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  • 03/05/17--05:15: Bright vocalist
  • Bright vocalist

    Young vocalist Dhananjay Heggade hails from a musicians' family of Uttara Kannada district. He was initiated to music by his parents - Vidushi Geetha Heggade and Vidwan G S Heggade (of Saptak) and received advanced training under Pandit Vinayak Toravi. A post-graduate in Commerce, Dhananjay has passed "Sangeeth Visharad" and is also recipient of scholarship from the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development. He has performed in Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Varnasi, the US, Thailand etc. Dhananjay drew the attention of the connoisseurs, when he received the "Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar" from the Sangeet Natak Akademi and the 'Outlook' magazine has named him as one of the prominent Hindustani vocalists of the country.

    In his concert for the Bangalore Lalithakala Parishat on Friday, Dhananjay Heggade pleased the connoisseurs with his choice ragas. He started his programme with rag Gorak Kalyan on a bright note. It was embellished with lively phrases. Rising from swara to swara, he reached Thara Shadja and painted a colourful picture of the raga. Elaborating the raga - Vilambit Teen Taal (Dhana Dhana Bhaag) and Drut Ek Taal (Dhana Dhana Daaya Daaya) - was wholesome and impressive. Comparatively, rag Shankara was brief but evocative. With Madhya Lay in Teen Taal (Deva Mahadeva) and Drut Ek Taal (Shambho Shankara Trishul), Shankara was lively. A less known devaranama "Bho Yativaradendra" in Jai Jaivanti and the popular vachana "Chakorange Chandramana" in Bhairavi - were also pleasing.

    Seasoned instrumentalists Rajendra Nakod and Ashwin Valvekar gave good support on tabla and harmonium, respectively.

    Beautiful 'Aseema'

    The Prabhath Enterprises in collaboration with Karnataka Engineers Academy presented Aseema - a unique dance and music festival - last week. On the first day, Abhinava Dance Company led by Nirupama and Rajendra performed with their students and well known musicians Priya Sisters gave a memorable concert.

    Marathi Abhangs in praise of Panduranga, helped to bring the required atmosphere, with inspiring music (Fayaz Khan and Praveen D Rao). "Vimana Yana" is the story from Ramayana. While returning to Ayodhya after the war, Rama and Seetha recall different episodes during "Vanavasa." Needless to say that both Rajendra and Nirupama performed with gay abandon.
    Shanmukhapriya and Haripriya - popularly known as Priya sisters - opened their concert with "Vasudevana Nenavo" followed by an evocative composition of Saint Tyagaraja "Sogasuga Mridanga Thaalamu" in the raga Sriranjini and with brief nerval (Nava Rasa Yuta). It was marked for its melodic aplomb. They were well supported by M A Krishnaswamy on violin and Sai Giridhar on mridanga.

    Then in the next part called Samhitha - sort of collaborative - culminating with swara, alap, than, thaal, gradually building the tempo. Six students of Abhinava also joined and there was a blend of melody and rhythm, which was enchanting like a moving - visual poetry. Praveen D Rao on tabla and Varijashri on flute also joined the music ensemble to make it impactful. With colourful dress, meaningful lighting and talented artistes (both musicians and dancers), the show stood out for its aesthetic charms, to make it a colourful, impressive performance.

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  • 03/12/17--06:33: Music and dance reviews....
  • Talented young dancer
    Young dancer Samhitha Sampath gave a Bharathanatya recital under the Every Friday Cultural Evening Programme. Samhitha was initiated to Bharathanatya by Kannamma, B Tanujaraj, Santhoshi Simha and she has been continuing her training under Vandya Srinath of Brahmhara School of Music and Dance. Samhitha is a rank holder in Information Science and Engineering and has already performed in a few cities.

    With this good background Samhitha Sampath opened her programme with a sloka on Ganesha. In the Annamachar's Pada, a few "Leelas" of Vishnu were presented in the 'sanchari.' The piece de resistance was the Todi pada varna "Ananda Natashekhara." Her abhinaya in the jawadi "Baarenyathake Priyanu" was also a pleasant one and concluded with a Madhuvanthi thillana. The elegance in her stance is appreciable and her career is worth watching. She had good support from a team of experienced musicians: natuvanga by Guru Vandya Srinath, vocal by Nanda Kumar, mridanga by Janardhana Rao and flute by H S Venugopal.

    Tributes to Kittappa Pillai
    Kittappa Pillai, doyen of Bharathanatya, hailed from a distinguished family of artistes - Tanjore Quartet. He was the son of the famous Natuvanar Ponnaiah Pillai and Pandanallur Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai was his grandfather. He was the torchbearer of that hallowed tradition and no wonder some of the celebrities of today are his disciples. Dr Vyjayanthimala Bali, Hema Malini, Sudha Rani, Narmada and Padmini Rao - are some of his students. He moved to Bengaluru in the late fifties and trained a number of students. He is a recipient of several awards like state and central Academies and Kalidas Samman. In his memory, the Ponnaiah Lalithakala Academy conducts a "Yuva Nrityothsava" every year.

    In this year's festival, there were seven programmes by eight young students, all disciples of different Gurus. Archana and Chethana, who gave the inaugural recital, are students of Nrityakala Mandira (B Bhanumathi and Sheela Chandrasekhar) and have performed in a few organisations, both in and outside the state. They saluted to invocatory God through "Sri Mahaganapathi Rava Thumam" in the raga Gowla. The varna "Mohamana" in the raga Bhairavi is a tested piece and twin sisters performed it with ease and assurance. "Kanjada Layatakshi" (Muthuswami Dikshitar and raga Kamalamanohari) is a popular composition in the music concerts also, while the "Yen Palli" of Arunachala Kavi was on Sri Ranganatha of Srirangam. They were well supported by Prasanna Kumar (Natuvanga), D S Srivatsa (vocal), Narayana Swamy (mridanga), and Mahesh Swamy (flute). Archana and Chethana - have good future in the years to come.

    Good training
    Sushmitha H S, who performed on Wednesday is a student of Dr Soundarya Srivathsa and has passed Vidwat examination. She has also completed Rangapravesha. "Varvallabha Ramana" of G N B (Hamsadhwani) gave Sushmitha a good start. Tanjore Quartets another varna "Sami Nee," in the raga Kamach, was her main piece of the programme. Her portrayal of the "Virahothkhanditha Nayika" was pleasing and proof of her good training. She also chose a devaranama (Elladi Bandayo Rangaiah of Purandara Dasa) and a thillana in the raga Valachi (Dwaraki Krishnaswamy). With some more higher training Sushmitha has a bright future.

    Dr Soundarya Srivatsa (Natuvanga), D S Srivatsa (vocal), Lingaraju (mridanga) and Jayaram (flute) gave inspiring support from the wings.

    Seminar on Kuchipudi
    The Shambhavi School of Dance conducted the fourth edition of Nayika - Kuchipudi Seminar. Five eminent Kuchipudi dancers spoke on the styles of their Guru, training method, special features of their school. Problems and difficulties faced by them during their training were also explained well. Their demonstrations helped young aspirants to grasp the nuances and specialities of their schools. Sumathi Kaushal (USA), Smitha Sastri (Aurangabad), Bala Kondala Rao (Visakhapatnam), Usha Gayathri (Hyderabad) and Vyjayanthi Kashi (Bengaluru) - demonstrated Asta Padi, Bhama Kalapa, Sathyabhama Rukmini Prasanga and Urvashi - which helped for an in-depth study. It was an interesting study, full of information and a guiding lamp for the dance students.

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  • 03/19/17--07:47: Colourful Kalataranga
  • The Kala Sindhu school conducts a dance programme every year in memory of Guru Narmada. The 10th edition of Nirantara Narmada Festival was different and unique in many respects.

    The "Karnataka Kalataranga" directed by Dr Lalitha Srinivasan was based on state temple sculptures, portraying glimpses of royalties of Karnataka that have patronised the arts - especially the dance. After the invocatory piece, it started right from the Chalukyan period, followed by the Pulikeshi; the cave temples, historical dancing Shiva (Mahanata) of Badami and "Shilabalike" of Belur of Hoysala period, probably inspired by queen Natyarani Shanthala. To project the glory of Vijayanagara, the selection of Krishna Devaraya's court, suited the occasion. There were three types of dances, on that occasion - a devaranama, a kuchipudi and a "kolaata" - specially trained for this programme, based on the sculptures of "Marnavami Dibba" of Hampi.

    The Maharajas of Mysore were not only patrons of arts, but also musicians and composers themselves. A number of artistes like Mysore Sadashiva Rao, Veena Seshanna, Aliya Lingaraja, Chinnaiah - also graced their courts. For this scene, the dancers chose lyrics from "Geetha Gopala" (Geluvu Geluvu) while Subhashini chose astadikpalaka, Purnima Gururaj selected a jawadi (Mathada Baradeno) and with Anupama Hosakere they presented a majestic varna (Manavi). "Kaye Sri Gowri" was the right choice to conclude. Students of three dance schools - Kala Sindhu, Nupura and Samskruthi - performed a variety of compositions with Desi Karna, Chary etc., kudos to the direction by Dr Lalitha Srinivasan. The team had good support from a band of talented artistes: vocal by Srivatsa and Vasudha Balakrishna, Natuvanga by Suma Krishnamurthy, mridanga - Gurumurthy, flute - Mahesh Swamy, Veena - Shankara Raman and rhythm pad - Prasanna Kumar.

