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  • 12/31/17--06:20: Music and dance reviews
  • The Panchamrutha Sugama Sangeetha Academy is conducting music classes in both Sugama Sangeetha and folklore from last two decades under the direction of Gayathri Keshavamurthy.

    Apart from monthly programmes (Kavi Dani) it also conducts music festival, every year. The Academy celebrated "Janapada Sampada" with Kannada folk songs. Senior musician Vinutha Budihal was felicitated on the occasion.

    Students of the Academy opened the programme with an invocatory song on Ganesha, customarily. 15 young students - all below 12 years - sang boldly with confidence. Thus the song "Ganapathi" gave them a bright start. It was followed by another folk song "Hoguvenu Nagamallige".

    Nanjundeswara and Male Mahadeshwara are the subjects of a number of folk songs. So also the next composition "Thinga Thingallige Chanda Nanjanagudu" and "Baagi Baagi Bangara Thugi" - were sung by "Dasha Mahileyaru" - 6 to 60 years old, in unison. Three students of Anitha Cultural Trust narrated "Nimbia Banada Myaga" pleasingly. The "Naada Myalina Naagara Panchami" by the duo Gayathri Keshavamurthy and Sandhyasri was also evocative. Popular artistes Shashidhar Kote (Chellidaru Malligeya) and Vinutha Budihal (Kel Kel Utharahalli Maravva) stole the show by their rich voice and matured presentation.

    Especially the Kathana Prasanga attracted with its crisp conversation. Diwakar Kashyap selected a song on Mahadeswaraswamy (Maleya Madayya Swamy Bandavne) and sang neatly.

    These young students with some more higher training and stage experience can reach great heights.

    A band of experienced instrumentalists - Shivanand Jois on a keyboard, Shashidhar on rhythm pad, Gireesh Kalyadi on tabla habala and S. Ravi (special effects) - shared the honours with the vocalists.

    Twinkling stars of the art world

    The Smart School of the Sri Vidya Kendra presented a special programme last week. The programme "India and Beyond" was the right theme for the students. Young - rather very young students right from the pre-primary school presented dance and dance dramas like Harvest season, invoking Ganeshas Blessings, Dandia Bihu dance, Garbha dance, Kindarajogi, English tunes, Spanish rhythms etc. with colourful dress and costumes, shining jewels and little steps with twinkling bells danced to the background of melodious and inspiring music. Kudos to the Smart School for nurturing and encouraging these tiny tots.

    Mysore V Subramanya- MYSORE V. SUBRAMANYA

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  • 01/14/18--05:52: Music and dance reviews
  • Harmany at Harmonium habba

    Harmonium is effectively used alongside Indian classical music. It is a popular, widely used accompaniment and occasionally we also hear Harmonium solo recitals. Many of our Hindustani vocalists are also harmonium players and it is widely used in semiclassical,
    devotional and light music also. Stalwarts like Vittal Rao Koregawankar, Panchakshari Gavai, Puttaraj Gavai, Vasanth Kanakapura, Seshadri Gavai - are
    some of the prominent Harmonium players of yesteryears.

    So also in Carnatic music we had Arunachalappa, H Bhima Rao, Palladam Venkataramana Rao and in stage music artistes like Seshagiri Rao, R Paramashivan - have rendered yeomen services.

    Pandith Rambhau Bijapure, a state Academy Award winner, was not only an outstanding harmonium player but also a great teacher. His birth centenary was celebrated last week by the Bijapure Harmonium Foundation, in a unique way. A Hundred Harmonium Ensemble (Shatha Samvadini Vaadana) lead by Dr Ravindra Gururaj Katoti - was probably the first of its kind and a fitting tribute to a great maestro.

    Duet, trio, a quartet of harmonium, lecture demonstrations, a release of publications and CDs and felicitations were also held on the occasion.

    Duet, ensemble, apart from solo harmonium recitals were held on Saturday evening.

    An interesting duet of harmonium and sarangi were presented by Deepak Marathe and Sarfaraz Khan.

    They chose rag
    Rajeswari which attracted with its lilting melody. Kedar Naphades choice was popular raga Yaman.

    He skillfully played it in teen thaal.

    Tanmay Devthakke had selected Kaphi Sindhura
    for his harmonium quartet.

