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  • 02/16/14--12:00: Sparkling violin duet
  • Curtains came down on the Spring Music Festival with violin duet of Mysore Nagaraj and Mysore Manjunath on Sunday.

    Internationally acclaimed brothers are both accomplished accompanists and soloists and are well known in the music field.

    Beginning of the concert was different from the expectations of the audience. Instead of a varna in two kaala or a brisk Madhyama kaala krithi, Nagaraj and Manjunath opened their concert with a "Vilamba Kaala" composition - "Akhilandeswari" which revealed the essence of the melody in all its majesty and serenity.

    It was followed by another good composition "Raga Sudharasa". A detailed alapana of Shanmukhapriya followed. While presenting the raga, Nagaraj also indulged in "graha bheda," of course very briefly. It was embellished with interesting swaraprasthara. The classical stature in their Kambodhi was shining with aesthetic charm and the keerthane "Marakathavalli came alive with cascading swara prasthara.

    Special attraction of the concert was double mridanga by Arjun Kumar and Patri Satish Kumar which also generated good heat. The popular devotional "Pibare Rama Rasam" and a thillana - were the concluding items. It was an interesting combination of melody and technical virtuosity. The concert was held under the aegis of the Sri Rama Lalithakala Mandira.

    Keshava Kalarnavam

    H R Keshava Murthy (1919-2006) was a great natuvanar, teacher, organiser and choreographer. More than all, he is the founder of the Keshava Nrityashala, one of the earliest dance schools of Bangalore. Last week, a homage was paid to him through a special programme called "Keshava Kalarnavam".

    The programme started with a documentary highlighting Keshavamurthy's (HRK) life and works. One of his sons, Ravishankar, rendered the invocatory song (Sharanu Sharana Gananayakane) pleasingly, while grandson, Pravardhan, sang "Kaava Daivavu Neene." Young dance students presented the "Guru Vandane" and HRK's family members and students performed different compositions of Keshavamurthy.

    First, an infrequent jathiswara in Suladi Saptha Thala by the students of Keshava Nritya Shale followed by a Shabda, which was in eight different ragas set to misra chapu thala. HRK has composed a varna on Lord Kadu Malleswara, famous and old temple of Malleswaram. It was in raga Kalyani with the beginning lyrics "Ninnane Nambihe Nanu." It was a proof of their good training and practise and a good homage to a veteran artiste.

    Devotional songs

    Hamsini Nagendra, Assistant Professor, Department of Dance, Drama and Music of Bangalore University, gave an exclusive concert of compositions of Purandara Dasaru.
    Hamsini presented "Anjike Inyathakayya" with alapana and swara. It was a classical fare and without overdoing anything, she was able to establish the right musical
    atmosphere, throughout the concert. Earlier, she also elaborated attana for
    "Sakala Grahabala Neene" briefly.

    She sang - Rama Mantrava Japiso, Narayna Ninna Namada Smarane, etc - that pleased the gathering. "Anubhavadadigeya Maadi" - was a meaningful devaranama, with interesting lyrics. With her good voice and presentation received the appreciation of the House.

    She was ably supported by Mathur Srinidhi on violin, Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma on mridanga and Sunad Anoor on Khanjari.

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  • 02/23/14--12:54: Music reviews
  • Saamagana festival

    The Bharatiya Saamagana Sabha felicitated Dr Nedanuri Krishna Murthy, veteran musician, with the 'Saamagana Matanga Award,' as part of the annual music festival. Abhishek Raghuram who gave the final concert of the festival, hails from a reputed musicians' family.

    He is the grandson of Sangeetha Kalanidhi Palghat Raghu and has been guided by Vidwan P S Narayana Swamy also.

    Being one of our sought after vocalist, he has performed in leading festivals and prestigious sabhas climbing the ladder of success quickly. A post graduate Abhishek is also well versed in khanjari and has received awards and prizes from reputed organisations, including Music Academy, Chennai.

    Abhishek Raghuram, as expected attracted a large gathering and fulfilled the expectations of his fans. 'IntachaLa' the familiar Varna, in two speeds gave him a bright start. 'Janakee Ramana' with brief swara was evocative.

    Another fine kruthi 'Garuda Gamanasamayamide' again with brief raga and swara was highlighted stylistically. But the young vocalist is tempted by the middle and fast tempo more. A slightly slower tempo and a few in 'Vilamba Kaala,' would have invested it with greater grandeur.

    After Janakee Ramana, he rendered 'Yemaiah Rama' emphasising the lyrical appeal. Todi alapana with bright phrases for the 'Karthikeya Gangeya' of Papanasha shivan was the main item of the evening.

    Further the nerval was redolent with a number of qualitative sangathie and lively swara. Charulatha Ramanujan on violin, Neyveli Narayan on mridanga and Guruprasanna on khanjari supported with good understanding.

    Samanvaya Kala Kendra

    The Samanvaya Kala Kendra is serving the music field in different ways. Though music (both vocal and instrumental) training is the main object, the institution also conducts a music programme (Samanthiny) on every second Saturday, workshop on Haridasa compositions (Dasa Smrithi) etc.

    The Kendra celebrated the aradhana mahotsava last week, in which both young musicians and seniors took active part. They started with 'unchavrithy' customarily and a special programme on the 'Kshetra darshana' compositions of Purandara dasaru was also presented. Nine devaranamas on different pilgrimage places of Karnataka visited by Purandara dasaru was presented in the form of a 'Roopaka.'

    The title 'Sangeethakala Samanvitha' was conferred on A Rajachar, nonagenarian percussionist. Saint Tyagaraja's 'Pancharatna Krithies' are known as five gems of Karnatic music. The ensemble sang them in Naata, Gowla, Arabhi, Varali and Sri Ragas in that order. The lyrics and music matching each other were complimentary. It was a unique experience to hear these compositions with hundred voices, accompanied by violin and percussion. CD 'Ide Samaya' sung by Master Suhas, Surabhi, and Anvitha (all below 12 years) and directed by Tirumale Srinivas, was also released on the occasion.
    Devotional songs

    Under the joint auspices of Sri Rama Mandira (Malleswaram) and Madhwani Sangeetha Kala Vedike, a special 'Dasavani' programme was held in the serene atmosphere of the Rama Mandira. Madhavachar Joshi of Raichur was initiated to music by his father Sarwantharyami Joshi and continued with Vayu Jeevothama Achar Joshi and has performed in a few places, both in and outside Bangalore. He is also teaching young aspirants at Saraswathi Sangeetha Shale and has specialised in Haridasa compositions.Madhavachar Joshi paid obeisance to invocatory God through the 'Sathatha Gananatha' followed by a composition in the raga Yaman. Viyayadasa's Pada (Bheemapalas Raga) 'Laguna Dorakitalla' attracted with its interesting lyrics. Dayamadi, Ganapathi enna paliso were also rendered by him. Description of 'Kailasa' in the devaranama of Mahipathi Dasaru caught the attention of the listeners. 'Anjike inyatakayya' is a ever popular devaranama. Madhavachar Joshi has good voice and the rendering is simple. But sometimes the pronunciation of the lyrics is not clear and clarity lacking. By experience he can make his vocal impactful. Purnaprasad (bulbul tarang), Srinivas Kakhandiki (tabala) and Raghu (dolak)- supported the young vocalist.

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  • 03/02/14--10:07: Music and dance reviews
  • Rajmahal Sabha music festival

    Rajmahal Vilas Sangeetha Sabha held a two-day music festival in connection with its 18th anniversary. Apart from concerts, Sabha also paid tributes to Purandara Dasa and Tyagaraja by singing their compositions, both individually and in ensemble.

    Shanmukhapriya and Haripriya (Priya Sisters) gave the final concert of the festival on Sunday. They were well supported by M A Krishnaswamy on violin, Patri Satish Kumar on mridanga and B S Purushotham on khanjari.

    Priya Sisters presented a number of fine compositions in attractive ragas. But the main item of the evening "Daachukovalena" was elaborated with alapana, nerval (Saumitri Tyagarajuni) and swara prasthara. In this composition, Saint Tyagaraja pleads with Lord Rama - "O son of Dasaratha! Why should you hide your abundant grace from me? Why this disregard towards me..? Should you still be stubborn?"

    Priya Sisters' alap of Thodi was on a solid ground and helped them lend a well reasoned imagery to the raga. With their pleasant voice, the nerval was meaningful and the swara delightful.

    Earlier, 'Namakusuma' in a majestic "Vilamba Kaala" was rendered in a dignified way and the Rishabhapriya was a welcome change from the routine ragas and the sisters brought out the grandeur of the raga, in a pleasant manner. With the prelude of a ugabhoga (Jagava Suthihudu) the devaranama "Ele manave Murariya nene" - was delectable.
    Vocal with good feeling

    Sri Ramakrishna Bhajana Sabha Trust conducted the annual music festival in connection with Shivarathri celebrations. Neyveli Santhanagopalan, who gave the final music concert on Tuesday, is a familiar musician to connoisseurs and also an able teacher.

