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  • 07/23/17--05:46: Saama festival
  • Saama festival

    Sri Academy of Music and Arts conducted the annual Saama Festival with music concerts, painting (Astothara Shata Kuncha Sammilana) and dance performances. H N Suresh received the Saama Puraskara-2017, and following persons were felicitated on the occasion: G R Jaya, M S Srinivasa Murthy, Vasudeva Rao and Achyut Rao Padaki.

    N Ravikiran, senior Chitra Veena player, is a exceptionally talented musician, able teacher and composer. His Gotu Vadya recital was a fitting finale to this year's Saama Festival. He has developed a professional elan that invests every song with the seal of authority and near perfection. His "Vatapi" the familiar opening composition glowed with resplendent glory that brooked no criticism. It was followed by a fine composition of Uthakadu Venkatasubba Iyer.

    Shubha Pantuvarali got a detailed airing with lingering effect. Evocative 'sangathies' highlighted the musical beauty of the composition "Shiva Shiva Enarada." Though it was not a full-fledged concert, it was a brilliant portrayal and a connoisseurs delight. Evergreen devaranama "Jagadoddarana" was also lively. Dr R Raghuram, B C Manjunath and B Rajashekhar gave a good support on violin, mridanga and morching, respectively.

    Tributes to CKM

    C Krishna Murthy (CKM) (1936-1992) was a senior veena player of "Mysore Baani" and a staff of AIR, Bengaluru. On the occasion of his 25th death anniversary, a day-long "Veena Uthsava" was held, in which a number of vainikas performed.

    Senior musician D Balakrishna presented the inaugural concert, accompanied by R Adamya. After "Sri Mahaganapathiravatumam," in Gowla he chose "Hecharikaga Ra Ra." The raga and swara were shortish but full of ragabhava (Yadukula Kambodhi). The devotional "Venkatashaila Vihara" and concluded with the celebrated jinjoti thillana.

    Geetha Ramanand and Revathi Murthy in their veena duet, opened with the keertana "Deva Deva" in Mayamalavagowla. Highlight of their recital was the delineation of that evocative raga Behag, in all its glory. "Rama Mantrava Japiso" the Kannada devaranama was their last choice. Jayanthi Sridhar Murthy opened her veena recital with a varna of H S Krishna Murthy in the raga Latangi. Most popular among the "Pancha Ratna" kruthies, the "Endaro Mahanuubhavulu" was also presented neatly.

    Melodious flute

    Subhadramma Venkatappa of Ballari, was a senior violinist, teacher and a composer. She has composed a number of devotionals (Sri Sai Kusumanjali), (Karnamritha) which was released on last Sunday. An organisation called Subhadramma Venkatappa Sangeetha Vidyalaya was also launched at the Ananya Sabhangana.

    N Rajkamal, who presented a flute recital, is a familiar flautist of Bengaluru. A student of S Shashidhar and Neela Ramgopal, he is also a scholarship holder from the HRD and a recipient of several prizes and awards from the Krishna Gana Sabha, Karnataka Ganakala Parishat and Sharabha Sastry Prashasthi. Rajkamal started his flute recital with the "Pranamamyaham," in a confident manner. The brief swara for "Guruleka Etuvanti" was also interesting, followed by a brisk "Phanipathi Shayi" in the raga Jhankaradwani. He exploited the glory of Kalyani in a spacious alap, and the celebrated "Etavunara" with brisk swara and other musical embellishments.

    In the post "tani" "Govardhana Giri," "Venkatachalanilayam" and few other devotionals were rendered. Rajkamal's flute was melodious throughout and he pleased the gathering with his sweet lively music. Mathur Srinidhi on violin, H S Sudhindra on mridanga and Sukanya Ramgopal on ghata accompanied spiritedly.

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  • 07/30/17--07:48: Music and dance reviews
  • Tributes to RKS

    The Guru Keshava Surya Memorial Trust conducted a two-day music festival on the occasion of the 80th birth anniversary of Vidwan R K Suryanarayana.

    R K Suryanarayana (1937-2004) was not only a great veena player but also an able teacher who had taught a number of youngsters. He was a composer too. Veena ensemble, solo veena recitals by both senior and upcoming artistes, jugalbandi and vocal recitals were held to mark the occasion, which were well coordinated by Vidwan R K Shankar.

    Six senior disciples of Suryanarayana presented six compositions on their veenas. Well known Darbar varna gave them a bright start. It was followed by another familiar composition "Pranamamyaham" in the raga Gowla. They also presented two compositions of Suryanarayana, which were also well received by the audience.

    Revathi was brief but evocative. The devaranama "Rayarendare" reminded at once that RKS. was also a "Asthan Vidwan" of Mantralaya Mutt. "Raja Raja Rajite" of Dr L Muthaiah Bhagawathar in the raga Niroshtaka was another fine selection. Charukeshi is a "Krama Sampurna" raga, which was brought to light by Saint Tyagaraja. Especially his composition "Aadamodigalade" is quiet popular in this raga. The performers - Meena Murthy, Geetha Navale, Pushpa Raju, Tulasi Rammohan, Nagarathna and Bhagyasri Chandrasekhar presented the alapana by turns, bringing out the essence of the raga successfully. Finale came in the form of thillana of Suryanarayana in Natabharavi. Three women percussionists - Lakshmi Pillai, Sumana Chandrasekhar and Bhagyalakshmi M Krishna - accompanied on mridanga, ghata and morching, respectively.

    Guru Smarane

    Nupura, the established dance school of Bengaluru, in collaboration with the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan conducted "Guru Smarane" to pay homage to Dr K Venkatalakshamma, Muguru Jejamma and H R Keshavamurthy. B K Vasanthalakshmi of Vishrutha School of Performing Arts was felicitated on the occasion.

    Prasanna Kasturi, a resident of St Louis in the US, is known as a classical dancer, teacher and organiser. Born in Bengaluru, Prasanna has been trained by Dr Lalitha Srinivasan and Narmada and he holds a masters degree in Information System. He has directed dance dramas of Kuvempu, P T Narasimhachar and few Sanskrit works, also.

    Prasanna opened his programme with a Pushpanjali and Ganesha Vandana. The main item of his recital was a varna "Daanike Tagu Jaanara" in Todi. The next composition was written by Prasanna himself based on Akroora-Kamsa and Krisha in the raga Sarasangi. In this compact programme, Prasanna performed with ease and confidence as usual, which was proof of his seniority and experience.

    Bharatanatya recital

    Students of Kalpana School of Dance gave a Bharathanatya recital under the direction of Bharathi Vittal. In the pada varna of S Raja Ram in the raga "Shankarabharana" few episodes like Gajendra Moksha and Govardhana Giri were performed.

    "Yadavaraya" of Kanaka Dasaru in Ragamalika also gave ample episodes to perform in the "Sanchari". Dr M. Balamurali Krishna's Kadana Kuthuhala thillana is a fine choice to conclude. Students danced with abandon and can improve with some more higher training and stage experience.

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    Aradhana concerts

    The Raghavendra Swamy Aradhana provides ample opportunities for music lovers to listen to their favourite musicians every year, as several temples and organisations celebrate Aradhana with cultural programmes.

    One such institution Sri Raghavendra Seva Samithi conducted Aradhana festival at its own premises, situated at Sudhindranagara, Malleswaram, with music, dance, harikatha and discourses which will conclude on Friday (August 11).

    R K Padmanabha (RKP) is a popular artiste, who has made a mark both as a vocalist and an able teacher.

    He started his current concert with the delectable "Dasarendare Purandara Dasaraiah." It is composed by Purandara Dasa's Guru Vyasaraya, on his "Sishya."

    The devotional appeal in "Yake Mookanadyo Guruve" of Jagannatha Dasa was appealing. His own composition "Rayara Brindavana" was in a majestic "Vilamba Kaala," which suited the "Sahitya Bhava" also. RKP chose raga Chhalanata, a full-fledged heptatonic scale, which is designated as the 36th mela. Alapana of Chhalanata by Padmanabha created the requisite musical atmosphere in the Mutt. The articulate lyricism in the devaranama "Agnanigala Kooda" further enhanced the impact. "Mantralayadolu Rajipanare" and "Mangalam Jaya" also pleased the gathering.

