Tributes to veena maestro
Veena Vidwan L. Raja Rao (1909-1979) was one of the prominent Veena players of the "Mysore Baani" (Mysore School of Veena) and an able teacher, author and composer. When he presided over the music conference he received the coveted title 'Ganakalabhushana' from the Karnataka Ganakala Parishat. In his memory, the Veena Rajarao Memorial Foundation conducts a music programme every year apart from presenting awards. This year Rudrapattana Brothers - R.N. Tyagarajan and R.N. Tharanathan, received the awards, last week.
Vidwan D. Balakrishna, who gave a veena concert after the awards presentation is one of the senior Veena players of the country, a recipient of several awards including "Ganakalashri". One of his disciple Manjula Surendra supported him on Veena, in this concert.
Balakrishna opened his concert with a familiar varna "Maathe" of Dr Muthaiah Bhagavathar. A popular composition of yesteryears "Manasuloni' of Tyagaraja, was rendered with vintage flavour. He elaborated briefly 'Srikantimatim' in Hemavati, which Dikshitar has called "Desi Simharavam" raga. The Kokilavarali is not a familiar raga, which is a 'janya' of Natabhairavi and a "Ubhaya Vakra Sarmpurna". It is also known as an 'Eka Kriti raga', and the only available composition in this raga is "Samugaana Nilva" of Tyagaraja again. It was very brief but attractive with its sweetness and gracefulness. Balakrishna capped his efforts with a matured exposition of the majestic raga Shankarabharana for a detailed elaboration along with the brisk thana. The well-known devaranama "Pogadiralo Ranga" glowed with a variety of swara prastharas. Thanks to Balakrishna's training under his father Dr V. Doreswamy Iyengar, he once again proved that he does not compromise on the classical format and tradition. Indeed it was a lively concert. Manjula Surendra shared the honours with her guru. Young percussionists Anirudh Bhat and Raghavendra Prakash accompanied on mridanga and ghata, respectively. 'Gayaki Vanamale' of Sadashiva Brahmendra and jinjoti thillana of Veena Seshanna - were the last few compositions he rendered.
Three dance schools presented their selected students in the Nrithya Kalashilpa organised by Natya Kalakshetra.
Shilpa Shankar, a disciple of Prashanth Sastry, opened her programme with a fine keertane of Dikshitar "Kanjadalayathakshee", followed by a swarajathi in the raga Kamatch. After "Chandra Shiva", she concluded with a thillana of Dr. Padma Subramanyam. She is pretty young and deeply interested in dance. Hence can reach great heights with some more higher training.
Talented dance students
Four students of Nupura (Ajay Viswanath, Poojitha Padmanabhan, Srividya Somayaji and Suma Aithal) presented "Marga Taranga" with Kalinga Mardhana, Shurpanakhi, Mareecha, Seethapaharana and finally chose a thillana. Under the direction of Dr. Lalitha Srinivasan they performed with ease and confidence and their career is worth watching.
Divya Hosakere, Siri Chandrashekhar and Anupama Mandya, students of P. Praveen Kumar (Chithkala School) chose "Krishnamrutham" for their dance programme. Few episodes like Krishna Janana (Krishna's birth) Puthani 'Samhara' and 'Geethopadesha' were proof of their good training.
All these young students of dance must continue their training and witness-observe the performances of senior dancers, to become versatile dancers.
Mysore V Subramanya