    Though Pantuvarali is a familiar raga, when sung by talented Santanagopalan, it acquired a special colour and flavour. The "Shambho Mahadeva," a popular composition of Tyagaraja, became delightful. Before that another vintage krithi, with nerval (Hithavu Maatalento) and lilting swara, caught the attention.

    "Thelisi Rama" was little slow than the usual, but chitteswara was attractive. Papanasha Shivan's "Paramukhavayya" was presented with full devotion. The "Chandra chuda Shiva Shankara" in "vilamba kaala" was sung with good feeling. Dr Narmada on violin, Shankara Narayanan on mridanga and Sukanya Ramgopal on ghata, accompanied with good understanding.

    Theatre music

    The MES Kalavedi had organised a different type of music programme, last week. R Paramashivan presented "Ranga Geethe", which was well received by a sizeable audience.

    Veteran theatre personality Paramashivan has not only sung in several dramas but has also composed music and played harmonium. He rendered a number of songs selected from the treasure chest of Kannada theatre (old drama companies).

    Paramashivan opened the programme with a song (Sasira Lola), from the drama 'Krishna Leela', set to Kalyani raga. The second one was from Ramayana, from the Anjaneya character. It was extracted from the "Ashoka Vana" scene of Ramayana. Gubbi company is a legendary theatre and there were many musicians and instrumentalists in that company.

    He chose a song from that company, which was taken from the famous play "Dashavathara", under the music direction of P Kalinga Rao. The song "Enna Siriye Enna Doreye" was from "Bedara Kannapa, in which Dr Rajkumar played the lead role. He also sang songs based on Hindustani, Western and folk music.

    Other prominent songs were from plays like 'Sadarame', 'Samsara Nowke' and 'Rajasuya Yaga'. It is amazing to hear Paramashivan's vocal at this old age (84), with good clarity and precise sruthi. But the instrumentalists were not matching his vocal.

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  • 03/09/14--11:59: Music reviews
  • Tributes to Trinity

    The Bangalore Lalitha Kala Parishat presented a vocal concert, as part of its monthly programme (818) on Friday at the H N Kalakshetra, Jayanagara.

    Artiste of the day, Dr Prameela Gurumurthy, is a senior vocalist who has been trained by veteran musicians of the Carnatic music. She is fortunate to have been trained by stalwarts like Musri Subramanya Iyer, T K Govinda Rao and Rajam Iyer.

    She has obtained a doctorate for her thesis on "Harikatha - Tanjore Tradition". She is serving the University of Chennai as professor and head of the Department of Music and has authored a few books.

    Prof Prameela Gurumurthy presented compositions of Trinity (Tyagaraja, Muthuswamy Dikshitar and Syama Sastry), opening her concert with an invocatory song on Ganesha, customarily. "Sri Ganapathini Sevincharare" is in the raga Saurashtra and Adi Thala.

    Tyagaraja says: "Let us pay our obeisance to Lord Ganapathi, who is dancing prettily… is coming thoroughly dancing in a variety of rhythms". She sang "Sri Narada Nada Saraseeruha" with swara briefly. Both "Anandamrita Karshini" of Dikshitar and "Anupama Gunambudhi" (Athana) of Tyagaraja were popular compositions during yester years.

    Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar popularised the composition "Anupama Gunambudhi". Lalita is a very popular raga from centuries. It is a 'Pa' Varjya, Shadava raga and all the three composers (Trinity) have composed in this raga. Dr Prameela chose "Nannubrovu Lalitha" of Syama Sastry and sang with good feeling. The alap of Shankarabharana was evocative with the ragabhava encircling Tyagaraja's well known kriti "Enduku Peddala".

    The imploring mood of the lyric was brought out successfully, though the nerval (Veda sastra Tatwarthamulu) was rather brief. Raga Chintamani is known to connoisseurs through the composition of Syama Sastry's "Devibrova Samayamide". It was a "Ubhaya Vakra Shadava" raga and was very pleasing. It was a scholarly concert sung with good "Bhava". Nalina Mohan on violin, M T Rajakesari on mridanga and N S Krishnaprasad on 'ghata', supported with good understanding.

    Gotuvadya concert

    Gotuvadya, one of the stringed instruments of Carnatic music, looks just like a veena, from a distance. Gotuvadya is just the veena minus the frets and the waxy ledge. It is believed to be four-centuries old and is mentioned in the Telugu book "Sringara Savitri" of Raghunatha Naik and the instrument is also known as "Maha Nataka Veena" and was a popular accompaniment in 'Geya Natakas' (Operas). It is both a 'Gaana Vadya' and a 'Pradarshina Vadya' and the cylindrical stick to be held in the left hand is made to glide over the strings and is plucked from the right hand. Though it is not a rare instrument, there are not many Gotuvadya players.

    There was a Gotuvadya recital at "Swathi", Basaveshwaranagara, on Saturday evening, by Dr Gayathri Rajapur Kassembaum. She is a disciple of Budulur Krishnamurthy Sastry, the legendary Gotuvadya player. Gayathri is an ethnomusicologist and has received PhD from the University of Washington and has also served the Hawai University as a lecturer.
    The Pantuvarali varna gave her a bright start and she saluted to invocatory God through

    "Sri Gananatham Bhajare". Swara for "Saraseeruhasana Priye" was full of "Bhava".
    "Rama Ninnu" of Veena Seshanna in the raga 'Anandabhairavi', with swara prasthara, was neatly executed. The Sri raga was well expressed through the dignified composition "Sri Varalakshmi Namastubhyam". "Mamava Meenakshi" of Dikshitar was presented in the familiar mode. Without overdoing anything and singing here and there (for audience to understand the lyrics) Dr Gayathri played in a simple but pleasing manner. Two seasoned percussionists - M Vasudeva Rao (mridanga) and B Rajasekhar (morching) - accompanied with aplomb.

    Mysore V Subramanya

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  • 03/16/14--12:22: Music and dance reviews
  • Nataraja Utsava

    The Karnataka Nrityakala Parishat conducts "Nataraja Utsava" every year, to encourage male dancers. This year also there were six dance performances by two seasoned artistes.

    Darshan Abhivadhye, who presented the inaugural dance, is a disciple of Srinivasan Rajendran. He began his programme with a Pushpanjali customarily, followed by "Gam Ganapathe."

    In the "Ananda Tandava" (Purvi Kalyani), different postures were attractive and the tillana was also a pleasant one. Gopala Krishna, a student of Sanjay Shantaram, caught the attention with his powerful foot work in the Ardhanareeshwara shloka. For taranga, he chose was a Kannada devaranama (Baro Krishnaiah), instead of the regular Narayana Teertha composition. He performed on the brass plate, which was like a mini version of the taranga.

    Vigneswara Krithi (Raga Rishabha Priya) was the opening piece of Nagaraja, a disciple of B K Vasanthalakshmi and moved to a Daru of Dr Muthaiah Bhagavathar and concluded with a Shivakrithi (Chandrasekharam Bhajami Santatam). All the three male dancers performed with confidence and was a proof of their good training and their future is worth watching.

    Rasa Sanje programme

    Music and dance programmes were held as part of "Rasa Sanje," under the auspices of Venkatesha Natya Mandira. Dr Suma Sudhindra, who gave the first programme of the series, is an internationally acclaimed Veena player and principal of Tarangini Music Academy. Suma Sudhindra's opening choice - a varna in the Raga Durbar is a familiar piece. But she made it very attractive by presenting it in a lightening speed in five kaalas. Chittaswara of "Swararaga Laya" was also lively.

    Raga Dharmavati is the 59th mela and was known by different names earlier. Though Tyagaraja has not composed in this raga, later composers like Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan (Melaragamalika), Veena Seshanna and Kotiswara Ayyar have, have composed beautiful compositions.

    Dharmavati received a detailed airing and the pallavi (adi taala, khanda nade) showed her in a fine fettle. The melodious "Naada" of veena and a lively presentation caught the audience attention.

    M N Ganesh Kumar on violin, Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma on mridanga, B R Ravi Kumar on ghata and Srilatha (co-player on veena) - gave a good support.

    Percussion ensemble

    Five percussionists (Laya Surabhi) took part in the percussion ensemble at the "Rasa Sanje" festival. S V Balakrishna (mridanga), N Amruth (Khanjari), Dayanand Mohithe (ghata),

    S V Giridhar (morching) and R Ramesh (dholak) - performed under the directions of M Vasudeva Rao.

    Malhari gave them a flying start. J K Sridhar on violin played a pallavi (Mohana) and the percussionists played the "Tani" in breathtaking permutations and combinations.

