Music and dance reviews
Vikku Vinayakram is a great Ghatam Maestro, known all over the world. His 75th Birthday was celebrated in a unique way, by the Sunadam Trust, in collaboration with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.
The programme started aptly with the lyrics "Kumbarati" of Shishunal Sharief. 75 Ghatam players (It actually exceeded 75 by the time they started) from different states - right from 7 to 75 years young - led by Vikku Vinayakram himself. Divided into 13 groups named after the rivers of India, in different permutation and combinations like - 13 types of thalas, 10.5, 3 1/2=14 and 5.5, 4.5 = 10 - so on. After each group playing individually, all of them joined together to reach great heights. Of course Vinayakram stole the show with his unmatched strokes and in the end, they played in unison and took it to a crescendo. Kudos to Sukanya Ramgopal for organising such a mega event.
Colourful dance festival
The Adyasha Foundation held the Shishirachaanda - a celebration of dance and the seasons - in which Bharathanatya, Kathak, Odissi, Kuchipudi and Kathakali recitals were performed by seasoned artistes,
Madhu Nataraj, who gave the inaugural dance programme, is not only a senior Kathak artist but also a well known contemporary dancer. The "Matha Bhavani" gave Madhu Nataraj a pleasant start and the Akkamahadevi Vachana "Kaanutha Kaanutha" - was appealing. The thumri was again proof of her experience and talent.
Padmasri Aruna Mohanty is one of the reputed Odissi dancers of India and a choreographer. She opened her programme with 'Samsara", the soul's journey, from childhood to old age, which was executed with a good feeling. In the "Bhumi-Sutaa" the portrayal of Seetha lend credibility to her inheritance feeling, which glowed with an evocative performance of Aruna Mohanty.
Guru Bhanumathi, is a reputed Bharathanatya dancer, a fine choreographer, more than all, a popular teacher (Nritya Kala Mandira). So also Sheela Chandrasekhar is another senior dancer and an able teacher.
Bhanumathi had chosen a devaranama of Purandara Dasa "Aadu Hodalle Makkalu". Young Krishna complains to his mother, about teasing by his playmates. Bhanumathi dramatising different episodes of young Krishna, performed with beautiful and impactful Abhinaya. In the Gopalakrishna Bharati's lyrics Nandanar's devotion, grievance and sorrow and "Sakshatkara" of Nataraja - were proof of Bhanumathi's long experience and impactful expression. Sheela's selection was also on Krishna (Krishna Arjuna Samvada) and the performance was pleasing.
Veteran Usha Datar has practised different forms of dance and is known for her teaching and choreographic skills. She presented the familiar Puthani episode dramatising with popular appeal. Though a wee bit loud, Abhinaya was appealing and received thunderous applause.
Connoisseurs enjoyed the performance of senior dancers in different forms and appreciated the efforts of Sarita Mishra.
Vocalist from Singapore
The Malleswaram Sangeetha Sabha conducted the annual "Hanuman Jayanthi Music Festival" in collaboration with the Sri Rama Bhajana Sabha, Malleswaram, in which several young musicians took part, enthusiastically.
Ashwini Satish, who gave a vocal recital in the festival is a student of Dr T.S. Satyavathi and has settled in Singapore, where she teaches Karnatic music to young aspirants. She is a post graduate in Music and has also passed proficiency examination with distinction.
An infrequent varna in the raga Mandari, gave Ashwini a flying start. After pranamamyaham, Ranjani was briskly elaborated and the keertane 'Sujana Jeevana' brought nostalgic memories. Dropping the frequent devaranamas, she chose "Mamaju Bhapure" of Parundara Dasa which was appreciated by the gathering. She also sang compositions in Madhyamavathi and few other ragas. But she crowned the concert with a raga, thana and Pallavi. In that Ramapriya glowed colourfully and the Pallavi set to Khanda Triputa was rendered lively, without overdoing anything. Ashwini Satish has a good future in the years to come. Mathur Srinidhi, Sunil Subramanya and Raghunandan gave support on violin, mridanga and ghata, respectively.
-Mysore V Subramanya