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  • 07/28/13--14:00: Music and dance reviews
  • 'Parampara dhara'

    The Kaishiki Natyavahini, a senior dance school, presented a cultural programme with music and dance recitals, last week. On the occasion of the silver jubilee of the school, a book called "Parampara dhara" by Dr Mala Shashikanth was also released in the august presence of Guru Radhakrishna, President, Karnataka Bharatagama Pratishtana.

    Sindhu Shashikanth, who hails from a artistes' family, is learning music under Neela Ramgopal, a veteran vocalist. In her concert here, she was accompanied on violin by Anirud Nadig and on mridanga by Deepika Srinivas. "Pahimam Briha Nayike" gave Sindhu a bright start. She gave a good vocal recital with "Mamava sada" as the centre piece.

    Also she revealed her grasp over the medium with admirable self confidence. But there was no need to change the traditional raga of the devaranama "Anjike inyatakayya'. With continued training and more stage experience, Sindhu Shashikanth has a good future in the years to come.

    Six young students of Kaishiki Natyavahini gave a Bharathanatya recital under the direction of Dr Mala Shashikanth.

    They opened the programme with 'Astadikpalaka Vandana', customarily. "Mella Mellane Bandane" was performed changing the roles in quick succession and dramatising the events. Young dance students performed with ease and assurance. They concluded with the popular thillana in Jinjoti raga (Veena Seshanna), evocatively. It was the result of the good training they are receiving and hope they will continue the studies and reach great heights.

    Melodious harmonium

    The Bangalore Lalithakala Parishat presented a solo harmonium recital by Dr Ravindra G Katoti. Katoti is a disciple of Pandit Rambhau Bijapure, veteran harmonium player and has passed 'Sangeet Alankar' of Akhil Bharateeya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya and recipient of 'Sur Ratna' award. He is known not only as a fine accompanist, but also a reputed soloist and an able teacher. The Karnataka University has conferred doctorate on him and he is a lecturer in commerce.

    In the current concert, 'Sri' the familiar raga, gave Ravindra Katoti a bright start. Developing the raga gradually in vilambith (Rupak) and Druth (Teen Thal), he delighted the audience. The same mood continued in Thilak Kamod, another evocative raga. His mastery over the instrument, volume control by manipulating bellows skillfully and producing melodious sound - constituted the woof and the warp of the musical fabric woven by Katoti. While the Keeravani Dhun was pleasing, he sprang a surprise by selecting a devaranama (Jagadoddharana), which is very popular in Karnatic music. As usual the last raga was Bhairavi (Jamuna Ke Teer). Udayaraj Karpoor accompanied on tabla with good understanding and Master Chirag Kanitkar supported on harmonium.

    Bhakti Bhajanamrutha

    Vidwan S R Maruthi Prasad, a blind vocalist, has caught the attention of connoisseurs as a good performer and an able teacher. He has passed proficiency examination with distinction and has won several prizes including the M S Subbalakshmi Memorial Prize and has performed in leading organisations (including the Music Academy, Chennai), both in and outside the country. His latest audio CD 'Bhakthi Bhajanamrutha' (Lakshmi Audio Company) was released last week, at the Seva Sadana, Malleswara. After the formal function, there was music recital by Maruthi Prasad and his students. The opening "Shiva Rama Krishna Govind" was a prayer in praise of several Gods. It set the pace for a tuneful fair. Travelling three octaves effortlessly he sang with good feeling.

    With his good voice he presented another popular devotional in the "Bhajana Sampradhaya." The "Veera Dheera Hanuman" with pleasing 'Bhava' was impressive heightening the impact. His students joined in the chorus, singing in unison. Earlier, another devotional song of Narahari Dasaru "Chinataye Sadguru" was rendered by another set of students, which also attracted with good music (Dr T S Satyavathi) and lively presentation. The percussion support was provided by Shivashankar and Maruthi Prasad.

    Mysore VSubramanya

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  • 08/04/13--12:17: Music and dance reviews
  • Colourful 'Naman'

    Nrityantar Academy of Performing Arts conducted 'Naman-2013,' a festival of Odissi dance, last week. It is a pleasant thing to see Madhulita Mohapatra, Odissi dancer, emerging as a good organiser, too. There were three dance recitals, which showcased three different schools of Odissi dance.

    Rahul Acharya, who had come from Bhubhaneshwar is a reputed male dancer. He is an important dancer of the Guru Deb Prasad Das 'Baani,' and a recipient of Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar. He has performed in many parts of the world. The " Sthayee," which gave him a bright start, attracted with good foot work. In the divine Ashtapadi "Priye Charusheele" his Abhinaya was restrained, but impressive. In the "Ashta Shambhu" describing Shiva, the creator of dance, Rahul Acharya performed different Tandavas vigourously. Ananda Tandava (joy), Sandhya Tandava (evening), Gauri Tandav, Kaaleeka Tandav etc, were depicted with different postures of Shiva energetically.

    The dance couple Ramesh Chandra Jena and Madhusmita Mohanty came all theway from Odissa to give a fine Odissi dance recital. Together they presented the 'Navarasa,' through the Ramayana. Each rasa was depicted through an appropriate episode. For instance, Sita's abduction was narrated for 'Bhayanaka' and Shoorpanakha episode for 'Haasya.' Thus joy of Rama and Seetha (Sringara), Dhanurbhanga (Veera), Jatayu's death (Karuna), Setu Bandha (Adbhuta), Rama-Ravana in the battlefield (Raudra rasa) etc, were performed with impactful Abhinaya. In the "Barabadhu" (of Dr Mayadhar Mansingh), Madhusmita Mohanty, performed well with her expressive eyes. Earlier the Nrityantar opened with a fine dance recital of Pavithra Reddy.

    Nritya Sambhrama

    Natya Niketan got up a pleasant programme last week at the Bangalore Gayana Samaja auditorium. It was a different dance programme, in the sense, Director Revathi Narasimhan's daughter and two grand daughters performed "Nritya Sambhrama." Deepa Srikanth, daughter of Revathi, who has completed 'Ranga Pravesha' long back is a resident of Bangalore as also her daughter - Sahana Kashyap, whereas Revathi's son's daughter Ragashree Komanduri is practicing dance at USA under Kripa Bhaskar.

    Though the trio presented nine compositions, the piece de resistance was the celebrated varna "Swamiye Vara." The Dandayudhapani Pillai varna in Poorvi Kalyani raga, narrates how the Nayike longing for the Lord (Subramanya). Ragashree performed the varna with precise foot work and good expression. Deepa shined in the Mohana Keerthane of Papanasam Shivan, and presented the pada (Subbarama Iyer) with good feeling.

    All the three joined together in the thillana (Sindhu Bhairavi), followed by Mangala. The trio performed with ease assurance and with neat lines. From the wings - Revathi Narasimhan (Natuvanga), Bharathi Venugopal (vocal), Lingaraju (mridanga), Vivek Krishna (flute), and Madhusudhan (violin) - supported the dancers.

    Solo violin

    Akkarai Subbalakshmi is one of sought after violinist in the Karnatic music field. She is not only an able accompanist but also a soloist. Subbalakshmi and her younger sister Swarnalatha, who are known as 'Akkarai Sisters,' play violin duet and are also vocalists.

    In the current concert, Akkarai sisters' judiciously selected the compositions in choice ragas. The Kaanada varna gave them a sunny start, acquiring a delight as the sisters drifted to 'Drutha Kaala.' Then they chose a composition each of 'Trinity.'

    'Anandamurta Karshini' is one of the best composition in the raga Amrithavarshini. In this Keerthane Dikshitar says "O Shive! Bhavani! … I meditate on you always to shower heavy rain ….". The Anandabhairavi composition of Shyama Sastry also helped to bring a true concert atmosphere. Swarnalatha chose Pantuvarali for a detailed elaboration and 'Appa Ramabhakthi' was tuneful with pleasing touches. Both elaborated Bilahari by turns and brought a pleasing imagery of the raga. With a sleek nerval and some sparkling swaraprasthara "Smara Sada Manasa" (Swathi Tirunal) was excellent with fine touches. Arjun Kumar on mridanga accompanied with aplomb and Phaneendra Bhaskar on Ghata followed the suite.

    Mysore VSubramanya

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  • 08/11/13--12:54: Music reviews
  • Vaadya vybhava

    The Bangalore Gayana Samaja dedicated this year's "Vaadya Vybhava" to Lalgudi Jayaraman and M S Gopalakrishnan, veteran violinists, who passed away recently. The 'Naadasri' award was presented to Vikku Vinayakaram, senior ghata player and there were five concerts - flute, veena, nagaswara, violin solo and a percussion ensemble.

    B Vijaya Gopal, who gave a flute recital on Thursday, started his music lessons at a tender age and learnt from a few teachers including K V Ramanujam and received a few awards like 'Flute Mali Award'. In the current concert steady pace and sonority of a few good raga and compositions paved the way for a cozy feeling. Mainly spacious alap of Ranjani was delightful. Kamavardhini was neat with some pleasing 'Sangathies.' Charukeshi is an evocative raga, which became popular in the post Trinity period, which was pleasing. Nagaswaravali was also a welcome inclusion. With some more stage experience he can bring balanced representation to raga alapana, nerval and swara prasthara, to make the concert a wholesome one. Mysore Srikanth, Jayachandra Rao and Vyasa Vittala accompanied with good understanding on violin, mridanga and khanjari, respectively.