    Starting slowly in "Vilamba Kaala," it gradually moved to "Madhyama Kaala" in different rollicking Nade (Tisra, Khanda, etc). It was embellished well and it had a stimulating aplomb.

    Young dancer

    Geetha Srikrishna is learning Bharatanatya at Sadhana Sangama in Basaveshwaranagar and has passed the senior examination also. After her Rangapravesha in 2009, she has participated in several dance ballets like - "Bombe Jeeva Bhava," "Navarasa Devi, etc." Apart from performing under the aegis of local organisations, she has also performed in Mysore, Mandya and Singapore.

    In the current programme, Geetha included Devaranama, Keertana, Jawadi and a Tillana. Childhood acts of Krishna were well depicted, dramatising the situations in "Yenu Pellali Gopi." The "Annapurne Vishalakshi" of Dikshithar, is a popular keertane on Devi. The jawadi - "Marulagihe Na Manany" - provided ample opportunity to exhibit her Abhinaya talent and the tillana in Bagesri, was a fitting finale.

    Geetha Srikrishna performed with ease and assurance and can reach great heights with higher training and more stage experience.

    Kanchana Sriranjini's vocal was inspiring and Sushma wielded the cymbals.
    Janardhan, Venugopal and Madhusudhan, accompanied on mridanga, flute and violin, respectively.

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  • 03/23/14--11:57: Music and dance reviews
  • Beautiful Bharatanatya

    The Bangalore Lalithakala Parishat presented a Bharatanatya recital on Friday at HN Kalakshetra.

    Veena and Dhanya, the Nair sisters, are disciples of Narmada (Shakunthala Natyalaya) and have practiced Mohiniyattam, under Kalamandalam Kshemavathy. They have performed in prestigious sabhas and sammellans, both in and outside the State.

    The Nair sisters opened their programme with a shloka, followed by "Gajananam". From the initial Kautuam, the duo displayed the self-assurance and maturity of a seasoned dancer. The Neelambari Varna of Lalgudi Jayaraman provided ample proof for their talent and hard practice.

    Sharing between themselves they performed the Varna convincingly. It was visually impactful though they were more at home in Abhinaya. Balakrishna's different 'Leelas' were more theatrical, though had a popular appeal. The tillana in Simhendra Madhyama was also evocative.

    With graceful stage presence and pleasant smile the Nair sisters performed convincingly. But they can enhance the impact by observing restrain, wherever necessary.

    Ashwin Nair (natuvanga), Bharathi Venugopal (vocal), Gurumurthy (mridanga) and Madhusudhan (violin) - accompanied the dancers from the wing.

    A promising vocalist

    Amritha Venkatesh, who gave a vocal recital under the aegis of the MES Kalavedi, is a familiar artiste in Bangalore music circle.

    After taking initial lessons from M T Selvanarayana, she received advanced training from Charumathi Ramachandran and presently continuing her training under Prince Rama Varma. She is an 'A-Grade' artiste of Akashavani in both vocal and Veena and has received several prizes from prestigious sabhas, including the Music Academy.

    In the current concert Amritha Venkatesh, in the initial stage chose "Shobillu Saptaswara" (Jagan Mohini Raga - Tyagaraja) and sang with interesting an swara. "Marivere" of Shyama Sastry and "Sri Chamundeswari" - were well received. "Sabha Pathi Ku" was another fine selection and a detailed alapana of the Raga Ramapriya.

    Instead of the usual Ragas, it was a welcome change from the routine alapana. Ramamanohari (52nd Mela) was replaced by Ramapriya in Kanakangi list.

    Though Tyagaraja has composed in this raga, it became a more popular raga in the post-Trinity period. Sandehamu (Tyagaraja), Korinavara (Patnam Subrarmanya Ayyar) - are some of the well-known compositions in this raga. Amritha highlighted the salient features of the raga Ramapriya successfully. Well-knit swara phrases for "Samodam Paripalaya" was attractive.

    With her good voice and lively presentation Amritha Venkatesh sang with required weight. Still there is scope to improve - especially the nerval part. B K Raghu on violin, Tumkur Ravishankar on mridanga and Bhagyalakshmi Krishna on morching - gave a good support on their respective instruments.

    Tributes to great souls

    A number of artistes sang as a tribute to four great musicians and poets. As a tribute to C Ashwath, Dr R K Srikantan, Yashwant Halibandi and Dr G S Shivarudrappa - Ratnamala Prakash, Malathi Sharma, Y K Muddukrishna, Kikkeri Krishnamurthy and a host of others sang Kannada lyrics of the great poets.

    It was just natural that "Naada Namana" was opened through a classical composition. Senior musician R S Ramakantha presented "Manasu Karagade" - as an opening song in a complete classical style. Nagachandrika Bhat sang "Jeeva Jatreyali" of G S Shivarudrappa in a simple way, while Y K Muddukrishna's choice was "Yanava Maadidi" of R N Jayagopal.

    Ratnamala and Malathi chose "Ninnade Nela Ninnade Jala" - a popular lyric of G S Shivarudrappa. Kikkeri Krishnamurthy delighted the audience with another well known song of G S Shivarudrappa "Kaanada Kadalige." Five young girls of Geethalaya Nritya Academy - all below 10 years - pleased the gathering by their Bharatanatya recital.

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  • 03/30/14--12:56: Music and dance reviews
  • Sparkling vocal

    T M Krishna, following the release of his book "A Southern Music", gave a vocal recital accompanied by H K Venkatram on violin and Arun Prakash on mridanga. Usually Krishna attracts a large gathering of excited fans and the vocalist also doesn't disappoint them!
    But he is not predictable and one cannot anticipate a particular kriti or a raga! Krishna opened his concert with the "Samanamevaru" - a well-known composition of Saint Tyagaraja. The nerval part (Paluku Palukulaku Tene) was rather brief, but rendered with good 'bhava'. It was followed by alapana and thana in raga 'Janaranjini'.

    Audience expected a pallavi to follow, but the artiste stopped with ragalapana and thana only! Then he jumped into 'Enthaveduko' (Saraswathi Manohari) - a popular composition of yester years. While singing anupallavi, he reached thara sthayee and audience wanted to clap, but Krishna signed them not to clap (and disturb the mood) and continued to sing, enjoying the music himself! Another surprise awaited the connoisseurs at the juncture. He sang

    "Madhava Mamava Krishna". But alapana (Neelambari) was rendered only in violin! Of course, Venkatram played the raga melodiously. Another composition - a jawadi - in 'Vilamba Kaala' was rendered full of Bhava. He said he would close the concert for the day, but began "Hecharikaga Ra Ra" (Yadukula Kambhoji) and concluded with a mangala. Whatever the reaction of the conservatives, connoisseurs enjoyed.

    Natya Vybhava

    In the 'Natya Vybhava', the Bangalore Gayana Samaja organised four dance programmes and a Yakshagana recital.

    Deepa Bhat, who presented a Bharatanatya recital, is a student of Kalakshiti and has passed Vidwath examination also. She has completed her 'Ranga Pravesha' in 2002 itself and has performed in several dance dramas. She is learning music and has acted in a few dramas and is training young aspirants in her dance school 'Nritya Kuteera'.

    At the event, main feature of Deepa Bhat's dance recital was the varna "Sakhiye Nee Inda Jalam' (Ananda Bhairavi raga - Tanjore Quartet). She performed the Virahot Khanditha Nayika with ease and assurance. But the main attraction of her programme was a ragalle of Harihara. It explains Nataraja as seen by Kumbara Gundaiah (Raga Vasantha).

    Her abhinaya came to the fore in the Asthapadi "Pashyathi Dishi Dishi" of Jayadeva. Deepa Bhat has a good future in the years to come. Nagashri K S (Natuvanga), Vasudha Balakrishna (vocal), V R Chandrasekhar (Mridanga) and Dr Nataraj Murthy (violin) - supported from the wings.

    Impact needs to be better

    Four prominent male dancers of Bangalore have come together to form 'Tandava'. Kartik Datar (son of Usha Datar), Srinivasan Rajendran (student of Shubha Dhananjay), Somashekhar Chudanath (student of Suparna Venkatesh) and Darshan S (disciple of Srinivasan Rajendran) together presented three items in the Nrithya Vybhava.

    They chose a Balamuralikrishna's composition 'Amma Anandadayini' in praise of Adi Shakti. The second krithi was a devaranama (D V Prasanna Kumar) on Hanumantha. Episodes like 'Sanjeevini Parvatha' and 'Bheemasena Garvabhanga' were narrated, dramatising the situations. The final piece 'Chaturmukhi' started with 'Omkara' and continued with a devine keertana "Nada Tanumanisham".

    With powerful footwork and crisp jathi, it caught the attention of the connoisseurs. With some more editing and able direction, the 'Tandava' team may enhance the impact of their performance.