    They played with ease and confidence. In the final concert of the evening, senior advocate cum musician Ravindra Manes Janasammohiny was pleasing, throughout.

    Divinely abled students
    exhibit talent

    Hamsakuteera Foundation is a rare institution serving the divinely abled (differently abled) children. Under the direction of Dr Geetha Bhat, a child mental health practitioner and a veena player, differently abled students are being trained in a scientific way. She is enriching their (differently abled) lives through music - especially through vocal, veena and rhythm. In the annual festival Naada Prayathna several such students exhibited their talent at Seva Sadana, on Saturday morning.

    The ensemble of differently abled students opened their programme with a popular bhajan Shudda Bramha Partpara Rama. It was followed by a few well-known devotionals like Narayannathe Namo Namo of Annamacharya which helped to spread a divine-serene atmosphere in the auditorium.

    Hari Hara Ninnana Mechisabahude was with meaningful lyrics in a satirical tone in the raga Sindubhairavi.

    While Bhajamyaham was in the raga Hamsadwani, the Ramanamamu was tuned in Athana.

    A bhajan of Bharati Teertha Swamijee and Namadeva were also included. Indeed, they sang in unison aligning well with sruti.

    vocal and
    veena ensemble

    Among other students Dwadasha Gayakaru (12), sang Kamakshee Varalakshee pleasingly. Young Anasuya rendered evocatively a composition of Swati Tirunal in the raga Kaapi, 16 member ensemble opened their Veena recital with an attractive Pancha raga swarajathi followed by a piece in Mohana.

    Kambodhi Swara Jathi(of Veena Seshanna) and Jalandhara of Jayachamaraja Wodeyar - were the choice of the veena trio.

    Dr Geetha Bhat elaborated Shanmukhapriya, which was proof of her talent and good training.

    J K Sridhar, S N Narayana Murthy, Prema V Dutt - accompanied on violin, mrudanga and rhythm pad, respectively. The Hamsa Kuteera deserves all help from the government and society.

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  • 01/21/18--00:04: Music and dance reviews
  • Purandara Dasa Aradhana

    Purandara Dasa Punya Dina [Aradhana] is being celebrated by different institutions with great devotion and fervour, in many parts of the city. One such organisation Sri Raghavendra Seva Samithi, Sudhindranagara, held the festival at its own Temple premises, with music (both Karnatic and Hindustani) concerts, discourse and bhajan apart from religious functions.

    Varijashree Venugopal is a multifarious talented artiste - a singer (also with cross-cultural musical collaborations with artistes and bands), flautist, composer, actress - so on. She is also a recipient of few awards including Kempegowda Award, Gaana Vinodini (Colombo), Ugadi Puraskar (Chennai), Ananya Prathibhe, Best vocalist (Television music by Kima), best female vocalist (Suvarna and Mirchi music).

    In her concert in the Samithi, Varijashri presented devaranamas of different Haridasas in attractive ragas. Hamsanandi was briefly elaborated with alapana and swara for "Ea Pariya Sobagu". While "Venkatachala Nilayam" was suffixed with ragalapana, the "Sada Enna Hrudayadalli" was a favourite devaranama of yesteryears. With her sweet voice and impactful presentation Varijashree also sang 3 popular padas - Bandaddella Barali in the raga Kaapi, Krishna Nee Begane Baro and Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma. She was well supported by J.K. Sridhar on violin and B.S. Prashant on mridanga.

    Pleasing vocal

    Senior vocalist Vani Sateesh chose devaranamas of Purandara Dasa, Kanakadasaru, Vyasa Rayaru, Jagannatha Dasaru and few others. Ugabhogas are specialities of Haridasas, with its good meaning and narration in an interesting manner. Vani chose several ugabhogas like - Ajaga Dwaja, Deena Nanu etc. The Antarangadali Hariya Kaanadava in Mohana was followed by Aava Rogavo and Bhajisi Badukelo Maanava. Though the nerval (Garuda Seshadrigallu) and swara were brief, was pleasing throughout. Purvi Kalyani was the main raga of the evening for the "Kelano Hari Thaalano", which was rendered with sparkling sangathies. Naneke Badavanu brought nostalgic memories and Vani concluded with a mangalam. Three young instrumentalists - Adithi Prakash, Aravind and Raghunandan accompanied on violin, mridanga and ghata, respectively.