    Educative session

    Veena Venkatagiriappa (1887-1952) was known as a prominent vainika of "Mysore Baani" and an able teacher too. "Venkatagiriappa Day" was celebrated by the Gayana Samaja on Friday, under the endowment sponsored by Prof V Amritha. Vidushi Rajalakshmi Tirunarayanan, senior veena player, spoke on the life and works of her guru. Manjula Surendra and Vani Yadunandan demonstrated a few select compositions of Venkatagiriappa, which suited the occasion. They opened the programme with a varna in Gambhira naata, which the composer used to call as "Vedanda gamana." "Srivara Ganapathe" in Hamsadwani attracted with well knit chitteswara. Bhuvanagandhari (Janya in Natabhairavi) also had "Ragamudre" and chitteswara. Venkatagiriappa has also coined a few new ragas. One of them Prabhupriya (Janya in Natabhairavi) for "Sri Raja Rajeswari" and Sharada Priya (Kharaharapriya Janya) for "Sharade" - which was in Tisra Nade and Chatusra triputa thala. The 'Sura Palana' was in Dharmavathi and concluded with a Naguma in Behag raga. It was simple but with some more details it will be much more impactful.

    Compositions of Lalgudi

    Musicologist Sujatha Vijayaraghavan and vocalist S P Ramh illustrated a few compositions of Lalgudi Jayaraman. After speaking on the lineage and 'Guru Parampara' they narrated how Lalgudi Jayaraman belongs to direct "Sishya Parampara" of Saint Tyagaraja. How and when they shifted to violin, invention of new ragas (Uthari) etc. To narrate Lalgudi as a successful accompaniment, they illustrated some songs and for Lalgudi's perfect 'Patttanthara' keerthanas like - Ganamurthe, Nadaloludai, Entha nee, etc were sung with good feeling. A few ragas as 'signature' song or ragas with Lalgudi stamp - were impressively presented.

    Haridasa Sambhrama

    "Haridasa Sambhrama" was celebrated by Nadajyothi Sri Tyagaraja Swamy Bhajana Sabha in collaboration with TTD Dasa Sahitya Project and the Malleswaram Aryavysya Sangha.

    M S Sheela, led a group of young vocalists to render "Navarathna Malika" of Purandara Dasaru. They opened the programme with pillari geethe (starting from 'Lambodara'), customarily. Jaya Janakeekantha (in the raga Naata), Aadidano Ranga (Arabhi), Kallusakkare Kolliro (Kalyani), etc and concluded with "Indina Dinave Shubha Dinavu" (Surati). They sang in unison and in a simple way. They were accompanied by Sindhu Chetan on violin and B R Srinivas on mridanga.

    Kannada Devaranamas

    Earlier, Vani Sateesh, familiar vocalist, presented devaranamas of different Haridasas. Kelano Hari Thaalano (Purvi Kalyani - Purandara Dasaru), Ele mana murariyane of Vijayadasaru, Manava shodhisa beku (Shubha Pantuvarali) etc. Stressing the meaning of padas, she tried to highlight the lyrical beauty of the devaranamas. The alapana of Purvi Kalyani and Shubha Pantuvarali were brief, but evocative. With her good voice and without overdoing anything, it delighted the audience. Mysore Sateesh and A Renuka Prasad supported on violin and mridanga, respectively.

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  • 08/18/13--13:41: Music and dance reviews
  • Promising talent

    The Suswaralaya College of Music conducted the annual Yuva Chetana Festival, comprising both vocal and instrumental music, under the direction of senior percussionist Vidwan H.S. Sudhindra.

    Shubha Santosh, who presented the final concert of the Festival, is a student of Sudha Vadiraj and is also being guided by H.S. Sudhindra. She has passed proficiency examinations and has received prizes from Narada Gana Sabha (Chennai), Ananya and a few other organisations. Shubha got off to a good start by singing the Saveri varna in two different speeds.

    She sang 'Ramabhirama', a composition of Saint Tyagaraja in the Durbar tune. Varali, one of the evocative tunes of Carnatic music, was an aural treat. She then presented two compositions, which are composed specifically for the Veena - Kamach swarajati by Veena Seshanna and raga Prabhupriya by Veena Venkatagiriappa.

    They were both pleasing and a welcome addition to the repertoire of a Veena concert. The programme concluded with the rendering of the time honoured composition 'Palinchu Kamakshi' in Madhyamavathi. With melodious 'Meetu' sans gimmicks, she impressed the learned audience.

    H M Smitha added flavour to the concert by playing the violin. Tumkur B Ravishankar on the Mridanga responded well, while G Omkar on Ghata, vied for honours with the senior mridanga player. With some more experiences on the stage, Shubha Santosh is sure to reach great heights.

    Prodigal dancer

    The Bangalore Lalitakala Parishat presented a dance recital on Friday. Young Bharathanatya dancer Kakolu Smrthi M Harits, is a student of the Nataraja Nritya Shala and is receiving advanced training at 'Samskrithi'. An engineering student at PESIT College, she has performed at popular organizations, both inside and outside the State.

    Though Smrthi presented several customary compositions (Pushpanjali, Kautvam), the piece de resistance was the varna 'Neelamegha Shyama'. She was confident in her interpretation of the Ragamalika varna and her performance exuded ease and assurance.

    A glimpse of her progress in Abhinaya was evident in the Astapadi (Yahi Madhava). While the Thillana (Kaanada) was brisk, the concluding patriotic song 'Vande Matharam' was a fitting finale. Vasundhara Sampathkumar and Pallavi on Natuvanga, Bharathi Venugopal on vocals, Purushothama on mridanga, Dr Nataraj Murthy on violin and Niteesh on flute supported the dancer aptly.

    Talent to anticipate

    Three young boys, all apparent successors to leading artistes, established themselves both individually and collectively at the Nada Ranjani held last week. Vishnu Venkatesh, an engineering graduate, who played the mandolin has been a student of maestro U Srinivas for a last few years.

    He is a recipient of the 'Prathibhakankshi Puraskar' award from the Sri Rama Seva Mandali in Chamarajpet. Anirud Nadig (student of Salem Sundareshan and Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma) and M K Bhaskar (son of M A Krishnamurthy) accompanied him on the violin and mridanga respectively.

    The bill of fare at the concert included a number of well known compositions. Ragas (tunes) like Abhogi, Charukeshi, Mohana, Kaapi Narayani, Keerthanas like
    Aadamodigalada, Sarasa Samadana and Sabhapathi ki were enjoyable, mainly because of their popularity. Though Vishnu's Mandolin had a good 'Naada' there is scope for improvement on the fronts of the Alapana, Swara and Nerval in an appropriate way.

    Though a feeling of him having been introduced to 'Sabha Kacheri' prematurely pervaded, with some more training and diligent homework, Vishnu will be capable of adding glitter to the world of music.

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  • 08/25/13--12:26: Music and dance reviews
  • Yuva Utsav

    Devnandan Ubhayaker Annual Yuva Sangeet Utsav was conducted on Saturday and Sunday with six Hindustani music concerts. Disciples of veteran Gurus from different parts of the country presented Sitar and Sarod recitals apart from vocal. Though it is being celebrated for the last 26 years, it is happening in the absence of Lalitha Ubhayaker, the founder-convener, for the second time.

    Shivani Mirajkar - disciple of Kaivalya Kumar Gurav gave the inaugural concert on Saturday evening. It was simply a pleasure to see a PU student (hardly 17 years old) performing with good voice and assurance. Rag Bageshree gave her a bright start.

    From the initial stage itself it was evident that she is imbibing all the salient features of her Guru and is capable of impressing in a impactful way. Her voice traverses in all the three octaves easily and without overdoing anything she can bring the ragabhava well. The same mood was continued in the next rag Durga. She went upto tara panchama effortlessly and neatly. By continued training and some more stage experience, no doubt she can climb the ladder of success soon. Adarsha Shenoy on tabla and Bharath Hegde on harmonium - supported the young artiste.

    Congratulations to Smriti Nandan, for organising a Drupad recital also, in the Sangeet Utsav. Chintan Upadhyay, a post graduate from Pune University has studied music under Vijay Koparkar and Pandit Uday Bhawalkar for several years. Marwa gave Chintan a steady start, though it did not offer much by way of aesthetic fervor. The Bandeesh (Chowtal) was simple but pleasing. Shankara was brief, and concluded with Bhairavi, customarily. In total, Chintan Upadhyay's vocal fell short in its sustaining quality. As he is young enough It will not be difficult for him to to make it wholesome and add pep to his presentation. Sukhad Munde gave good support on Pakhwaj.

