A season of music, dance festivals

He has a soft voice that co operates well in mandra and Madhya sthayis. Good manodharma enables him to transform his musical thoughts. Murali was accompanied by Tandavamurthy (Violin), M.R.Manjunath(Mridanga) and Ramanujam(Morcing).
 Though the number of krithis were more (for three singers), he successfully utilised it to unfold his and his disciples capabilities. They joined him in exploring the raga,swara and in neraval, thus utilising the opportunity. After the invocatory varna and ‘Deva deva kalayambike’(Mayamalavagowla-Rupaka-Swathi Tirunal), Murali took up raga devagandhari in his soft voice for a short and sweet alapa.  ‘Kshitija Ramanam’ a fine composition of Muthuswami Dixitar followed with a frill of kalpana swaras.
A rarely heard Krithi of Mysore Vasudevacharya ‘ramaaramana Narayana’ in Nagaswaravali with an attractive chitteswara was impressive. A meticulous alapa in Vachaspathi lead to ‘Kanchujuchu nee’a krithi that begs Sri Rama to grace his side glance once on Tyagaraja that was dipped in bhakthi bhava. The highlight of the day was Raga Taana Pallavi in Bhairavi ‘Kripakari Dayakari chamundeshwari Mahishamardhini’ in a atheetha edupu set to adi tala. The taana was enjoyable and the ragamalike of Shahana, Hindola, Behag, Jog and Madhyamavathi were shared by the three artistes.  A Kannada Devaranama ‘Sada ninna smarisuvantha’was also presented before the end of the concert.

The five days festival of Dance ‘Vasundharotsava’ has created stage for many of Vasundhara Doreswami’s NRI students and also artistes from abroad, apart from our own dancers. This is also an occasion for some  of her disciples to perform the ‘Rangapravesha’.

 On the 27th of December, Hithaishi Dhanan of Bangalore, Ruchita Nandan of USA and Viji Rao of Philadelphia presented Kuchupudi and Bharathanatya recitals. Ramya Suraj(vocal), Rama Venugopal(Natuvanga)Srihari(Mridanga),Rajesh(flute) and saikeerthi(violin)assisted Kuchupudi dance and Manojkumar (vocal), Bhavanisharan(natuvanga), V.R.Chandrashekhar (Mridanga)and Maheshswamy(Flute) supported Bharathanatya.

 Hitaishi has a flexible body and her abhinaya is attractive. She started with a Natesha kautavam in hamsadhwani and went on to ‘Taruni Rukmini’ (Kalyani-Mishra chapu) that depicted  Rukmini’s love for Krishna and her lament , which was neatly presented. Yet another Keerthana to describe Krishna’s beauty ‘Marakatha manimaya’ which included balancing on the plate for considerable time attracted the audience.

Traditionally, Kuchupudi is a dance drama. But it is being presented in items like in Bharathanatya too holding on to its unique features like the gliding (jaaru) adavus and chakradanda and others.

 Viji Rao of Philadelphia is known for her pursuit of perfectness. A famed choreographer, good teacher and a wide performer, viji is constantly in the learning process which is why her approach to dance always has something new. This was evident in both her and her student’s performance on the same platform. Ruchita Nandan , her student presented a Bharatanatya recital before her Guru. Away from your roots and with a demanding academics, to pursue an art like dance is really appreciable. It requires real hard work and dedication. Ruchita proved that she is dedicated and put in lot of hard work. Her perfect postures and adavus spoke a lot of her Guru. ‘Mahadeva Shambho’ in praise of Lord Shiva had striking poses. A tillana in Hindola was also enjoyable. Ruchita needs to improve on her abhinaya and not to be conscious.

Viji Rao enthralled audience with her qualitative performance. Right from the Nrityanjali, she made it clear that she is perfect in Nritta, Nritya and Abhinaya. A Sloka of Sri Shankaracharya ‘Ikshudandadhara’ displayed a serene abhinaya while ‘Yamanelli Kananendu’ proved her efficiency as a choreographer. The sequence of ‘Geetopadesha’ in ‘Nambida Arjunage’ and Narasimhavatara in ‘Nambida Prahladage’ were good. A tillana in Saveri included swift movements of footwork by pretty Viji Rao.

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