on earth - was the theme of Sneha for her Bharathanatya recital for the evening. She had chosen different compositions to depict childhood, youth, devotion towards Shiva and Parvathy's marriage and Mahishasura Mardhini and Mangala.

    Her potential in both Nritha and Nritya came to fore in the varna. Her grace, beautiful expression caught the attention throughout the programme. No doubt Sneha Narayan has good future in the years to come. She concluded with another composition on Devi - a thillana of Dwaraki Krishnaswamy in raga Valachi.

    Thousand voices together

    It was amazing to see 1,112 singers singing together at the Samsa Open Air theatre, on Tuesday.

    It was organised by the Ranga Samsthana, under the direction of Bandlahalli Vijayakumar, who already holds an entry in the Limca Book of Records. Vocalists from different schools and colleges, from 6 to 60 years, presented lyrics of both popular and lesser-known poets. "Om Sachidananda" by Kuvempu, gave the group a serene beginning. "Jogada Siri" by Dr K S Nissar Ahmed is another popular song. Bandlahalli had selected a number of Bhavageethe, patriotic and folk songs too.

    Lyrics of Da Ra Bendre, Dr N S Lakshminarayana Bhatta, Dr Chandrasekhara Kambara, Dr H S Venkatesha Murthy, Dr K S Narasimha Swamy, Doddarange Gowda, Ka Vem Srinivasa Murthy, Satish Kulkarni and Gollalli Shivaprasad - brought a variety.
    In the front line, a few senior singers led the group and experienced instrumentalists like Vasanth Kumar Kumble on keyboard, Ganesh Heggade on flute, Subramanya Heggade on sitar, Amith and Gangadhar on thabala - contributed much to the success. The ensemble, though more than thousand (1,112), sang in unison and received kudos.

    Beautiful Mohiniyattam


    Swapna Rajendra Kumar, senior Mohiniyattam dancer of Bengaluru, is a disciple of Sunanda Nair and is continuing training under Kalamandalam Kshemavathy, a Padmashree awardee. She is teaching young aspirants at her school, Nrityangana Institute of Performing Arts, Bengaluru, from last few years.

    The Nrityangana presented the "Saalabhanjika" on Friday. Sculptures and bracket figures like in Belur temple, have been exploited by dancers and musicians alike. Now Dr C P Unnikrishnan Menon has written this "Saalabhanjika" in an attractive manner. It is in the form of a sculpture narrating to Devadasi, her story of how she turned into a Saalabhanjika from a stone. It also has the epic story of Ahalya, her curse, "Shaapa Vimochana" by Sri Rama and how a sculptor turned the stone into a beautiful Saalabhanjika.

    Swapna Rajendra Kumar, apart from choreographing, performed beautifully. Bringing out all the salient features of Mohiniyattam, with impactful abhinaya and footwork, Swapna's performance was quiet impressive.

    Vocal by Kottakal Madhu was effective in creating an emotional impact. Anish K V on mridanga, P Nanda Kumar on Edakya, Kalanilayam Prakasan on Maddala, A Shankara Raman on Veena, Vivekanandan on flute and Shruthi Viswas on Natuvanga supported admirably.

    Though a solo, three dancers provided a backdrop in chorus which suited the occasion.

    Earlier Dr Nisha Mariammen, Meghna Madhavan and Deepika Nair - presented Purva Ranga (Rangadevatha Vandana) in Arabhi and Nrityarpana in Ragamalika. They performed with ease and confidence and in the customary costumes.


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  • 01/22/17--06:38: Gayana Samaja concert
  • The Bangalore Gayana Samaja opened after renovation, last Sunday. Century-old (rather 111 years) Gayana Samaja is well furnished with several amenities, now. Pattabhirama Pandit, who gave the inaugural concert, is a well-established musician of Karnataka. He opened his concert with a beautiful composition "Paramathmudu" in Vagadheeswari. He added brief swara for the Tyagaraja's kruthi "Nanu Brova" (Abhogi) and moved to "Ksheera Sagara" rendered in a majestic 'vilamba kaala.'