    Tribute to Doreswamy Iyengar
    Dr V Doreswamy Iyengar (1920-1997) was the torchbearer of a hoary tradition in the Veena (Mysore Baani). Undoubtedly he was (and is) the most reputed Veena player of his time. He is one of the few musicians who had received both "Sangeetha Kalanidhi" (of Music Academy) and "Sangeetha Kalarathna" (of Bangalore Gayana Samaja). Also a recipient of Padmabhushana, Dr Iyengar was also a great teacher and composer. In his memory, a trust has been formed to conduct music programmes.

    The Veena Doreswamy Iyengar Memorial Trust conducted a music festival last week in association with Ananya. Veena, flute and clarinet recitals apart from vocal concerts by both senior and young artistes of Karnataka were organised during the seven-day festival.

    Vidushi Neela Ramgopal, who gave the opening concert, is also a recipient of both Sangeetha Kalarathna and Sangeetha Kala Acharya (Music Academy) titles. There is certain steadfast quality about the music of Neela Ramgopal which never lets down the diehard and choosy music lover who swears in the name of tradition and classicism. In this respect she is a worthy heir to a great 'Sampradaya' and tradition. Starting with a Ugabhoga (Kariya Kannadiyolu) she followed it with a composition in Kharaharapriya. The chitteswara of "Palimparava Chelara" (Arabhi) was also well knit and a keerthana in the raga Natakapriya came next.

    She provided a variety in the choice of composers, ragas and krithies. Then, Neela Ramgopal chose "Enduku Nee Manasu" in Kalyani for a detailed elaboration. But it must be conceded that of late her efforts are occasionally bogged down by her voice, due to age. She brought out the emotional appeal of the composition by her superb matching of the mood of the lyrics and raga, through her expertise.

    Kalpana Venkat on violin, K U Jayachandra Rao on mridanga and A S N Swamy on Khanjari - rose to the occasion creditably.

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    Beautiful 'Smrithi'
    The Nritya Dhama presented a Mohiniattam recital by Dr Rekha Raju, last week. Rekha Raju started her lessons in Bharathanatya with Padmini Ramachandran and continued her training under Prof A. Janardhanan.

    A Chartered Accountant, Rekha has a Masters degree in Performing Arts and a doctorate too. From last 10 years she is training youngsters in her own institution "Nritya Dha-ma". Dr Rekha Raju is a recipient of few awards from Bha-rath Kalachar and Krishna Gana Sabha and few others.

    In the current programme called Smrithi, Rekha Raju, right from the invocatory piece revealed a good sense of aesthetics. She sparkled in well-knit jathies and sleek expressiveness in the 'Shankara Sri Giri' (Hasanandi raga). Her interpretation in "Sakhi he" (Astapadi - Shudda Sarang raga) brought out the 'bhava' impactfully. The Karnaranjani (Om Namo Narayana) and Behag (Muruganin) pieces vouched for her choreographic skills. She along with her students concluded with a thillana in the raga Mand. Dr Rekha Raju displayed greater depth and received kudos from the connoisseurs.

    Praveen (vocal), Alexrapheal (Natuvanga), Jagadeesh Janardhan (mridanga), Shivaramakrishnan (violin), Kalamandalam Anand (Edakka) and Dr Vinod (flute) - gave inspiring support from the wings.

    Aesthetic vocal
    S Shankar, senior vocalist of the state, is also a recipient of "Sangeetha Kalarathna" (from Bangalore Gayana Samaja) and Rajyotsava awards. He is known for his vast repertoire, high-pitched voice and lively presentation.

    In his concert on Friday for the Veena Doreswamy Iyengar Memorial Trust, Shankar, dropping the oft-repeated invocatory pieces, chose "Panchamatanga" in Malahari raga. "Yema Ninne" of Subbaraya Sastry, was another majestic kruthi and "Chintayami" is one of the well-known composition of Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar. Madhyamavathi raga was evocative with several lively phrases. The "Tyagaraja Gurum" of M D Ramanathan is a infrequent composition. Kalyani raga bristled with good sanghathies and "Nijadasa Varada" was a fine composition of Pattanam Subramanya Iyer.

    The second half of the concert of Shankar was equally rewarding. Being the birthday of both DVG and Pu Thi Na, Shankar presented one song of each of them - "Vanusumadollu" of D V Gundappa and "Tugire Raghu Ramana" of Narasimhachar, were welcomed by the connoisseurs naturally. So also a thillana of Dr Doreswamy Iyengar was refreshing. Shankar concluded with his favourite mangala "Marajanaka" of Vidya Prasanna Teertha Swamiji. Talented accompanists B K Raghu, C Cheluvaraj and Vyasa Vittala gave good support on violin, mridanga and khanjari, respectively, while Easwaraiah was the co-singer.

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    Malleswaram Sri Rama Mandira has organised music concerts as part of Ramotsava celebrations from March 29 to April 11. Seetha Satyanarayana, who gave the inaugural concert on the Ugadi day, is continuing her training under Vidushi R Ramamani, the internationally acclaimed musician.

    Seetha Satyanarayana started her concert with the right tone and presented a number of popular compositions. She saluted to invocatory God through "Mahaganapathe" and the bill of fare included "Karedare Barabarade", "Devadi Deva", "Alli Nodalu Rama," "Yeno Hanumantha."

    "Bhavayami Raghuramam" is a legendary composition, known for its lyrics, "raga bhava" and beautiful chitteswara. It is a 'ragamalika' of melodious ragas including Saveri, Natakuranji, Dhanyasi, Mohana, Mukhari, Purvi Kalyani and Madhyamavati. The chitteswara is another special attraction. With brief alapana and swara she tried to elaborate "Ninne Nera" and Seetha Satynarayana sang with ease. C S Usha on violin and T N Ramesh on mridanga - accompanied the vocalist.

    Vani Kala Kendra
    Sri Vani Kala Kendra is conducting the Ramotsava from last 25 years, on its premises at Basaveshwaranagara. The event will be held till April 28.

    The very culturing of the voice gives a hint of the school to which a singer belongs. In Saketha Ramans case it is unmistakably the Lalgudi style. Lalgudi Jayaraman's rigorous training has moulded the music career of Saketha Raman very well. Saketha Raman is also a masters degree holder in computer engineering and a recipient of Bismillah Khan Memorial "Yuva Puraskar" from the Sangeet Natak Akademy.

    After presenting many good compositions he chose Thodi as the piece de resistance of the evening. Saketha Raman sang the alapana of Thodi melodising with lilting tonalities. Even the "sruthi bheda" (Saramathi) was cleverly rendered with ease and assurance. His unhurried pace and matured modulation lent a dignified grace to the swara prasthara. Here the sruthi bheda brought Mohana Kalyani and the concert rose to its evocative heights in his alapana and swara prasthara. Earlier, he presented a few devotionals.

    Seasoned instrumentalists Akkarai Subbalakshmi, H S Sudheendra and Pramath Kiran accompanied with aplomb on violin, mridanga and morching, respectively.

    Lacking melodic finesse

    It is the 51st Ramotsava celebrations of the Vyalikaval Extension Association, which will conclude on April 12th, with Sri Rama Pattabhisheka.

    Dr Padma Sugavanam, who gave a vocal recital on Friday is not a frequent performer in the city. She is a MA PhD and an 'A' grade vocalist of All India Radio. She had the privilege of learning under two great musicians — Dr Seetha Rajan and Dr R Vedavalli. Dr Padma presented few gems from the treasure chest of Saint Tyagaraja.

    "Karubaru" and "Hecharikaga Ra Ra" - both are evergreen 'kruthies' and favourites of both musicians and connoisseurs.

    The familiar devaranama "Alli Nodalu Rama Illi Nodalu Rama" was chosen for a detailed elaboration. But neither alapana nor 'nerval' or swaraprasthara had the intensity to carry listeners to expected heights, though her good voice and neat rendering gave glimpses of her talent.

    She lacks a melodic finesse, which she can gain by more experience. Adithi Prakash on violin, C Cheluvaraj on mridanga and Bhagyalakshmi on morching supported the vocalist.

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    Ramotsava concerts
    Music reigned supreme on the cultural scene in the city last week, as the Ramotsava, the music season has arrived.

    Both musicians and connoisseurs eagerly await for the Ramotsava season, which provide great opportunity to enjoy good music. Among all, the Sree Rama Seva Mandali, the prestigious organisation, has organised music programmes till May 5, 2017, at its special pandal on Fort High School grounds, Chamarajpet.

    Dr Sudha Raghunathan, who gave a vocal concert in the Mandali on Saturday, is a recipient of both Padmabhushan and Sangeetha Kalanidhi awards. She is a most sought after musician. Rama Seva Mandali also conferred the "Rama Gaana Kala Acharya" title on Sudha Raghunathan during the programme.