    Dance jugalbandi

    Jugalbandi," a three-day dance festival was organised jointly by the Bangalore Gayana Samaja and Usha R K. In the series, Dr Soundarya Srivatsa and Sharmila Mukherjee performed Bharatanatya and Odissi Jugalbandi. Soundarya Srivatsa, a disciple of Narmada, is a post graduate and has earned doctorate for her thesis and is teaching at the Jain College. Sharmila Mukherjee, a student of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, is teaching young aspirants in her own school, Sanjali (Bangalore).

    They selected a beautiful devaranama of Purandaradasa in Ragamalika. The story of Lakshmi and Parvathi quarreling on the supremacy of their husbands (Vishnu and Shiva) provided ample opportunity in 'Sanchari'. Kurmavathara, Narasimha, Bali, Parashurama, Krishna, Rama etc. were performed dramatising and changing the roles in quick succession. As both of them are experienced dancers and two different styles (Bharathanatya and Odissi) suited the story they performed impressively. With some performances, no doubt, the impact will be much higher.

    Varsha Utsav

    Adyasha Odissi Dance Ensemble conducted the "Varsha Utsav" last week under the guidance of Sarita Mishra. Prof Ramhari Das of Odissi Research Centre, Bhubaneshwar, sang few Odissi compositions in attractive ragas. Rag Kamod, Ragamalike in Madhya lay, Jhulanwale etc. In simple tune, he sang with good feeling. Bichitrananda Swain opened his Odissi recital with Mangalacharan and chose a scene from Ramayan (Shurpanakhi episode). His Abhinay in a female role (Shurpanakhi) and changing from 'Raakshasi' to 'Satwika' was very good. Sujata Mohapatra started with Pallavi (Hamsadhwani) and continued with a piece on Balakrishna. But she excelled in "Varsha" (based on Ruthu Samhara) in which her movement as a peacock and effect of rain were performed beautifully.

    Six young dancers under the direction of Veena Murthy Vijay presented 'Arishadvarga' (six passions from weakness to strength) in Bharathanatya and Kuchipudi styles, based on episodes of mythology like Urvashi, Seetapaharana, Bhageeratha etc. They performed with good expression, crisp foot work and fast movements and impressed the audience.

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  • 09/01/13--14:16: Music and dance reviews
  • Aradhana concerts

    Sri Raghavendraswamy Aradhana provided another opportunity for connoisseurs to savour their favourite music concerts. Sri Raghavendra Seva Samithi, conducted the Rayara Aradhana with both religious and cultural programmes, at their own premises - Sri Raghavendraswamy Mutt, Sudhindra Nagara, Malleswaram.

    G Ravikiran chose entirely Kannada devaramanas for his concert, which suited the occasion. He is a student of Dr R K Srikantan and continuing the training with T M Krishna, popular vocalist. He is an engineering graduate and has won prizes from reputed organisations like All India Radio, Krishna Gana Sabha, Karnataka Ganakala Parishat and Gayana Samaja.

    The "Maanava Janma Doddadu" was rendered with brief swara. It is a significant composition which highlights human values. "Odi Baraiah" - is an ever popular devaranama. He elaborated with alapana and nerval (Mangalathmaka Mohana Kaya), which gave him enough scope.

    Though it was not one of Ravikiran's best concerts, it left a pleasing impact. In the concluding session, he also sang Jagadoddarana, Noduvude Kannu and Daasana Madiko Enna. B K Raghu and B C Manjunath supported him on violin and mridanga respectively.

    Colourful puppet show

    Puppet shows are one of the famous folk arts of our country. Though they perform mainly mythological stories, historical and social themes are also chosen occasionally. K Narahari Sastry founded Suthramela in 1983, and is struggling hard to restore the traditional puppetry to its lost glory.

    Sastry, 81, has experimented in puppets creation and manipulation methods in upper rod puppets, string puppets, glove puppets and has conducted workshops to guide young aspirants.

    Narahari Sastry had chosen "Indra Garvabhanga" for the show at the Raghavendra Seva Samithi. The popular story of the epic Mahabharatha was attractive with episodes like Vignaraja pooja, Parijatha pushpa, Naarada's instigation and characters like Indra, Krishna, Rukmini, Sathyabhama, Narada etc. A team of dedicated artistes supported from the wings.

    K Narahari Sastry (direction, script), Ravindra Narahari, Sandhya Ravindra, M R Ranganatha Rao, A R Sathyanarayana (manipulators), K Muralidhar (music and dialogue) and a few others assisted. It was a colourful and educative puppet show, with live music. The show - deserves all encouragement.

    Popular vocalist

    Popular vocalist M S Sheela presented a number of Kannada compositions of different Haridasas, in an attractive way. She was well accompanied by Nalina Mohan on violin and Manjunath on mridanga.

    'Sathatha Gananatha,' the popular invocatory song, gave her a fine start. The ragalapana for "Manave Kondadu" was embellished with lively sangathies.

    'Sakala Grahabala Neene' is another popular devaranama. Yenu Karuneyo, Srinivasanu Oliyalu - were also good. With a prelude of a ugabhoga the "Hariye Shri Hariye," she made a mark with her accomplishments.

    Of course she is capable of much more impact but sang the devotional pieces with lyrical graces.

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  • 09/08/13--13:26: Music reviews
  • Gokulashtami concerts

    Krishnotsava or Gokulashtami was celebrated by many organisations and temples with cultural programmes and religious fervour. Music programmes (vocal, flute, mandolin, percussion ensemble), dance recitals and car festivals (Pushpa Pallakki Utsava, Mantappadi) were held during the festival. Especially the "Navaneetha Krishna Alankara" attracted a large number of devotees.

    Whenever we talk of the instrument 'violin,' the names of Kumareshan and Ganesh occurs, naturally. These brothers are known to the music lovers very well, as they are reputed violinists, due to their creativity. In spite of incessant rain, a good number of music lovers gathered on Thursday which was proof of their popularity. From the initial composition, it was evident they were striving for instant likeability. Though they played a number of compositions in different ragas, they mainly concentrated on Vasantha and Kaapi.

    The sweet sangathies of Vasantha raga added a lively lilt to their presentation. Attractive phraseology in Kaapi raga flowing freely till 'athi thara' was pleasing and lively. With their good command over the instrument they raised the concert to its evocative heights. It was impactful and left an indelible impression on the listener. Tumkur Ravishankar and Tiruchi Krishna gave inspiring support on Mridanga and Ghata respectively.

    Veena and Venu duet

    Veena and Venu (flute) - both are not only ancient but also sacred musical instruments of India. While flute is adorned by Lord Krishna, Saraswathi has chosen Veena. Music lovers are fond of both the instruments and when they are played together, it is much more attractive. Dr Geetha R Bhat and K V Madhura performed Veena and flute respectively under the aegis of the Hamsakutira.

    Geetha Bhat and Madhura opened their concert with the popular invocatory song "Gajavadana Beduve" of Purandara Dasaru. The second one was a surprising choice - a swarajathi of Veena Seshanna in the raga Kambodhi. Madhura gave a brief prelude of the raga for "Gaanamurthe" with few sweet sangathies. The alapana and swara was embellished touching the pivotal swaras gracefully, for 'Odi Baraiah.' It was a reassuring concert testifying to their good training and talent.

    They were well supported by S N Narayana Murthy on Mridanga and R Ramesh on Ghata. Earlier a CD titled "Madhura Geethamrutha" was released at the function held at Ananya Sabhangana.

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  • 09/15/13--12:19: Music reviews...
  • Colourful Ganesha festival

    After Rayara Aradhana and Gokulashtami festivals, it is the turn of Ganapathi festival, which provided ample opportunity for connoisseurs to enjoy music concerts of their favourite musicians.

    We could see Ganesha pendals in almost every street of the City, apart from the temples. One such organisation "Sri Vidya Ganapathi Seva Samithi" (of Dodda Ganapathi Temple), Bull Temple Road, Basavanagudi, conducted the week-long religious and cultural programmes with vocal, light classical music, percussion ensemble and Harikatha recitals.

    T S Rama who gave a vocal recital in the special pendal here, is a senior vocalist of the State. She is a postgraduate in Music and has served as the Head of the Department of Music, APS College, Bangalore.

    She has trained hundreds of students and many of them are successfully performing. Being a 'A-Top' grade artiste Rama has performed at the National Sangeeth Sammelan, and is a recipient of the annual award of the Karnataka Sangeeth Nritya Academy.

    T S Rama chose a number of compositions in attractive ragas to make it a highly edifying musical concert.

    The first two songs were sung as paens in praise of Lord Ganapathi. Shanmukhapriya alapana brought out the ragabhava in greater detail. 'Paramathmudu' (Vagadheeswari - Saint Tyagaraja) had a vintage flavour.

    Two Kannada devaranamas - Narayana Ninna and Jagadoddharana - were sung stressing the lyrical beauty. Vachaspathi received appealing airing. Her elaboration of Pahi Jagajananee with nerval (Mohana Tharagadi) and Kalpana swara - was yet another instance of her mastery over the medium.