    Pattabhi then plunged into the climax of the evening's programme in "Sarasaksha Paripalaya." The curvaceous texture of Shubhapanthuvarali was brought out in its alap, his voice lending it weight and good 'Bhava.' The impact was further enhanced in the nerval (Bhamini Samudayasaya) and swaraprasthara. He was admirably supported by violinist V V S Murari with his tuneful play and Patri Sateesh Kumar enhanced the effort by his lively mridanga playing.

    Haridasa compositions
    Sri Raghavendra Seva Samiti, Sudhindranagar, is celebrating Purandara Dasa festival with Harikatha, bhajan, discourse and music concerts, which will be held till Friday (Jan. 27).

    Connoisseurs of music are familiar with Dr Hamsini Nagendra, not only as a senior vocalist, but also as an able teacher and demonstrator. She vindicated her reputation through the choice and presentation of Devaranamas of different Haridasas.

    Opening with a crisp invocatory pada (Gajamukhane Siddidayaka) of Vyasaraya in Naata, she prefaced the "Sakala Grahabala Neene" with a short and evocative alap of Athana. "Bega Baro Bega Baro" of Vadiraja and "Neene Doddavanu" of Purandara Dasa - also pleased the gathering. Ugabhogas like - "Daanake Kruthayugadi, Daasanaguvadake" - were good prelude for devaranamas. However, in the choice of Kalyani for delineation, she came out with flying colours, highlighting the 'ragabhava'. The graceful mood continued in all-time favourite "Nambi Kettavarillavo." "Karedare Barabarade", and "Bandevaiah Govinda Setty" - were also tuneful. She was ably supported by Mattur Srinidhi, C Cheluvaraj and Gurumurthy on violin, mridanga and ghata, respectively.

    Aradhana programmes
    Many Sabha and organisations conduct Aradhana celebrations in the 'Pushya maasa' to pay tributes to great composers of Karnatic music, every year. BTMCultural Academy, one of the well-known Sangeetha Sabhas of Bengaluru, conducted the 'Aradhana Saptaha' by presenting compositions of a composer a day, for seven days. Compositions of Purandara Dasa, Tyagaraja, Pattnam Subramanya Iyer, Papanasham Shivan, Muttuswamy Dikshitar and Shyama Sastry - were presented by musicians of not only Karnataka but also of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

    Vijayalakshmi and Chitra (Mambalam sisters) had chosen keertanas of Tyagaraja accompanied by a band of experienced instrumentalists - Dr Hemalatha on violin, B C Manjunath on mridanga, Gurumurthy on ghata and Bhagyalakshmi on morching.

    "Jnanamosagarada" is a well-known composition of Saint Tyagaraja and 'Samukananilva' is the only composition available in the raga Kokila Varali. "Darini Telusakenti" is a meaningful composition full of devotion. Kharaharapriya, the time-honoured raga, was embellished with several evocative phrases. They concluded with a 'Utsava Sampradaya Kruthi' and "Kamalaktha Kula" in Brindavana Saranga and Mangala in Kedaragowla.


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  • 01/29/17--05:44: Nrithya Utsava
  • Prabhavathi Sastry was a senior dancer, teacher and choreographer. She taught a number of young aspirants in her school, 'Naatya Kalakshetra.' Her son Prashanth Shastry opened branches of the school in both Chennai and Bengaluru.

    The institution conducts a dance festival called 'Nrithya Utsava' every year and presents award to a senior dancer.

    This years Nrithya Prabha Award was conferred on Guru Padmini Ravi, a senior dancer and choreographer. In her brief performance, Padmini Ravi presented few selected pieces.

    Her delineation for the celebrated 'Parulanna Maata,' stood out for her impactful Abhinaya. With her graceful facial expression, portrayal of "Saamanya Nayika" made us to forget the absence of a varna or Nritha-oriented pieces. Earlier, Padmini began the programme (Guru and Shishya) with the invocatory piece "Gam Ganapathe". Her students Kiran Subramanya and Sandhya Kiran also performed few items. They concluded with a fine thillana in the raga Desh.