    After a infrequent varna, the familiar invocatory piece "Pranamamyaham" was rendered with brief but interesting swara. Another popular kruthi "Nagumomu" is also a favourite of both musicians and listeners. "Dayarani" was a quicky. She made an indelible impact in Simhendramadhyama, with brief Sruthi Bheda intelligently and many sangathies were reminding her guru MLV and the swara prasthara further buttressed this feeling. The raga had its customary brilliance and the recital was a unique blend of expertise and aesthetics.

    Seasoned instrumentalists Embar Kannan on violin and K V Prasad on mridanga accompanied with good understanding and young Khanjari player Anoor Sunad proved his mettle once again.

    Nagaswara duet
    Sree Seshadripuram Ramaseva Samithi, the other popular Ramotsava organisation, in its 19-day festival has arranged music concerts from both seniors and upcoming artistes till April 23. Veena, flute, mandolin and solo violin apart from vocal concerts are slated to be held at the Seshadripuram College premises, in the 69th year Sree Ramanavami Music Festival. It was opened by a 'Mangala Vadya' (Nagaswara) recital, customarily on the Ramanavami day.

    It was actually a Nagaswara duet by Murali and Rajagopal, disciples of veteran A V Narayanappa and K N Surendra also supported as a co-player. The stately varna in Kambodhi gave them a bright start. After the invocatory piece, the popular kruthi "Bantureethi" was chosen and rendered with brief swara. The evocative raga Charukeshi was elaborated and the swara prasthara was rendered in turns for the Tyagaiah keertana, sans gimmicks but in a simple way. Armugam and Kartheek accompanied on dol (thavil) and they concluded with "Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma".

    Beautiful Rama Katha
    The Narthana Academy of Dance and Music (Nadam) had organised a dance programme last week to raise funds for Karnataka Theosophical Federation, Bangalore and Malleswaram branch in particular (The Malleswaram Lodge).

    Sathyanarayana Raju is a popular dancer of Karnataka and has received good training in Bharathanatya from Narmada (of Shakuntala Nrityalaya) and Subhadra Prabhu and has also practised Kathak. He has toured all over India and a few countries also. He is a recipient of "Karnataka Kalashri" and DD Chandana Award.

    In this solo Bharathanatya recital, Satyanarayana Raju depicted some of the important episodes and characters of Ramayana beautifully. Conceived by R K Usha, and choreography by Satyanarayana Raju himself, the programme opened with a fine composition of Saint Tyagaraja (Melukovayya) and different composers kruthies in many languages, elevated the stature of the dance drama.

    Popular characters like Kausalya, Seetha, Kaikeyi, Guha, Shabari, Hanumantha and the Ashoka Vana episode, Ravana Vadha, crossing the sea, Rama uniting with Sita - all provided ample opportunities for abhinaya and Satyanarayana builds up an atmosphere of deliberation and theatricality, with spacious movements, testifying for his talent and choreographic skill.

    Musicians shared the honours with the dancer. Especially Srivatsas melodious music with good feeling - was added attraction. Shakunthala Prabhath (Natuvanga), Lingaraju (mridanga) and Raghunandan (flute) - also accompanied with good understanding.

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    Lilting Dasavani
    Sree Rama Seva Bhaktha Mandali is celebrating Ramotsava at Third Cross, Srirampura, from last 87 years. This year it had arranged classical music (vocal, veena, percussion ensemble), bhajan, light classical, gamamka, dance and discourses apart from religious rituals.

    B Hussain Sab Kanakagiri, who performed in the Mandali last week, is known all over the state for his "Dasavani" programmes. He is a disciple of Murgodu Krishna Dasaru and Devappaiah Kakhandaki and has performed all over the state and in London too.

    Hussain Sab opened his concert with the shloka "Manmanobhista Varadam," customarily. The first devaranama "Namipe Baagi Shirava" was in raga Yaman, and the second one "Rama Dootha Hanuman" was tuned in Pahadi. For a welcome change, Hussain Sab presented a number of songs of lesser known Haridasas, along with lyrics of popular Dasas.

    Neene Anatha Bandhu, Naneke Badavanu, Yenu Dhanyalo Lakumi - are favourites of devotees always. Hussain Sab sang with good feeling adding brief explanations here and there. But presentation of few more Ugabhogas may add to the impact of the programme. Gundappa on harmonium, Jaleel Pasha on tabala and Prasad on thaala accompanied faithfully.

    Pleasant solo violin
    Bangalore Lalitkala Parishat presented a solo violin recital of T S Krishnamurthy on last Friday, supported by Sindhu Puthuraya. Krishnamurthy (TSK) started his music lessons from his father T K Subramanya Sastry and received advanced training from Dr T S Satyavathi. He has performed in many Sabha and Sammelans, in and outside the country, both as a soloist and accompanist. He teaches music in his T S K School (Bengaluru and the US). He is a 'Asthan Vidwan' of Kanchi Kamakoti Peeta and is a recipient of Aryabhata award.

    The familiar varna in the raga Kambodhi gave the recital a fine start. After the invocatory piece (Vandisuvudu Aadiyali), a most popular and meaningful composition "Mokshamugalada" pleased the gathering. Alapana of Bilahari raga itself showed an element of potential that is proof of his talent and experience.

    A grand keertane "Dorakuna Yituvanti Seva" glowed with good sangathies. T S Krishna Murthy's violin was refreshing, marked for its flair and fidelity. The percussion duo - Anoor Anantha Krishna Sharma on mridanga and R Raj Kumar on Dol (Thavil) gave spirited support.

    Promising vocalist
    Sunil R Gargyan who gave a vocal recital for the Vyalikaval Sri Rama Temple, is a disciple of veteran musician P S Narayana Swamy. He is a recipient of prizes from the Music Academy and the M S Subbulakshmi Fellowship. He is pursuing post graduation in Sanskrit.

    A team of young instrumentalists accompanied Sunil Gargyan - B K Raghu on violin, Akshay Anand on mridanga and Harihara Subramanyan on ghata - who played with aplomb. Sunils alapana was neat and evocative and the keertana was embellished with a flurry of alluring swara passages. Of his other selections, "Kalyana Rama" and "Alli Nodalu Rama" - deserve mention for articulated rendition justifying their selection.

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  • 04/23/17--07:01: Music and dance reviews
  • Sparkling Ragamalika

    Though a section of connoisseurs are worried that classical music - especially vocal - is declining, few young artistes are emerging as talented professional musicians and promising that future of classical music is safe.

    One such artiste is Ramakrishnan Murthy, who sang for the Sree Rama Seva Mandali, fulfilled the expectations of the moderate crowd. The familiar varna "Chalame" gave a bright start laying a strong foundation for a fine concert.

    "Budhamasrayami Satatam" suited the day (Wednesday) and "Vadera Daivamu" with brief raga was also impressive. Alapana of Madhyamavati and nerval (Bhamamani Janaki Saumithri) for "Rama Katha Sudha" - revelled with refreshing "Sangathies." Of course, the main attraction of the evening was Pallavi. Though actual Pallavi (Khanda Triputa) was not developed with its fair share, the swara prasthara in ragamalika with glittering phrases enlivening the ragas was received by the audience with great joy.

    The experienced accompanists - B U Ganesh Prasad on violin, Bangalore Praveen on mridanga, Ullur Giridhar Udupa on ghata - rose to great heights in their supporting roles.

    Pleasing group dance

    On the inaugural day of the dance festival, Radha Sridhar, senior danseuse and teacher was felicitated by the MES Kalavedi, last week. Kathak, Mohiniattam and Kathakali apart from Bharathanatya recitals were held during the three-day dance festival.
    Six students of Sri Venkatesha Natya Mandira gave the inaugural dance programme of the festival. They opened the programme with a Ganapathi Stuthi (Tyagaraja-Sourashtra). Ten incarnations of Vishnu were well-exhibited in 'Pal Kadal.' After a popular devaranama (Yamanelli Kaananendu), lyrics from Harihara (Aadidan) was a welcome change from the routine selections. They also performed a bhajan of Meera Bai, a devaranama (Jagadoddarana) and a thillana (Hindola). Aishwarya Nithyananda, Aparna Sastry, Nitish Radhakrishna, Bianca Radhakrishna, Divya C N and Sindhu - the young talented dancers performed with ease, assurance and abandon, under the direction of Radha Sridhar.

    A touch of class

    Dr K Vageesh gave a fine vocal concert for the Sri Vani Kala Kendra in the "Sri Ramanavami 26th Sangeetotsava," series. Vageesh is a gold medalist in the post graduation (music) and has also received doctorate from the University of Delhi. A senior officer of the All India Radio, he has performed in leading sabhas of the country and abroad too. He is recipient of titles 'Ganakalabhushana' and 'Karnataka Kalashri' and has delivered lecture demonstrations in prestigious organisations.