    Mysore V Subramanya

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  • 04/06/14--12:34: Music and dance reviews
  • Music season is here again

    Ramotsava - the music season is back again. Though many sabhas begin the Ramotsava festival on the Navami day (April 8), a few mandalis start the celebration on the Ugadi day, following the old tradition customarily, which is known as "Garbha Navami."

    One such organisation, "Sri Rama Bhaktha Sabha" is conducting the Ramotsava celebration for the 108th year! It was founded in the year 1906 by compounder Subba Rao and from the last few years it is being held at the Sri Srikanteswara Bhavana, Malleswara. Discourses, Harikatha, Yakshagana programmes, apart from music (vocal, flute, mukha venu, keyboard) concerts, will be held till Friday (April 11).

    On Wednesday Pattabhirama Pandith gave a fine vocal concert here. Being a disciple of Palghat K V Narayanaswamy he is fast emerging as an important vocalist of the state and is a sought after musician, now. In the current programme, when Pattabhirama Pandith's concert reached the peak, he chose a pallavi, which suited the occasion very well. The raga chosen by him was "Simhendramadhyamam," the 57 mela.

    Being a pleasing rakti raga, it became very popular during the post Tyagaraja period. In this raga, Pattabhirama Pandith gave evocative music in good classical tradition. His rendering of Alapana, brief tana and gripping kalpana swaras commanded the respect of the cognoscenti. Also swara prasthara for both the compositions - "Ramanannu Brovara" and "Odi Baraiah" - were not only brilliant but also pleasing.
    The "Annapurne Vishalakshi" with several aesthetic passages delighted connoisseurs.

    In the last part of the concert - a "thiruppagal," two devotionals ("Ramachandra Ra Ra" and "Yadava Nee Ba") and a thillana - were notable for its melodic content in his voice, which soared with ease in all the three octaves. Seasoned instrumentalists - Mathur Srinidhi on violin, H S Sudhindra on mridanga and B Rajasekhar on morsing accompanied with good understanding.
    Soulful Veena concert

    Well-known husband and wife duo, Jeyaraj Krishnan and Jaysri Krishnan played the veena for the Saptaswara Academy.

    Being students of L Anantharama Iyer and A Champakavalli they belong to the direct "Shishya Parampara" of Muthuswamy Dikshitar. They have also been guided by Chengulpet Ranganathan, veteran musician and are "A-grade" artistes of AIR. They have also performed in many parts of the country and are recipients of a few titles.Jeyaraj and Jayasri chose "Raghuvara," the familiar composition in the first half of the concert for a detailed presentation. The swara was developed alternatively to make it wholesome. In between, "Thelasi Rama" and "Saarasamukhi" were performed in quick succession. They unfolded the ragabhava with chaste classical mode. Taana, the speciality of veena, in raga panchaka was sparkling.

    "Prakala nilabadi," the stately krithi of Saint Tyagaraja, spread a serene atmosphere. With melodious naada, sans gimmicks, they played the veena in the grand "Gayaki" style and earned the appreciation of the audience. Seasoned percussionist C Cheluvaraj gave sustained support on mridanga while Gurumurthy was incharge of the ghata.
    Homage to a violinist

    T Chowdiah, the legendary violinist, was among the most popular accompanist and a dynamic soloist. He is also known as the inventor of the 7-stringed violin and is also a composer.

    A rare collection from his personal recordings have been digitised and brought in the form of an album by Home Records, with the help of Sheela Boraiah, grand daughter of Chowdiah. After the launch of the CD there was a jugalbandi concert by Kumaresh (violin) and Ustad Shahid Parwez (sitar).

    They opened the concert in "Vilamba Kaala," that too in "Mandra Sthayee." It helped create a serene atmosphere and gradually moved to middle octave.

    It was like a breeze and it moved to good speed gradually, with silky soft and suddenly striking sounds. Whatever the phrases, chasing each other, they created a colourful and beautiful musical painting on a wide canvas.

    The "Tani" - Anantakrishnan on mridanga and Ravindra Yavagal on tabala - was not overstretched but was rather pleasing. When connoisseurs were expecting some more items - ragas, the concert abruptly ended!

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  • 04/13/14--12:51: Music and dance reviews
  • Rama Seva Mandali

    Ramotsava pendals have come up all over the City and Rama mandalies are ready with long programme lists. In fact, organisations are vying with each other to invite celebrities and conduct cultural programmes as many days as possible.

    And music lovers are eagerly waiting to hear their favourite musicians. All said and done it is Rama Seva Mandali that is reputed among all the organisations of the City and though it is ticketed, a large number of connoisseurs participate here enthusiastically, everyday.

    The opening concert of the season was a 'Mangala Vadya', customarily. Saxophone recital by Dr Kadri Gopalanath, sponsored by the Printers (Mysore) Pvt Ltd attracted a large gathering as expected. Internationally acclaimed Gopalanath is a recipient of 'Padmashri' from the government of India and Rajyotsava award from the State government.

    The credit of popularising saxophone in the Carnatic music world goes entirely to him. Hence his name is synonymous with the saxophone.

    Gopalnath opened his concert, with a rather sober composition - 'Sri Ganesha Sharanam' of Papanasha Shivan. It was followed by two compositions of Saint Tyagaraja - Raghuvara and Ksheera Sagara. 'Akhilandeswari' in good 'vilamba kaala' - is a all-time favourite followed by 'Sri Rama Padama'. 'Nagumommu' was the piece de resistance of the concert with evocative alapana and brisk swara.

    He concluded with a Sai Bhajan and a devaranama. Gopalanath did not disappoint his fans and was lively throughout. A Kanya Kumari on violin, Hari Kumar on mridanga, Rajendra Nakod on tabala and B Rajashekar on morching - gave good support.

    Colourful, eye-catching Yakshagana

    Sri Rama Mandira, Malleswaram conducted the Ramotsava with religious and cultural programmes. For a change, the Mandira had organised a Yakshagana by Mahaganapathi Art and Cultural Foundation, Karkala.

    They presented the well-known story of Lava and Kusha under the direction of Gopalakrishna Bhat. Umesh Vethri and Manjunath Bhat as Lava and Kusha gave a lively presentation.

    Others - Gopalakrishna Bhat (Rama), Akshaya Kumar (Seetha), Sripada Heggade (Shatrugna) and Jain took part suitably. With colourful costumes and jewels and music and dance - it pleased the gathering.

    But it was vocal music of Sudhir Bhat, with his rich voice caught the attention at once, supported by Ravi on maddale and Ravishankar on chende. Rendering songs in Naata, Desh Mohana, Saveri, Madhyamavathi, it was attractive.

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  • 04/20/14--13:03: Music and dance reviews
  • Ramanavami concerts

    Cultural programmes in connection with the Ramotsava celebrations is continuing in many parts of the City. One such organisation Sree Rama Seva Mandali, which is also known as the Sree Rama Seva Trust, Shankarapura, had organised religious programmes like homa, kalyanothsava, rathotsava (car festival), apart from cultural programmes (percussion ensemble, jugalbandi, discourse) for 12 days.

    Dr Vidyabushana, who attracted a large gathering here on Saturday, is a popular musician known for his devotional music. 'Gajavadana paliso' of Vijaya Dasaru was a good choice to begin with and added swara briefly. 'Bhajanaseya Sree Ramuni' - also had swara and the 'Ramanamanu Janma Rakshaka Mantra' is also a well known Keerthana.

    'Aparadhamula' was elaborated with graceful sangathies. 'Yadunandana nodu ba,' 'Rama Govinda Hare, elli nodidaralli Rama,' 'Kanninolage nodo Hariya,' 'Istudina ee Vaikunta'- words blended beautifully with the melody and had lingering effect.

    He was accompanied on the violin by Pradeshachar, on mridanga by M R Sainath and on ghata by Dayananda Mohithe.

    Ramotsava celebrations

    The Vyalikaval Extension Association conducted the 48th Ramotsava celebrations at the Sri Rama Temple, Vyalikaval with music programmes (classical vocal, sugam sangeeth, instrumental trio) by both upcoming and senior artistes. Seasoned artiste P Rama was supported on violin by N N Ganesh Kumar, on mridanga by Rajagopal and Bhargava Halambi on khanjari.

    In one of his compositions 'Daachukova Lena' Saint Tyagaraja says- " Oh Rama! Sita matha had spoken to you in my favour. Why do you treat me in casual manner? Noble Bharata too had commended me as one of your ardent devotees.