    Meaningful presentation

    Ashok and Hariharan are among the very few male duets of the state and have earned a respectable place, in the Carnatic music field. They opened their concert with the Sharanu customarily, followed by Gurukarya. Apart from veteran Haridasas, they also presented padas of lesser-known composers like B.K. Padmanabha Rao - Gurugala Darushana in Athana and Guru Rayara Dhyana in Dhanyasi - are a good addition to the concert repertoire. They crowned their concert with a pleasant Kalyani for "Dayamado Ranga". Their choice of ragas like Vasantha (Baro Namma Manege), Varali (Idu Bhagya), Natakaranji (Sri Rama Ninna), Neelambari (Marulu Madikonda) - was appreciated by the connoisseurs wholeheartedly. Their good voice, selection and presentation, were appropriate to both music and lyrics. Venkatesh Joiser, B.R. Srinivas and Phanindra Bhaskar were in charge of violin, mridanga and ghata respectively.

    Drishti dance festival

    A Tribute to three veteran dancers was paid in this years Dristi Dance Festival, last week. Few disciples of each Guru presented items learnt from their Gurus, during their training.

    Keertana Ravi, Mithun Shyam, Priyanka Raghavan, Sneha Devnandan and Sruthi Parshwanath - paid tributes to their Guru Padmini Ramachandran through Pushpanjali and Ganesha Vandana. In the "Paal Kadal" Dashavathara was beautifully projected.


    Four students of Narmada chose a fine varna to pay tributes to their Guru through a Bharathanatya recital. Sathyanarayana Raju, Praveen Kumar, Anuradha Vikranth and Soundharya Srivathsa - performed the varna evocatively.

    Kathak Recital

    Three students paid tributes to their Guru Dr Maya Rao, through Kathak recitals. Rajendra and Nirupamas selection was a piece from Kalidasa - return journey of Sita and Rama from Lanka to Ayodhya. With their sparkling abhinaya and expression, they stole the show. Madhu Nataraj with few co-dancers presented a Thumri (More Chede) and a Tharana in jinjoti, which were proof of their good training and talent.

    An overflowing crowd witnessed the Drishti dance festival, well organised by Anuradha Vikrant and T.M. Vikrant.

    -Mysore V Subramanya

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  • 01/28/18--02:24: Music and dance reviews
  • Beautiful nrityotsava

    The Kalapremi Foundation conducted a 3 days Nrityotsava with an Odissi, Mohiniyattam and a Kathak recital, last week.

    The inaugural recital was by Arushi Mudgal, a talented young Odissi dancer. She is a disciple of Madhavi Mudgal and has received guidance from Kelucharan Mohapatra and Leela Samson also. She has given a number of programmes under prestigious banners and recipient of few Awards including the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar from Sangeet Natak Akademi.

    Arushi Mudgal had named it as Sutra ("Beads of creativity woven in the string of tradition"). She saluted to the invocatory God through "Ganesh Vandana" and the "Vasant" was also lively. She excelled in Nritha in the "Bageshree" and the Abhinaya was quite bright in the Odissi songs. With her expressive eyes and grace, Arushi Mudgals performance was beautiful with good impact.

    Saamagana festival

    The Bharatiya Saamagana Sabhas eagerly awaited annual music festival was held last week with music concerts (Carnatic and Hindustani; vocal and instrumental) which they called it as "Sarvalankara Sangeethothsava".

    The "Dhanvantari concert series" opened with a demonstration of Konnakkol. On the Konugol or Konnakol, the dictionary says - "The art of reciting jatis or rhythmic solfa syllables in a pleasant manner and in conformity to a chosen thala".

    Young and talented musicians Somashekar Jois and Sanak Athreya spoke on Konnakol therapy with special reference to "special needs of children - speech disorder - diction improvement" etc and demonstrated Konnakol in Adi Thala, in different speeds with voice modulations. It was informative and useful.

    Popular musicians Mysore Nagaraj and Manjunath regaled the audience with their violin duet. Instead of a number of compositions, they selected only one raga (Brindavana Saranga). The raga glowed beautifully with classical phrases. With their good command over the instrument, the Pallavi was pleasing throughout and Trichy Harikumar on Mridanga and Ullur Giridhar Udupa on Ghata shared the honours with the violinists.