    C N Chandrashekar, B K Chandramouli and C P Vyasa Vittala accompanied Vageesh in the current concert, on violin, mridanga and khanjari respectively. Dr Vageesh is known for his vast repertoire and in this programme also he proved it by presenting compositions of different composers like Tyagaraja, Dikshitar, Bhadrachala Ramdas and Purandara Dasa. With his good selection and matured presentation, Vageesh easily generated a musical mood and atmosphere in the Vani Vidya Kendra, Basaveshwara Nagara. Main item of the evening was raga, thana and pallavi, which was proof of his expertise and seniority.

    Todi, the classic raga reverberated with powerful and fertile imagination. Thana was brisk and the pallavi glowed in Khanda Triputa impactfully. Earlier "Yetaki Dayaradura" in Hamsanandi - was rendered with good feeling. "Ramachandrena Samrakshitoham" of Dikshitar, is one of the fine composition in the raga Manji. He also chose the evocative raga Devamritavarshini for the keertane "Evarani Nirnayinchira". To mark the 1000th year of Sri Ramanujacharya, he saluted the saint through his own composition "Ramanujam Bhajare" and concluded with another devaranama "Januma Vyarthavallave."
    Dr Vageesh's vocal was classical throughout and there was a touch of class in everything he rendered and he sang with good feeling.

    Mysore V Subramanya

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    Melodious flute
    Curtains came down on the Ramanavami music festival at Sree Seshadripuram Rama Seva Samithi on Sunday, with a solo violin concert of Kanya Kumari.

    Chandan Kumar, who gave a flute recital here, hails from a great musicians family. Over the years he has established himself as a good flautist, through his hard practice and talent. Chandan Kumar proved his accomplishment in the opening "Vinayaka" itself, for which he added a brief 'swara' also.

    "Ragasudharasa" was another evocative composition of Tyagaraja. Shanmukhapriya, the familiar raga was absorbing for the Swati Tirunal's composition "Mamava Karunaye". His breath control, blowing and fingering technique are free from strain and attractive. "Raghuvamsha Sudhambudhi Chandrasri" in Kadanakuthuhala, seems to be a inevitable choice in most of the instrumental concerts!

    After that he moved to the main raga of the programme - Mohana. It is a "Audava raga" (pentatonic scale) and 'janya' of Harikambodhi. The interpretation of Mohana with lilting phrases and the well-knit 'swara' for "Mohana Rama" was more reposeful. Ajit Kumar on violin, Arjun Kumar on mridanga and G S Ramanujam on ghata - had a purposeful role to play.

    Lively concert
    Dr Suma Sudhindra, who gave a veena recital at Sree Seshadripuram Ramaseva Samithi, is a popular veena artiste and a recipient of several awards and titles, including "Ganakalabhushana" from the Ganakala Parishat.

    Suma's musical sensitivity was in full focus in the crisp opening strains of the 'Durbar Varna', which was in five speeds and was an impressive beginning. The aural beauty of "Sri Mahaganapathim" in 'Gowla Raga' was enhanced with crisp 'swara'. While "Manasa Etulo" was briefly elaborated, the "Ninuvina" brought nostalgic memories.

    Alap for "Mokshamugalada" was brief but pleasing and the 'Mana Vyala' was in jet speed, as expected. "Entha Muddo" attracted with its attractive 'Bhava'. "Abheri" received a detailed treatment with a lively 'thana'. Nalina Mohan gave good support on violin and the percussion duo - Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma (mridanga) and Sukanya Ramgopal (ghata) - lent effective support.

    A promising vocalist
    "Kaligiyunde" is a majestic composition of Saint Tyagaraja. The aesthetic articulation in "Kaligiyunde" at once registered the prowess and competence of Vinay Sharva's vocalism.

    Vinay Sharva is a disciple of S Shankar and Nedanuri Krishna Murthy and an MTech graduate. He is a recipient of Dr M S Subbulakshmi Fellowship of Shanmukhananda Sangeetha Sabha and has won prizes from Sabhas, including Bangalore Gayana Samaja.

    Keeravani is a "Rakti raga" and popular with both composers and connoisseurs. Through 'alapana', nerval and 'swara', it was lively and wholesome. He had selected a number of fine compositions. The fare constituted of a number of melodic compositions, including - 'Saraseesuhasana Priye,' 'Rama Ninne Nammi (Huseni),' 'Mayamma,' 'Bhogendra Shayinam.'

    Another haunting melody 'Kedaragowla' was redolent with lilting "Sangatis", for "Venuganaloluni" of Thyagaraja. The 'swara' also bristled with some lively phrases. No doubt, Vinay Sharva has a bright future in the years to come. Mathur Srinidhi, C Cheluvaraj and R Kartheek accompanied with good understanding on violin, mridanga and khanjari, respectively.

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  • 05/07/17--06:50: End of music season
  • End of music season

    Bengalureans enjoyed music of both celebrities and young musicians in the Ramotsava music festival during last one month. Though it was quite hot - summer months of April and May - the concerts were a pleasant experience inside the pandals due to melodious music. Curtains came down on this year's music festival organised by Rama Seva Mandali, with a saxophone recital of Padmashri Dr Kadri Gopalnath, on Friday.

    Padmabhushan T V Sankaranarayanan was conferred with the S V Narayanaswamy Rao Memorial National Award. After the award presentation function, he opened his concert with a Ganapathi Stuthi, customarily. "Sogasu Juda Tarama" had the same soul and fervour to leave a lingering impact. Starting the swara slowly, he sang with good feeling. "Sakalagrahabala Neene" is another popular devaranama, followed by the "Abhaya Varade Sharade." An infrequent composition "Bhuvaneswariya Nene" of Dr L Muthaiah Bhagawathar is also a favourite of connoisseurs. Kharaharapriya was attended to in greater detail.

    The familiar krithi "Chakkani Raja Margamu" had its customary brilliance, embellished with 'nerval' (Kantiki Sundara Taramagu) and swaraprasthara. While senior Ella Venkateswara Rao on mridanga was the centre of attraction among the accompanists, B Raghuram on violin and Bhargava Halambi on khanjari fulfilled the needs of the occasion. Sankaranarayanan's son Mahadevan Sankaranarayanan caught the attention of the assembly with his neat presentation.

    Mother-daughter duet

    The Kalapremi Foundation conducted a workshop under the direction of Dr Sukanya Prabhakar, senior vocalist, teacher and composer. The trainees presented four compositions of Veena Seshanna, in unison. After that, there was a vocal duet by Dr Sukanya Prabhakar and her daughter Sumana Vedanth.

    Dropping the oft-repeated varna, the duo opened their concert with a varna in Kadanakuthuhala. The invocatory piece that followed was also not a frequent one - "Sri Mahaganapathe Surapathe" of Mayavaram Viswanatha Sastry, in Naata raga and "Shobillu Saptaswara" in raga Jaganmohini. Their elucidation of Latangi for the "Marivere" (of Pattanam Subramanya Iyer) was colourful and had a melodious aplomb. Both sharing alapana and swara made it wholesome. Two devaranamas in the end - Mareya Beda Manave Neenu and Ramadutha Hanuma - were also pleasing. Viswajith and N Vasudeva accompanied on violin and mridanga, respectively.

    Tributes to Ramanujacharya

    Saint Ramanujacharya systematised the Vishishtadvaita system, 1,000 years ago. A revolutionary saint, he was a great philosopher, poet and more than all a great social reformer. To commemorate Ramanujacharyas "Sahasramaana" several religious and cultural programmes were held under the direction of Sri Yadugiri Yathiraja Narayana Ramanuja Jeeyar.

    The dance ballet "Sri Ramanuja Vaibhavam" was choreographed by Dr Veena Murthy Vijay and presented by Dr P Ramaa. As many as 40 dancers, changing their roles in quick succession, performed different episodes, right from Acharya's birth. Pavan Kumar as Ramanujacharya performed well and Padmini Jagadish as Bibi Nachiar also caught the attention. It was a big show, which required a lot of rehearsal and huge preparation.

    In the Ramanuja Kalakshetra, rich tributes were paid to Saint Ramanujacharya through music. Senior musician M S Sheela, sang along with her few talented disciples accompanied by Geetha Ramanand on veena, Apurva Krishna on violin, Adamya Ramanand on mridanga and Pranav Dutt on rhythm pad. The special attraction of the programme was commentary by Swamiji himself. The commentary was brief but covered all the aspects of Ramanujacharyas life and works.

    Sheela opened her vocal by saluting to Ramanujacharya through a sloka "Yo Nitya" followed by "Bhashyakara Neepaada" in Hamsadhwani and "Sri Ramanuja Charanambuja". For Annamacharyas kruthi, a brief raga prelude of Purvikalyani added pep to the composition. "Bhaja Yathi Rajam" was also a fine composition and "Ramanujare Namo Namo" of Kanakadasa was a welcome addition to the repertoire. It was a different kind of musical experience with educative commentary.

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  • 05/14/17--07:20: Beautiful Bharathanatya
  • Beautiful Bharathanatya

    The Nair sisters - Veena and Dhanya - who gave a dance recital for the Bangalore Lalithakala Parishat, are the disciples of Narmada of Shakuntala Nrithyalaya. They have also learnt Mohiniyattam, Kuchipudi and music. They are recipients of scholarship from the Government of India and have performed under few prestigious banners many a time.