    Lakshmana also took an opportunity to speak favourably about me. Rama! Why do you conceal your compassion for me?"- P Rama sang this composition underlining the meaning which paved the way for a cozy feeling. She also gave a colourful picture of the raga 'Todi.' Further, nerval (Saumitri Tyagarajuni) also enhanced the impact to make it wholesome. "Nee Dayarada" was another fine selection and earlier she also sang 'Brochevarevarura.' The Kannada Devaranama 'Karedare Barabarade' was also liked by the connoisseurs.

    A promising vocalist

    Akshatha Rudrapattana is one of the many talented young music students waiting in the wings for gaining pubic accolade. She is a student of R K Padmanabha, senior musician and possesses good voice. She presented a number of compositions on Lord Rama, which suited the occasion. For instance, 'Ramabhi Rama,' was briefly elaborated with raga and swara.

    'Rama mantrava japiso hey manuja' is a ever popular devaranama and 'Rama endare januma sarthaka' was of RKP. A dignified keerthane "Parama pavana" enlivened with some good 'sangathies.' She sang with her good voice traversing in all the three octaves easily and with self confidence. With more higher training and concert experience, she can reach to greater heights. Anand Viswanath, A Renuka Prasad and A S N Swamy supported on violin, mridanga and khanjari, respectively.

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    Music continued to reverberate at the Sree Rama Seva Mandali, Chamarajpet, as the 31-day Ramanavami Music Festival continued at the special pandal of the Fort High School.

    Mysore Nagaraj and Mysore Manjunath, internationally acclaimed violinists gave a violin duet on Thursday evening.

    Their concert was refreshing and was noted for its sustained melodic excellence. Though they presented a number of compositions, concentration was on two ragas. First, they elaborated Kharaharapriya, the ever popular raga. The alapana portrayed in fair detail covering the important landmarks. A composition, popular for long time "Rama Ni Samanmevaru" was presented in detail, in which Saint Tyagaraja says - "Rama! Your beloved Sita is like a tender and fragrant creeper on your bosom. We are privileged to have you, as our family deity."

    After a brisk "Himagiri Thanaye," raga Mohana which was delineated in fair detail and leaving in its wake a melodious flow of varying shades and colours. Veteran percussionist Ella Venkateswara Rao with his tone of Mridanga and the lively rhythmic permutations maintained the enlivening pulse of the recital throughout. His 'Tani' though slightly stretched, was quiet interesting.
    Sanskrit dance drama

    The MES Kalavedi conducted the annual dance festival with Kuchipudi, Bharathanatya and Kathak recitals, last week. Students of Dr Maya Rao presented two Sanskrit dance dramas, which they had choreographed themselves.

    The 'Petika Sanyasi' attracted with its good humour. 'Partha Parakrama Vyayoga' was also delightful. In both the items there was less dance and more drama. Though it was in Sanskrit, audience were able to understand easily and the artistes performed with ease. Musicians in the background also shared the honours with the dancers. Karteek Hebbar (vocal), Janardhana Rao (mridanga), Karteek Dathar (percussion) and Prakash Heggade (flute) - well supported.
    Murthy proves mettle

    The Seshadripuram Rama Seva Samiti conducted saxophone, flute, veena, violin solo and harmonica concerts apart from vocal were conducted on the occasion of the 66th year Ramanavami Music Festival. The Samiti's effort to encourage young and upcoming artistes in both Carnatic and Hindustani music, was very much appreciated.Ramakrishnan Murthy is a young vocalist climbing the ladder of success in a fast pace.

    A disciple of Delhi Sundarrajan and Palai Ramachandran, has earned the goodwill of connoisseurs, through his fine performances. At the Seshadripuram Rama Seva Samiti, he once again proved that he is reliable and can deliver the goods.

    For a change Ramakrishnan chose Hamir Kalyani for a detailed elaboration. It is a "Chaya Pradhana, rakti and Bhashanga raga." Both Tyagaraja and Dikshitar have composed excellent compositions in this raga. It was traditional in approach, enriching raga's distinct character. The dignified composition "Ksheenamai" with alapana, nerval and swara, had aesthetic charm. 'Mathada Baradeno' - the legendary Jawadi brought nostalgic memories.

    In the concluding part the popular devaranama 'Jagadoddarana' had its lyrical appeal and the jinjoti thillana of Veena Seshanna was also lively. Ramakrishnan Murthy proved beyond doubt that he has a bright future. Charumathi Raghuraman, K V Prasad, G Guru Prasanna gave bright support on violin, mridanga and khanjari, respectively.

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  • 05/04/14--13:08: Music reviews
  • Melodious vocal

    During the final week of the music festival at Seshadripuram Ramotsava Samithi, two vocal concerts - by one male and another female vocalist - were held.

    Mambalam Sisters - Vijayalakshmi and Chitra - gave a fine concert accompanied by Nalina Mohan on violin, C Cheluvaraj on mridanga and B N Chandramouli on khanjari.

    In the first half of the concert, the sisters chose Kharaharapriya for elaboration. Favourite of all musicians Kharaharapriya raga was the choice of many artistes during this music season.

    In the composition "Pakkala Nilabati" Saint Tyagaraja pleads - "What is the secret of your service in which standing on either side, you both (Sita Devi and Lakshmana) delight the Lord immensely? Do me the favour of revealing the secret so that I may follow suit and redeem myself."

    Mambalam sisters presented this composition with good feeling. With meaningful nerval (Tanuvunee Vandana) and good swara prasthara, it was a wholesome treat.

    Earlier, the "Mayamma" - with good "bhava" and in "Vilamba Kaala" was quiet impressive.

    In between "Santana Gopala", "Kodu Bega Divyamathi Saraswathi" were rendered in a simple way. Shubhapantuvarali alapana and pallavi with ragamalika swara - was the main attraction of their concert.

    Impactful concert

    Popular artiste R K Padmanabha is known not only as a senior vocalist but also as an able teacher, composer, actor and organiser.

    A self composed varna in the raga Purvikalyani gave Padmanabha a bright start. Dikshitar's "Angarakamashrayamam" suited the occasion, as it was a Tuesday.

    'Eti Yocanalu' in the raga Kirannavali was a welcome change from the routine compositions.

    After the "Sri Rama Padama" (Amritavahini) the "Ksheera sagara shayana" brought an air of dignity. The alapana of Devagandhari enhanced the impact of the concert.

    "Marugelara" (Jayanthasri) a popular composition of yesteryears brought nostalgic memories.

    Todi was presented in all its attractive facets and the Kruthi "Kaddanuvariki" too was evocative. C N Chandrashekhar, C Cheluvaraj and A S N Swamy ably accompanied on violin, mridanga and khanjari, respectively.

    Serene atmosphere

    Connoisseurs enjoyed the music concerts at the spacious Sri Vani Kala Kendra open theatre, Basaveshwaranagar, for 31 days, in connection with the Ramotsava.

    R S Ramakanth, who performed here in place of his father Dr R K Srikantan, was like a tribute to RKS.

    "Intachala," the familiar varna gave Ramakanth a flying start.

    "Jaya Janakeekantha" was the invocatory composition, followed by another fine keerthana. One of the fine compositions in Mukhari "Entha nine varnintunu? Shabari Bhagya!" with a brief but impactful raga. Tyagaraja Swamy's "Paripurna Kaama" had a detailed airing with nerval and lively swara. Tyagaraja pleads for His blessings in "Vinarada."

    The finale was Kambodi ragalapana and the majestic keertane "Evarimaata." The vocalist was supported by veteran accompanists. M Chandrasekharan on violin and Umayalapuram Shivaraman on mridanga supported on their respective instruments, throughout the concert, while G Guruprasanna on khanjari followed the suite.

    Aradhana programme

    Sri Mahaganapathi Sangeetha Sabha, KR Puram, conducted the annual Aradhana Mahotsava last week.

    "Gaana Kamala" title was conferred on Vidushi Vasantha Madhavi, which was in memory of Ganjigunte Narasimha Murthy.

    Pillari geethe (Malahari raga) was followed by the Navaratna malika of Purandara Dasa. The ensemble opened with 'Jaya Janakee Kantha" (in the raga Naata) customarily.

    "Aadidano Ranga" (Aarabhi), "Kallu Sakkare Kolliro" (Kalyani), "Odi Baraiah" (Bhairavi) etc.
    Then "Pancharathna Kruthies" began with "Jagadananda Karaka" (Naata-Aadi) concluding with "Endaro Mahanubhavalu," the most popular among all the five compositions of "Pancharathna."

    They sang in unison and with devotion to the accompaniment of veena, violin and mridanga.

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  • 05/11/14--12:35: Music reviews
  • KCP festival

    Karnataka College of Percussion is well known in the world of both Carnatic and Jazz. Under the able direction of T A S Mani and Ramamani, a number of aspirants - both foreigners and local - are learning music and it is significant to know that many performers of today are their students.