    J K Sridhar on violin and A Renuka Prasad on mridanga - gave good support on violin and mridanga.

    A pleasant rendition

    Saralaya Sisters - Kavitha and Triveni Saralaya - combine well to make for pleasant listening. They presented 10 compositions of different Haridasas in their concert on Tuesday.

    "Yeddu Baruthare Node" of Jagannatha Dasa was in the raga Hamsanada. "Bhajisi Badukelo Manave" in ragamalika of Kanakadasa was also a fine selection and "Sakala Grahabala Neene" of Purandara Dasa is a familiar devaranama. Their Kalyani alapana was studded with some alluring "Sangatis." The lyrical appeal in the devaranama (Nambi Kettavarillavo) was as evocative. Dasana Madiko Enna, Hari Kunida, Mantralayadi and Jaya Mangalam - were also appealing.

    B Raghuram, B R Srinivas and Narayana Murthy supported on violin, mridanga and ghata respectively.

    Premature performance

    Ananya presented three dance recitals by five youngsters, in their monthly Nrythyollasa, at the Seva Sadana Auditorium.

    M Maithri Rao, disciple of Badri Divya Bhushan and Anjana, opened her programme with a Mallari. Bhageeratha and Gange episodes were well performed in "Mahadeva Shambho." Her performance also included a composition of Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar on Rajarajeswari, which was performed with expressive abhinaya. Undoubtedly Maithri Rao was the pick of the fare.

    Divya Prabhakar and Sandhya Prabhakar from the US. chose "Panchvidha Bhava Bhakthi" through different compositions. Well known Sudhama episode for Sakhya Bhava; "Paduka Pradana" Ashtapadi and a devaranama (Jagadoddarana) - for different "Bhava" and "Bhakthi" and their performance was lively and neat. Ritika Iyer and Shreya Reddy from Singapore are the disciples of Gayatri Sriram and both are below 15 years age. Narasimha Kautwam, a composition on Devi, Jaya Janakee, etc, were their selections. But their performance made one feel that they have been thrust into the limelight a little too prematurely. Before pushing them on the platform, they need some more rigorous training,
    Mysore V Subramanya

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    Kala Padma award

    The Ponnaiah Lalithakala Academy presents the "Kala Padma" award in memory of Padmini Rao, every year. This year, the award was conferred on Dwaraki Krishnaswamy, senior flautist and composer. It was followed by a Bharathanatya recital by Indira Kadambi, senior dancer, teacher and choreographer.

    A shloka on Saraswathi gave Indira Kadambi a bright start followed by a jathi swara. Any how the piece de' resistance of the programme was the varna "Entha Nine Thelupudura" in Khamas. The well knit jathies which appeared ideal and was testifying to her rich experience and "Sadhana" on the salient elements in both the Nritha and Nritya. Jayadeva's Astapadi - without the percussion background - and the devaranama "Buchi Bandide" brought out her matured Abhinaya successfully.

    T V Ramprasad enhanced its resonance by his melodic vocal. Renjith Babu (Natuvanga), V Vedakrishna (mridanga), K Ganeshan and R Vishnu (guitar) - accompanied with good understanding.

    Devotionals with feeling

    Sri Guru Raghavendra Sevashrama had organised vocal and veena recitals apart from bhajans at its temple premises situated at L R Bande, Kaval Byrasandra, last week.

    Dr Sukanya Prabhakar, is a senior vocalist, guru and "Tune smith." She chose a variety of devotionals composed by different composers from 15th century to 20th century. Opening with a familiar devaranama of Purandara Dasa followed by with a Pada in the raga Nagaswaravali. Both "Tunga Teera Nivasa" of B K Padmanabha Rao and "Nagutha Nagutha" of Anandamma Kannan - attracted with its simple lyrics and fine tuning.

    "Indu Enage" of Raghavendraswamy was elaborated briefly with raga and swara. Sukanya's vocal was melodious and rendered with good feeling. "Karedare" of Kamalesha Vittala and a "Lalee" of Jagannatha Dasa were included in the last part of the concert. R Dayakar and M Gururaja accompanied on violin and mridanga respectively.

    Haridasa compositions

    M S Sheela, the reputed vocalist, chose a number of devaranamas of different Haridasas, for her current concert held under the aegis of Sri Raghavendra Seva Samithi, Sudhindra Nagara.

    "Indu Enage Govinda", the only available composition of Raghavendraswamy, is a hot favourite of devotees always. It was prefaced with an authoritative alapana also. She prefaced several devaranamas with ugabhogas, which acquired a special delight, with graceful 'sangathies.'

    "Smarisi Beduvenu" (Jagannatha Vittala), Tunga Teera Viharam Bhajamana (Kamalesha Vittala), Manave Mantralaya - also pleased the gathering. "Innu Daya Barade Daasana Mele" - was more impactful. While "Hare Venkata Shaila Vallabha" was evocative a pleasant "Mangala", "Mannaru Krishnage" was another good choice.

    A blissful feeling swept the listeners throughout

    Sheela's concert. Mathur Srinidhi on violin, R Adamya on mridanga and Raghunandan on ghata - gave good support on their respective instruments.

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  • 09/03/17--07:44: Music and Dance reviews
  • Gems of Karnatic music

    Bangalore Lalithakala Parishat presented a vocal concert by Dr Radha Bhaskar on Friday. Dr Radha Bhaskar is a well-known vocalist, musicologist and a music critic. She holds a doctoral degree in music and is a disciple of P S Narayana Swamy. She has performed in many organisations and has conducted music workshops in both in and outside India.

    She has directed 5,000 schoolchildren and conducted a choral music programme too.

    Theme of the current concert of Radha Bhaskar was "Nine Gems of Karnatic Music." Karnatic music is enriched by compositions of different composers. Dr Radha rendered songs of different composers neatly.

    "Deva Deva Thanayambike" of Swathi Tirunal in the raga Mayamalavagoula, gave her a bright start. She chose two compositions of Tyagaraja - "Janaki Ramana" in Sudda Seemanthini and "Aadamodigalada." Raga alapana of Charukeshi was brief but rendered with good "ragabhava." For a good measure, she had selected few compositions of Gopalakrishna Bharatheeyar (Aarabhi), Koteeswara Iyer (Chalanata), Papanasam Sivan (Kuntala Varali).

    Well-known kruthi "Ardha Nareeswaram" of Dikshitar was embellished with a flurry of good "Sangathies" and "Kamakshee Amba" of Syama Sastry in raga Varali. Another fine composition "Kalayami Nanda Kamaniya" was also well received.

    The concert was informative and as a total musical experience, nothing could have been more enduring than the Nine Gems of Karnatic Music.

    Nalina Mohan on violin, B C Manjunath on Mridanga and Vyasa Vittala on Khanjari, gave good support.

    Krishna katha

    Krishna is an inspiring theme for all our art and artistes - music, dance, painting, sculpture and folk. Now Sri Yathiraja Jeeyar Swamy of Sri Yadugiri Yathiraja Mutt has composed Krishna Katha" based on different compositions. It is actually a pilgrimage from north to south, east to west of India, touching different holy places of Krishna through a number of compositions.

    Anjali Sriram, young vocalist and a disciple of M S Sheela rendered compositions on Krishna in an attractive manner. It was an impressive beginning with the lyrics of Nammalwar, which was quiet apt.

    "Gopalaka Pahimam Anisham" of Swati Tirunal, was testifying to her good grounding.

    "Puraya Mamakaram" of Krishna Leela Tarangini, "Kande Na Udupi Krishnana" and Ashtapadi of Jayadeva were presented, which stood out for their range and skill in improvisation.

    "Sri Krishnam Bhaja" of Dikshitar is a classic kruthi in Thodi. "Jagadoddarana" is a very popular devaranama of Purandara Dasa and "Aalisu Krishnana Kolalina Kare" of Dr P T Narasimhachar was a fitting finale to the special programme. It showed Anjali in her elements and was a devotional treat.

    Sri Swamiji's commentary was full of information, interesting and was like a guiding lamp.