    Prashant G Sastry is active both in television and films and has been trained by his mother Prabhavathi Sastry. He is continuing his Bharathanatya practice under Dr Lalitha Srinivasan. He chose a Ashta ragamalika varna of Tanjore Quartet, in the current programme. Right from the beginning, Prashanth revealed a comfortable stage presence, speaking for solid grounding. He displayed admirable concentration on Laya and can improve his Abhinaya, with more experience.

    Curtains came down on this year's Nrithya Utsava, with a Kathak recital by six students of Sunatya Academy of Performing Arts, under the direction of Shalini Garg. The performance opened with a devo-tional song on Durga, continued with a composition on Shiva, a tarana and a piece in Astamangal thal. With more higher training and stage experience, they have a bright future.

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  • 01/29/17--05:44: Beautiful dance drama
  • The Samooha, Udupi, is an ensemble of theatre artistes, which is known for presenting Kannada literary works through dance dramas under the direction of Prof Udyavara Madhava Acharya.

    Madhava Acharya though a economics professor by profession, is a veteran writer, poet, actor and also a reputed choreographer. Some of his productions are first of their kind and are valuable experiments in the Kannada theatre. He has performed in many parts of India and America. Acharya is also a recipient of Rajyothsava Award and Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award.

    Bhramari Shivaprakash, daughter of Prof Udyavara Madhava Acharya, learnt Bharatanatya under Kodavuru Madhava Rao and Dr Vasundhara Doreswamy. She is a post-graduate in Information Technology and has passed Vidwat in Bharatanatya. She has performed in a number of dance dramas and solo dance recitals both in India and the US. She has choreographed many Kannada classic works.

    There were few common things in both the dance dramas, presented on Sunday. Brainchild of Prof Udyavara Madhava Acharya, 'Urvashi' and 'Nenapadalu Shakunthale' are directed by him and choreographed by Bhramari Shivaprakash. In 'Urvashi,' she not only gave the solo performance but also has composed music - without using a single instrument - and has sung with 'Vaachana' too. Bhramari's Abhinaya was pleasing and suited the needs of the occasion.

    Dr Bannanje Govindacharya has translated Kalidasas 'Abhignana Shakunthala' into Kannada. Based on that Prof Udyavara Madhavacharya has composed - "Nenapadalu Shakunthale." Apart from choreography, Bhramari also performed as Shakunthala.
    While the Nritta was executed with effortless elan,1 her Abhinaya was admirable.
    Beautiful, attractive lyrics and melodious music by Madhur Balasubramaniam was the other attraction of the dance drama. Students of Naadanrithya also performed with ease and confidence.

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  • 02/05/17--05:53: Music and dance reviews
  • Nadajyothi music festival

    Nadajyothi Sri Thyagarajaswamy Bhajana Sabha conducted the annual music festival, with vocal (both Karnatic and Hindustani) and instrumental (flute and violin solo) music. On this occasion, lifetime achievement award was presented to B Shankar Rao, Kalajyothi award to Pandit Vinayaka Toravi, and Nadajyothi award to L V Mukund.

    Young flautist L V Mukund hails from a family of musicians and is emerging as a leading flautist of the state. He was initiated into music by his mother (Radha Vijayaraghavan) and received flute lessons from Prapancham Balachandar, N Ramani and was guided by his grandfather Belakawadi Rangaswamy Iyengar also. He has performed in leading Sabhas and is a recipient of few titles like "Ganakalashree."

    In the current concert for Nadajyothi, L V Mukund was accompanied by J K Sridhar on violin, Prof V Krishna on mridanga and S N Narayana Murthy on ghatam. Mukund presented a number of compositions but chose two compositions for elaboration - "Bantureethi" and "Sri Chamundeshwari." Elaborate swara was pleasing in the first one. "Sri Chamundeswari" was decorated with alapana and swara.

    He also presented - "Bhogeendra Shayeenam," "Bho Shambho" and a infrequent thillana in the raga Nalinakanthi of Dr N Ramani. It was melodious and lively throughout.

