Music & dance reviews

Music & dance reviews

Sangeetha Kalarathna

Senior critic A Easwaraiah in his keynote address analysed the salient features of both Carnatic and Hindustani music and also Jugalbandhi music concerts. Shyamala Bhave explained different Gharanas in detail. She sang rag Lalith (for Gwalior Gharana), Desee (Agra), Miya Kithodi (Kirana) and Chandrakauns (Jaipur). Dr R Kousalya of Marabu Foundation, Thanjavur, gave a detailed description of ‘Divyanama Keertanas’ of Saint Tyagaraja, in a interesting way. Some of them –– Balahamsa, Bhupali, Devagandhari, Saveri and Kaapi –– were sung by Saraswathi and Vijaya Jaya, melodiously.

Hindusthani and Carnatic Thaala systems were analysed by Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma and Udayraj Karpoor. Pashupatheeswaram, Swaminathena, Jambupathepahi, Chethasri and Aradhanareeswaram - were sung by Dr R N Srilatha, while demonstrating Deekshitar’s compositions influenced by Hindustani. Chakravaka - Ahir Bhairav, Pantuvarali - Purya Dhanashri, Malkauns - Hindola were illustrated by C N Chandrasekhar on violin, while speaking on common equivalent ragas.

Sparkling raga

Vidwan S Shankar, who performed in the Bangalore Gayana Samaja’s music conference, is a recipient of “Sangeetha Vidyanidhee” title. He came out with flying colours revealing his grasp over the classical medium.

Though he presented a number of compositions, he mainly dealt with two well-known ragas of the Carnatic music. His rich voice lent the required weight for the unfolding of the raga Kambodhi. He brought dignity and weight to the ragabhava. Saint Tyagaraja’s masterpiece “O Rangashayee” brought out his musical flowering. The concert reached its peak in the unfolding of the raga Shanmukha Priya, Tana and Pallavi in Adi Thala. Earlier he also sang ‘Chintayami Jagadamba’ and ‘Karuna Nidhiye’ with old world flavour. The sloka ‘Vaneem Bhajami’ in ragamalike was also delightful and concluded with ‘Shringapuradheeshwari’, followed by ‘Thamburi meetidava’.

In his efforts he was admirably supported by S Ramani (co-singer), Mysore Nagaraja on violin, K V Prasad on Mridanga and V R Chakravarthi on ghata.

Five elements

Vice Chancellor S C Sharma is also a reputed musicologist. He sang few Pancha Linga Krithees of Dikshithar evocatively. Ekambreswara (Kanchi), Jambukeswara (Tiruchi), Arunachaleswara (Tiruvannamalai), Sri Kaalahastheesha (Kalahasthee) and Ananda Natana Prakasham (Chidambara) were rendered melodiously by him and Lakshminarayan, while Dr S Ahalya explained them in a telling manner. Birth and development of Agra Gharana - right from 13th century to 20th century were well narrated by Lalith J Rao, with rare pictures shown on the screen.

Her demonstration of rag Desi and Jogi, with Bharathi Pratap, had all the good features of Agra Gharana.  Rag Bhairav, with ‘Nomtom’ and a Hori - were sung by veteran vocalist Indudhar Nirodi in his programme on Dhrupad. While speaking on the subject “Voice Culture is the need of the hour”, internationally-acclaimed scholar Dr S A K Durga explained ‘voice’ as a musical instrument; resonators, vocal chords, enunciation, pitch mechanism etc, which was very useful to musicians, especially to vocalists. While speaking on ‘Pallavis of yester years’ reputed musician Suguna Purushothaman demonstrated a number of Pallavis like Mahima Teliya Tharama, Parimala Rangapathe, Judarada - in different Thala and Nadas.

She concluded by saying that the Pallavis are meant not to fight but is a result of good team work. The academic session concluded with a demonstration on Music Appreciation by Dr Radha Bhaskar, musician cum journalist. She said: “Music is a medium of communication, which appeals instantly. Raga is a holistic experience which was like a guiding lamp to young musicians and connoisseurs.”

Guru vandana

Seventy-two years old Radha Sridhar is a veteran Nrithya Guru, with several years of experience behind her. She has taught hundreds of students in her school ‘Venkatesha Natya Mandira’ and has choreographed a number of dance dramas. She is a recipient of several awards including Karnataka Sangeetha Nrithya Academy Award and Karnataka Rajyothsava Award.

Students of Natya Mandira felicitated their Guru last week. On behalf of the organisers, Dr Suma Sudhindra, well-known veena player, presented a memento and honoured Vidushi Radha Sridhar. Earlier, students of the Mandira gave a dance recital.

The invocatory Pushpanjali (Naata) and the Ardhanareeswara that followed showed them in fine fettle. The next composition Dwaraki Krishnaswamy and Sreevathsa, the main item of the evening, was a three-in-one with stories of Padma Paada, Valmiki and Tulasi Das - one after the other performed by Ishwarya Nityananda and Aparna Sastry. The production was neat, despite some avoidable flaws.

The dance choreography was rather mediocre and simplistic though the main dancers are capable of better performances. But in total the impact was pleasurable. They concluded with a fine Thillana in the raga Simhendra Madhyama. But the melodious vocal of Srivathsa added pep to the programme. Pulikeshi on natuvanga, V R Chandrashekar on mridanga, Prasanna Kumar on rhythm pad and Jayaram on flute supported from the wings.

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