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Music & dance reviews

Mysore V Subramanya
Savitha Sastry

Savitha SastryA pleasant experience   

The Rasika Academy presented a dance recital by Savitha Sastry last week, at the Seva Sadana auditorium.

Savitha Sastry, director of Sadhana Dance Academy, San Jose, (CA), has been trained by Dhananjayans and Adyar Lakshman and a recipient of Central Scholarship. She has performed in USA, Australia, Middle East and South East Asia. She has choreographed a few dance-dramas like "Krishna, the supreme mystic, sacrifice and purushartha". She has performed the lead role in the "Sex, death and the gods", a film about the devadasis and the history of temple dancers in South India.


Savitha Sastry chose a thematic dance called "Music, within". It is the story of a little deaf girl (Mallika), who thinks that her silent universe is empty without music?! Eventally she meets her guardian angel, who gets her to understand that sound are heard, while music is felt by the heart! Deviding the story in six acts, dramatising the sequences, incorporating the body language and mime and of course Bharathanatya - Savitha Sastry performed with ease and grace. She did full justice to the chosen theme to make it a pleasant experience. Rajkumar Bharathi's music was an added attraction of the programme. Earlier Savitha Sastry performed the Nrithyaopaharam in Ragamalike, which was impressive with good movements.

Vocal with good feeling

The Sapthaswara Academy presented a vocal concert of Hemmige S Prashanth last week. Prashanth was initiated to music first by his parents (Sarangapani and Shakuntala Pani) and followed it by B S Radhakrishnan. Later he learnt under Palghat K V Narayanaswamy and is continuing the training with Padma Narayanaswamy and Sugandha Raman. He has performed in many Sabhas of South India and has won few prizes including from Krishna Gana Sabha (Chennai) and Gana Bharathi (Mysore).

Prasanth chose stately krithies in fine ragas to make the concert an interesting one. He prefaced almost every composition with alapana and each of them was lucid. His choice 'Angarakamashrayam' suited the occasion, as it was a Tuesday. The 'Manayatha Manjula' of Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar in the raga Kokilapriya, was also a fine selection. Comparatively 'Palukuvademira' was in slightly 'Drutha Kaala', but with brief swara. His talent and musical accomplishment were vindicated in the delightful alap of Mohana. Saint Tyagaraja's stately composition 'Nanu Palimpa' was rendered in a appropriate 'Kaala Pramana' and meaningful Nerval (Kodandakanthi). In the post tani few compositions were rendered with good feeling. While the 'Mathadabaradeno' is a legendary jawadi, the passage from the "Manku Thimmana Kagga" of  D V Gundappa was a good addition to the concert repertoire. He concluded with a Thillana in the raga Farz.

Prashanth sings involving completely and with good feeling. With more concert experience Prashanth will be able to reach great heights. Seasoned accompanists - Charulatha Ramanujam, K U Jayachandra Rao and Sukanya Ramgopal - gave the vocalist a full measure of sustained support.           

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