    Achutha Rao, Vinod Shyam Anoor and Gopi - accompanied with good understanding on violin, mridanga and rhythm pad, respectively.

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  • 09/10/17--06:41: Deep devotional compositions
  • Deep devotional compositions

    The Karnataka College of Percussion (KCP) conducts a music festival every year under the direction of T A S Mani and R A Ramamani.

    Inaugural concert of this years (52nd year) festival was performed by Malladi Vasavi, daughter and disciple of Malladi Suri Babu and she has passed the M(Mus) from the Padmavathy University, Thirupathi and is an A grade artiste of AIR. She has won prizes from Narada Gana Sabha, Akashavani and few other organisations.

    Vasavi presented exclusively Tallapakam Annamacharyas compositions, tuned by Nedanuri Krishnamurthy. Annamacharya is a senior among the "Tallapakam Composers" and his padas - especially on Tirupathi Venkateswara - is quiet popular all over the South. He is popular as the "Pada Kavita Pitamaha" and his compositions are known for its deep devotion and feeling.

    The impressive presentation of Annamacharyas compositions were the most auspicious curtain riser for the KCP festival. Vasavi captured the attention of the listeners right from the first piece "Sakala Shanthi Karamu" in Bahaduri. Purushothamudu Neevu (Revagupthi), Telisithe Mokshamu (Hamsanada), Sharanu Sharanu (Jinjoti), Paluku Tena Talli (Abheri) - were the other compositions rendered pleasingly.

    She chose Mohana for the elaboration for the Cheri Yashode. Though alapana and swarawas brief, she brought convincing imagery of the melody easily. Kharaharapriya for "Sadanandamu Sarveshwara", with raga, nerval and swara, acquired a special delight at the improvisational flashes. With equal stress on matu and dhatu and good voice Vasavi sang impressively and made one wonder how she is not heard much on the concert stage of Bengaluru.

    Venkatesh Josyer on violin, Sudarshan S on mridanga and Raghavendra Prakash on ghata - fulfilled the needs of the occasion.

    Attractive foot work, beautiful abhinaya
    Artiste for this months Horizon series (ICCR and BOB) was Ashim Bandhu Bhattacharjee. He has been trained by Pandit Ramgopal Mishra, Sumitra Mishra, Vijay Shankar and Birju Maharaj.

    He is known not only as a senior performer, but also as a teacher and choreographer. He has performed in some of the major festivals in both India and abroad, including USA, Japan, UK, Russia, etc. Some of his well-known choreographic works are: Om Shakti, Shikandini, Pratibimba.

    Ashim Bandhu opened his programme with the lyrics on Vivekananda with devotion. He presented Tihayee, Tukuda, Paran, etc, in Teen Thal in vilambith and druth in good speed but with clarity of foot work. After the item on rain (Garaj Barase), Abhisarika Nayika was well portrayed by Ranjanee Bhattacharya with the message "Krishna is in our heart, not outside" in the songs of Vidyapathi in the Mythily language. A happy amalgam of Jaipur and Lucknow gharana in Dammar was developed emotionally with an attractive rhythm and beautiful Abhinaya, admirably. He concluded with his own song "Anand Dwani", evocatively.

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    The Rabindranath Tagore Nagar Cultural Association is catering to the cultural needs of the connoisseurs of Bengaluru North, from last 27 years. Apart from the music concerts every month, the association organises, dance, bhajan, namasankeerthana, music competitions and annual music festival. The 27th anniversary was held last week jointly with the Sri Vinayaka Devasthana Samithi, and dedicated to M S Subbulakshmi.

    The melodic grace that is the forte of duets is unmistakable in the singing of Hari Priya and Shanmukha Priya, popularly known as Priya Sisters. Though the concert was mainly on Tallapakam Annamacharyas compositions, few compositions of other composers were also presented evocatively.

    "Vinayaka Vighnaraja" gave them a serene start. After the popular "Chinnanade," they chose a meaningful Kannada devaranama "Maanava Janma Doddadu." The alap had a meditative approach and the swara was complementary to the raga. "Garuda Gamana ..... Namo Namo" followed by "Oka Bari Oka Bari" were also appealing. The lyrical appeal in the Annamaiahs kritis accented its instant likeability. Their alap for Sindhubhairavi flowed gracefully, meandering over all the salient features of the raga and stood out for its emotional sensitivity.

    M A Krishnaswamy on violin, Sai Giridhar on mridanga and Trichi Murali on ghata - accompanied with good understanding.


    Young vocalist V Raghavendran is a disciple of Udupi Gopalakrishnan and Dr Vidyabhushan and has performed in few places like Chennai, Bengaluru, Udupi, Mantralaya, Mulabagal etc. Despite being a physically challenged person he performs standing throughout the programme, instead of squatting posture.

    Raghavendran presented 15 compositions of different composers. He opened his concert with "Jaya Janaki Kaantha" of Purandara Dasa in the raga Naata. For a good measure he also sang a number of Ugabhogas (Koti Koti Janmake, Aaru Vandisalenu) and extract from Harikathamruthasara (Kadu Karani, Dheena Naanu), which also suited the occasion.

    Well known compositions of Swathi Tirunal (Deva Deva Kalayamithe), Papanasam Sivan (Saravana Bhava Enum) and Tyagaraja (Ora Jupu). Audience well received different Purandara Dasa devaranamas sung by Raghavendran, like Dariyavudayya, Narayana Ninna Naamada, Pillangoviya Chelva Krishnana, Kaliyugadolu Hari Naamava, Aacharavillada Naalige.

    With his sincere approach, Raghavendran sang neatly, without overdoing anything. With some more higher training and home work, he can improve his ragalapana and swara prasthara, suitably. Still, it was a reassuring recital to prove his sincerity and progress. The instrumental support was provided by M S Govindaswamy and Murali Narayana Rao. After a Kanakadasa Pada "Deeena Nanu Samastha Lokake", Raghavendran concluded his concert with "Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma" customarily.


    R K Padmanabha is a versatile artiste serving different branches of cultural field. He is a popular vocalist, an able teacher, composer, dramatist, novelist and of course a reputed organiser. He has also proved that he is also a good poet, with the release of collection of his poems, "Padma Kavithe." After the releasing ceremony, few selected lyrics from the collection were presented by five vocalists.

    "Kannada Kalithe" and "Maduveyaguvudu" - were refreshing. Padmanabha has written poems on different themes interestingly like Maduve (marriage), Ragi, flower, music, etc. etc. "Surya Rashmi" in Purvikalyani and "Naadave Kashi" - were appealing for their lyrical quality and sweet melody. "Beledu Nintide Raagi" and "Huve Huve" were remarkable for their fervour.

    Led by Guru Padmanabha, youngsters Prathima, Meera, Manoj Vasista and Arundhati Vasista - sang with good feeling and melody. Madhusudhan Bhat and Madhusudhan accompanied on Samvadini and tabala, respectively. Earlier, Padmanabhas novel "Vipra Vikrama" and a collection "Samarpana" were also released on the occasion.

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  • 09/24/17--08:10: MUSIC AND DANCE REVIEW

    Syama Sastri (1762-1827), eldest of the "Trinity" of Karnatic music, was initiated into various aspects of music by Sangita Swamiji who transformed him as a musical genius. He also received guidance from Pachimirium Adappayya. He was the hereditary archaka of Bangaru Kamakshi and a great devotee of Devi.

    His compositions exhibit well-polished music, beautiful language and intricate laya patterns. These aspects were highlighted by Dr T S Satyavathi at the MES Kalavedi on Saturday. Dr Satyavathi is respected in the field not only as a senior vocalist but also as a eminent scholar and an able teacher. She briefly explained the salient features of Syama Sastris compositions - "Vilamba Kaala" in his kruthies, suitability for "nerval," his mishra chapu, variety in "Edapu"; Praasa, rare ragas, command over the thala etc. To illustrate, she sang many compositions briefly, like - Sarasijabhava, Mayamma, Marivere, Sarojadalanetri, Himadri Suthe, Ninuvina etc. The demonstration was of high standard, informative and educative.