    The last concert of the morning was again a duet - of course of a different kind. Gundecha Brothers, being disciples of Dagar Brothers, are in the foremost position in the Dhrupad Gayan. After a brief introduction by Dr Rajshekhar Vyas, Gundecha Brothers opened their Dhrupad presentation with rag Bhimpalas. Starting slowly like a royal elephant, ascending swara by swara, touching the pivotal swaras they gave a dignified shape to the raga. Dhyaneswar Deshmukh and Ramesh Chandra Joshi supported on Pakhawaj.

    Sangeetha sambhrama

    Another organisation which conducts Aradhana every year is Nagajyothi Sangeetha Sabha Trust, Malleswaram. In this years "Sangeetha Sambhrama" (53rd year) held under the joint auspices of Malleswaram Arya Vyshya Sangha, veena and violin solo recitals, apart from vocal were also conducted. On the occasion Vidwan L. Bhimachar received the Lifetime Achievement Puraskar, Kalajyothi Award was conferred on Vidushi D. Suryaprabha and Dr. Hamsini Nagendra received the Nadajyothi Puraskar.

    Curtains came down on this years music festival with a grand vocal recital of P. Unnikrishnan on Saturday. A popular vocalist in both classical and film music, he is also a Award winner in the national level.

    A classic composition "Mayateetha Swarupini" gave Unnikrishnan a bright start. It was further buttressed with nerval and swara. The "Vara Narada" with nostalgic flavour, reminded his guru - Dr. S. Ramanathan. After the ever popular "Mokshamugalada" a devaranama "Paraku Madade", he chose "Marivere" for a detailed elaboration with raga, nerval (Sannutanga Sri) and swara. Unnikrishnan sang with lively sangathies and well knit swara, which was a pleasant listening till the end. Connoisseurs also enjoyed a chain of devotionals like Rama Rama Rama Seetha, Kunidado Krishna, Paluke Bangara, Bramha Okate. H.K. Venkatram, Arjun Kumar and Giridhar Udupa gave good support on violin, mridanga and ghata respectively.

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  • 02/04/18--02:52: Music and dance reviews
  • Music and dance reviews

    Pleasing "Sukhabhumi"

    The Bangalore Environment Trust is working hard to bring awareness to the city. It had organised a special programme called "Sukha Bhumi" - "a concept to engage in the awareness of the eco-balance of the society". A music and a dance programme was organised last week, which was also a fundraising programme in aid of mentally challenged children.

    Kannada lyrics - both popular and folk - were presented by 4 vocalists, lead by Pustakam Rama. All the compositions were on the river Kaveri, captioned aptly "Kaveri Patha", Namo Namo Kaveri Thaye, Hasirige Usiru Ithavaru and also an English poem (We thank you, God). They sang in unison spiritedly.

    Dance drama

    Agasthya, "the great sage who stabilized the ecosystem of the earth" (concept by the Bangalore Environment Trust) was brought on the stage like a dance drama, with nearly 25 artistes, beautifully choreographed by the senior danseuse Veena Murthy.

    Opening with the sacred Gayathri Mantra, it was divided into 7 scenes right from the birth of Agasthya; covered his knowledge in mathematics, astrology; his concern for socio-economic development; Lopamudra, chanting of "Vathapi Jeernobhava"; birth of the river Kaveri, through the mystical story in 3 episodes and concluded with the present day deteriorating state of the ecosystem etc. etc. With beautiful choreography (Veena Murthy) and melodious music (Raghunandan R. and P. Rama), it had a good message for the society.

    Colourful kinkini

    Mohiniattam, Odissi, Kathakali, Kuchipudi and Kathak programmes apart from Bharathanatya were held in the annual Kinkini dance festival.

    Navya Natarajan, who gave a Bharathanatya recital, is a disciple of Late Padmini Ramachandran and has performed in both India and abroad, several times. A post graduate in science, Navya is also a recipient of "Yuva Kalabharathi" Award. The "Navarathnamalike" of Shankaracharya on Parashakthi gave Navya Natarajan a pleasant start. The Asta ragamalike varna of Ponnaiah Pille "Saami Ninne Kori" - is a master piece. For a senior dancer like Navya it was not a difficult task to execute those well woven jathies. Her graceful Abhinaya came to fore especially in Pada (Yaru kaga) and concluded with a fine thillana of Lalgudi, in the raga Desh. The accompanists who inspired music by R. Raghuram, natuvanga by Prasanna Kumar, mridanga by Harsha Samaga and flute by Mahesh Swamy.