    Matured music


    Pandit Vinayak Toravi is a senior Hindustani musician. He is a reputed senior vocalist, able teacher, fine organiser and recipient of several awards and honours. Curtains came down on this year's Nadajyothi festival with a Hindustani vocal recital by Vinayak Toravi on Wednesday.

    Though Yaman is a most commonly heard raga, it attained a special flavour all its own. With a Bada Khyal and a Chota Khyal, the raga blossomed beautifully. With his well-preserved voice, honed perfectly to sruti, rag Durga was also enlivening.

    The impact was further enhanced with a brisk tarana. Audience also enjoyed two devotionals - "Dayamado Ranga" and "Kangalidyatako Kaveri Rangana Nodada." Madhusudhan Bhat and Vishwanath Nakod - accompanied Toravi on harmonium and tabla respectively.

    Kinkini dance festival


    Odissi, Manipuri, Mohiniattam, Kuchipudi and Kathak recitals apart from Bharata-natyam, brought variety and colour to the Kinkinis 33rd Nrithyotsava held last week at the JSS Auditorium.

    Senior danseuse Revathi Narasimhan is an experienced teacher who has taught a number of young aspirants in her dance school, Natya Niketan. She is also a successful choreographer. Under her direction, the Shivakami troupe presented a Bharatanatyam recital in Kinkini festival.

    They chose a varna of Subbudu "Anname Aruginil." Seven young dancers' keen sense of 'Laya' and well-defined 'anga shuddam' with attractive Abhinaya was absorbing. Changing their roles in quick succession, they performed with gay abandon with their powerful foot movements and lent an eye-filling charm to their dance.

    After a devaranama ('Ninna Magana Baadhe') they concluded with a composition of Swathi Tirunal "Shankara Srigirinatha" in the raga Hamsanandi. A beautiful group dance with a fascinating cascade of jathies testifying to Revathis finesse in choreography, received appreciation from the packed house. It was well supported by a talented team of musicians.

    Graceful movements

    Abhang to Raghuvamsha, many themes were exploited with telling effects in the Kathak dance programme of Nirupama and Rajendra of Abhinava Dance Company. Whether it is a mythology or social theme, it made a direct impact on the audience. They opened their recital with the sacred chanting of Vittala Nama. The theme "Mother India" was chosen to perform Teen taal in both vilambit and druth.

    The movements in Chakradhar Tukda and Gat Bhav were graceful and attractive. In the "Vimana Yaana" during the journey from Sri Lanka to Ayodhya after the war, Rama and Seetha react on seeing places such as Panchavati, Prayag, rivers Ganga, Yamuna etc. With a stylished and well-portrayed movements and impactful facial expressions, adding a touch of glamour, Nirupama and Rajendra stole the show. Musicians also shared the honours with the dancers.

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  • 02/12/17--05:20: Spring music festival
  • Spring music festival

    Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandira conducted the annual Spring Music Festival with 8 music concerts. As part of the festival senior musician Neela Ramgopal was conferred with the "Sangeeta Vedanta Dhureena" award.

    Bombay Jayashree Ramnath, who gave the inaugural concert, is one of the most sought-after musicians. Her concert took off on a bright note with "Sri Varalakshmi Namasthubhyam." The next choice of her was "Makelara Vicharamu" in raga Ravichandrika, which was a popular kruthi, a few decades back.

    In this composition Saint Tyagaraja says - "Oh Ramachandra what (why) should we worry about! ........ All the world is a stage wherein you hold the strings with which you control and direct......... We are puppets in your hands." The nerval (Krishna Krishna Endu) had a lively gait to rise the level of the devaranama "Narayana Ninna Namada." The Saramathi kruthi "Mokshamugalada" is a very popular composition. "Bhuvaneswariya" with ragalapana was also pleasing.

    The pallavi "Bhairavi Tripura Sundari" bristled with impactful "Sangathies" and stood out for its "raga bhava."

    The connoisseurs are familiar with the devaranama "Ondu Baari Saalade" more in Hindustani. But Jayashri's rendering had its lively gait. In total, Bombay Jayashri's vocal was an aesthetic treat, rising the concert to a lingering mood. H N Bhaskar's violin, especially in raga alapana and swara, acquired a special delight. V V Ramana Murthy on mridanga and B S Purushotham on khanjari suited the needs of the occasion.