    After a fine sloka the well known pada Aathana Paduve was also pleasing. But at the fag end of the concert, when the audience were expecting a thillana, she chose the lengthy composition Bhavayami!

    T S Rama's concert was heard with more respect than excitement as she sang with deep involvement and enjoyment. B Raghuram accompanied on violin with good understanding and the Mridangist - C Cheluvaraj and M Gururaj (Morching) - extended excellent percussion support.

    Sisters regale music lovers

    Roopa Kiran and Deepa Anand are known in the music field as "Kasaravalli Sisters". Graduates in Music, the twin sisters have performed in leading sabhas of the country and have received several awards, including 'Surmani' from the Sursingar Samsad.

    In their current concert (Sri Venugopalakrishnaswamy Gudi) Kasaravalli Sisters after rendering few popular kruthies, crowned their concert with a Pallavi, set to Adi thala. Vachaspathi alapana came as a whiff of fresh air and raga was presented in all its attractive facets.

    The Pallavi "Mohana Muralidhara Gopala" was further decorated with swaraprasthara, by turns. Earlier, they sang Kedaragowla with abandon and involvement. The sisters highlighted the lush movement of the raga, in the familiar Hindola.

    The "Parama Purusha" of Swathi Thirunal and a lessor known devaranama "Pankaja Mukhiyaru" in the raga Vasantha - were also delightful. Mathur Srinidhi on violin, A Renuka Prasad on mridanga and ASN Swamy on Khanjari - rose to great heights in their supporting roles.

    Mysore V Subramanya

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  • 09/23/13--01:41: Music and dance reviews
  • Nitya Nritya

    Nupura, a dance school in Bangalore, held its annual dance festival, "Nitya Nritya", last week. As its custom is, academic session in the mornings were followed by dance recitals in the evenings, with a few artistes from the State and others from outside as participants.

    Uma Sathyanarayana, (nee Nambudaripad), who performed on last Monday in the festival, took her dance lessons from Sreemathi and received higher training from veteran artiste Chitra Visweswaran. A dancer, choreographer, teacher and vocalist, Uma is also a recipient of several honours, conferred by Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Bharat Kalachar, Narada Gana Sabha and Tehkovsky Russian Centre.

    It was a pleasure to see varna blossoming gradually and beautifully. Without overdoing anything she rose to the occasion and did full justice to the composition. She did Abhinaya pieces - Jagadoddarana and Adharam Madhuram - with restrained Abhinaya, worthy of a seasoned artiste, leaving an indelible impact. Artistes who supported her well from the wings are: Shashirekha Ram Mohan (Natuvanga), Srikanth (vocal), Venkat Subramanyam (Mridanga) and Karthik (Flute).

    Impactful Bharatanatya

    Curtains came down on this year's edition of 'Nitya Nritya' with Bharathanatya by Geetha Chandran. A senior dancer from Delhi, Geetha is a celebrated performer, an able teacher, choreographer, vocalist, organiser, writer and a recipient of 'Padmashri' award.

    The "Chokkanada Kautvam" gave Geetha a bright start and helped to create a serene atmosphere. With captivating movements, her varna (Saami Enna Nee - Suruti Raga) was remarkable for its exuberance in the Nritta, making it a high standard varna and impactful performance.

    With restrained but impressive Abhinaya, Meera Bhajan (More Mukuta Peethambara) was pleasing with graceful expressions. The musicians from the wings also shared the honours with the dancer: Vocal - Venkateswaran, Natuvanga - Shanar, Mridanga - Lalgudi Sri Ganesh and Violin - Dayakar.

    Saralaya sisters

    The Bangalore Lalithakala Parishat presented a vocal duet by Kavitha Saralaya and Triveni, known as 'Saralaya Sisters', on Friday. They were well supported by B Raghuram on violin, H S Sudhindra on Mridanga and S Srishyla on Ghata.

    Saralaya sisters chose a number of compositions in well known ragas. But, instead of presenting many krithis of a particular composer, they could have presented compositions of different composers, to bring variety and colour to the recital. "Govardhana Gireesham" is reputed as a divine composition.

    They faithfully rendered "Kamalambam Bhajare" with alapana and swara. Earlier a sought-after Keerthane of saint Tyagaraja "Jnanamosagarada" was briefly elaborated with Nerval (Paramatmudu Jeevathmudu) and swara prasthara.

    Sisters delighted the audience with two well known Haridasa padas, "Chandrachuda Shiva" in ragamalike and "Dasana Maadiko Enna" with a prelude of Ugabhoga (Daasanaguvage). They concluded their concert with a thillana in the raga 'Jinjoti' and the song "Maitreem Bhajatha".

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  • 11/24/13--12:04: Music reviews
  • Enthralling concerts

    MES Kalavedi in collaboration with the Karnataka Ganakala Parishat held a music concert as part of the Parvathi Bai Ullal and G S Ullal Endowments.

    T V Ramaprasad, who hails from Bangalore and settled in Chennai, is a senior vocalist who is known as a performer, teacher and music administrator. He is a recipient of "Ganakalashree" title and a Asthana Vidwan of Kanchi Kamakoti Peeta.

    Ramaprasad opened his concert with a evocative raga Vasantha (Seethamma Mayamma of Saint Tyagaraja) and followed by a infrequent krithi "Rama Nee Dasudane" of Spencer Venugopal. Malavi belongs to Harikambodhi mela and is a "Ubhaya Vakra Sampurna" raga and we can easily say that Tyagaraja brought it to light. In any case it is a appealing raga.

    Even the Chitteswara is attractively knitted. "Lalithesri Pravrithe," one of the "Lalgudi Pancharathna" was rendered with nerval. Then he sang a meaningful devaranama "Maanava Janma Doddadu" of Purandaradasaru. To highlight all the shades of Thodi, one of the Ghana ragas, he chose the reputed swarajathi of Syama Sastry, as the mainstay of his programme. Even the miscellaneous pieces like "Baro Krishnaiah" and "Bho Shambo" left the same swing and sway effect. Kudos to accompanists (Nalina Mohan on violin and Melakaveri Balaji on mridanga) for their wonderful support.

    Flights of fantasy

    Ganjam Annual Music Festival "Flights of Fantasy" was conducted for three days at the Chowdiah Memorial Hall, last week. Sreeram Prasad and Ravikumar, popularly known as "Malladi Brothers" opened their concert with the "Raghunayaka" of Saint Tyagaraja. Though it is a simple composition, the brothers brightened it with attractive swaraprasthara. "Enduku Nirdaya" in Harikambodhi, is an old time favourite and the swara also pleased with good ragabhava. As it was the "Karthika Deepotsava" day, they chose that special composition "Arunachala Natham."

    After a keerthane in Balahamsa, they invested the krithi with some dignity in form and content through alap, meaningful nerval and lively swara. To crown it all Charukeshi raga's grandeur was brought out in the stately exposition of the Pallavi. Malladi Brothers sang with full involvement and there was the clarity of expression of the lyrics. They were ably supported by Embar Kannan on violin, Narayana Raju on mridanga and Srishyla on ghata and received the admiration of the audience.

    Sangeetha Surabhi

    This year's "Sangeetha Surabhi" Award by the Nadasurabhi was conferred on Madurai T N Seshagopalan, which was received by his son T N S Krishnan on Sunday. Young
    T N S Krishnan gave a fine concert after the award function. Right from the opening varna "Sarasuda," Krishnan proved that he is a chip of the old block, which was reflected throughout the concert.

    "Alakalalla" (Tyagaraja) was also a fine choice. Connoisseurs also enjoyed the Valajapet Venkataramana Bhagawathar and Muthaiah Bhagawathar's compositions and were proof of the vocalist's repertoire. Thodi raga's "Bhava" was felt by the sizeable audience. In a quick succession he presented the Raga, Thana and Pallavi of Shanmukhapriya raga and in that intricate thala sankeerna Triputa. It was worthy of a seasoned maestro, who lent depth and dimension and swayed the audience. This drew ready response from senior accompanists C N Chandrasekhar (violin), V Praveen (mridanga), G Omkar Rao (ghata) and M Gururaj (morching).

    Mysore VSubramanya

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  • 12/01/13--10:30: Music and dance reviews
  • Kalanadam

    Nadam conducted the annual 'Kala Nadam' festival with music and dance concerts. Carnatic and Hindustani music, and in dance Bharathanatya, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Kathak, Chau and Kathakali brought variety and colour to the festival. On the last Thursday, there were three programmes - Odissi, Bharathanatyam and Kathakali by different troupes - both from in and out side Karnataka.

    Nrityantar Dance Ensemble in its opening 'Konark Kantee' paid obeisance to Lord Jagannath and the Rathayatra (the chariot formation) by the dancers was attractive and the sculptures of Konark came alive beautifully. In the Jayadeva's astapadi (Yahi Madhava) Radha's love and suspicion was expressed with good feeling by Madhulita Mohapatra. The programme concluded with a contemporary piece on the super cyclone that wreaked havoc in the coastal Odisha. In that, movements of different animals (peacock, butterflies, birds) were well depicted.