    Salutation to Tyagaraja

    Nine students of Nupura presented few selected keertanas of Saint Tyagaraja, in the "Tyagaraj Sannuthi". Popular and meaningful compositions like Melu Kovayya (Bhouli), Sri Rama Raghurama, Brova Baramma (Bahudari), etc. They performed with practised ease and good expressions. But connoisseurs may not agree to join three keertanas in different raga and "Bhava"! Vasudha Balakrishna (vocal), S.V. Balakrishna (mridanga), Madhusudhana (mridanga) and Mahesh Swamy (flute) - supported from the wings.

    Dancer from the USA

    Akhilandeswari, who gave a Bharathanatya recital at the Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan, is the Director of Kalagangothri, USA. Originally from Bengaluru, she is a disciple of Revathi Narasimhan and continued her training under Uma Rao and has passed her vidwat examination also. She has completed her "Ranga Pravesha" in 1999 and has received the Purandara Anugraha Prashasthi from TTD and an "outstanding performer" award in U.S.A. She is teaching young aspirants in her institution Kalagangothri and has performed in many countries along with her students.

    Akhila, in the current programme performed along with few young students of Kala Sindhu. She had chosen "Dasa Marga", based on devaranamas of different Haridasas. After performing few padas in the format of Pushpanjali, Alaripu, it was followed by Jathiswara and Shabda in ragamalike (Sharanembe Vani). She crowned her programme with a detailed "Aada Hodalli" in which Kalinga Mardhana, Shakatasura etc. were beautifully performed. She excelled in both nritha and nritya. With her impactful expression and pleasing abhinaya she stole the show.

    -Mysore V Subramanya

    A scene from Agastha,


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  • 02/11/18--05:28: Music and dance reviews
  • Swaralipi awards

    Smt B S Chandrakala was not only a vocalist but also a violinist, author, teacher and recipient of few awards. In her memory, the Bangalore Gayana Samaja conducts a music programme and presents awards, every year. This year senior journalist Dr R Poornima and Vidushi H N Meera received the "Swaralipi" Awards, last week.

    Earlier H N Meera gave a brief concert, selecting compositions of different composers. She opened her concert with a well-known varna "Maathe" and decorated the composition "Vandenishamaham" with brief raga and swara. "Mamava Meenakshee" with nerval and swara, was the main item of the concert. Without overdoing anything, with a pleasant presentation, Meera pleased the gathering. "Krishnana Kolalina Kare" of Dr P T. Narasimhachar is also a good selection. Few devotionals like - Ninna Mana Deguladi, Gopiya Bhagyavidu and Yake Bandi Jeeva etc - were also presented in the concluding part. B. Raghuram and A. Renuka Prasad accompanied on violin and mridanga.

    Sparkling theatre music

    Naada Tarangini Balaga presented "Ranga Sangeetha Sammodini" - based on the music of professional drama theatres.

    Earlier a C.D. of theatre music on Harmonium, performed by R Paramashivan, was also released on the occasion. Paramashivan has served the Kannada "Company Nataka" - especially as Harmonium player, singer and music director. Naturally, he is a recipient of several awards, including Sangeet Natak Akademy Award. He has created a world record by bringing out a C D of one Thousand "Ranga Geethe", performed by himself on Harmonium.

    The Balaga presented excerpts from few old Kannada plays - humorous and lively. The opening song "Hellida Hage" was in the raga Kuranji and "Hindu Desha" was in raga Peelu. "Rama Samudra" in Madhyamavathi received loud applause. The Najukaiah part of the well-known play "Devadasi" was very popular, during those days. From that play, "Sukhaveeva" in Shankarabharana raga and the duet of "Kalla" and "Sadarame" was a hit song of yesteryears! So also songs in Kuranji, kadanakuthuhala were equally entertaining. Veterans R. Paramashivan (87), Manjula (75) sang and acted like young actors, with ease, beautiful birkha and aligning well with Sruthi - they stole the show. Along with them Deepak, Malini Agrahara, Shiva Prasad and Poornima - shared the honours. It was a rare treat for connoisseurs of both music and theatre.