    In her concert also, Satyavathi received good support from two of her disciples - Shilpa Shashidhar and Maruthi Prasad. Satyavathi opened her concert with a well-known sloka (Yadevi Sarva) on Devi and "Dayanidhe." The Bhegade varna gave her a bright start. Kalyani took on a majestic gait and grandeur for Shyama Sastris popular krithi "Birana Vara."

    In total, Satyavathi said "in Shyama Sastris compositions, music, lyrics and rhythm find their best blend." Connoisseurs dont come across such matured concert and top class demonstrations frequently. The whole programme was heard by a sizeable audience with more respect. Dr S Jyotsna on violin, Tumakuru Ravishankar on mridanga and Omkar G on ghata - accompanied with good understanding.


    On the occasion of the 75th birthday of Guru Narmada, her three students presented a special programmed by name "Legacy" on Friday. Sathyanarayana Raju, P Praveen Kumar and Dr Soundarya Srivathsa - are senior dancers, teachers and have carved their own respectable places in the field.

    The very first item "Bramha Sandhi" Koutvam (in Madhyamavati raga) revealed the start of sound training under Narmada. They presented the Jathiswara malika in a dignified manner without overdoing anything. Sathyanarayan Raju, Praveen Kumar and Soundarya reached new heights of expression in the Asta Ragamalika varna. Their interpretation was a good treat. They concluded with a thillana gucha - consisting of Valachi, Simhendra Madhyama, Rathipathi priya and Thilang ragas. Incidentally most of their selections were in Ragamalika!

    It was a visual pleasure to see the trio handling each item with understanding and aesthetic sense. P Raghuram gave inspiring vocal support along with Shakunthala Prabhath (Natuvanga), Harsha Samaga (mridanga) and Karthik Kasaravalli (flute).


    Budaluru Krishnamurthy Sastri was a great exponent of Gotuvadya and a recipient of "Sangeeta Kalanidhi" title from the Music Academy. His disciple Dr Gayathri Rajapur Kassebaum organises a music concert in her Gurus name, every year. This year, Pattabhi Rama Pandit gave a fine concert under the aegis of the Girinagara Sangeetha Sabha.

    Pattabhirama Pandit needs no introduction as he is a talented familiar musician of the state. After rendering few good compositions he chose another fine kruthi for a detailed elaboration. While presenting the Keerthane "Sri Subramanyaya" the alap, nerval and swara prasthara, brought out the ragabhava in greater detail.

    "Bagayanaiah" and "Bhogendra Shayinam" - are favourites of connoisseurs, always. The highlight of the programme was the delineation of Mangala raga Bilahari in all its glory for the Pallavi. The pallavi "Paramananda Govinda Mukunda" set to Adi thala was impactful and the aesthetic experience was further enhanced with ragamalika swaras in Shahana, Athana, Behag, Varali and Shivaranjini. Even the tailenders - devaranama (Rama Rama Rama Seetha) and the legendary Jawadi (Mathada Baradene) - were also pleasing and well received.

    Mattur Srinidhi and K U Jayachandra Rao accompanied on violin and mridanga with aplomb.

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    Navarathri cultural festivals

    Navarathri was celebrated in most parts of the state. In the evenings most of the temples conducted cultural programmes with music, dance, harikatha and bhajans. One such temple Sri Aavani Sringeri Shankaracharya Mutt, Mahalakshmipura conducted paarayana, homas in the mornings and music programmes in the evenings, under the direction of Sri Abhinava Vidyashankara Bharathi Swamiji.

    S Sriranjani and Sruthi Ranjani, known as "Kanchana Sisters" gave a vocal recital on Friday, accompanied by M V Viswajit on violin, R Adamya on mridanga and T N Ramesh on ghata. They presented mostly compositions on Devi, to suit the occasion and pleased the gathering.

    They presented "Sarasijanabha," which was very popular during yesteryears. The "Mamava Meenakshi" was decorated with brief nerval (Shyama Shankari). "Akhilandeswari Rakshamam" rendered in good vilamba kaala is known for its both raga bhava and sahitya bhava. It was followed by another familiar composition "Kanjadalayatakshi." They crowned their concert with another dignified composition "Kamalambam Bhajare with ragalapana and swara. Without overdoing anything, the sisters sang with their good voices and simple narration.

    Kuchipudi festival

    The Kuchipudi Parampara Foundation conducted the Guruvandana programme under the leadership of Deepa Narayanan. Senior dancer Guru Balakondala Rao was also felicitated on the occasion.

    Brother and sister duo - Sitalakshmi Prasad and Pasumurthy Mruthyunjaya Sharma opened their programme with a Hindola raga composition in praise of Saraswathi. Subramanya Kavis magnum opus "Adhyatma Ramayana Keerthanalu" is a household story in Telugu-speaking states. These Keertanas are part of the Kuchipudi teaching repertoire in the music and dance colleges. Sitalakshmi Prasad has choreographed this beautiful lyrics from the "Aranya Kaanda". The duo enacted few episodes like Seethapaharana (kidnapping of Seetha by Ravana) including the beautiful movements of Maareecha. Exemplifying the different characters stand out for their eloquent Abhinaya, Seethalakshmi Prasad and Pasumurthy Mruthyunjaya Sharma performed with telling effect.

    Bright abhinaya

    Payal Ramachandani from Delhi started her dance recital with a Marathi poem. In "Rusale Radhe Rusale Madhav" she performed with bright Abhinaya and a variety of footwork attracted in Kaliya Nartana. She concluded with a composition of Purandara Dasa in the raga Suruti.

    Students of KPF Ensemble began their recital with "Vani Paraku" customarily followed by a composition of Annamacharya in the raga Hamsadhwani. A composition of Bellary Seshagiri Achar "Chandrashekaram Bhajami" was a surprise but a welcome inclusion.

    Curtains came down on this years Kuchipudi festival with a Ramayana Shabdam in Mohana raga, which was choreographed by Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam. No doubt, these young students performed with ease and assurance and they can reach good heights with some more rigorous training and sincere home work.

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    Group songs in unison
    Ranga Samsthana, one of the premier cultural institutions of Bengaluru, conducts classes, training camps, brings out CDs and publishes books and has the distinction of entering Limca Book of Records. Last week it conducted "Sugama Sangeetha Geetha Gayana Sammelana" at Ravindra Kalakshetra. Veteran musician S Somasundaram presided over the conference and a felicitation volume "Gaana Sudha" and a Souvenir by name "Nadanjali" was released on the occasion.

    Students of B K Sumithra, Gana Sudha, Srujana Samskruthika Samuha, Savigana Lahari and Ranga Samsthana presented Bhavageethe, patriotic and folk songs, in an attractive manner. Few young students sang "Nimbiya Banadali" of P T Narasimhachar. With some more training, they can improve their presentation. Nearly 40 students of Srujana Samskruthika Samuha rendered a patriotic song (Jaya Bharathi of K Shivaram) and a folk song under the direction of Narahari Deekshit. Aligning well with sruthi was impactful.

    The Savigana Lahari, under the direction of Rajaram, sang lyrics of Dr Ka Vem Srinivas and Kuvempu, impressively. "Kahi Uppu Neeru" was the choice of Gana Sudha Academy. More than 100 vocalists of Ranga Samsthana presented lyrics of Dr N S Lakshminarayana Bhatta (Haadu Hakkigale), Doddarange Gowda (Mudutha Ravi), H S Venkatesha Murthy (Giriya Mudige), Markandapuram Srinivas (Jai Anni). They sang in unison and were good in "Tharasthayee" also.

    Bandlahalli Vijaykumars able direction and hard work brought a good result. Raj Kiran on the keyboard, Subramanya Heggade on sitar, Ravi Kiran on tabla and Arun Kumar on rhythm pad accompanied with good understanding and shared the honours.

    Nrithya Utsava
    Prabhavati Sastry, a senior dancer and teacher of yesteryears, is the founder of Naatyakala Kshetra. The institute is conducting the "Nrutya Utsava" every year with dance performances and presentation of awards. Veena Murthy Vijay of Rajarajeswari Kala Nikethan received the "Nrithya Prabha Prashasthi" of this year.