    Sparkling Chitraveena

    L Raja Rao was a senior veena player, able teacher, author and a composer. In his memory a foundation has been formed and an award is being presented every year. N Ravi Kiran, reputed Chitra Veena player, received this year's award from Radha Vishwanathan in a special function on Friday.

    Ravi Kiran, a child prodigy, is an exceptionally talented artiste and he is not only a Chitra Veena player, but also known as a vocalist and composer. Saveri Varna gave a fine start and 'Orajupu' was marked for its melodic vision. "Srimathru Bhutham" was another fine selection, followed by a familiar devaranama 'Yare Rangana'. "Maa Janakee" was embellished with a flurry of alapana and lively swaraprastara. The Kaanada Thillana of Veena Seshanna was evocative too. Though not one of his best concerts, Ravi Kiran made it with graceful impact. Akkarai Subblakshmi, Anoor Anantha Krishna Sharma and Guru Prasanna supported on violin, mridanga and khanjari respectively and shared the honours.

    Nritya Neerajana

    Ananya conducted the "Nritya Neerajana," with a quiz on dance, felicitation and dance recitals. B Bhanumathi, senior dancer, teacher and choreographer was honoured on the occasion.

    Bhanumathi, with three other members of Nrityakala Mandira, performed Bharathanatya for a few classical compositions, which are familiar on the classical music concerts. She selected compositions of veteran composers and tried to perform for swaraprasthara, nerval and ragalapana too. Sheela Chandrashekhar opened "Geetha Nritya", with the popular Tyagaraja Keerthana "Manavyala" with swara. So also alapana of "Ksheenamai" (Mukhari) and Nerval in 'Shambho Mahadeva' in which the Gangavatharana was noteworthy. They also took a devaranama (Paradeshi Neenu) and a Thillana (Rathipathi Priya). Bhanumathi's dance was like a guiding lamp to young aspirants, while Sheela Chandrashekhar, Hemalatha Prakash and Chitra Vinod were certainly impactful, with sleek choreography. Pavan Rangachar (vocal), Janardhan (mridanga), Shankara Raman (veena) and T S Krishnamurthy (violin) supported with good understanding.

    Kathak Rani Khanam is known as a senior Kathak dancer, choreographer and teacher (Aamad Dance Centre, New Delhi). She commenced her Kathak recital with a composition on Shiva. Her abhinaya with good feeling came to the fore in the gazal. The jugalbandi though overstretched, was proof of her expertise and practice.

    Punyah Krishna

    Bharathanatyam by Punyah Dance Company led by Parshwanath Upadhye chose 'Punyah Krishna' based on Adi Shankaracharya's Krishnashtakam, with brisk movements and stylistic postures. A few prominent episodes were depicted, which pleased the audience. The last item was a Thillana in Jonepuri.

    Mysore V Subramanya

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  • 12/08/13--11:48: Music reviews
  • Gaana Varidhi

    M A Narasimhachar (1924-2004) was not only a great vocalist but also an able teacher. In his memory an award is instituted (Gaana Varidhi) by "M A Narasimhachar Music Foundation". This year it was conferred on Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh, renowned Veena player.

    Saketharaman, is one of the few Carnatic music vocalists who can carry a concert through and his programme in the Foundation was in a class by itself.

    For instance his pallavi - a chatur raga pallavi in Saaramathi, Rasika Priya, Bhairavi and Bageshri. The intricately woven pallavi was a refreshing experience and he lent dignity and weight to the pallavi and the effect was heightened by swara prasthara. Earlier, Shivapantuvarali took on a majestic gait and grandeur for Dikshitar's masterpiece "Sri Satyanarayanam Upasmahe" and the nerval also received appealing airing.

    'Anathuduna' in raga Jingla was a quickie and he revelled in the alap for "Irangavadenaiah." In between devaranamas like - Rama Rama Enniro and Kande Na Govindana - were also impressive and concluded with a thillana of Lalgudi Jayaraman. Mysore Srikanth, Neyveli Narayanan and G Guru Prasanna supported admirably on violin, mridanga and khanjari, respectively.

    Natya Bharathi

    Natya Bharathi conducts one music programme every month, at its own premises (Nritya Sabha Rasadhare) at Malleswaram. Bharathi Venugopal who sang here last week, is a first rank holder in the postgraduate class and a disciple of Neela Ramgopal and a popular vocalist in the dance programmes also.

    Bharathi Venugopal sang the invocatory song through Dikshitar's 'Ganapathe', followed by another classic krithi "Mamava Pattabhi Rama" and "Shobillu Sptaswara" with chitteswara was also attractive. Bhairavi was the high spot with alapana and thana. The pallavi (Devi Sri Thripura Sundari) set to Adi thala, was simple but pleasing. In the post Thani, she presented a number of popular devotionals. Dr Nataraja Murthy on violin and V R Chandrasekhar on Mridanga accompanied the vocalist.

    Soulful veena

    The Bangalore Lalithakala Parishat had invited Dr Jaishree Prasad on last Friday to give a Veena recital. Dr Jaishri is a post graduate and a recipient of PhD for her doctoral thesis. For the last few years she is a resident of Chicago and has performed in many places.
    Her current concert was packed with a few familiar melodies, and was accompanied on Mridanga by A Renuka Prasad and on Ghata by Dayananda Mohithe.

    The Kamala Manohari Varna provided a pleasant start and the familiar invocatory piece 'Vathapi' - is a favourite of musicians. At that stage she chose a majestic devaranama 'Indu Enage Govinda'. It was followed by a brief raga of Hindola and the 'Samajavaragamana' - all too familiar keerthana. Hamsanada was the main stay in her Veena recital and the popular krithi "Bantureethi Kolu" glowed with sweet phrases.

    It was buttressed by well knit thana also. A number of tiny pieces followed - Jagadoddarana, Krishna Nee Begane Baro, Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma. Interestingly, she presented a thillana in the raga Kalyani, of Veena Seshanna. Without over doing anything Jaisri Prasad's Veena was tuneful and soulful too.

    Keerthana Saptaha

    Akhila Karnataka Keertana Kala Parishat in collaboration with Sri Kashi Mutt, conducted a 'Keertana Saptah' in memory of Bhadragiri Achuta Das, veteran Harikatha vidwan who passed away recently.

    A few Harikatha vidwans were felicitated on the occasion and there was a vocal recital also. Dattatreya Velankar, disciple of Pandith Vinayak Toravi gave a fine vocal concert accompanied by Aditya Udupa on harmonium and by Sumith Nayak on tabala. Velankar chose a number of compositions of Bhadragiri Achutha Das, which suited the occasion very well. 'Baro Baro Guna Sadana' in Yaman and 'Kaamarupi Kamakshee' in Malkauns caught the attention. Rag Thilang was matching the beautiful lyrics of 'Rama Bhajane Sukhavu'.

    The "Raghava Pada Kamala Brunga" (Puriya Dhanasri) was effusive with enlivening pharases adorning the rendition. He also presented a few compositions of Keshava Das in the ragas Durga (Vyasa Raghupathe) and Mand (Vittalanendare Saku) and a Abhang (Heechi Thara Bhakthi) of Santha Tukarm. It was a heart warming treat as a finale to the saptaha.

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  • 12/15/13--11:05: Music and dance reviews
  • Yuva utsava

    It is a welcome sign and heartening to note that several organisations are conducting young musicians' festivals every year to encourage upcoming artistes.

    Like a few other institutions of the City, the Nadajyothi Sri Thyagaraja Swamy Bhajana Sabha also organises "Yuvotsava" every year. This year a two-day music festival in memory of Vidwan Mageri Ramachandra was also held on the occasion last week in collaboration with the Ananya. Three budding artistes G Karthik (vocal), Priyanka C Prakash (vocal) and Anoor Vinod Shyam (percussion) - were conferred with the "Ananya Nadajyothi Kala Prathibha Puraskar."

    Priyanka Prakash, who sang here on Sunday evening, is not a new name to connoisseurs of Bangalore. Being a disciple of veteran musician Neela Ramgopal, she has received a very good training and has performed in a few sabhas and sammelans already. A recipient of some prizes, the recent one being the "Maharajapuram Santhanam Award" from the Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai.

    In her current concert, Priyanka brought a true concert atmosphere with several familiar melodies.

    Popular compositions anchored well to the lilting gait to leave a lingering effect. The finale came in the form of raga, thana and pallavi. Thodi raga and thana pleased the audience gathered in small number and the pallavi set to Thishra Triputa, with Ateetha edupu (Rama Mantrava Japiso) had ragamalika. Swara also in Behag, Revathi and Jonpuri.

    The ragabhava was marked for its clarity, trough falling short in its enduring quality. Earlier, her Kaapi raga was also appealing and concluded with a thillana in Maand, of Lalgudi Jayaraman. Priyanka is young enough to receive higher training and her career is worth watching. Another teenager - R Tharun (student of T S Krishnamurthy) will be able to match - especially the pallavi - with sustained training and stage experience, while Anoor Vinod Shyam (son of Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma) on mridanga, accompanied with good anticipation.
    Promising dancer

    Meenakshi Prasad who gave a dance recital for "Every Friday Cultural Evening Programme," is a student of Keshava Nritya Shala. She has completed the 'Ranga Pravesha' under the direction of H R Keshava Murthy, veteran teacher in 2006 and has taken active part in many dance dramas of the Shala. An MBA graduate, Meenakshi is continuing her training under B K Shyam Prakash from some time now.