    Graceful "Sammilana"

    The monthly programme of the Bangalore Lalithakala Parishat was "Sammilana" - a duet by husband and wife Surya N Rao and Prathama Prasad Rao of Mahamaya Arts Foundation. They have been trained by C. Navada, Veena Murthy, Dr Maya Rao and holds a bachelors degree in choreography and have performed in many countries and are recipients of few awards including "Nritya Shiromani".

    "Sammilana" - was actually a jugalbandi of Kathak and Kuchipudi. The first piece "Aarambh" which was in rag Jog, gave them a bright start. The "Dashavathara" was well presented in the "Sanchari" of "Yela Nee Dayarada". It is a fine composition of Saint Tyagaraja in the raga Athana and beautifully performed by Surya in the Kuchipudi style. Prathama Prasad presented Thala mala to show footwork in Thishra, Chatushra, Khanda and Mishra. To dramatise few episodes from Ramayana Surya chose "Hanumantha Deva Namo". Prathama Prasad selected an Astapadi to perform a "Khanditha Nayaki" gracefully. They concluded with a "Thillana - Tharana". They performed with ease and assurance, catching the attention of the audience, successfully.

    - Mysor V Subramanya

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  • 02/18/18--05:24: Music and dance reviews
  • Spring music festival

    The Sri Rama Lalithakala Mandira conducted the annual Spring Music Festival for 9 days, with music and dance programmes. On the occasion, the "Sangeetha Vedantha Dhureene" Award was presented to Ranjani and Gayathri, popular vocalists.

    Kalavathy Avadhooth who gave a vocal recital here hails from a musicians family. Apart from her mother (G.R. Jaya) and father (Bangalore K Vankatram) she has learnt under Anoor Ramakrishna and P.S. Narayana Swamy also and is a gold medalist in post graduation class.

    Kalavathy is known for her vast repertoire, which proved once again in the current concert. She laid a good foundation for the concert through the Kambodhi Atta thala varna. "Maya Teetha Swarupini" of Ponnaiah Pillai was a fine composition to start with, followed by "Brochevarevare Raghupathe" in Sriranjini. Raga Charukeshi for "Kripaya Palaya" with alapana and swara was brief but with good "raga bhava". A composition of Sadashiv Bramhendra and Bhadrachala Ramdas rendered pleasingly. A rendition of the kruthi "Upacharamu" stood out for its tonal flourishes. Raga Hamsanandi is a Shadava raga and a popular rakti raga. in Kalavatis voice, Hamsanandi anchored well to the lilting gait to a lingering effect. In the swaraprasthara of the Pallavi, she also narrated Bhegade, Reetigowla and Nalinakanthi - weaving swaraprasthara intelligently. She sang in the concluding session a devaranama (Baro Murare) of Vadiraja and a thillana of T V G She was well supported by H M Smitha on violin, H S Sudhindra on mridanga and Trichi Krishnaswamy on ghata.

    Udupa music festival

    Popular Ghatam player Ullur Giridhar Udupa presented a 3 days music festival (Udupa Music Festival), through his Udupa Foundation, with several celebrities from both in and outside Karnataka.

    On Saturday a galaxy of well-known musicians presented a grand Karnatic music concert. For Abhishek Raghurams vocal, Mysore Nagarajs violin was not just accompaniment! But it appeared as vocal and violin Jugalbandi! They were accompanied by 3 percussionists: Khanjari (Guru Prasanna) and thabala (Yogesh Samsi) led by Karaikudi Mani on mridanga.

    Abhishek and Nagaraj opened their concert with a meaningful keerthana of Tyagaraja "Sogasuga Mrudanga Thaalamu", which was refreshing. Melody and speed caught the attention in "Meru Samana" with clearly embellishing swara prasthara. With two brilliant artistes handling Ranjani, the raga attained a flavour all its own. The alapana was full of deep-felt sangathies and the thana was equally powerful, to project a colourful compact picture of the raga. The swara prasthara for the Pallavi, further added to the tempo, and was full of verve, verily affirmative and enhanced the impact of the raga. With the grandeur of their delineation and impeccable artistry, the percussionists caught the attention of the listeners with their vigour, involvement and enjoyment. Abhishek and Nagaraj performed enjoying themselves and appreciating each other to cast a spell on the audience.