    Veena and Dhanya showed a certain flair, emphasised by firm "Thattu-mettu," right from the beginning. Ganesha shloka was followed by a Skanda Kouthva which was in the raga Shanmukhapriya (of Madurai Muralidharan). They presented the stately varna 'Swamiyai' with brisk theernamams.

    Almost of same height and complexion, and beautiful stage presence, Nair sisters performed with deep involvement and graceful expression. The Papanasam Sivan's kriti with dramatic elements and the Bharathiyar's pada were more lively. They concluded with a brisk thillana of TVG in the raga Rathipathipriya. No doubt, Nair sisters have bright future in the years to come.

    Nanda Kumar (vocal), Ashwin Nair (Natuvanga), Gurumurthy (mridanga) and Narasimha Murthy (flute) - supported the dancers from the side wings.

    Tribute to Kishori Tai

    Kishori Amonkar is respected all over as one of the greatest Hindustani vocalists and guru. The "Surbhahar" in association with Academy of Music, paid rich tributes to Kishori Amonkar. Three prominent students of Kishori Tai performed as a mark of respect for their Guru, last week.

    Sangeeta Katti Kulkarni, senior artiste, opened the music session accompanied by Vyasa Murthy Katti on harmonium and Rajendra Nakod on tabala. She began her recital with Tilak Kamod. Her unhurried pace, gradual development of the raga, Madhyalay phrases brought a musical-serene mood in the Chowdiah Hall. Tarana in Drut Ektaal helped to enhance the impact. She concluded with a Abhang of Sant Tukaram.

    Nandini Bedekar, senior disciple of Kishori Amonkar, chose rag shuddh Nat, neatly with her good voice. A composition of Kishori Tai also caught the attention but failed to carry the listeners to expected heights. Another student Raghunandan Panshikars Rageshree generated a happy atmosphere. His Abhang was also evocative. Vyasa Murthy Katti and Keshava Joshi accompanied on harmonium and tabala respectively.

    A talented vocalist

    G Ravikiran is a promising vocalist who is climbing the ladder of success in quick succession. He is a student of Dr R K Srikantan and T M Krishna and a engineering graduate too.

    In his current concert for the Ananya Sangeethothsava, Ravikiran presented compositions by saint Tyagaraja. As a prelude to the keertana, Ravikiran sang Mukhari alapana briefly. Mukhari, the ancient raga is a 'Bhashanga' raga and also a 'rakti raga' with emotional impact and a favourite of both musicians and connoisseurs. Ravikiran sang the raga with good "Bhava" and impressed in the kruti "Sangita Sastra Jnanamu."

    In "Svara Raga Sudharasayuta" Tyagaraja says, devotion blended with the nectar of swara and raga is capable of leading one to salvation. He decorated the keertana with a detailed alapana and swara. But it was his nerval (Muladharaja Nadamerugude) which he rendered with spontaneity and abandon, specially caught the attention. H M Smitha on violin, Tumakuru B Ravishankar on mridanga and Bharadwaj Sathavalli on morching rose to great heights in their supporting roles.

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  • 05/21/17--07:45: Pleasing violin concert
  • Pleasing violin concert
    Dr M Lalitha and M Nandini, who come from an illustrious family of musicians, are popularly known as the "Violin in Sisters".

    They have performed extensively in many parts of the world, not only Karnatic solo violin, but also western classical, fusion music and world music. They are recipients of several prizes and awards, including the Fulbright Fellowship, OLF Award (USA), Kalaimamani and a prize from the Music Academy.
    In the current event for the Bangalore Lalitha Kala Parishat on Friday, Lalitha and Nadini opened their concert with a varna of Veena Kuppa Iyer.

    The varna in four 'kaalas' gave them a bright start. A Papanasham kruthi "Muladharam" in Hamsadhwani - is also a good selection. 'Nilambari' is a evocative raga and they chose an infrequent composition in 'Nilambari' called "Siddhisvaraya Namaste", a "Pancha Linga Kruthi".

    In this composition, Dikshitar says - "I salute Lord Siddhiswaraya again and again............ He is supreme with none as equal and bestows good fortune on his devotees." Raga Nilambari and Lalitha (Hiranmayam) rendered with all the flavour swayed the audience. 'Kalyani,' the stately raga was the high spot of the concert and was noteworthy for the smooth tone and natural beauty of the raga.
    They concluded their pleasing concert with a composition of Vaidyanathan in the raga Vasanthi. Father and son duo - B K Chandramouli and B C Manjunath - played the mridanga with gusto.

    Lilting melody
    MES Kalavedi presented a vocal recital by Kalavathi Avadhoot on Saturday.
    Born in a well-known family of musicians, Kalavathi is a postgraduate in Music and is also a gold medalist. She is also known for her vast repertoire and has won prizes from the Gayana Samaja, Ganakala Parishat.
    Kalavathi's opening varna "Mathe" generated a musical atmosphere in the auditorium and gave rise to the intended plaintive mood.

    "Vasudevayani", which was very popular in old Mysore, was evocative. After "Rangapura Vihara" with nostalgic memories, "Jnanamosagarada" was sung with alapana, nerval (Paramathmudu Jeevatmudu) and swara, revealing a touch of class to make it an evocative recital.
    "Kanjadalayatakshi" and "Bhogindra Shayeenam" - were also pleasing. The "Rama Katha Sudha" was wholesome with raga, nerval and spacious swaraprasthara. H S Smitha on violin, S Ashok on mridanga and A S N Swamy on khanjari - gave spirited support on their respective instruments. In total, Kalavathi Avadhoot, captured the audience with her lilting melody.

    Nritya Rangoli

    The Academy of Music presented "Nrutya Rangoli" a dance festival curated by Veena Murthy Vijay of Sri Rajarajeswari Kala Niketan.

    There were three dance recitals on Sunday - two Bharathanatya and one Odissi recital.
    Shilpa Nanjappa, a disciple of Padmini Ramachandran, holds a Master's degree in English and has performed in many prestigious organisations, both in and outside the country. She is also a recipient of Kittur Rani Chennamma award, Dr MGR award from the Music Academy and "Sringar Mani" from the Sursingar Samsad.
    Shilpa began her recital with a 'Malhari' and moved to a varna of Papanasham Shivan, in the raga 'Thodi.' She revealed fair competence and a pleasant deposition and excelled in both nritta and nritya. Students of Rasika dance ensemble presented the "Krishna Leela."

    Few popular episodes from the childhood of Krishna were performed with no hassles. With fast and brisk movements, changing the roles in quick succession, dramatising the situations they performed gracefully with popular appeal, under the direction of Kiran Subramanyam and Sandhya Kiran.
    Curtains came down on the "Nritya Rangoli" with an Odissi dance recital by the students of Nrityantar. Under the direction of Madhulitha Mohapatra, they presented "Jamasammohini Pallavi" and "Abhinaya" beautifully. They sprang a surprise by presenting a Kannada devaranama in Odissi style/

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    Sparkling 'Kavya Rasa'
    Nrityantar presented Kavya Rasa, based on Jayadevas lyrics of 'Geeta Govinda', under the able leadership of Madhulitha Mohapatra.

    'Geeta Govinda' is one of the most popular lyrics of India. Based on Krishna and Radhas love, it is a most-sought after theme for the dancers of all forms. Though the theme is an old hat for fanciers of dance, it is an ever-inspiring. Every choreographer worth the name has tried the 'Geeta Govinda' again and again and it has come on the dance platforms in all the styles from centuries. Radha Krishnas love pangs of separation (Viraha), union, angry, suspicion, feeling of lovelorn hero-heroine - were presented by eight senior dancers and dance Gurus of Bengaluru. Each one of them choose one Asthapada and thus witnessing eight Asthapadees at a stretch, was a different experience, to the connoisseurs as well.

    Madhu Nataraj Kiran opened the programme with the 'Lalita Lavanga', with restrained but impactful Abhinaya. Well-known dancer Gopika Varma presented the 'Chandana Charchita' in the enchanting Mohiniattam style and 'Sakhi He' was the choice of Sandhya Kiran, 'Radhika Tava Virahi' was selected by experienced Veena Murthy Vijay. 'Dheera Sameera Yamuna Theere' was presented pleasingly by Jyotsna Jagannathan. Guru Bhanumathis experience came to fore once again in the 'Pashyati Dishi Dishi'. After 'Yami he Kamiha' by Aishwarya Nityananda, the 'Manju Tara Kunja Tara' by senior Vyjayanthi Kashi was a fitting finale for the first days 'Kavya Rasa'.

    Jayadeva has brought different shades of nature in his poetry. Spring season, tender breeze, Yamuna river, fragrance of Vasanthi, lotus, Jasmine and other flowers; melodious sounds of Krishnas flute and Gopis' songs add beautifully to the serene atmosphere. Eight senior dancers brought 'Geeta Govinda' in Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odissi and Mohiniattam impactfully. It was an intelligent adoption of Asthapadi vouched for their choreographic skill and Abhinaya. Most of them performed without overdoing anything. Another important thing is musicians shared the honours with the dancers.

