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Music reviews

Impressive classicism

Curtains came down on this year’s Dr H Narasimhaiah Memorial Cultural Festival with a dance recital on Tuesday by Satyanarayana Raju, a senior Bharathanatya dancer, who also trains young aspirants at the Samskrithi, Bangalore.

After a crisp ‘Pushpanjali’ in the Aarabhi raga, came the Shanmukhapriya Varna. The classicism, the uncompromising neatness in the lines, the dignity of bearing all the signature of Shakunthala Nrithyalaya (of late Narmada) had the chance to fully blossom in the Varna “Devadi Deva”.

While the pure dance of Satyanarayana Raju was impeccable, the Abhinaya was adequate. Dramatising different elements, the devaranama ‘Hanumantha deva namo’ was performed with popular appeal. His seven students performed a keerthane (Pradosha samayadi), devaranama and a Thillana (Brindavani) – with ease and confidence, vouching for a firm grounding. Karthik Hebbar gave impressive vocal support, accompanied by Shakunthala Prabhath (Natuvanga), Lingaraju on Mridanga and
Venugopal on flute.

Sugama sangeetha

M D Pallavi, who gave a sugam sangeeth recital on Monday, is climbing the ladder of success and establishing herself as a prominent singer. “Karunalu Ba Belake” the legendary song of  Dr B M Sri, gave Pallavi, an excellent start. To make it an interesting programme she presented few rare and several well known poems, with melodic grace and lyrical appeal.

‘Narthisu Thaye’ and ‘Yene Barali Yenthe Irali’ – of Kuvempu and Masti, respectively, are infrequent lyrics. She also sang a drama song (Nagamandala), devaranama (Allide Namma Mane), TV Serial (Muktha) and a vachana (Bettada melondu maneya maadi) – evocatively.

Haunting melodies – lyrics of K S Narasimhaswamy, Gopalakrishna Adiga, G P Rajarathnam – evoked nostalgic memories.

Though seasoned connoisseurs felt the mike-amplifier sound was too loud to enjoy the music, Pallavi sang with her rich voice and complete involvement, supported by Krishna Udupa on key board, Madhusudhan on Thabala and Pramath Kiran on Rhythm Pad.

Harikatha recital

Veteran Vidwan Bhadragiri Achutha Das gave a Harikatha programme last week, in the same series.

He narrated the life and works of Purandara Dasa, through his devaranamas.
He rendered Aadaddella Olithe Aayithu, Yathara Katupati, Kellano Hari Thallano, Bhakthi beku, Maanava Janma Doddadu – with a touch of emotion.  Of course, some of the songs and incidences, were repeatedly rendered – may be due to old age! Nevertheless he provided ample food for thought, quoting from not only Kannada but also Marathi and Hindi works also and audience enjoyed the humour, throughout! Ganapathi Kamath on Harmonium and K P Kamath on the Thabala – accompanied with good understanding.

Musical play

As usual there was a Drama also in the cultural festival, held under the aegis of the Bangalore Lalithakala Parishat and Ramasudha Charitable Trust.

The “Dasa Purandara” by the Geethanjali Troupe, was staged under the able direction of Dr Geetha Ramanujam.

Dheerendra and Vidya Murthy performed well as Purandara Dasa and his wife. Though Dileep Simha sang the devaranamas neatly, the female voice – especially while rendering Pillari geethas in ‘Akara’, in between the scenes – was unimpressive, the swara stanas often going astray.

But with simple stage, good acting and quick scenes, the drama was impressive.

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