    A number of students from different schools performed and exhibited their talent. For instance, Mahi Kesari Pai and Snigdha presented lyrics of N S Lakshminarayana Bhatta. It was simply a pleasure to watch the dances of just 8-year-old girls, performing with ease and joy. Other students of Nupura performed two compositions neatly. Niveditha Arjun, a disciple of Dr Padma Subramaniam chose "Aadi Kondan" with beautiful postures and the composition on Murugha attracted with lively movements of the peacock.

    Couple Surya N Rao and Prathama Prasad Rao opened their dance recital with an interesting item called "Aarambh." The pain of separation of Gopi with Krishna with thumri and astapadi with good abhinaya was quiet impressive. Senior dancers Prashanth Gopal Sastry and Hema Prabhath chose a varna "Phaalanetra Kailasa Vaasa" in ragamalika. Neelakanta, Gangadhara and other interesting episodes were performed impactfully. Students of Nrityantar, Kohal Das and Vivekini Das, exhibited their talent and good training in "Shivam Dheemahi" and asthapadi (Radha Vadena).

    The Nrithya Utsava under the leadership of Prashanth Gopal Sastry provided the stage and good opportunity for youngsters, which is appreciable.

    - Mysore V Subramanya

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    Nitya Nritya

    Curtains came down on this years Nitya Nritya dance festival with a Odissi dance performance on Sunday at Krishnadevaraya Kala Mandira.

    Nupura, the reputed dance school of Bengaluru, conducted the annual dance conference with dance performances (Bharathanatya, Mohini Attam and Kuchupudi) and academic sessions (lecture and demonstrations, panel discussion, etc). Rich tributes were paid to Saint Tyagaraja on the eve of his 250th birth anniversary.

    Senior dancers Chitra Aravind and Dr Seshadri Iyengar presented a Bharathanatya recital exclusively on Tyagaraja compositions. They opened the programme with a popular composition "Ganamurte" in the raga Ganamurti in which Tyagaraja says, "O Embodiment of music Sri Krishna ...... pray protect me".

    "Ksheera Sagara" is another well-known composition. Seshadri also chose "Bantureethi" in the raga Hamsanada. Both performed with ease and confidence, choreographed with more accent on Abhinaya with less Nritha.

    Chitra with her expressive eyes and Seshadri with his good experience performed few more keertanas like Brova Baramma (raga Bahudari). The "Teratiyagarada" is a magnificent composition in that evocative raga Gaulipantu. Tyagaraja pleads humbly "Lord Tirupati Venkataramana! Cannot you lift the veil of jealousy in me?.... like holding a curtain preventing light from lamp." Selection of "Nagumomu" was also matured, as it is also a meaningful composition.

    Vocalist Karteek Hebbar shared the honours, with the dancers through his vocal sung with good feeling. The only percussion instrument that was used was Khanjari by Karteek Vydhatri.

    A different subject in Odissi

    The Odissi Vision and Movement Centre Ensemble, Kolkata presented "Chaturvidh" under the direction of Sharmila Biswas.

    Some of the items they presented were traditional dance compositions performed during the Dasara in Odissa. It was followed by "Gathi Vilas", attributes of a performer, in Sanskrit language. Yashodas Ramayan blossomed beautifully in the solo performance.

    Another interesting subject was Mridanga which successfully projected the rich sound, different and a variety of Naada all performed pleasantly. In the last item different types pf foot work was displayed, interestingly.

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    Yashaswini, who gave a Bharathanatya recital under the banner of EFCEP, is a student of Kalaranga School of Dance and has performed her Ranga Pravesha in 2007 itself. Now, she is learning Kathak under Mysore Nagaraj and is a student of master degree in Dance.

    Yashaswini opened her programme with a Alaripu in Mishra Chapu and with her confident presence. She saluted invocatory God through Ikshu Danda. The main item of the evening was the popular varna of Lalgudi Jayaraman (Innum) in the raga Charukeshi. She performed neatly, though her facials came alive only in parts. She dramatised the character of "Balakrishna" in the devaranama and performed the pada (Subramanya Bharathi) with ease and assurance. She concluded with a thillana in Sindhubhairavi. Yashaswini has shown promise of making a grade in the near future.

    She had good support from the wings - vocal by Deepthi Srinath, Natuvanga by Guru Radhika Ramanujan, mridanga by Bhavani Shankar and flute by Vivek Krishna.


    Vasantha Ratna Foundation of Arts presented a dance recital to commemorate its 10th anniversary. The Foundation. founded in memory of Col Vasanth (the first Ashoka Chakra Awardee from Karnataka), works in the aid of martyrs families. Subhashini Vasanth, the founder of the organisation (along with Smitha Srinivasan), is a senior dancer, who has been trained under Narmada earlier. She is now being trained by Dr Vyjayanthimala Bali, veteran dancer and actress.

    Subhashini presented the usual items, but with a touch of class. Even the common piece Alaripu (Khanda) was dignified and was followed by a composition of Gopalakrishna Bharati, "Shivakamasundari". The popular varna "Sumasayaka" of Swati Tirunal (raga Kaapi), highlighting the grace and dignified beauty of Guru Vyjayanthimalas style, caught the attention of the connoisseurs. She dramatised a few episodes like Gajendra Moksha, Sudhama, Dtuta and Vastrapaharana. She performed the devaranama "Nanena Maadideno" pleasingly. She concluded with a Surati thillana and Vasantha raga mangala. Suhashinis portrayal was neat and pointed to an unmistakable grace that lent a touch of class, which is the result of able training under Vyjayanthimala Bali.

    Connoisseurs attention was also on Vyjayanthimala Bali, as she performed the Natuvanga for the first time in Bengaluru. Girija Shankars vocal, Gayathri Shashidharans Natuvanga, Guru Bharadwajs mridanga, Sai Narasimhans flute and Anantha Krishnans violin were also inspiring. A packed house at the Chowdaiah Memorial Hall was encouraging to the dancer and classical dance.

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    Successful conference

    The Bangalore Gayana Samaja conducted the annual music conference last week, successfully.

    R N Tyagarajan and R N Tharanathan (Rudrapattana Brothers) presided over the 48th music conference and received the prestigious title "Sangeetha Kalarathna" in the Vidwath Sadas. Apart from the concerts by the seasoned musicians, six young musicians also performed and academic sessions were held with Saint Tyagaraja as the conference theme. Five eminent artistes - M G Venkataraghavan (vocal), B Raghuram (violin), N G Ravi (percussion), Dr K Varadarangan (musicology) and Gangamma Keshavamurthy (Gamaka) were felicitated with the title "Sri Kala Jyothi," on the occasion.

    The vocal duet of Ranjani and Gayathri gave a grand opening to the concert series of the conference. The familiar varna in Hamsadhwani and the devaranama "Sakala Grahabala Neene" - gave them a bright start.

    Alapana of Mayamalavagowla for Annamachar Kruthi was brief but brought a serene atmosphere. Devagandhari was another good selection. Hemavathi, the grand raga, came into its own with a fine alap it was a good experience with 'Grahabheda.'

    They chose a gem from the treasure chest of Dikshitar in the composition "Sri Kantimathi". "Niravadi Sakhada" with chitteswara was a popular composition of yesteryears, which was also pleasing. The duo capped their efforts with a sparkling exposition of the Hamsadhwani raga and a pallavi in Khanda Triputa further enhancing the impact with "Grahabhheda" and ragamalikaswara.

    Young violinist H M Smitha gave an enthusiastic response throughout, while the percussionists Delhi Sairam and Narayana Murthy accompanied with good understanding.

    Soulful Veena

    D Balakrishna who gave a Veena concert last week is a reputed vainika of "Mysore Baani". Known for his vast repertoire, Balakrishna is also one of our able Gurus (teacher).

    In his concert, he justified the reputation he has built for himself in a distinguished career. Bilahari and Shahana were the two ragas to receive sustained attention, the famed krithies acquiring a special delight. Though Bhairavi is one of the most commonly heard ragas, it attained a depth and flavour of its own, when played by a seasoned veena player like D Balakrishna. Varali was rendered with a good feeling and we rarely hear these days raga Chenchu Kambodhi.