    Gaana Sourabha
    D Subbaramaiah Fine Arts Trust conducted the 'Gaana Sourabha', a festival of young musicians, under the able direction of Vasantha Madhavi.

    AnoorPhandira Sharma who gave the inaugural concert hails from a musicians family of repute. He was initiated to music by his mother Vidushi Vimala H and he is receiving advance lessons from Vidwan Anoor Anantha Krishna Sharma. He is an engineer and a recipient of prize from R K Srikantan Memorial Trust. Though it was a just a two-hour programme, Phanindra chose a Pallavi as the piece de resistant of the concert, which was appreciated by the connoisseurs gathered. He choose the majestic Raga Thodi and the Alapana was neat and evocative, with brief Thana. The Pallavi (Neeve Gathiyani) set to Adi Thala was in the right direction. The Ragamalika Swara further added pep to the Pallavi. Earlier, he also sang a few compositions in Saranga (Mamava Raghurama), Shuddha Dhanyasi (Subramanyena) etc.

    With his good voice, he sang with ease and assurance and the concert was proof of his talent and good training. He will be able to bring more depth to his music - especially to Raga and nerval, with some more training and stage experience. Three young instrumentalists - M P Aditya on violin, Nagendra Prasad on Mridanga and SunadAnoor on Khanjari - gave a good support.

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  • 06/04/17--07:55: Music and dance reviews
  • Useful service to cultural field
    The 35th Anniversary of 'Every Friday Cultural Evening Programme' was celebrated on Friday at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. The Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Department of Kannada and Culture, Youth Services and Sports department and Youth Writers and Artistes Guild are jointly conducting cultural programmes every Friday from last three and half decades.

    As the Yavanika Auditorium is under renovation, the programmes are being held in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan from last few months. Though seniors and celebrities have taken part in this series, it is mainly meant for young and upcoming artistes.

    There were two programmes - a music concert and a dance programme - to mark the occasion. Sumukh Surya is the son of Dr G K Suryanarayana, an aeronautical scientist and a musician. Sumukh has taken lessons from Smt Geetha, Smt Girija and Sri S Shankar and is being groomed by his father. He is an engineering graduate and has already performed in few places.

    "Viriboni," the stately varna, was the right choice to open Sumukh Surya's concert. He saluted to invocatory God through a composition "Sri Mahaganapathe" of Mayuram Viswanatha Sastry. It also attracted with a beautiful chitteswara. It was followed by a composition of Papanasham Sivan, "Sri Vallideva". He tried to elaborate "Ninne Nera", a familiar kruthi of Tyagaraja. The raga prelude remained on the pedestrian level and the swara was brief and the nerval (Veda Sastra) was rather too brief.

    "Manasa Etulo" was also a good selection. He also rendered few devotionals like - Aparadhi Nanalla, Narayana Ninna Naamada, Manave Mantralaya and concluded with a thillana. He has good voice but has to make proper use of it and, his rendering is short of good feeling and also rather prosaic in effect. Sumukh Surya is young enough to take intensified lessons and is capable of bringing depth to his music. It is Venkatesh Josier on violin who added pep to the concert and the mridanga accompaniment was provided by Ashwath Narayana Rao G S.

    Graceful Kathak

    Hari and Chethana, husband and wife, are senior dancers of Bengaluru. They are disciples of Bharathi Vittal and Vaibhavi and serving not only as performers but also as teachers (Nupur Performing Arts Centre).

    Hari and Chetana chose 'Bhavana' to perform along with their four students. Starting with a sloka, the theme on Krishna was unfolded in different moods, with brisk movements and good expression.

    Ashwathi Nayar, Supriya, Amrutha, Samyuktha, Chethana and Hari performed with graceful movements and gay abandon.

    Promising dancer
    Many youngsters are entering the dance field with good training and talent. One such dancer Supriya Shivarudrappa is a student of Radha Sridhar of Sri Venkatesha Natya Mandira and is a gold medalist in both post graduate and Vidwath examinations.

    She has performed in a few prestigious festivals both in and outside India. She gave a Bharathanatya recital for the Indian Institute of World Culture on Wednesday. Even as she ran through the invocatory piece (Narasimha Kauthvam), a lively presence emerged. In "Barai Raghuvamsha Chandrane," the Ramapriya varna, a taut thattu-mattu coupled with supple 'angikas' caught the attention. Her Abhinaya in the Kshetragna Pada set to ragamalika was evocative and "Krishna Tandava" of Uthakadu Venkata Subba Iyer, was attractive with popular appeal. Overall, Supriya Shivarudrappa is full of promise and should easily make a grade soon.
    Mysore V Subramanya

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  • 06/11/17--06:12: Music and dance reviews
  • Creative choreography

    The Kalapremi Foundation presented a dance recital last week at the Seva Sadana Auditorium. Senior dancer, choreographer and teacher Indira Kadambi is also the director of "E Ambalam" - a online college for music, dance and yoga.

    Indira Kadambi presented 'Varsha Ruthu,' a solo thematic Bharathanatya recital. Rain has been inspiring our musicians, dancers, poets from centuries. Indira too presented a feature on monsoon divided into three parts: Varsha Aagaman, Rathi Varsha and Aathma Varsha.

    First, the rain God is appeased and invoked by chanting the Veda mantras. She also used verses from Thiruppavai, Kamba Ramayan, lyrics of Subramanya Bharatiyar; second, meeting of the earth with the rain (union of 'Aathma' and 'Paramathma') with lyrics of Meera Bai (Hari Awan Ki) and thirdly, Rain and Soul - its cycle, with 'thana' in the background. Indira performed with impactful 'Abhinaya' and she displayed depth in both the aspects. Her choreographic skill, creativity came to fore and T.V. Ramaprasad's vocal suited the theme and and he shared honours with the dancer.

    Cultural tributes to H N

    Bangalore Lalithakala Parishat, the cultural wing of the National College conducts two cultural programmes [every first and third Fridays] every month at Dr H N Kalakshetra, Jayanagar. So far it has conducted 900 such programmes. The Parishat also holds Dr H Narasimhaiah (H N) Memorial Cultural Festival annually under the joint auspices of the Rama Sudha Charitable Trust. With dance, drama and music performances, this year's festival provided a variety of cultural programmes under the leadership of Dr A H Rama Rao. Ramakrishnan Murthy, who gave a vocal recital in this year's festival, started his music lessons from Padma Kutty (USA) and continued with Delhi Sunderarajan. He is currently under the tutelage of R K Shriram Kumar. He has been declared an 'outstanding vocalist' from the Music Academy (Chennai) for four years consecutively and also an 'A' grade artiste of All India Radio.

    'Kanchi Kamakshee,' the swarajathi of Syama Sastry was in a grand 'vilamba kaala.' It was rendered like a royal elephant walk and gave a dignified start to the concert. Bahudari for 'Brova Baramma' was pleasing. The old-time favourite 'Parama Pavana' acquired a lilting flavour making the recital a delightful one. A meaningful 'nerval' (Karunanvitha Sura Kanakambara) and different permutation and combination in swaraprasthara - elevated the concert stature. He sang the old devaranama "Kandu Dhanyanade" with good feeling. Finally, when listeners were expecting a thillana, he sang "Endaro Mahanubhavulu."

    Without overdoing anything, Murthy gave a classic picture of the haunting melodies. Vittal Rangan on violin, K U Jayachandra Rao on mridanga and G Guruprasanna on khanjari - rose to great heights in their supporting roles.

    Impactful solo violin

    Violinist R K Sriram Kumar is most sought after accompanist who has performed in and outside India in prestigious Sabhas a number of times. He hails from a well-known musicians family of Rudrapattana and is recipient of several awards.

    In the current solo violin concert for the Bangalore Lalithakala Parishat, Sriram Kumar was well supported by Arun Prakash and N Guruprasad on mridanga and ghata respectively. Even as he intonated the opening piece, it was evident that he was in fine fettle. It was followed by compositions in Naata and Umabharana. "Marubalka," which brought nostalgic memories in old timers. Kalyani was more reposeful for Shyama Sastry's composition, while Brindavana Saranga was evocative. Bhairavi acquired a delightful presence, bringing out the 'ragabhava' beautifully for Tyagaraja composition "Koluvaiyunnade." In the final stage he presented devotionals (Kandu Dhanyanade) and Thirupavai (Sindhubhairavi). The impact of Sriram Kumar's solo violin bristled with an enduring quality.

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  • 06/18/17--07:04: Music and dance reviews
  • Graceful impact

    The Malleswaram Sangeetha Sabha conducted a music conference for the first time last week. R K Padmanabha presided over the conference and B C Manjunath presided over the Youth Music Conference.

    Dr Gayathri Rajapure Kasebaum and Dr Srikantham Nagendra Sastry were also felicitated on the occasion.

    Ashwatha Narayanan, who gave the inaugural concert, is a disciple of K V Narayana Swamy. An engineering graduate, Narayanan caught the attention of the connoisseurs when he received the best musician award from the Music Academy for three consecutive years.