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  • 02/25/18--05:12: Music and dance reviews
  • Torchbearer of Kolar tradition

    Dr C Radhakrishna is the torch bearer of the Kolar Dance tradition. Being a disciple of Nattuvanar N Gundappa, he is the worthy heir of the Yajaman Kolara Kittanna "Parampara" and doyen of Kolara Parampara.

    He has trained hundreds of students and is a recipient of several awards including Shanthala Award and Honorary Doctorate from the University.

    To celebrate Dr Radhakrishnas 90th birthday, his students had organised a special dance programme called "Kala Saarthakya" on Friday.

    Dr Radhakrishna has researched the old book of Yajman Kolara Kittanna and has reconstructed "Chitra Natya" and few other compositions.

    His senior students presented few selected compositions at the Chowdaiah Memorial Hall. Five students of Padmini Seshadri chose "Asta Dikpalaka Aradhana" in ragamalika and Thaala Malika, each with a definite Devathe, vehicle and weapon in a specific raga and thala. Six students of Mala Shashikanth presented swara Pallavi in the Shanmukhapriya raga. The Kaivare Prabhanda of Venkatamukhi in the raga Ramapriya was actually a Nataraja stuthi.

    With Pallavi, Anu Pallavi and Ethugade it was performed in the form of a varna. In the "Astadala Kamala" Veena and Apurva performed it in the form of a varna and lotus emerged from the footwork of the dancers! So also in the next Chitranatya which on conclusion a Brindavan emerged from the footwork unfolds the image of a Brindavana from the dance steps (Mala Shashikanth) was fascinating. It is worth to remember that these rare compositions have been brought on the stage for the first time! Hence with some more intensified practice and stage performance, these pictures of Chitranatya may become more beautiful and the performance impactful. Anyhow thanks to Guru Dr Radhakrishna for bringing to light these rare compositions even at his old age (90), which is proof of his deep research mentality and sincerity.

    Vasudha Balakrishna (vocal), Prasanna Kumar (Natuvanga), Janardhan (mridanga), Vivek Krishna (flute), Dr. Nataraj Murthy (violin) - supported from the wings.

    Melodious Sam-giti

    The Antarnaad presented a "Sam-giti" - a Karnatic and Hindustani music recital, at the Gayana Samaja auditorium.

    Ambi Subramaniam is the son and disciple of Dr L Subramaniam, the internationally acclaimed violinist.

    A child prodigy, Ambi gave his first performance at the age of 7 and has performed in many countries and received many awards at a young age itself.

    Through his Scheme "Sapa in Schools" he is teaching at a number of school children, along with his sister Bindu.

    Ambi Subramaniam was accompanied on mridanga by Rajesh and morching by Satya Sai. The familiar Navaragamalika varna gave him a bright start. Good clarity even in the "Druta Kaala" was proof of his good training and never left one in doubt about his talent and hard practice.

    He capped his concert with a pleasant raga, thana and Pallavi. Latangi is the 63rd mela and a popular raga. Ambis alapana was delineated with as much aplomb and the thana was crisp. The Pallavi set to Khanda Chapu and swara - led him into the intended mood. The swara was also lively and Ambis solo violin was melodious and was a reassuring concert.

    Dhrupad Dhamar

    Prasanna Viswanathan is a Hindustani vocalist, specialised in Dhrupad sangeet. He is a disciple of Pandit Uday Bhawalkar and has already performed on various platforms.

    He is a senior performing scholar of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata and has scored music and has sung for many documentary films. Sukad Munde accompanied Prasanna on pakhawaj in this concert.

    He opened his concert with rag Dhani. Developing swara by swara he gradually tried to give a good shape to the raga.

    The Dhamar (14 beats) was presented neatly. Rag Saraswathi took its own shape and Sul Thal was also delineated traditionally and without overdoing anything Prasanna sang convincingly.

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  • 03/11/18--04:10: Music and dance reviews
  • Graceful duet

    Dr Priyashri Rao, Veena C Seshadri and Dr Dwaritha Viswanatha -students of Kalakshetra-jointly paid homage to Dr Rukmini Devi Arundale, the doyen. Apart from performances, there were few demonstrations which were very useful and educative. Husband and wife Shajith Nambiar and Parvathy Menon, alumni of Kalakshetra and recipients of Bismillah Khan Award from the Sangeeth Natak Akademi and directors of Samradhya (Chennai), gave a Bharathanatya recital in collaboration with ICCR.