    After the usual Pushpanjali and Shabdam (Swathi Tirunal), she chose the Huseni varna as the piece de resistance of the programme. The nirtta was emphasised, though her Abhinaya tended to be a trifle dramatic. A Jayadeva Astapadi (Haririha Mugda) and a devaranama (Hari Kunida - Yaman Kalyan) - were performed gracefully and concluded with a thillana of M D Ramanathan. With a good stage presence and pleasant face, Meenakshi performed with ease and assurance. No doubt Meenakshi Prasad has a good future in the years to come.

    The young dancer was well supported by Guru Shyam Prakash (natuvanga), Bharathi Venugopal (vocal), Janardhan (mridanga) and Vivek (flute).Mysore V Subramanya

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  • 12/22/13--12:51: Music and dance reviews...
  • Tuneful and lively recital

    Sri Rama Lalithakala Mandira had organised a Veena recital by Nirmala Rajasekhar, last week.

    Nirmala has learnt Veena under many gurus including G Chennamma, E P Alamelu and Kalpakam Swaminathan. Now, she is the director of the "Naada Rasa", Minnesota, and has performed in many parts of the world, including New York, London, Switzerland, Indonesia and of course in important music centres of India, like Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai.

    She is the first Indian to receive the BUSH Artistic Fellow by the Bush Foundation and received the "Achievement Award - 2008" from the first Lady of the State of Minnesota and she is also a Meknight Fellow, awarded by the Meknight Foundation.

    Many of her albums have been released in both India and abroad. In the current concert, Nirmala mainly dealt with two ragas and two compositions of Dikshitar. In Kalavathi, she chose the composition "Kalavathi Kamalasana Yuvati," which serves as the illustration of the raga.

    It is on Saraswati, the Goddess of learning, who shines as white as the rays of the autumn moon. The alap of Kalavati came as a whiff of fresh air and the raga was presented in all its attractive facets through the varying individual approaches, suited to Veena and Violin (C N Chandrasekhar) instrumental possibilities.

    The finale was Gamakakriye with raga and shortish taana. Though one felt that the alapana could have been much more elaborate, it was tuneful and lively throughout.

    Dikshitar says in the composition (Meenakshi Me Mudam Dehi) "Goddess Meenakshi is the knowledge and also the means of knowledge. She is the victorious one, who plays ten kinds of gamakas on the Veena."

    Manavyalara and Sarasa Samadhana - were fast-paced quickies. In the concluding part, the thillana (Veene Seshanna) and devaranama (Ragee Thandeera) - were also pleasing. Nirmala Rajasekhar's career needs watching. The percussion duo, C Cheluvaraj and Krishna Prasad, lent whole-hearted support.
    Nartana Avartana

    The International Arts and Cultural Foundation presented "Nartana Avartana" on Saturday at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

    Remember Lakshmi (now Lakshmi Khanna), daughter of Padmini Ravi? A prodigy, probably the youngest Nattuvanar then and a bright young dancer. She has been trained by not only her mother, but also teachers from the Kalakshetra. After several years, Bangaloreans got an opportunity to see her dance again. She chose just one piece - popular varna "Swamiya Varasholladi." But it was an intelligent adoption of a celebrated varna vouched for her good practice and talent. With attractive jathi, lively movements and restrained abhinaya, Lakshmi impressed the audience.
    Attractive performance

    Ajith Bhaskaran Dass is a disciple of Adyar Lakshman and has been guided by Bhanumathi Krishnan, Dhananjayans and Gajendra Kumar Panda and is well-settled in Malaysia. For his Bharathanatya recital, Dass had chosen a krithi on Devi, a popular varna and a thillana. "Sri Jagadeeswari" gave Ajith Bhaskaran Dass a bright start. Interpretation for the popular varna "Innum en Manam" (Lalgudi Jayaraman - raga Charukeshi) was attractive with crisp jathi, emphasised by spacious adavus. He displayed greater depth in both Nritha and Nritya.

    Neela Ramanujan and Nanda Kumar (vocal), Kiran Subramanya (Natuvanga), N G Ravi (Mridanga), Achuthan Shashidhar Nayar (violin), Jayaram (flute) and Pavan Dath (rhythm pad) - gave good support from the wings.

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  • 12/29/13--13:13: Music and dance reviews
  • Colourful dance fest

    The Venkateswara Natya Mandira conducted the annual "Rasa Sanje" dance festival last week. During the 4-day event, nearly 100 dancers - both young and established - performed to make festival a success, under the direction of Radha Sridhar, veteran artiste.

    Supriya S and Varsha R N, students of Radha Sridhar gave a Bharatha Natya recital on Tuesday. Both are young aspirants and they are not short of stage experience, as they have already taken part in some of the productions of the Mandira. Their "Thattu-Mettu" is steady as was evident from the two-tier invocatory of the Pushpanjali (Hamsanandi raga) and a sloka. The climax of the programme was a varna "Mohamaeeye". Description of Shiva with the story of Bedara Kannappa, Kaala Samhara Moorthy, Dakshina Maruthy etc were neat and performed changing the roles with good understanding. Their Nritha and Nrithya was good and presented with ease and assurance.

    Lively Kathak

    Chethana Hari (of the dancing couple Hari and Chethana) along with few students of Nupura Nritya Shale performed a fine Kathak recital. In the opening piece, seven students neatly presented Tukuda, Thihay etc in teen thal, neatly. The second item 'Jugalbandi' was like a rhythmic dialogue and concluded with a composition on Shiva. Their performances was lively and attractive.

    Continued Parampara

    With a vocal recital of Rithvik Raja, curtains came down on the 8-days Yuva Sangeethotsava held under the aegis of the Bangalore Gayana Samaja, on Sunday. Raja, a disciple of T M Krishna, has performed already in a few sabhas - both in and outside Chennai and has won prizes in a few competitions.

    After a number of Ragas and compositions, Raja crowned his concert with an interesting Pallavi. It was a 'Chatur Raga Pallavi,' well woven in Shankarabharana, Kalyani, Durbar and Thodi. It is by no means a very melodious voice, but with his sincerity and relish intonates, the number make for pleasant listening.

    Earlier, his artistic discernment was further embellished in the melodies like Bhairavi and Brovabaramma. The swara phrases round Gandhara was pleasing and the nerval (Merusamaana) enhanced the impact of the concert. He also sang 'Brochevarevarura,' the all time favourite of the listeners. Apoorva Krishna on violin, Avinash Krishna on mridanga and Sunad Anoor on Khanjari supported well on their respective instruments.

    Kudos to Gayana Samaja for encouraging young and upcoming artistes and hope the 'Yuva Sangeethotsava,' will continue every year.

    Festival of Mohiniyattam

    The International Centre for Performing Arts (ICPA) in collaboration with Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademy and Department of Kannada and Culture and Karnataka Sangeetha Nritya Academy conducted the "Mohini Nrithyathi" - a festival of Mohiniyattam. There were performances by both young and celebraty dancers on all the 3 days.

    In the "Samavesh", lecture and demonstrations were held by scholars and senior artistes, on interesting subjects. On the opening day V. Kaladharan, veteran scholar, delivered the key note address. He explained in detail how Mohiniyattam is different from other forms and a exclusive heritage of Kerala and how it is taking new dimension in aesthetics and undergoing transformation.

    He also appealed to maintain the classicism and purity and not to dilute it. His lecture was educative and informative. Senior artiste Kalamandalam Kshemavathy spoke on the "Aesthetics of Abhinaya in Mohiniyattam". She dealt with the subject in detail and made it interesting by a number of illustrations.

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  • 01/05/14--12:50: Music and dance reviews
  • Promising young vocalist

    Young vocalist Dhananjay Hegde presented a Hindustani vocal recital under the aegis of the Sapthak, last week.

    Earlier, a CD sung by Dhananjay Hegde, was also released on the occasion. Dhananjay began his music lessons at a tender age, from his mother Geetha Hegde and received advanced training from veteran artiste Pandit Vinayak Toravi.

    A postgraduate in Commerce, he is serving in the Karnataka Bank as a branch manager (in Mumbai) and has performed in several music concerts in many parts of the country.

    Marva gave Dhananjay a fine start. Beginning with a few sangathies in the Mandra sthayee and rising from swara to swara, Dhananjay presented a good picture of the raga.

    Though his voice was not at its best, the elaboration of raga was neat and stood out for its improvisatory skill. Chayanut revealed ample flashes of his talent and thumri in Kaapi was also satisfying. The concluding devaramanama "Sada Enna Hridayadalli" was also pleasing.
    Due to cold weather, he was slightly struggling to sing at ease, but the concert also showed his prowess and competence.