    Madhyamavati, an 'audava' raga which belongs to Kharaharapriya varga, - is one of the popular ragas of Karnatic music. Balakrishna gave a spacious alap with an enlivening thana, leaving a lingering effect. Vamshidhar on flute gave a good account of himself. The way they handled the Pallavi between them was as impactful as it was refreshing. They concluded with two popular compositions - a devaranama (Krishna Nee Begane Baro) and a thillana in Behag raga. Senior percussionist K V Prasad gave a lively support throughout and young Narayana Murthy also supported on Ghata.

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  • 11/05/17--06:04: In memory of great violinist
  • Chowdiah was a renowned violinist and inventor of 7-stringed violin and also a great teacher. In his memory the Academy of Music has built a historical auditorium in the shape of a violin. In memory of K K Murthy, the Academy conducts a music festival every year and an award has also been instituted in the name of Chowdiah. In this years music festival (Nov 1 to 5) the Chowdiah Award was conferred on Pandit Praveen Godkhindi, popular Hindustani flautist.

    Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh, popular Veena player, gave a recital on Thursday. The "Parvati Kumaram Bhavaye Satatam" of Muthuswami Dikshitar in the raga Natakuranji, gave her a sunny start. Then she sprang a surprise by chosing a infrequent raga Rasali. The sweet raga is known as Eka Kriti raga, followed by Tyagarajas "Aparadhamula Norva". Then came another raga tuneful and fond of many connoisseurs - Amritavarshini and the familiar kruthi "Anandamritakarshini", which was pleasing throughout.

    The finale came in the form of a pallavi in the raga Kharaharapriya. Though it is a commonly heard raga on the concert stage, Kharaharapriya acquired a lively colour, new shape and flavour in the hands of Jayanthi. It was further buttressed through the well-knit thana. The pallavi was followed by a spirited "Thani" by the percussionists - Anantha R Krishnan on mridanga, Trichy Krishnaswamy on ghata and Pramath Kiran on both tabala and morching. Jayanthi concluded her impactful concert with a thillana in Mand raga and a mangala of Syama Sastri.

    Bright vocalist

    The 914th programme of Bangalore Lalithakala Parishat was a vocal recital by K V Krishnaprasad. He is a disciple of R K Padmanabha of Sharada Kala Kendra and is decidedly resourceful filling a wide variety of roles with ease and conviction. He is establishing not only as a performer, but also as a teacher and organiser. In the current concert he was well supported by Adithi on violin and Chethan Murthy on mridanga.

    In the beginning, Krishnaprasad chanted verses on Saraswathi and Vadiraja, customarily. The Sri Raga varna and "Mahaganapathim Bhajeham" gave a lilting setting. He presented few devotionals such as "Srimannarayana," "Aadadella Olithe Aayithu," "Thamburi Meetidava" and Ugabhogas like Kaava Daivavu Neene, which suited the occasion. "Marugelara" was rendered with nostalgic flavour. Kannada Gowla is a pleasing raga, a Shadava raga and both Tyagaraja and Dikshitar have composed in this raga.

    Krishnaprasads rendering of Kannada Gowla was charming, sustained with a flurry of lovely phrases. He elaborated Pantuvarali neatly for the familiar keertane "Raghuvara" in which nerval (Manasuna Nikemarulu) and swaraprasthara - were complementary to the raga. He concluded his lively concert with a thillana and mangala. No doubt, K V Krishnaprasad has a bright future in the years to come.

    Sparkling presentation

    Naada Surabhi is catering to the cultural needs of the Koramangala and surrounding areas from last 24 years, by conducting music programmes. The 25th anniversary was held wih a with a six-day music festival, last week.

    Sanjay Subramanian who gave a vocal recital on Wednesday, is one of most sought after musicians. "Inthachala," the Kambodhi varna gave steady start and "Karikalabhava Nutham" in Saveri was another fine selection, followed by "Sri Parvathi Parama" and "Kande Kande Swamiya." A popular kruthi of yester years "Entha Veduko" brought nostalgic memories in the old timers. Audience had another surprise - a pleasant surprise, in the elaboration of Chaya Ranjini. The raga glowed with lilting sangathies in the melodious and striking voice of Sanjay. The brisk thana further added to the impact.

    S Varadarajan on violin, Neyveli Venkatesh on mridanga and Guru Prasanna on khanjari - rose to great heights in their supporting roles.

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    The Prathyarpana Foundation founded in memory of L.S. Narayana Swamy Bhagavathar and Prof. H.V. Krishna Murthy conducts cultural programmes in collaboration with the Vijaya College of Music every year and donates fund to the needy social organisations. On Friday as well, the Foundation presented donations for few institutions at the ADA Ranga Mandira.

    It opened with a Choral music by the students of Vijaya College of Music. They had chosen Nottuswara compositions of Muthuswamy Dikshitar, in different ragas of the Shankarabharana scale. A number of colourful ragas with Sanskrit lyrics on different Gods - were quite attractive. Though they were all tiny pieces,
    pleased with the sweet melody. Little more than one hundred students, accompanied by flute, violin, mridanga and khanjari, sang in unison.
    Kudos to Bhargavi H.K. Venkataram, the young vocalist, for conducting the choir successfully.


    Gita Govinda of Jayadeva, is one of the most popular lyrics, both in music and dance. It is believed that Jayadeva himself sang the hymns, while his wife Padmavati danced to them in the Jagannath Temple of Puri. Saralaya Sisters - Kavitha and Triveni Saralaya, presented few selected verses of Geeta Govinda accompanied by violin, mridanga and ghata. They opened the programme with verses on Jayadeva in the raga Purvi Kalyani. Jaya Jagadeesha Hare (in the raga Naata), Lalitha Lavanya (Vasantha), the popular one Rathi Sukha Saare in Sindhubhairavi etc.etc. The lyrics in the ragas Nadanamakriya, Kharaharapriya, Mukhari, Madhyamavathi and Shudha Saranga -pleased the gathering. With their expertise and pleasing raga and melodious tuning, Saralaya Sisters captured the audience. Colourful photos - slides in the background - also suited and added to the impact.


    Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, a well-known dancer, presented her pet theme, slightly edited version of compositions of Mysore composers, from glimpses of Mysore Palace. A swarajathi in the raga Kambodhi gave her programme a pleasant start and was followed by well-woven jathies. The familiar Kamatch varna Mathe of Dr L. Muthaiah Bhagavathar was visually pleasing with good footwork and expressive Abhinaya. A Kannada jawali in the raga Kalyani and the dignified thillana - both were lively and performed with grace.


    Curtains came down on this years K.K. Murthy Memorial Music Festival with a flute recital on Sunday evening. After receiving the Chowdaiah Award of Academy of Music, Praveen Godkhindi, popular music composer and director, gave a Hindustani flute recital.
    With a master like Praveen Godkhindi handling raga Shudda Kalyan the raga really sparkled and glistened on flute. Starting from the Mandra Sthayee slowly, the raga came out with a haunting melody of infinite loveliness. Two compositions - vilambith eka thal and drut teen thal, swayed the entire audience, gathered in good number. A thumri dhun in Misra Kamach was also appealing. Again rag Bagesri was presented with great charm and finesse. Pandit Shubhankar Banerjee played tabla with good understanding, enhancing the impact of the flute.

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  • 11/19/17--00:08: Music and Dance Reviews

    The Nada Jyothi Sangeetha Sabha Trust celebrated the Kartheeka Sangeetha Sambhrama last week, with vocal, veena and a musical feature, in collaboration with the Sri Rama Mandira, Malleswaram.

    Vidushi Yoga Vandana, who gave a veena recital on Thursday, hails from a highly educated and cultured family. Her father Veturi Anandamurthy is a Telugu scholar and husband Dr Venkat Kamesh is an outstanding scientist. Yoga Vandana is a post graduate in science (Zoology) and has passed Sangeetha Alankara also in music. A student of V.S. Anantha Rao, Yoga Vandana is an A-top grade Veena player of Akashavani and has won prizes in Bangalore Gayana Samaja and Kanchi Sabha.

    With this background, Yoga Vandana lived up to her reputation in the current concert as well. The celebrated Kaanada atta Thala varna gave a good idea of the feast that was to follow. The Vandisuvudu Aadiyali was followed by an infrequent swarajathi of Veena Seshanna in the raga Kharaharapriya. Shringara Lahari in the raga Neelambari, was a popular composition of yesteryears in the whole of South India.