    Talented vocalist
    Sampagodu Vighnaraja is a disciple of his father D S Suryanarayana Bhat and is the founder director of Surya Global Music Academy. He is well-versed in both vocal and flute and a promising musician of the state. In his current concert for Sri Raghavendra Seva Samithi, he presented Kannada devaranamas of different Haridasas. Alap for Pantuvarali received a reposeful airing, all the endearing facets of the raga combining to heighten its aura. The pada "Rama Rama Enniro" was evocative with good swara prasthara. Earlier, he also sang familiar devaranamas like Dayamado Ranga and Narayana Ninna Naamada Smaraneya - with good feeling. The Kamalesha Vittala's composition - "Udupi Krishnana Sadagara Noduva Nadiye" - is a welcome addition to the concert repertoire. Even the swara, for it was not only brisk, but also attractive. Blending his voice with shruti and rendition, Vighnaraja concluded his concert with two well-known compositions - Tunga Teera Vihara and Jagadoddarana. Young Vaibhav Ramani and seasoned percussionist A S N Swamy accompanied on violin and mridanga.

    Vocal with good feeling
    The 892nd programme of the Bangalore Lalitakala Parishath was a vocal concert by Gayatri Venkataraghavan. She has carved a niche for herself as one of the leading vocalists of Carnatic music. She was well supported by H M Smitha, H S Sudheendra and S Srishyla on violin, mridanga and ghata, respectively. Her "Shankari" of Shyama Sastri, stood out for the aesthetic charm, subtle nuances, effectively infused into musical precision. "Bhajare Re Manasa" came alive with lovely phrases and feeling. Another well-known composition of Purandara Dasa "Kallu Sakkare Kolliro" was equally haunting for its lyrical appeal and there was a touch of class, throughout. Her voice is deeply communicative as evidenced in the popular "Naneke Badavanu." The ugabhoga as prelude for it was also complementary to the devaranama and concluded with another devaranama Jgadoddarana."

    It was another concert to justify her reputation.

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  • 02/19/17--06:28: Music and dance reviews..
  • 50 years of Ravindra Kalakshetra
    Ravindra Kalakshetra is the centre for all cultural activities of Bengaluru. It is engaged almost everyday of the week for drama, dance, music or folk programmes. Being in the heart of the city, the auditorium is in demand from both organisers and artistes.

    The Department of Kannada and Culture has organised a series of special programmes called "Ravindra Kalakshetra-50"and "Nenapina Okuli," round the year, to mark the occasion. In the dance section, "Nrityadithya" a five-day programme with solo and group performances (Kuchipudi, Kathak, Odissi, Mohiniattam, contemporary dance, apart from Bharathanatya), lecture-demonstrations, seminar and workshops were held.

    Group dance
    All the three dance programmes held on Sunday evening on the main platform were group dances.

    Senior dancer Dr Vasundhara Doraswamy, along with her students presented "Om Aadithyaya Namaha." With Surya Namaskara and few other 'Aasanas,' it was fascinating, testifying to her finesse in choreography.

    Sanjay Shantharam, a popular artiste, had chosen 'Karnataka Kshetra Vaibhava' with 21 students of Shivapriya Dance School. It covered the history of Hoysala dynasty to Wodeyar dynasty and depicted important pilgrimage centres. The performance concluded with 'Naadageethe' (Jaya Bharatha Jananiya Thanujathe). 'Abhignana Shakunthala' was the choice of Sapthaswara Arts and Creations. With their beautiful costumes and jewellery, students performed with gay abandon.

    Colourful 'Niranthara'
    The Sangeetha Sambhrama conducted the annual "Niranthara" cultural festival at Seva Sadana.