    Vocal, veena, flute and percussion ensembles were held during the five-day music festival at the Seva Sadana auditorium. R A Ramamani, who presented the inaugural concert on Sunday, is a senior vocalist and recipient of "Ganakalabhushana" title. In the concert she was well supported by Nalina Mohan on violin, Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma on mridanga and Sukanya Ramgopal on ghata. Swara for "Vandenishamaham" attracted with good ragabhava. The "Sri Shankara Guruvaram" (of Mahavaidyanatha Iyer) is a fine composition in the raga Nagaswaravali.

    The brief "grahabheda" was proof of her expertise and intelligence. She sang "Mayamma" in good 'Vilamba Kaala' followed by 'Inta Parakela', which was popular in old Mysore from the first half of the 20th century. "Rama nee eda" got a detailed airing with brilliant swara prasthara. The ragalapana and nerval enhanced the impact of the concert. Earlier 'Ennada Duthana' and 'Anandamritha Karshini', 'Endigavudo Ninna Darushana', 'Narayanathe' - were also rendered effectively.

    Shankar Jayanti

    Sri Tyagaraja Gana Sabha Trust conducts a music festival every year in connection with Shankara Jayanti. The 43rd edition of the festival this year, vocal, flute, veena recitals, ghata tarang [Sthree Thaal Tharang], discourses apart from religious rituals were held at the Sri Vani Vidya Kendra.

    Kalavathy Avadhuth, senior vocalist, hails from a family of musicians and Ganakala Parishat has conferred on her the title "Ganakalashree". With her talent and experience Kalavathy brought to her rendering some fine compositions with commendable grip on laya, that commanded respect. For instance "Sada Saneswaram" with brief swara, was a welcome change. Another popular song 'Sarojadalanetri' was rendered well.

    Her elaboration of raga Shankarabharana and nerval (Saamagana Vinodini) was yet another instance of her talent. The Kannada devaranama by Kanakadasa, "Uthamara Sanga", in Ragamalika pleased the gathering very much. With her melodious voice and classical tradition, connoisseurs listened Kalavathy Awadhut's music with due respect than excitement. Nalina Mohan on violin, B C Manjunath on mridanga, B N Chandramouli on khanjari and M Gururaj on morching, gave her excellent support.


    In another venue, Ananya conducted the annual "Sangeethotsava - 2014", featuring five music programmes. Dr Sukanya Prabhakar, who is one of the top-grade vocalist, an able teacher and 'Tunesmith', is also a recipient of 'Ganakalashree' title.

    Sukanya opened her concert with a rare composition of Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar. "Gam Ganapathe" in the raga Durvanki roused curiosity. "Nee Dayarada" was in a majestic 'Vilamba Kaala'.

    Meenakshi Suta's five-raga ragamalika was also interesting one. Raga Bhupala - the ancient morning raga is also a 'Audava Raga'. Sukanya's alapana of this raga was soulful and a connoisseurs' delight. Dikshitar's "Sadachalesvaran Bhavayeham" pleased the audience. Simhendra madhyama was the crowning glory of the concert.

    Her rendering brought home the sustaining raga experience in 'Vilamba Kaala', the lingering effect of raga in her vocal and also highlighted the lyrical and musical beauty of the compositions. Senior C N Chandrasekhar, A Renuka Prasad and A S N Swamy supported on violin, mridanga and khanjari, respectively. Sumana Vedant who gave vocal support has bright future with some more training and stage experience.

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  • 05/18/14--12:40: Music and dance reviews
  • Budding artistes shine

    It was pleasant to see the stage at the Dr H N Kalakshetra, on Friday evening, as four budding artistes - all below 20 years, presented a Carnatic music concert with great zeal.
    Vocalist Bhargavi Venkatram (18) hails from a musicians family and has just completed her PUC examination. She was initiated into music by her father H K Venkatram, mother Triveni Saralaya and aunt Kavitha Saralaya and is continuing her training under none other than T M Krishna, a sought after musician.

    She was well supported by Apurva Krishna (18) on violin, Akshay Anand (16) on mridanga and Amrith Kumar (19) on morching. The Kannada varna 'Nerenammithi' gave Bhargavi a bright start. Her overture of Naata for the "Saraseeruhasana Priye" raised hopes of a delectable programme. "Devibrova Samayamide" of Shyama Sastry in the Chintamani raga attracted audiences with its lilting melody. At this point Bhargavi surprised listeners by selecting "Sri Pathe Premamuga" of Veena Seshanna, a lesser known composition.

    Though raga Ganamurthe was brief, it was proof of the talent of the vocalist.

    "Shobillu Saptaswara" with chitteswara was a quickie. For a detailed elaboration, she chose the Kalyani, the time tested raga. She has a good voice and her presentation was lively. All that is needed is experience and higher training. Violinist is capable but not aggressive and the "Tani" of mridanga was slightly over stretched but was good.

    Narasimha Jayanti

    The Bhakthi Bharathy Foundation conducted the "Purandara Utsava" on the occasion of Narasimha Jayanthi at their newly built Purandara Ashrama.

    Vocal and instrumental concerts, discourses and felicitation to artistes, apart from religious functions were also held on all the three days. Senior musician Prof Nagamani Srinath received the Sangeetha Saraswathi" title. B K Chandramouli (percussion) and M K Pranesh (flute) also received honours.

    Prof Nagamani Srinath gave an exclusive concert of Haridasa compositions accompanied by Venkatesh Josyer on violin, Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma on mridanga and Gopi Shravan on morching.

    Nagamani Srinath, opened her concert with a devaranama of "Kanakadasaru" but reserved Kalyani for a detailed airing. Inspired by the serene atmosphere of the temple, she gave a colourful picture to the Kalyani raga.
    It was followed by another well known devaranama "Dayamado Ranga". With a matured nerval (Ihapara Gathi Neene), she gave a soulful vocal recital, supported by R Chandrika. She also sang "Roga Harane" (Jagannatha Dasaru) and "Indina Dinave Shubha Dinavu" - evocatively.

    Instrumental delight

    Two well known instrumentalists Kumaresh and his wife Jayanthi gave a violin and veena duet at the Purandara Ashrama. The opening piece, "Ramaninnu" was in the Mohana raga, while the Kamatch piece was an instrumentalists delight. Raga Sarasangi was the piece-de-resistance of the concert.

    With a powerful and striking Naada they tried to explore the different possibilities of the instruments.

    Though, it was loud at times, the "thana" on Veena was soulful and delightful in total. Anantha R Krishnan on mridanga and Trichy Krishna on ghata, suited the needs of the occasion.

    Mysore V Subramanya

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  • 06/01/14--12:12: Music and dance reviews
  • Bright dance

    This week it was the turn of Kshithi Venkatesh, to perform at the Yavanika, under the series "Every Friday Cultural Evening Programme."

    She is a student of Khechara Academy and has completed her 'Rangapravesha' in the year 2011.

    She is a recipient of CCRT Scholarship and has taken part in a few dance dramas of her dance school.

    She is a software engineer by profession and is also learning music.

    A Kalidasa sloka as "Nrityanjali' (Hamsanandi raga) gave Kshiti Venkatesh a good start, in the current programme.

    "Sri Mahaganapathim Bhaje" of Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar, was a welcome change from the routine invocatory pieces. Executing the well knit adavus in the celebrated varna (Rupamujuchi - Todi) in a leisurely pace, proved her talent and good training being received. In the Suruti Pada (Indendu Vachitira) her Abhinaya came to the fore - restrained but pleasant one.

    After a devaranama (Yamanelli Kaananendu) she concluded with a thillana in the raga Durga.

    Slim-petite with expressive eyes, Kshithi Venkatesh has a bright future with some more stage experience.

    Natuvanga by Guru Anuradha Sridhar, vocal by Bharathi Venugopal, Mridanga by V R Chandrasekhar and flute by Mahesh Swamy - supported the young dancer.

    Avismriti festival

    The Jupiter Art School held the annual "Avismriti-2014" with a dance festival and competition, last week.

    Nandana Krishnakumar, is a dancer who has performed on many platforms - both in and outside India and a Director of Jupiter Art School.

    Rashmi Hariprasad is not only a dancer but also actress. Both Nandana and Rashmi under the banner of SHIKI, opened their programme with a shloka "Guru Brahma," customarily.

    Though it was in the Bharatanatya form, had more popular appeal and the fusion music was not matching.

    With a experienced choreographer as the director, their performance may become more impactful, as both the dancers are talented.

    It was followed by another group MAYA (Shekhar Rajendra, Rupesh Keshi and Sushanwa Prakash).

    They started with a Ganesha Stuthi (Kanakangi raga) followed by a Shiva Stuthi "Natana Manohara Nagabharana" in ragamalike. It was lively but mostly followed Lokadharmi.

    Karteek Setty and Nishag Karunad, students of Mysore Nagaraj also gave a Kathak recital.