    Seasoned instrumentalists - Aneesh Pradhan (on tabla) and Sudhir Nayak (on harmonium), who accompanied with efficiency and tonal excellence, gave a lively support to enhance the impact of the concert.

    Tradition, beyond borders

    Several dance programmes are held in the City by the NRIs. As many as 21 girls from USA presented a Bharathanatya recital, under the aegis of "Funky Guru" at Jagriti theatre.

    These girls are being trained in dance under different teachers in America (like New Jersey, Dallas, Seattle, Phoenix, etc). Here, Padmini Ravi, senior danseuse, has trained them in a short course and has guided them to improve their performances. In this endeavour, senior musician Neela Ramanuja and young danseuse Lakshmi Khanna, also took an active part to make their training a success.

    The girls, in the present performance, had chosen seven items - a regular repertoire of a Bharthanatya recital. Opening with Pushpanjali (Brindavani), they continued with a Swarajathi (Todi).

    The main attraction of the programme was that evergreen composition "Jagadanandakaraka," one of the "Pancharatna Krithies" of Saint Tyagaraja in the raga Naata. The story of Ramayana in this Keertana provides ample opportunity for the dancers to dramatise the situation (story).

    Changing the roles in quick succession, some of them rose to the occasion. Most of them are teenagers and have undergone training for a short period and belong to different schools!
    At least some of them performed with ease and good expression, while others were tightlipped! With some more training and home work, they can improve on their taala-laya, abhinaya and anga suddhi.

    They are deeply interested in classical dance and hence it will not be difficult for them to improvise their talent.

    They will reach great heights with continued training. Padmini Ravi's direction and Neela Ramanuja's music were two important factors of "Tradition - Beyond Borders."

    Parampara continues

    Rajguru Smriti conducts "Parampara" programme every year to highlight the "Guru Sishya Parampara" of the Hindustani music.

    This year it conducted a "Goshti" in memory of late Bhanu Thirumala. This time, it was the turn of Pandit Fakeeresh Kanavi of Gulbarga, to present a vocal recital along with his son and disciple Kumar Kanavi and daughter Malashri Kanavi, at the Canara Union Auditorium.

    Kumar Kanavi, a postgraduate, chose Raag Madhuvanti and a Khyal. Stressing the Jeeva Swaras, he lent a convincing imagery of the melody.

    "Sakalavenage Sri Hariye" of Mahipathi Dasaru was equally attractive. Malashri Kanavi, who has completed her MA and is also pursuing her PhD in Music, gave a colourful picture of Purya Dhanashri.

    Malashree concluded with "Sarvathmaka Sarveshvara," a song from the (stage) theatre music.
    With her good voice it was an absorbing listening. Senior musician Pandit Fakeeresh Kanavi opened with Shivaranjini and gradually warmed up, and in Khyal, acquired a special delight at the improvisational flashes.

    But it could not rise to expected heights, due to age. Fakeeresh concluded with a Vachana of Basavanna "Neevu Banda Karyakke."

    Panchakshari Kanavi on the tabla and Madhusudhan Bhat on the harmonium - supported the vocalists.

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  • 01/12/14--11:11: Music and dance reviews...
  • Young dancers from abroad

    There were six dance recitals during the two-day NRI dance festival held under the joint auspices of Sangeetha Sambhrama and World Dance Alliance. Young dancers from different countries like USA, UK, Singapore proved their mettle in not only Bharatanatya, but also in Kuchipudi and Odissi.

    Rohitha Kamal from Dallas is a student of Vani Easwar and also a scholarship holder. She straightaway opened her programme with a keerthana "Brocheva...," in which popular episodes like 'Gajendra Moksha' were depicted. Incidentally, the next composition 'Mathe...' was also in the same raga Kamatch. Young Rohitha revealed a sound sense of 'laya' with graceful 'abhinaya'.

    Shriya Srinivasan, another young dancer from Cleveland, is the daughter and disciple of Sujatha Srinivasan, senior danseuse and a recipient of the merit award. She is learning vocal also. Malhari... (Naata) gave her a bright start and chose the celebrated 'Rupamujuchi...' Tall and slim Shriya executed the 'theermanams' with ease and confidence. 'Kshetragna Pada...' (Shahana) was performed with good expression and concluded with the well-known devaranama "Baro Krishnaiah..." The day's programme concluded with 'Ya Devi' by the Devika Dance Theatre from the UK. Devika Rao (UK), Manvela Benini (Brazil), Katie Ryan (UK), Prem Rai (Nepal) - dancers from three countries based in London presented the "Ya Devi..." in five different styles. It was mostly 'lokadharmi' and was good in parts. With proper direction, it may become more impactful. But the background music by Praveen D Rao was appreciated by one and all.
    Melodious solo violin

    Sri Rama Lalithakala Mandira celebrated the "Sankranthi Music Festival" with vocal, veena and violin solo recitals last week. Anuradha Sridhar, who gave a solo violin recital, belongs to a reputed family of musicians. She is the daughter of Lalgudi Srimathi Brahmanandam and has been groomed in the famous "Lalgudi Baani". She has trained a number of young aspirants in her institution "Trinity Centre for Music" and has performed in many countries. She has been awarded many awards, including "Best Teacher in North America" (by the Cleveland Aradhana Committee) and by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, San Fransisco World Music Festival and the Best Violinist award from the Music Academy.

    Given this background, listeners came with high expectations and Anuradha fulfilled their expectations abundantly. Though she played a dozen items, the focus was more on 'Mohana' and 'Kaanada' ragas.

    Mohana - the ever-pleasing raga cast a spell on the audience. 'Kaanada', a melodious raga, was selected by her for the raga, thana and pallavi. Though it had the impact of her style, seasoned connoisseurs felt that the alapana and thana were rather brief. With more elaboration, the impact of the pallavi could have been better, they felt. The 'Khanda Triputa Tala Pallavi' was proof of her talent and hard practice.

    The tail enders - devaranamas (Baro Krishnaiah... and Antakana Dutarige...) and thillana (Madhuvanti) - were also pleasing. The percussion duo - H S Sudhindra and S Srishylan - gave excellent support. A CD of Anuradha Sridhar 'Salutations to the Guru' was released on the occasion.
    Vaggeyakara Utsava

    Ranjani Fine Arts, the new Sangeetha Sabha, conducts music concerts, workshops and special talent promotion programmes for beginners round the year. On Saturday, it conducted the "Vaggeyakara Utsava" in a unique way. Students of 20 music institutions in and around Bellandur presented one composition each, of different composers.

    Learners between the ages of 8 and 50 sang and played with enthusiasm and sincerity. It was followed by the 'Pancharatna Krithis' of Saint Tyagaraja. Senior and young musicians sang the five gems in unison, accompanied by violin and mridanga. Opening with 'Jagadananda Karaka' in Naata, they customarily continued with 'Dudukugala' (Gowla), 'Sadhinchane' (Arabhi), 'Kanakanaruchira' (Varali) and 'Endaro Mahanubhavulu (Sri). All these compositions echoed in the auditorium and created a divine atmosphere.

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  • 01/19/14--12:17: Music and dance reviews
  • The nonagenarian musician Dr R K Srikantan, was greeted by one and all on the eve of his 94th birthday, on the auspicious Sankranthi day.

    It was part of the annual Sankranthi Music Festival and biography of the doyen was also released. Dr T K Murthy (Music), Dr Venkatesha Sharma Sastry (Advaita Siddantha), V V Sundaram (Organiser) and Prof M Balasubramaniam (Principal) - were felicitated.

    The inaugural concert was by Carnatika Brothers - N Shashikanth and Ganesh. They were well supported by C N Chandrasekhar on violin, Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma on mridanga and G Guru Prasanna on khanjari. "Vanajakshi," gave Carnatica Brothers a steady start followed by "Chelanatina" of Saint Tyagaraja. "Angarakamashrayamam" - Suruti composition of Dikshitar was another fine selection.

    Though the nerval (Bhanuchandra Gurumitram Bhasamana Sukulatram) was rather too brief, the composition attracted with its meaningful lyrics and grand music. 'Needumahima' - was a quickie and chose raga Vagadheeswari for the Pallavi. Sharing themselves the brothers elaborated the Pallavi (Amogha Varsha Gana Sreekanta) neatly. Though they tried to bring a convincing imagery of the melody, the raga was not fully evocative. Carnatica Brothers concluded their concert with a thillana of Veena Seshanna.


    G Srikant, who gave a vocal recital last week is a post graduate in music and has been trained by both T M Tyagarajan and O S Tyagarajan. He is a known teacher and sings for several front ranking dancers.

    In the current concert (Sri Rama Lalitakala Mandira) Srikant was supported by Rahul Ravichandran on violin, Prof V Krishna on mridanga and G Guru Prasanna on khanjari.
    He sang a number of familiar compositions like - Sri Chamundeswari and Orajupu.
    The "Jananee Pahi Sada" in Sanskrit is usually rendered on the seventh day of Navaratri. Keeravani, the evocative raga was selected for the Pallavi. He also rendered a few devaranamas like "Samsaravemba", "Hu Beke Parimalada" and a thillana of Rajkumar Bharathi. He sang sincerely. Yet it was by no means one of his best efforts, thus the concert was not free from shortcomings.