    The vainiki built a reverberating base in both Ranjini (Durmargachara) and Reetigowla (Jananee), with a melodic grace. The climax came with Keeravani alapana, the 21st mela and a popular rakti raga. The rendition of the raga and swara (for Kaligeyunte of Tyagaraja) gave a dignified picture of the soulful melody. The Mand thillana was also lively.

    It was melodious, classical to the core sans gimmicks. The percussion duo Ranjani Siddanthi and B. Bhagyalakshmi gave good support on mridanga and morsing respectively.


    The Saraswathi Sangeetha Vidyalaya presented Govind Lakshmi Bhave Puraskar to V.S. Rajagopal and Veena Murthy last week. The awards function was followed by a music recital by Varijashree Venugopal. She is a multi-faceted musician with several accolades to her credit, in the young age itself.

    It was a different beginning as she opened the concert with the Yeti Yochanalu, which is not usually chosen as a opening kruthi. This particular Tyagarajas composition in the raga Kiranavali, the Sampurna Audava raga, is a shining raga, which attracts the attention of the connoisseurs, at once!

    Varijashri added swara briskly as well enchancing the impact of the composition. Saranga is another attractive raga, in which she selected Nivada Ne Gana keerthane. Raga Jaganmohini, which is a Audava Shadava raga, became popular through Shobillu Saptaswara of Tyagaraja. Varijashri meditatively dwelt on Jaganmohini and the raga came alive and the composition brimmed with confidence, to emerge as a solid piece.

    She sang the popular devaranama Jagadodaddarana adding a good feel. Then she shifted over to flute and gave a brief recital with just 4 small compositions. Maanasa Sancharare, Krishna Nee Begane Baro, Venkatachala Nilayam and Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma. It was melodious, performed with good Bhava and it is worth watching Varijashris career. She was ably supported by D. Achutha Rao on violin and Adamya on mridanga.

    Vidushi Yoga Vandana

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  • 12/03/17--00:22: Music and dance reviews
  • Music and dance reviews

    Anniversary of Sursagar

    Sursagar celebrated the 36th Varshikotsav with two music concerts - a vocal and an instrumental recital at the Chowdiah Memorial Hall last Sunday. It is a reputable Hindustani Sangeetha Sabha which organises music concerts regularly along with a music festival on its anniversary every year. It organises the series Living Legends and Budding Masters besides distributing scholarships to young aspirants.

    The curtains came down on the 36th Varshikotsav with a grand vocal recital by Vidushi Shubha Mudgal. She has been trained by Pandit Ramashraya Jha (Ramrang) and received guidance from Pandit Vinaya Chandra Mandgavya and Pandit Vasant Thukar. She is known for her Khayal, Thumri and Dadra besides pop music. She is a well-deserving recipient of several awards and titles including Padma Shri and Gold Plaque Award (Chicago International Film Festival).

    Aneesh Pradhan, who accompanied Shubha Mudgal on tabla, is a disciple of Nikhil Ghosh and a versatile percussionist. He is also a recipient of Aditya Birla Kalakiran Award and Natyadarpan Award. Sudhir Nayak, who supports her on harmonium, is a disciple of Pandit Tulasidas Borkar and has accompanied stalwards of the field.

    With this background, a large number of connoisseurs eagerly waited to listen to Vidushi Shubha Mudgal and she didnt disappoint them. Chayanut, the opening raga, had an arresting quality. The raga was moulded into an essay of aesthetic finesse through two compositions. The raga was further embellished with a rich variety of phrases. Shankara was as refreshing as ever. The impact was further enhanced through a Thumri and Bhajan. The vocal had an arresting quality, unhustled grace and tempered modulation, enriching the delineation. The tabla Saath was not only complementary to the vocal but was also inspiring, while the harmonium was played with good understanding.

    Kala Nadam

    Kathak, Kuchipudi and Odissi, apart from Bharatanatyam recitals, were held at the 18th edition of the Kala Nadam of the Nadam and the proceeds were presented to the Child Rights Trust.

    Radhika Shetty, who gave the inaugural dance of the festival, is a disciple of Padmini Ramachandran of Natya Priya and has performed in India and abroad. She opened her programme with a composition of Dr M Balamuralikrishna in the raga Hamsadhwani. She performed Krishnashtakam in ragamalika beautifully. She concluded with a Ashtapadi, which was again on Krishna! Of course Radhika performed with confidence and grace.

    Speed and style in Kuchipudi

    Six students of Reva University under the direction of Dr Vasanth Kiran presented Glimpses of popular compositions in Kuchipudi, every episode completing with a Salam Daru. Two young girls performed on the brass plate with ease and assurance. The Goudamalhar keerthane Sarasamukhi and a thillana of Dr Vasanth Kiran came in the end. With a sparkling display of Nritha and fast movements, but little loud at times, they tried to capture the attention of the audience.

    Expectations betrayed

    Tribhuwan Maharaj belongs to the lineage of the legendary Kalka-Bindadin Gharana of Lucknow. He is the son of Pandit Jaikishan Maharaj and the grandson of Birju Maharaj. Currently, Tribhuwan Maharaj works with the Birju Maharaj Parampara Training Institute.

    Tribhuwan Maharaj opened his Kathak recital with a Ganesh Vandana pleasantly. It was followed by That, Amad, Paran - all with evocative footwork. In the Laksh, paran, Tihay, etc and jugalbandi with tabla. He performed with practised ease and was grammatically correct, but did not meet the expectations of connoisseurs.

    Mysore V Subramanya

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    Margali Sangeethotsava

    Sri Yadugiri Yathiraja Mutt celebrated the Margali Sangeethotsava last week, under the direction of H.H. Sri Yathiraja Jeeyar Swamiji. The festival comprised of vocal, veena and flute concerts and a dance recital too.

    The inaugural programme of the Utsava was a musical feature on "Tulasi" by a 7 member musicians group led by Vidushi Lalitha Dwajan. Opening from the "Margali Thingal" from the Andal Thiruppavai, they proceeded with the "Brindavana Devi Namo Namo" of Purandara Dasa followed by "Yenu Dhanyalo Thulasi". While the song of the chaaturmasya "Sasiyali Sakala" was in the ragamalike, the Thulasi Vivaha composition "Angaladolagella" was tuned in Nadanamakriya. There are separate "Aarathi Hadu" on Tulasi and Krishna. "Bhamini Baaro" was in Hindola and the other song was in Neelambari. Raga Shanmukhapriya was their choice for "Ollano Hari Kollano" and concluded with a Tulasi Mangala "Sri Tulasi Sri Hareeye".

    Aligning well with Sruthi Lalitha Dwajan, Vasumathi and Supreetha Manu sang in unison, accompanied by Bhargavi Narasimhan on violin, Lakshmi Das on veena, Dathatreya on flute and Kartheek on tabla.


    Vocalist N R Prashanth, is not a stranger to connoisseurs of music of Bengaluru. He started his music lessons with R K Padmanabha and continued with Neela Ramgopal and currently learning from Prof R Visweswaran. He has performed in several organisations in UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia etc. He worked at the Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society as Principal Tutor and returned to Bengaluru in 2016. In recognition of his talent he has received few prizes from Bangalore Gayana Samaja, Karnataka Sangeetha Nritya Academy and Aryabhata Award. He has collaborated with Dr. Raja Ramanna in publishing few books and projects.

    Prashanth opened his concert with a grand composition of Dikshitar "Sri Parthasarathina". The choice of two pieces from Thiruppavai - "Keelvanam" and "Katha Vilakku Eriya" - suited the occasion. Two compositions of Ambuja Krishnamurthy-Om Namo Narayana and Ododi Vande Kanna. Saridano Venkataramana in the raga Vitapi, Sadguru Swamyki in Reetigowla and Amba Rama - were also well received. A lesser known devaranama of Vyasaraya - "Olaga Sulabhavo Rangayyana" - is a good addition to the concert repertoire. "Govardhana Giridhara Govinda" of Narayana Teertha, is always a favourite of music lovers. He concluded with a composition of Sadashiva Brahmendra, a kruthi on Ramanuja and a Mangala.