    A tukda of 16 matra - was proof of their good training and the Tharana in Jinjoti was also pleasing.

    Students of Sanjali Centre under the direction of Sharmeela Mukherjee gave a Odissi dance recital.

    In Mangalacharan they saluted to different Gods and Pallavi caught the attention with a variety of jathies.

    Organisers' zeal to encourage budding artistes, is appreciable.

    Sparkling vocal

    Curtains came down on this year's Kalavanta with the vocal concert of Abhishek Raghuram, held under the aegis of the Karnataka Fine Arts Council. He was ably supported by H K Venkatram on violin and Arjun Kumar on Mridanga

    "Chalame" the familiar varna gave Abhishek a good start. After the "Mapalavelasiyika" of Saint Tyagaraja, the "Nannu brova" with brief swara was charming.Tyagaraja has described the importance of the mentor (Guru) in his keertana "Guruleka Etuvanti."

    Abhishek chose this composition for elaboration and with nerval and swara prasthara, made it a wholesome one.

    He successfully brought out all the facets of the raga in the swara prasthara, too. His feel for the line in "Mayamma" added lilt to his singing.

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  • 06/15/14--13:59: Music and dance reviews
  • Nritya Vaividhyam

    Vidwan H R Keshava Murthy was a veteran dance teacher and choreographer. Through his school, Keshava Nritya Shala, he trained hundreds of students and choreographed many dance dramas.

    His children and disciples continue the tradition in both performance and training. Keshava Murthy's grandson and son of Shyam Prakash, Sri Raghunandan and his wife Manasi run a dance school called Abhivyakti Dance Centre where they teach both Bharatanatya and Odissi. Under its banner, they conducted the 'Nritya Vaividhyam' last week.

    Sweta Patel, who presented the inaugural dance, is a disciple of Guru Sharad Pandya and serves the MS University, Vadodara, as a lecturer. She opened her dance recital with a jathiswara in the raga Vasantha and followed it with a song on Radha in Gujarati. When Krishna prepares to leave Gokula for Mathura, it is not only Radha but everyone in Gokula who feels sad and even Nature- the river, the trees and the animals- is worried of Krishna's separation. All these were expressed beautifully by Sweta Patel with her good Abhinaya.

    Both the compositions selected by Raghunandan are sought after in classical music concerts. 'Kamakshee Amba', the dignified swarajathi of Syama Sastry in Bhairavi, is not frequently chosen by dancers.

    the weighty swarajathi, he chose another heavy piece- that too a thana varna, in a short programme! Of course, Raghunandan performed with ease and assurance, though there was scope for improvement in abhinaya.

    Seven students commenced their Bharatanatya recital with a Ganesha stotra. Another seven students performed Mangalacharan in Odissi style which also contained Trikhandi Pranam. The fusion of Bharatanatya and Odissi 'Damarupani' by six students caught the attention of the dance lovers.

    Well-known devaranamas 'Hari Kunida' and 'Sandhya Devi Stotra' were proof of their good training. Pallavi thillana was again a blend of both Bharatanatya and Odissi. The young students performed with gay abandon and with some more training, the performance will become more impactful.

    From the wings, Raghunandan and Manasi (natuvanga), Samyuktha (vocal), Narayana Swamy (mridanga), Vivek Krishna (flute) and Raghavendra (rhythm pad) supported the dancers.
    Gamaka Sambhrama

    Sri Gana Nilaya celebrated the 'Gamaka Sambhrama' with five days of Gamaka recitals. Two senior artistes presented the 'Paashupatastra' episode from the 'Aranya Parva' of Kumaravyasa Bharatha. Smt Jayaram started with an invocatory lyric customarily. Based on classical ragas like Kalyani, Naata, Sourashtra, Gowrimanohari, Kaanada, Charukeshi and Ragamalike, Sreemathi sang with good feeling.

    Senior scholar Sunanda Gururaj narrated different episodes like Arjuna's thapas, pride, dialogue with Kiratha, etc and Shiva's blessings with the divine 'Paashupatastra'- quoting from Ramayana, Mahabharatha, Pampa, DVG and many others to make it interesting. Such serials will bring Kannada classics closer to connoisseurs and the common man.

    Gamaka is a distinguished art of Karnataka and to popularise it, such serials, Gamaka Sambhrama, must be held in all districts of the State.

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  • 06/22/14--12:02: Music and dance reviews..
  • A classical concert

    Young musicians Amrutha Venkatesh and Ashwin Anand received G V Ranganayakamma and Dr G V Vijayalakshmi Memorial awards respectively, instituted by Sri Rama Lalithakala Mandira.

    The function was followed by a vocal trio - a combination of father and his two sons! This time quite the popular duo "Malladi Brothers" (Malladi Sreerama Prasad and Ravi Kumar) sang along with their father, Malladi Suri Babu.

    In the current concert their chiselled style surfaced in the very opening varna (Lalgudi Jayaraman) itself.

    Instead of a composition on invocatory God (Ganesha) they straight away took "Nenendu Vetukudura" of Saint Tyagaraja.

    "Ranganathudai" of Ponnaiah Pillai, was also a fine selection. Ragalapana of Dhanyasi by the senior (Malladi Suri Babu) member was rendered with deep a Raga Bhava. Another fine krithi "Nee Chittamu" was presented with a brief but meaningful nerval.

    "Bhajindehi" was elaborated with one or two slips but no short of "Bhava." A composition of Mysore Sadashiva Rao (Ninuvina Gathi) - that too in the Balahamsa Raga - is most welcome. After a quick "Sri Narasimha," the trio capped their efforts with an evocative exposition of the majestic Raga Kambodhi for the keertane "Mari Mari Vachuna," sharing themselves both alapana and swara.

    S Varadarajan on violin and Mannargudi Easwaran on mridanga shared the honours, while young Phanindra Bhaskara accompanied on ghata.

    The sizeable audience that attended the concert listened with rapt attention than excitement.

    Beautiful Bharatanatya

    ICCR and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavana jointly presented a Bharatanatya recital by Rukmini Vijaykumar in the "Harizon" series.

    Rukmini had her "Rangapravesha" (1998) under Padmini Rao and received higher training from Narmada and has been guided by Sundari Santhanam.

    She also received training in Jazz and modern dance techniques and obtained a 'BFA' certificate and also became a Mat Power Pilates instructor. An active person in theatre, film and television, Rukmini Vijayakumar is a multifarious talented artiste.

    In the current programme, Rukmini Vijayakumar presented a beautiful item on "Devi." But the piece de' resistance was a varna in Natakaranji Raga of Papanasam Sivan. Parvathi's anguish, love, request, anxiety and worry - were well performed.

    Well knitted jathies with precise Nritha and Nritya brought grandeur to the varna. With her sparkling eyes, the abhinaya was impactful with a good feeling. She concluded with a thillana of Dwaraki Krishnaswamy in the Raga Valachi.

    Preethi Mahesh's vocal throughout the recital was complementary to the dance, while Prasanna Kumar was incharge of the Natuvanga. Others who supported from the wings are: Gurumurthy on mridanga, Dayakar on violin and Mahesh Swamy on flute.

    Mysore V Subramanya

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  • 06/29/14--13:04: Music and dance reviews
  • Lively vocal

    Smt. Ammanni Iyengar was a veteran social worker and a great philanthropist.

    She has led several institutions and has also served a number of social and religious organizations. In her memory, a cultural programme is sponsored every year by Smt.
    Vimala Rangachar at the M.E.S. Kalavedi.

    This year, Vidwan N Vijaya Shiva, one of our reputed artistes, gave the Ammanni Iyengar Memorial Music Concert on Saturday.

    The "Gamganapathe" in Hamsadwani was the opening piece of Vijaya Shiva's concert, which also had a brief swara.

    He sang "Sharanam Sharanam" in Asaveri and moved to a more appealing raga.

    Hamir Kalyani added a lively lilt to his singing and the krithi "Venkata Shyla Vihara" was enriched with evocative swara prasthara. It was followed by a krithi of Shyama Sastry "Himachala Thanaya" in Anandabhairavi.

    A number of sangathies touching the pivotal swaras, made the alapana of Nagaswaravali a memorable one, which was followed by "Sree Pathe Neepada" of Tyagaraja with a meaningful 'Nerval'.

    Then a quick "Chinthaye Mahalingamurthim" and the highlight of the programme was the delineation of that grand mode Bhairavi, in all its glory for the composition "Upacharamu Chekonavayya" of Saint Tyagaraja.

    The nerval and the swara prasthara further enhanced the musical stature of the vocalist. Two young artistes Amrutha Murali and Mannarkoil Balaji gave good support on violin and mridanga respectively.

    Dance drama

    Madhulita Mohapatra, host and director of Nrityantar, excelled in the Abhinaya piece - "Harirabhisarati" of Jayadeva.