    Music (vocal, veena, nagaswara, percussion ensemble), dance (Bhama Kalapa, dance drama, Kathak and Bharathanatya) and drama are slated for the event, which will be held till Friday (February 26). M S Sheela, reputed musician of Karnataka, sang in 'Niranthara' on Saturday. She was accompanied by Nalina Mohan on violin, Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma on mridanga and Vyasa Vittala on khanjari. Sheela justified the reputation she has built for herself in her distinguished career.

    The familiar varna "Evarunnaru," gave her a sunny start. Especially "Drutha kaala" from Ethugade added more pep to it. It was followed by a fine composition of Saint Tyagaraja "Brochevarevare Raghupathi" in the raga Sriranjini.

    Sheela meditatively started to intonate Mohana and her searching mind surfaced in 'Mohana Rama,' the composition exfoliating with a flurry of swara, to project a compact picture of the sweet raga. Sheela was successful in bringing out both the 'ragabhava' and 'sahitya bhava.' The post 'tani' devotionals (Na Ninnolu Enna, Hare Venkata Vallabha, Hari Aadidane) also acquired a special delight. The experienced accompanists shared the honours with the main artiste.


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    Abhijnana Thyagaraja sangeetham

    The Bharatiya Saamagana conducted its eighth annual music festival Abhijnana Thyagaraja Sangeetham at the Chowdiah Memorial Hall, last week. Apart from Dhanvantri concerts, several young musicians' concerts were held under the series 'Yuva Savishkara.' Padma Bhushan Sudha Raghunathan was conferred with the Saamagana Mathanga Award on the occasion.

    Dr Kadri Gopalnath, who gave a saxophone recital on Friday is a recipient of "Padmashri" award and "Gana Kalabhushana" award from the Karnataka Ganakala Parishat. A true Indian music ambassador, Kadri has performed in many prestigious auditoriums of the world and is a sought after musician.

    In the current concert, a composition of Papanasam Sivan gave Kadri a steady start. 'Raghuvara' stood out for its clarity and deep felt phrases. "Jaya Jaya Padmanabha" of Swati Tirunal was decorated with brief swara, while Bindumalini was another sweet raga for "Entha Muddo Entha Sogaso." Then he chose Bhairavi swarajathi as the main item of the evening.

    This is a legendary piece of the Shyama Sastry, which brings out the essence of the raga effectively. A new instrument called 'Kitar' which accompanied, was a pleasant surprise.

    Vittal Ramamurthy on violin, Trichi Harikumar on mridanga, Rajendra Nakod on tabala and B Rajasekhar on morching - supported with good understanding. The post 'Tani' devotionals also pleased the gathering. The popular devaranamas Jagadoddarana, Karedare Barabarade, Ambiga Na Ninna Nambide, Bho Shambo and Vaishnava Janatho - listeners immensely enjoyed and he concluded with Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma.

    Yuva Savishakara concert


    Vignesh Ishwar, who sang under the series "Yuva Savishkara concerts," is a disciple of T M Krishna and holds a master's degree in sound and music technology. He is currently involved in CompMusic project instituted by the prestigious European Research Council, developing computational methodologies for analysis, archival and retrieval of Indian art music. Vignesh has proved is mettle in many forums like Music Academy (Best Vocalist Award), Spirit of Youth Award (Chennai), The Tyagaraja Award (The Times), Government of India (scholarship) etc.

    Vignesh Ishwar was supported by M P Aditya on violin, K Praveen Kumar on mridanga and Chandrasekhar Sharma on ghata. He gave a good version of "Brocheva Revare" with brief swara and "Ananda Natana Prakasham" is popular in both music and dance concerts. While it was rendered in a majestic "Vilamba Kaala," in contrast "Brova Baramma" was good in "drutha kaala." "Koluvamaregada Kodandapani" is a popular keertane and was a choice of stalwarts of old Mysore, for long time.

    In this composition, Saint Tyagaraja says - "What a grand royal seat, it has been my privilege to offer Sri Rama, the wielder of the "Kodanda" in my humble abode .............. To get up at dawn, to lose myself in singing His glory and extolling. His divine attributes ............ What a rare, what an enviable blessing." Vignesh Ishwar gave a impressive alapana of Todi to make the concert an impactful one.


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