    The popular "Natanam Aadinar" gave them a pleasant start. The Kalyani jathi swara was performed neatly on firm feet. With clean-cut rhythm and crisp footwork, it was a pleasure to see the duo handling the varna "Vanajaksha" in the raga Behag with such understanding and aesthetic sense. Abhinaya, especially in the Pada (Shankarabharana) and the composition on Subramanya, was pleasing. They concluded with a Thillana in the raga Jinjoti and impressed with graceful movements. In total it was a pleasant experience.

    A talented team of musicians supported the dancers from the wing - Venkatakrishnan on Natuvanga, Bina Venugopal on vocal, Kartikeyan Ramanathan on mridanga and Ritesh Gopalakrishnan on violin.

    Melodious string instruments

    The Tarangini Arts Foundation is serving the music field for the last 45 years, in teaching and organising music and allied arts programmes. It had organised a seminar last week on "The present and future of instrumental music in Karnatic music."

    In the evening there were two instrumental music concerts - one Carnatic and the other in Hindustani. Popular Veena player Dr Suma Sudhindra started off in style with a varna. The Durbar varna in five speeds gave Suma a rollicking start. Purvi Kalyani was dignified in its portrayal, the keerthane "Meenakshi Me Madam" anchored with a flurry of glowing "Sangathies". The Jawali in Kaapi and thillana in Revathi - were also pleasing. Y G Srilatha on Veena, N N Ganesh Kumar on violin, B C Manjunath on mridanga and S N Narayana Murthy on ghata - gave good support.

    Brilliant jugalbandi

    Sriram Parasuram is one of the very few musicians graded as an A grade artiste over the All India Radio in both Karnatic and Hindustani violin. A recipient of several prizes and awards including a gold medal from AIR in both the systems and Firestone fellowship, M S Subbulakshmi Memorial Award, Surmani etc. etc.

    It was actually a One man Jugalbandi violin concert. Hamsadwani gave Sriram a serene start. After presenting Hamsadwani in Karnatic style customarily, he took Hindustani in Madhya lay and Drut in Teen thal. He chose Madhuvanti against Dharmavathi. "Though it is not the counterpart, it sounds almost similar" - Dr Sriram said. Though Dharmavathi is a Sampurna Raga in Karnatic music, Madhuvanti is a Oudava Sampurna and was marked for its good imagination accounting for an elegant coherence. Ravichandrike in Karnatic music is not the counterpart of Ragesri.

    But it gives almost the same experience. He presented a popular composition (Ma Kelara) of yesteryear in Karnatic music and a beautiful Tharana in Rageshri. With his command over the instrument, Sriram proved once again his expertise in both the systems. It was melodious and lively throughout. C Cheluvaraj and Dr Udayaraj Karpur gave percussion support with aplomb.

    Tuneful Gotuvadya

    Gotuvadya is just the Veena minus the frets and the waxy ledge. Though Veena is a popular instrument, comparatively, there are not many Gotuvadya players. Among the current Gotuvadya players of Karnataka, Dr Gayathri Rajapur Kassebaum is a senior artiste serving the music field for 5 decades. She is a disciple of Budulur Krishnamurthy and Musiri Subramanya Iyer and has well versed in both vocal and Gotuvadya. She is an ethnomusicologist and recipient of PhD from the University of Washington.

    Dr Gayathri Rajapur Kassebaum gave a Gotuvadya recital on Saturday under the aegis of the Sri Sharada Samskruthika Sangha, Sharada Colony. She presented a number of compositions which were most popular during yesteryears.

    In the beginning, she saluted to the invocatory God through the "Siddivinayakam" in the raga Shanmukhapriya. "Saraseeruha" is a fine composition and the Neelambari krithi brought nostalgic memories in the old-timers.

    Varali is an ever favourite raga for both musicians and connoisseurs. Dr Gayathri elaborated Varali for the dignified Kruthi "Mamava Meenakshi".

    It was tuneful, traditional and pleasing. Sri Varalakshmi, Sakalagrahabala, an old Jawadi (Samayamide) and a thillana in Durbari Kaanada followed. Without overdoing anything and sans gimmicks Dr Gayathri Rajapure pleased the gathering with her neat presentation. M Vasudeva Rao and Phanindra Bhaskar accompanied on mridanga and ghata, respectively.

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