    Though Aswatha Narayanan chose a familiar piece "Smarane Sukhamu" to open his concert, he made a graceful impact. "Anupama Gunambike" with sweet 'Sangathies' and "Rama Rama Enniro" with brief raga - were evocatively rendered. He presented an infrequent kruthi of Dikshitar "Narmade Kaveri Teera Nilaye" in the lesser known raga Namadesi. 'Mohana Rama' is one of the beautiful compositions in the Mohana Raga. The ragalapana at once acquired a special delight and he elaborated the Keertane with alap and swara but sans 'nerval'. He concluded with "Pibare" and a thillana in Dhanashri.

    Ashwatha Narayanan is equipping himself with all necessary skills for a successful concert and he has a bright future. H S Smitha on violin, B C Manjunath on mridanga and Sukanya Ramgopal on ghata - gave good support.

    Beautiful choreography

    Over the years Natya Niketan has emerged as a premier dance training institute of Bengaluru. Under the direction of Revathi Narasimhan, senior dancer, teacher and choreographer, the Institute has produced several dance dramas and many students have passed dance examinations with distinction.

    Six students of Natya Niketan gave a beautiful dance recital for the Bangalore Lalithakala Parishat, last week. An intelligent adoption of Subbudus varna "Anname" vouched for Revathis choreographic skill. Sri Lakshmi, Sriranjini, Umesh, Tejaswini, Bhanupriya, Devika Paramesh and Priyanka Chandrasekhar - performed changing their roles in quick succession and with graceful Abhinaya. With different episodes, the Devaranama ("Yamanelli Kaananendu") was also pleasing. Both the theme ("Shankara Sri") and choreography in the Hamsanandi composition, caught the attention of the dance lovers. Indeed it was the result of good training and sincere learning.
    Guru Revathi Narasimhan (Natuvanga), Bharathi Venugopal (vocal), Lingaraju (mridanga) and Vivek Krishna (flute) - gave inspiring support from the wings.

    Talented young musician

    Pavani Kashinath hails from a well-known musicians' family and her parents - A V Kashinath and Pushpa Kashinath - are musicians of repute. She received music lessons from R Chandrika and is now being trained by Neela Ramgopal. She is a 'A' grade artiste of AIR and has performed in "Sangeetha Sammelan" of Akashavani. She has received the National prize too. She has also won award for her playback singing and has sung for few TV serials also. Music connoisseurs still recall her "Avadhana Pallavi" rendered in the music conference of the Karnataka Ganakala Parishat.
    With this background, Pavani Kashinath opened her 'Lalitha Sangeetha' recital at Dr H Narasimhaiah Memorial Cultural Festival with the D R Bendre's "Jayadeva Jayadeva Sri Ganapathi Raya" in the raga Vasantha, which gave her a bright start. Further consolidating her 'Manodharma,' she delineated compositions of Purandara Dasa, Kanaka Dasa, Jagannatha Dasa, Basavanna, Meera Bai and Dr N S Lakshminarayana Bhat.

    "Jagan Mohanane Krishna" and "Innu Daya Barade" led her into the intended mood. Another devaranama ("Dayanidhe") and a vachana ("Lesa Kandu Mana Bayasi") never left one in doubt about her talent and steady progress. She also sang Kannada lyrics like "Nanna Manadalake," and a Meera bhajan "Payoji Maine" - which were also pleasing.
    With her high-pitch melodious voice and with an aesthetic touch, Pavani Kashinath revealed ample flashes of her talent. Gurumurthy Vaidya, Anirudh Sridhar and Prakash Anthony gave good support on tabala, keyboard and rhythm pad, respectively.

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    Successful Yuva utsava
    The Bangalore Gayana Samaja conducted the annual "Yuva Sangeetotsava" last week, with five concerts, in which 15 young and upcoming artistes exhibited their talent.
    It was sheer pleasure to watch the platform on Tuesday, as three young musicians from Bengaluru established their credentials individually and collectively. Sanjay Nag, disciple of Dr K Varadarangan, Anirudh Bharadwaj, student of S Sheshagiri Rao and Akshay Anand, student of Kalidas - were the performers. Incidentally, all the three are engineers - two are engineering graduates and the other one is studying engineering.
    Though both raga and nerval were brief in "Ninnu Nera Nammi," it was pleasing and "Janaki Ramana" was also delightful. The vocalist capped his efforts with a neat exposition of Kharaharapriya. He even tried for "Grahabheda" in the alapana, though it was too brief to register. But with his good voice and lively presentation "Pakkalanilabadi" was well presented to prove his talent and training. Anirudh Bharadwaj on violin responded to all with alacrity, Akshay Anand enhanced the total effect by his judicious support on mridanga.

    In memory of Purandara Dasa
    The Purandara Dasa Memorial Trust conducts several cultural activities like music (Carnatic and Hindustani), dance, gamaka, harikatha and bhajan programmes pertaining to
    Purandara Dasa, from last 10 years under the leadership of S Varadarajan. On the occasion of 10th anniversary on Sunday, a book "Purandara Keerthana Mala," which contains devaranamas tuned by S Lakshminarasamma, was also released.

    Dr Vidyabhushana, who gave the concert after the book release, proved once again that he is a crowd puller always. J K Sridhar, A Renuka Prasad and S N Narayana Murthy accompanied the vocalist on violin, mridanga and ghata, respectively. With more than three decades of concert experience behind him, Vidyabhushana brought to his rendering some infrequently-heard Haridasa compositions - of course in familiar ragas, with good presentation, that commanded respect from the audience gathered.

    "Varava Kodu Enage," a devaranama of Kanakadasaru in the raga Kalyani, gave bright start to Vidyabhushana's concert. Another pada of Vijayadasaru on Purandara Dasaru suited the occasion. While presenting the "Daari Yavudaiah," the nerval (Bhumiya Mele Innu Na Janisalare), raga and swara brought out the ragabhava effectively.

    He also presented a number of Ugabhogas (OnduKaaladali, HangeBaradeethu Pracheenadali, PaapaKupadali Na Maadidudake etc.), laying accent on the meaning of the lyrics, impactfully. Raga Vagadheeswari was also pleasing and "Palisamma MudduSharade, Narayana Ninna Naamada, Tamburi Meetidava" were the other padas he chose. What was noteworthy was the musical involvement and serenity invested into the rendering of each devaranamas in respect of 'Sahitya' and 'Sangeetha'.

    Impressive vocal
    SmtAmmanni Iyengar was a great social worker and philanthropist. In her memory MES Kalavedi organises a music programme every year.

    Kunnakudi M Balamuralikrishna, who performed under this endowment last week, was initiated to music by his father (Meenakshi Sundaram) and continued with Neyveli Santhanagopalan. He received advanced training from P S Narayanaswamy. He is a post graduate in both Commerce and Music. Now he is working for his PhD and is a recipient of Bismillah Khan Award from the Sangeet Natak Akademi.

    Naturally enough, Balamuralikrishna raised high hopes regarding his talent and an enjoyable evening of music when he began the programme with the familiar "Neranammi". He invested the krithi "Deva Deva" with some dignity in form and content through meaningful nerval. He revelled in the alap of Kharaharapriya and more so in the expansive presentation of "Pakkala Nilabadi," a dignified composition of Tyagaraja.

    All he needs is some more experience to reach great heights. He concluded with "Krishna Nee Begane," an all- time favourite devaranama. V V Ravi on violin, S V Ramani on mridanga and K Murali on ghata - shared the spotlight by their admirable support.

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  • 07/02/17--06:42: Music and dance reviews
  • Melodious music meet

    "Harmonic and Melodic World Music" was the theme of the fourth International Conference on Music and Dance, held last week under the aegis of the Indiranagar Sangeeth Sabha. On the same occasion Annual Music and Dance Festival was also celebrated at the beautiful auditorium "Purandara Bhavana," Indiranagar. Purandara Prashasthi was conferred on Padmabhushan Dr Padma Subramanyam and Purandara Yuva Prashasthi on Bangalore Brothers (M B Hariharan and B Ashok) and Ramakrishnan Murthy.

    Curtains came down on this year's festival with a vocal duet of Bangalore Brothers. The opening Kedaragowla varna itself created a sleek musical atmosphere which endured throughout the concert.

    After "Parama Purusha Jagadeeswara" in Vasantha raga "Budhamasrayami" (Natakuranji) suited the occasion, as it was a Wednesday. Kalyani and Bhairavi were the two ragas that came for sustained treatment. They sang with good feeling and lent a convincing imagery of the melody. In the post "Thani" period, they also presented "Madhava Mamava Deva, Sarvam Bramha Maya" and a thillana in the raga Kamatch. With equal stress on "Mathu" and "Dhathu," Bangalore Brothers lived up to expectation.

    T K V Ramanujacharyalu on violin, H S Sudhindra on mridanga and Ullur Giridhara Udupa on ghata - added pep to the concert by their judicious play.