    Though Prashanth added raga alpana, nerval and swara for few compositions, it was too brief to make an impact. It is necessary to elaborate raga-swara, at least for one or two compositions in detail, to make it much more impactful. But listeners appreciated Prashanths sincere approach, classicism, without over doing anything and simple presentation. Mathur Viswajit accompanied on violin and double mridanga of B.K. Chandramouli and B.S. Prashanth - was another attraction of the programme

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  • 12/17/17--01:34: Music and dance reviews
  • Ghata galore

    Vikku Vinayakram is a great Ghatam Maestro, known all over the world. His 75th Birthday was celebrated in a unique way, by the Sunadam Trust, in collaboration with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.

    The programme started aptly with the lyrics "Kumbarati" of Shishunal Sharief. 75 Ghatam players (It actually exceeded 75 by the time they started) from different states - right from 7 to 75 years young - led by Vikku Vinayakram himself. Divided into 13 groups named after the rivers of India, in different permutation and combinations like - 13 types of thalas, 10.5, 3 1/2=14 and 5.5, 4.5 = 10 - so on. After each group playing individually, all of them joined together to reach great heights. Of course Vinayakram stole the show with his unmatched strokes and in the end, they played in unison and took it to a crescendo. Kudos to Sukanya Ramgopal for organising such a mega event.

    Colourful dance festival

    The Adyasha Foundation held the Shishirachaanda - a celebration of dance and the seasons - in which Bharathanatya, Kathak, Odissi, Kuchipudi and Kathakali recitals were performed by seasoned artistes,

    Madhu Nataraj, who gave the inaugural dance programme, is not only a senior Kathak artist but also a well known contemporary dancer. The "Matha Bhavani" gave Madhu Nataraj a pleasant start and the Akkamahadevi Vachana "Kaanutha Kaanutha" - was appealing. The thumri was again proof of her experience and talent.

    Beautiful Odissi

    Padmasri Aruna Mohanty is one of the reputed Odissi dancers of India and a choreographer. She opened her programme with Samsara", the souls journey, from childhood to old age, which was executed with a good feeling. In the "Bhumi-Sutaa" the portrayal of Seetha lend credibility to her inheritance feeling, which glowed with an evocative performance of Aruna Mohanty.

    Matured Abhinaya

    Guru Bhanumathi, is a reputed Bharathanatya dancer, a fine choreographer, more than all, a popular teacher (Nritya Kala Mandira). So also Sheela Chandrasekhar is another senior dancer and an able teacher.

    Bhanumathi had chosen a devaranama of Purandara Dasa "Aadu Hodalle Makkalu". Young Krishna complains to his mother, about teasing by his playmates. Bhanumathi dramatising different episodes of young Krishna, performed with beautiful and impactful Abhinaya. In the Gopalakrishna Bharatis lyrics Nandanars devotion, grievance and sorrow and "Sakshatkara" of Nataraja - were proof of Bhanumathis long experience and impactful expression. Sheelas selection was also on Krishna (Krishna Arjuna Samvada) and the performance was pleasing.

    Impactful performance

    Veteran Usha Datar has practised different forms of dance and is known for her teaching and choreographic skills. She presented the familiar Puthani episode dramatising with popular appeal. Though a wee bit loud, Abhinaya was appealing and received thunderous applause.

    Connoisseurs enjoyed the performance of senior dancers in different forms and appreciated the efforts of Sarita Mishra.

    Vocalist from Singapore

    The Malleswaram Sangeetha Sabha conducted the annual "Hanuman Jayanthi Music Festival" in collaboration with the Sri Rama Bhajana Sabha, Malleswaram, in which several young musicians took part, enthusiastically.

    Ashwini Satish, who gave a vocal recital in the festival is a student of Dr T.S. Satyavathi and has settled in Singapore, where she teaches Karnatic music to young aspirants. She is a post graduate in Music and has also passed proficiency examination with distinction.

    An infrequent varna in the raga Mandari, gave Ashwini a flying start. After pranamamyaham, Ranjani was briskly elaborated and the keertane Sujana Jeevana brought nostalgic memories. Dropping the frequent devaranamas, she chose "Mamaju Bhapure" of Parundara Dasa which was appreciated by the gathering. She also sang compositions in Madhyamavathi and few other ragas. But she crowned the concert with a raga, thana and Pallavi. In that Ramapriya glowed colourfully and the Pallavi set to Khanda Triputa was rendered lively, without overdoing anything. Ashwini Satish has a good future in the years to come. Mathur Srinidhi, Sunil Subramanya and Raghunandan gave support on violin, mridanga and ghata, respectively.

    -Mysore V Subramanya

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  • 12/24/17--03:32: Music and dance reviews- Dec
  • Tributes to veena maestro

    Veena Vidwan L. Raja Rao (1909-1979) was one of the prominent Veena players of the "Mysore Baani" (Mysore School of Veena) and an able teacher, author and composer. When he presided over the music conference he received the coveted title Ganakalabhushana from the Karnataka Ganakala Parishat. In his memory, the Veena Rajarao Memorial Foundation conducts a music programme every year apart from presenting awards. This year Rudrapattana Brothers - R.N. Tyagarajan and R.N. Tharanathan, received the awards, last week.

    Vidwan D. Balakrishna, who gave a veena concert after the awards presentation is one of the senior Veena players of the country, a recipient of several awards including "Ganakalashri". One of his disciple Manjula Surendra supported him on Veena, in this concert.

    Balakrishna opened his concert with a familiar varna "Maathe" of Dr Muthaiah Bhagavathar. A popular composition of yesteryears "Manasuloni of Tyagaraja, was rendered with vintage flavour. He elaborated briefly Srikantimatim in Hemavati, which Dikshitar has called "Desi Simharavam" raga. The Kokilavarali is not a familiar raga, which is a janya of Natabhairavi and a "Ubhaya Vakra Sarmpurna". It is also known as an Eka Kriti raga, and the only available composition in this raga is "Samugaana Nilva" of Tyagaraja again. It was very brief but attractive with its sweetness and gracefulness. Balakrishna capped his efforts with a matured exposition of the majestic raga Shankarabharana for a detailed elaboration along with the brisk thana. The well-known devaranama "Pogadiralo Ranga" glowed with a variety of swara prastharas. Thanks to Balakrishnas training under his father Dr V. Doreswamy Iyengar, he once again proved that he does not compromise on the classical format and tradition. Indeed it was a lively concert. Manjula Surendra shared the honours with her guru. Young percussionists Anirudh Bhat and Raghavendra Prakash accompanied on mridanga and ghata, respectively. Gayaki Vanamale of Sadashiva Brahmendra and jinjoti thillana of Veena Seshanna - were the last few compositions he rendered.

    Nrithya kalashilpa

    Three dance schools presented their selected students in the Nrithya Kalashilpa organised by Natya Kalakshetra.

    Shilpa Shankar, a disciple of Prashanth Sastry, opened her programme with a fine keertane of Dikshitar "Kanjadalayathakshee", followed by a swarajathi in the raga Kamatch. After "Chandra Shiva", she concluded with a thillana of Dr. Padma Subramanyam. She is pretty young and deeply interested in dance. Hence can reach great heights with some more higher training.

    Talented dance students

    Four students of Nupura (Ajay Viswanath, Poojitha Padmanabhan, Srividya Somayaji and Suma Aithal) presented "Marga Taranga" with Kalinga Mardhana, Shurpanakhi, Mareecha, Seethapaharana and finally chose a thillana. Under the direction of Dr. Lalitha Srinivasan they performed with ease and confidence and their career is worth watching.

    Beautiful Krishnamrutham

    Divya Hosakere, Siri Chandrashekhar and Anupama Mandya, students of P. Praveen Kumar (Chithkala School) chose "Krishnamrutham" for their dance programme. Few episodes like Krishna Janana (Krishnas birth) Puthani Samhara and Geethopadesha were proof of their good training.

    All these young students of dance must continue their training and witness-observe the performances of senior dancers, to become versatile dancers.

    Mysore V Subramanya

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