    Curtains came down on the "Abhivadan" with a dance drama "Shrusti-o-Pralaya," which was based on the cyclone that wrecked havoc in coastal Orissa in 1999, as seen through the eyes of a young girl dealing with death and destruction.

    With excellent film and photographs in the background, the young dancers performed impressively under the direction of Madhulitha Mohapatra.

    It is necessary to devote a little more time on stage for each artiste to prove their mettle and instead of performing one item in each session (first half and second half), it would have been better to perform continuously for better impact.


    Nrityantar, one of the Odissi dance schools in the City, has been training young aspirants from the last 5 years and also conducts dance programmes annually.

    Last Sunday, Nrityantar conducted the 'Abhivadan,' a classical dance festival.

    Different forms of dance like Odissi, Kathak and Bharathanatyam, brought colour and variety to the festival.

    "Swamy neenu Shaswatha Neenu", a popular Kannada vachana of Basavanna, was the inaugural piece of the festival.

    It was performed in Kathak style by Sweekruth B.P. He is a disciple of Nirupama and Rajendra and Ishira Parikh and head of the dance school "Sathkrutha Academy of Movement and Expression". In the second half, he performed Jhap taal of ten beats, which was proof of his hard 'Sadhana'.

    Another dancer who caught the attention of the audience was Rahul Acharya, a Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar Awardee.

    He chose a popular Astapadi of Jayadeva "Priye Charushile". His Abhinaya was appealing in Astapadi and depicted various types of Tandava elegantly in "Shivashtakam".

    Vidyashree Radhakrishna who gave a Bharathanatya recital, is a student of Muralidhara Rao and has received higher training from Adyar Lakshman.

    She presented a varna in Tohdi raga, with ease and assurance. Also her Abhinaya was pleasing in the Subramanya Bharathi's "Chinna Chinna Kiliye".

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  • 07/06/14--12:37: Music and dance reviews
  • Young talent to the fore

    The Bangalore Gayana Samaja conducted the Yuva Sangeetothsava last week, with veena, solo violin and mandolin concerts apart from vocal (both Carnatic and Hindustani). As many as 30 young artistes both from the State exhibited their talent and the public response was also good.

    Sisters Ambika G Dutt and Kaladhari Bhavani (Kalambika Sisters) who gave a vocal duet in the 'Yuva Sangeetothsava' on Wednesday are the daughter and disciples of Vidwan Dr C A Gurudath.

    While Ambika stood first for the whole State in the vidwat examination, younger Kaladhari Bhavani secured first rank in the senior examination and both are scholarship holders.

    The Kalambika Sisters opened their concert with a varna in the raga Pantuvarali and "Vallabha Nayakasya" was rendered with brief swara. Then they sang a few compositions of revered Venkatanarayana Sastry like - 'Nanariyanamma,' 'Sri Guru Niranjana' and a thillana (Kannada).

    "Kaadiruvalu Shabari" of Dr V Seetharamaiah, reputed poet, was a pleasant surprise and a welcome addition to the classical music repertoire.

    Though they elaborated "Bhajare" with spacious swara, the piece de resistance of the evening was a pallavi in the raga Shanmukhapriya. The ragalapana was buttressed by Ghana raga Panchaka Thana. The pallavi set to Tisra Triputa Thala was made further impactful with ragamalika swara including Bindumalini, Mukhari, Brindavani etc.

    Kalambika Sisters possess good voice and all they need is experience to reach greater heights. Three young instrumentalists - Srikanth Radhakrishnan, Mysore R Sukrutha and L Lakshminarayana - accompanied on violin, mridanga and morching respectively.

    Ananya Samarpana

    Ananya conducts a dance festival called Samarpana every year, in collaboration with Shrutilaya School of Dance, Singapore.

    In the festival held last week, Aditi Deshpande who gave the inaugural dance recital, is a disciple of Gayatri Sriram and has been guided by Minal Prabhu (Mudrika Foundation, Bangalore) also.

    After the invocatory item (Gambhira Naata) the varna "Jaganmohana Nataraja" had several episodes like Markandeya, Mohini Prasanga etc. But the main theme was "Navarasa" (nine emotions). With her expressive eyes and pleasant stage presence, tried her best to present all the emotions. With some more higher training and stage experience, Aditi will be able to do justice to all the 'Rasas,' successfully.

    The dancer was well supported by Minal Prabhu (natuvanga), Balasubramanya Sharma (vocal), Gurumurthy (mridanga) and Vivek Krishna (flute).


    Popular Kathak dancers Nandini Mehta and Murali Mohan chose 'Mahaganapathim' as opening piece. It is a popular composition in Carnatic music, adopted to Kathak successfully.

    Utan, Tukda, Paran, Tihay etc exhibited precisely in teen thal was proof of their experience and talent. With a few well-known episodes, the Bhajan (Sri Ramachandra kripalu bhaja mana) had popular appeal.

    A devaranama (Krishna nee begane baro), a Shiva thandava stotra and concluded with the dhammar of 14 beats.

    It was a pleasure to see these young dancers developing their art, under the able direction of Nandini Mehta and Murali Mohan. Rabindranath Tagore's 'Chitrangada' is a inspiring theme for dancers for decades. Amrita performed it in the Kuchipudi style, with restrained but impressive Abhinaya.

    Brief narration and without overdoing anything, the portrayal was a pleasant experience.

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  • 08/03/14--13:45: Good group dance
  • The Sanskriti Centre for Performing Arts, is a popular music and dance school in Bangalore South.

    The school has been training young aspirants from the last 15 years under the guidance of Suchitra Alakananda. Last week, the school conducted the annual "Naada Nupura", for which Suchitra presented a number of items choreographed by Natyacharya VS Kaushik in the "Nanjangud Parampare" such as 'Kamalakshi' (Kambodhi), Brihadambikaye (Vasantha). The late Kaushik was one of the earliest Natuvanar, who choreographed "Antahpura Geethe" of DVG. Students of Sanskriti performed for selected lyrics of Anthapurageethe such as - Veena Paani, Yeneemahanandame, Kutila Kuntale, Mukura Mugde and Jaganmohini. Changing roles in quick succession, the young students performed with gay abandon. Dramatising the episodes, they neatly performed the "Sadhinchane", a well known composition.They also chose a devaranama (Hemme Aagalu Bedi) and a thillana. They were well supported by Suchitra Alakananda (vocal), Asha (Natuvanga), Purushothama (mridanga), Madhusudhan (violin) and Skanda Kumar (Flute).
    In the footsteps of KVN

    R Ashwat Narayanan, one of the many talented young musicians waiting to gain public accolade, gave a vocal recital at the Bangalore Lalithakala Parishat on Friday. He started his music lessons with Palghat KV Narayanswamy and is continuing training under Padma Narayanswamy. A B.Tech graduate, Narayanan has already performed at some of the leading Sabhas and has also won a few prizes, including The Hindu Sarigama MSS Award.

    It was clear from the beginning of the concert that Ashwath Narayanan has a commendable grasp over the different facets of a concert and can deliver the goods. The highlight of his recital was the legendary krithi "Koluvaiyunnade". In this composition Saint Tyagaraja pleads - "Lord Kodanda (Rama) is holding Court with Sita Devi! Let us prostrate before Him, and wipe off our sins". The young vocalist elaborated with good ragalapana, nerval and swaraprasthara, which was good in both form and content. HS Smitha, who was on the violin, responded adequately. The percussionists (BR Srinivas and ASN Swamy) gave good support, though the 'Tani' was slightly prolonged in the brief concert. Earlier, he sang the stately kruthi 'Vandanamu' with good feeling. Devaranamas (Rama Rama Enniro and Baro Krishnaiah) - were also well received by the audience.
    Upcoming dancer

    Last week, Sri Raksha , an upcoming artiste, gave a Bharathanatya recital at the Indian Institute of World Culture. She is a student of "Kalakshithi" and has been trained by veteran artiste Prof MR Krishnamurthy. She has acted in few TV serials and has performed in some of the productions of her dance school.

    In the current programme, Sri Raksha had chosen all the customary items of a Bharathanatya recital. Alaripu (Tisra), Vachana (Holleva Kenjade) and Shabda - presented in the beginning. As usual, varna was the main item of the programme. The Kharaharapriya varna "Parameshwari" (Music - Vidushi D. Shashikala) was proof of her good training. She did well in both nritha and nritya and her abhinaya came to fore in "Indendu Vachithira" and the "Bhamini Mani" and concluded with a devaranama (Kannare Kande Na Achuthana) and a thillana. Sri Raksha will have a good future with some more higher training and stage experience.

    Bharathy Venugopal (vocal), Suchitra (Natuvanga), R Ramesh (mridanga) and Dr Nataraja Murthy (violin) - supported the dancer from the wings.

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