    'Pancha Tatwa' in music

    Dr H S Anasuya Kulkarni is well versed not only in Karnatic music but also in several eastern musical instruments. She presented a instrumental ensemble, with Anghklung as the lead instrument. Anghklung is a bamboo rattle instrument from Indonesia, which she has adopted to play Karnatic music. She had chosen "Pancha Tatwa" as the theme along with B N Ramesh. To suit the theme, the team had five Anghklungs, five Indian percussion and five foreign percussion instruments.

    In the beginning, they presented select compositions of Karnatic music like "Bho Shambho" (raga Revati), "Pancha Matanga" (Malahari), and the ever popular "Endaro Mahanubhavulu" (Sri). It was followed by songs from five states of India (Karnataka to Kerala). Next choice was from five countries (Afghanisthan, Papua New Guinea etc) supported by drums from five countries like Ghana, Uganda etc. Then the main item of the evening - a special composition five ragas set to "Pancha nade." Another interesting thing was "Thani" performed in five drums of five different countries. Slides projected throughout the concert was another added attraction. Kudos to Dr Anasuya Kulkarni for her talent and innovative programme.

    Talented youngsters

    Three young artistes waiting in the wings for gaining public accolade joined force in a significant way to impress at the Bangalore Gayana Samaja, in the "Yuva Sangeethotsava" series.

    Meghana Murthy, the vocalist, hails from Puttur and is now settled in Bengaluru. After initial lessons from few musicians, she is continuing her training under Trichi Venkataraman. She has bagged first prize in both the AIR competition and the Academy of Music.

    In the current concert, she was well supported by Tarun Ravi Kumar and Nikshit Puthur. Though Meghana Murthy seemed a little hesitant in the beginning, she warmed up soon and easily carried the day. After presenting few well-known compositions in different ragas, she chose Kharaharapriya for a detailed elaboration. In the alapana she even tried Grahabheda (Yadukula Kambodi), which acquired a special delight at improvisational flashes. Reetigowla was brief but impressive. She also sang "Saraswathi Namosthuthe" "Aadalu Pogona Baro Ranga," a bhajan and a thillana. With some more training and concert experience, Meghana Murthy can reach great heights.

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    Haridasa Sambhrama
    Nadajyothi Sangeeth Sabha Trust conducted the annual Haridasa Sambhrama last week with vocal - devaranamas of different dasas, gamaka and vocal ensemble of Navarathnamalika of Purandara Dasaru.
    The two-day festival was held in collaboration with TTD Dasa Sahitya Project, Tirupati and Sri Rama Mandira, Malleswaram.
    R A Ramamani, who gave the inaugural concert, is a internationally acclaimed musician. She was accompanied by J K Sridhar on violin, H S Krishnamurthy on mridanga and Sachin Devi Prasad on ghata.
    Ramamani made it a concert exclusively of Haridasa compositions, which suited the occasion. She presented 12 compositions of Haridasas of Karnataka, in attractive ragas. She opened the concert with the sloka "Namah Sripadaraya" customarily followed by "Gajavadana Beduve," in Hamsadhwani. And "Mahadadi Devanamo" and "Entha Punya Entha Bhagya" were tuneful. The selection of "Dasarendare Purandara Dasarayya" was apt, as it has been composed by his Guru, Vyasarayaru, in praise of his 'Shishya.' The "Vaidyana Naanariye" stood out for its raga 'bhava.' The well-known devaranama "Odi Baraiah" was noted for its in-depth alapana and attractive swaraprasthara. The presentation of Ramamani was noted for its meaningful diction and music, which was impressive throughout.

    There were two dance recitals in the "Ananya Nrithyollasa" - a Bharathanatya and a Odissi recital last week.

    Sneha Devanandan, a disciple of Padmini Ramachandran, has passed the Vidwat examination and is a recipient of a scholarship from the CCRT, New Delhi. She has performed in the US, Canada and Australia also and is part of the Punyah Dance Company and the Radha Kalpa Dance Company.

    Sneha opened her Bharathanatya recital with a Malhari in raga Gambheeranata. Her portrayal of fine varna on Shiva in the raga Thodi, testified to hard work and talent on the salient elements in both Nritha and Nritya. Her Abhinaya came to fore in the legendary Jawadi "Mathada Baradeno." The Mohana Kalyani thillana of Padmini Ramachandran attracted with brisk jathies and Navarasa.

    Lyrical movements
    Sarita Mishra, senior Odissi dancer had the privilege of learning under both Deba Prasad Das and Kelucharan Mohapatra. She has performed in many prestigious platforms, including the USand European countries. She is a recipient of Ekalavya Award (Odisha) and Natyaveda Award (Andhra Pradesh).

    Saritha Mishra caught the attention of the connoisseurs right from the pallavi (raga Bageshri), with her lyrical movements.

    In the "Ramayana," Shurpanakha episode was performed dramatising the situations. Story of the River Ganga attracts the dance artistes always. Saritha not only gave the background of the river but also presented the various aspects beautifully. With some more editing it may become more impactful.

    With her graceful movements and expressive Abhinaya, Sarita stole the show.

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    Sparkling Purandara festival

    The Karnataka Fine Arts Council - a federation of ten organisations of Bengaluru - conducted a unique programme last week. During the three-day "Purandara Darshana," nearly 500 artistes presented Purandara Dasa compositions in vocal and instrumental music, individually and in groups.

    Dance and discourses were also held on all the three days. Backdrop of the ancient Karanji Anjaneya Swamy Temple added to the serene atmosphere, to create a perfect ambience, which was a memorable experience for the connoisseurs. Apart from the 42 programmes of short duration one of the appreciable aspects of the festival was the exposure it offered to differently abled students of Hamsakuteera Foundation (Direction: Dr Geetha Bhat).

    Dr Nagaraj Havaldar supported by his son Omkarnath Havaldar delighted the audience with "Drusti Ninna Paadadalli" while, Sangeetha Katti with her melodious voice chose "Karuniso Ranga." Accomplished artiste Jayateertha Mevundi gave a vocal recital through "Innu Daya Barade." Vani Satish, in her Karnatic vocal recital, sang two popular devaranamas - "Guruvina Gulamanaguva Thanaka" and "Tharakka Bindige" - evocatively.

    Senior vocalist Neyveli Santanagopalan presented a string of yesteryears popular Kannada padas like - "Anjike Inyathakayya" and "Chandrachuda Shiva." With his rich voice S Shankar sang "Thirupathi Venkataramana." The "Ramakatha" was the subject matter of dance by Rajendra and Nirupama Rajendra. Through the compositions of Purandara Dasa, Tyagaraja and Tulasidas, different episodes of Ramayana, with quick movements, sparkling abhinaya and popular appeal they carried the audience with them. Eight students of B Bhanumathi established their credo in the "Chandrachuda" and "Hanumantha Deva Namo."

    The "Goshti Gayana" (vocal ensemble) by the Karnataka Ganakala Parishat was the other attractive event. One of the star attractions of the festival was music by Vijay Prakash, which was also a fitting finale for "Purandara Darshana."

    Pleasing dance

    Dr Soundarya Srivatsa, who gave a Bharathanatya recital for the Bangalore Lalitha Kala Parishat, is a senior dancer and able teacher. A disciple of veteran artistes Narmada and B Bhanumathi, Soundarya is a post graduate and has earned doctorate in dance, also.

    Soundarya opened her programme at the HN Kalakshetra with a fine piece on "Surya," a composition of D S Srivatsa in the raga Brindavani. After a kruthi on Nataraja, she chose the "Shringara Lahari" of Aliya Lingaraja Urs. The Nilambari raga composition with chitteswara was a very popular composition all over the South during the last century. The varna "Gopa Gopi" in Reetigowla from "Krishna Karnamrutha," which was the main item of the evening, with few episodes from Bhagawatha (Kalinga Mardhana, Geethopadesha etc), was proof of her good training and hard practice. With restrained but pleasant abhinaya, "Kandhitha Nayaki" in the well-known "Saramaina" and the Bhavageethe, "Ahudene Uma" of Dr G S Shivarudrappa, - were also pleasing.

    She concluded her impressive recital with a thillana in the raga Hindola.

    Thaala Vadyotsava

    The Percussive Arts Centre, (PAC) conducted the annual "Thaala Vadyotsava" in collaboration with the Sri Jayarama Seva Mandali. Lecture demonstrations, percussion ensembles, apart from music concerts were held during the four-day festival held last week.

    Vocalist Sampagodu Vighnaraja is well establishing himself in the music field. In his concert for the PAC, Vighnaraja opened his Kacheri with a self-composed varna in Keeravani, which held out hopes of a delectable programme. His resonant and rich voice lent flavour throughout the concert.

    Special mention must be made of 'Mandra Sthayee Sancharas' in Mukhari (Sangeetha Shastra Jnanamu). With his powerful presentation, Vighnaraja lent weight to Shankarabharana with nerval (Veda Sastra) and swara. "Enduka Peddavale" turned out to be the high water mark of the concert, in terms of the potential of his voice and artistic endeavour.

    Nalina Mohan, K V Ravishankar Sharma and Sukanya Ramgopal gave good support on violin, mridanga and ghata respectively.

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