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  • 01/26/14--20:26: Music and dance reviews
  • Haridasa compositions

    Sri Purandara Dasa "Punya Dinacharane" is being celebrated by many organisations and temples all over the City. One such organisation, Sri Raghavendra Seva Samithi, is celebrating the auspicious occasion with both cultural and religious rituals, which will be held till January 30. On this occasion discourses, Bhajans and music concerts were held at the Sri Raghavendra Swamy Mutt, Sudhindra Nagara, Malleswaram.

    S R Vinay Sharva, who gave a vocal recital in the festival last week, is a disciple of S Shankar and is being groomed by Dr Nedanuri Krishnamurthy, veteran musician.

    He is a MTech graduate and has also won prizes in a few competitions. He was well supported by H S Smitha on violin and C Cheluvaraj on mridanga in the current concert. Vinay Sharva chose a number of Kannada Devaranamas, which suited the occasion. For instance,"Muddu Tharo Eddu Baro Ranga" was a pleasing pada.

    Saint Raghavendra Swamy's only available composition "Indu Enage Govinda" was the main item of the evening. In spite of alapana and swara, it was brief and connoisseurs, he could have added 'nerval' also to make it wholesome.
    A caravan of devaranamas followed, like Tunga Teera Virajam, Jagadoddarana, Dasana Madiko Enna and Vandipe Namma Muddu Sharade. However, with his good voice and lively presentation Vinay Sharva succeeded in highlighting emotional overtones of Devaranamas.

    He concluded his concert with a fine Mangala, "Maara Janaka Chaturanana" of Vidya Prasanna Teertha Sripadangallavaru.
    Scholarly vocal

    Senior vocalist, scholar and able teacher Dr T S Satyavathi delighted the audience with a number of compositions of Haridasas of Karnataka.

    Devaranamas of - Kanaka Dasa, Purandara Dasa, Vyasaraja, Vadiraja, Vijaya Dasa and Vyasa Vittala - brought variety and colour to the programme.

    The "Nere Nambida Hridaya" - is a favourite of old timers. She sang "Japava Madidarenu Thapava Madidarenu" in good "vilamba kaala" and with good feeling. A devotional composition "Harinaama Jihweyollira Beku" was given a detailed treatment with ragalapana (Kamavardhini), nerval (Bhutha Daya Paranagirabeku) and Swara prasthara. Satyavathi impressed with her scholarly vocals and mature presentation.

    She was well assisted by her disciple Anjana P Rao and ably supported by Nalina Moha and K U Jayachandra on violin and mridanga, respectively. "Marulu Maadikombeyanthe" in Neelambari and "Ananda mayage" in Madhyamavathi - were also evocative.

    Kinkiny dance festival

    The annual dance festival of the Kinkiny which opened on Saturday, will conclude on the coming Friday at the JSS Auditorium. Kathak, Odissi, Kuchipudi and Mohiniattam apart from Bharatanatya recitals will be performed by both young and seasoned dancers.

    The opening programme of the Nrithyotsava was by an interesting quartet. Four young male dancers Anant Nagaraj, B N Karteek Datar, Somasekhar C and Srinivasan R, have formed a 'Thandava' ensemble and have already performed in a few places.

    Malhari in the raga Gambheera Nata gave the 'Thandava' group a bright start followed by "Sri Gananatham". The interpretation for the keertana "Amma Anandadayani" of Dr M Balamurali Krishan, with chitteswara and well knit jathi, which was attractive. They performed with ease and confidence and can reach great heights with some more training and proper direction. The "Chaturmukhi" (Gurumurthy) caught the attention with swift foot work and they also chose "Nadatanumanisham' and the devotional "Yena Bedali Hanuma" (D V Prasanna Kumar).

    They were ably supported by Prasanna Kumar (Natuvanga), Srivatsa (Vocal), Gurumurthy (Mridanga), Shubha Santosh (Veena) and Jayaram (Flute).
    Lord Vishnu's Dashavatara

    Dr Vasundhara Doraswamy, senior dancer, teacher and choreographer, along with her ten students presented a few select compositions of Maharaja Swati Tirunal. Opening with the 'Melaprapthi' (Khanda Chapu), they moved to another well known keertane "Mamava Sada" in the raga Kaanada.

    In the "Dashavathara" led by Vasundhara Doreswamy, young dancers changing their roles in quick succession performed ten incarnations of Vishnu, beautifully.

    With their neat footwork, pleasing Abhinaya and choreography, Vasundhara Doraswamy and her students' performance was appreciated.

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  • 02/02/14--13:48: Music and dance reviews...
  • Aradhana Sapthaha

    The BTM Cultural Academy conducted the "Aradhana Sapthaha" with music programmes for seven days. All of them were vocal duets and everyday the concert was on different composers of Karnatic Music. Vijayalakshmi and Chithra (known as Mambalam Sisters) presented select compositions of Muthuswamy Dikshitar. Dikshithar (1775-1835), one of the trinities of Karnatic music, was not only a vocalist but also a Veena player. With the "mudra" of "Guruguha," he has composed hundreds of krithies including Vibhakti krithies, Navavarna, Vaara and single charana krithies.

    Vijayalakshmi and Chithra are familiar artistes to connoisseurs of Bangalore. Mambalam Sisters chose "Chintayama Kandamula Kandam," one of the 'Panchabhuta Krithies'. In the chaturdasha Ragamalike (Sri Vishwanatham Bhajeham), 14 melodious ragas flow one after the other and create a colourful picture.

    The "Swaminatha Samrakshitohum" was on Lord Subramanya in the raga Brindavana Saranga. Sharing themselves they developed the alapana and thana and made the Kambodhi raga a wholesome one. In the Pallavi, they further added pep through the Ragamalika swara. After an interesting Nottu swara they concluded with "Sri Kamalambike." The concert was notable for the remarkable fluidity and melodic content in their voices which soared with ease throughout the concert. A band of seasoned instrumentalists accompanied the sisters wholeheartedly - Dr R Hemalatha on violin, A Renuka Prasad on mridanga, K S Rangachari on Khanjari and Bharadwaj Sathavalli on morching.

    International conference

    The Indiranagar Sangeetha Sabha conducted the "International Conference on Music and Dance" with the theme "Classical forms in World Music." The annual music and dance festival was also held along with the conference and Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr Umayalapuram K Shivaraman was conferred with the Purandara award on the occasion. There were interesting lecture and demonstrations on various topics of music and dance and young musicians and dancers were also provided ample opportunities to exhibit their talent.

    Dr Uday Kiran K T spoke on the "Influence of other genres on Karnatic classical music." Sowmya and Sanat Kumar Athreya demonstrated few verses from Thiruppugazh with a detailed background while P R Ashwini spoke on the concept of voice culture.

    Anirudha Knight, who comes from the lineage of Balasaraswathi, gave a dance reital in the festival on last Monday. He opened the programme with a verse from Thiruppugal (Madhyamavati).

    The Ragamalike Shabdam by Chinnaiah Naidu was on Lord Subramanya. The varna "Sarasala Lo" was the piece de resistance of the evening. Though Abhinaya was his forte, the jathies were simple and executed neatly. Conservatives may not agree with some of the things (including his costumes), but Anirudha performed the pada on Muruga, another of Kshetragna (Ninnu Juchi) and a devaranama (Krishna Nee Begane Baaro) and concluded with a thillana (Mandari). Anirudha's career is worth watching.

    T Girish (vocal), Babu Prasad (Natuvanga), K Gopinath (Mridanga) and T R Murthy (flute) - supported the dancer from the wings.

    Nadajyothi festival

    The Nadajyothi Sri Thyagaraja Swamy Bhajana Sabha in collaboration with the Malleswaram Arya Vysya Sangha celebrated the annual music festival at the Vasavi Temple premises in Malleswaram. With "Unchavruthi," vocal ensemble of Pancharathna krithies and Bhadrachala Ramadasa's compositions, discourse, violin solo, vocal (both Karnatic and Hindustani), instrumental trio and Gamaka - the festival attracted a sizeable gathering. M S Govindaswamy (violin), M Vasudeva Rao (mridanga), M R Sathyanarayana (Gamaka) and N Amrith (Khanjari) - received the annual awards.

    Young vocalists M B Hariharan and S Ashok gave a vocal concert last week. They were accompanied by seasoned artistes - C Chandrasekhar on violin, A V Anand on mrianga and S N Narayana Murthy on Ghata. Opening with a varna (Chalamela), they chose "Ambikaya" in Kedara. The "Meenalochana" with brief raga was quiet impressive. "Niravadi Sukhada" pleased the old timers, before moving to the main item of the evening.

    Evocative raga Bilahari was elaborated step by step and they tried their best to highlight the raga bhava. Post 'Tani' they sang few devotionals and a patriotic song "Jayathi Jayathi Bharatha Matha." Without over doing anything Hariharan and Ashok pleased the gathering, with their good voice and neat presentation.

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