Music and dance review

Ankura dance festival

Ankura is an annual event of the Karnataka Nrityakala Parishat. Though Bharathanatya dominated the scene this year, young aspirants also performed Kuchipudi, Kathak and Odissi. Dance students from not only Bangalore, but Sagar and Mysore also, performed. Nandini Mehtha and Murali Mohan, noted dancing duo, were felicitated on Monday in recognition of their services to the field of dance.

Shubhada Prabhakar, a student of Chitra Vinod, opened her Bharathanatya recital with an invocatory piece on Ganesha, followed by a Shiva pada. She revealed good grounding in idiom, forcefully projected in the varna “Barai Raghu Vamsha”, in the raga Ramapriya, in which she showed different well-known episodes of Ramayana. For Abhinaya, she chose the well-known devaranama of Purandara Dasaru “Gummana Kareyadire”. But her facial expression is yet to gain depth. From the wings, she was well-supported by Srivathsa (vocal), Prasanna (natuvanga), Gurumurthy (mridanga) and Nataraja Murthy (violin).

The second programme of the evening was by Samudyatha Bhat, daughter and disciple of Vidwan Janardhan of Sagar. She has passed vidwath examination and is continuing her studies under Vasanthalakshmi. After salutation to Vighnaraja, she chose the stately varna “Maathe”. Two devotionals – “Mathuranagarillo” and an Astapadi – and concluded with a thillana, in the raga Kadana Kuthuhala. She is endowed with a supple figure, but her facial expressions were no match to her practised nritta. Samanwitha (Natuvanga), Vasudha Balakrishna (vocal), Ravishankara Sharma (mridanga) and Madhusudhan supported from the wings.

Dance workshop

The Abhinava dance company conducted a workshop recently. In the valedictory function, B Jayashree, well-known theatre person distributed certificates to the participants. Dr R Ganesh, reputed scholar, spoke on the contributions of Dr Padma Subramanyam to dance. Director of the workshop, Dr Padma Subramanyam explained the salient features of Bharata Ilango Foundation for Asian Culture.

Selected participants presented a devotional (Meenakshi Subramanyam) which they had learnt in the workshop. A glimpse of their maturity and good training in Abhinaya was evident in the “Jayashri Vaikunta Mukunda”. Gayathri and Padmini’s vocal for the dance was also good.

Earlier Kannan, disciple of S Balachander and Pichumani gave a short veena recital, accompanied by C Cheluvaraj on mridanga, Sukanya Ramgopal on ghata and N Amritha on khanjari.

A small verse from the Upanishad gave Kannan a serene start. “Raghuvamsha”, the Kadanakuthuhala composition, is a popular choice of most of the instrumentalists. But Kannan sprang a surprise by presenting it as an inaugural piece. Usual dragging in Chitteswara was not there. But he immediately jumped to a Pallavi. He chose a lesser known raga Sucharitha (67th Mela) and presented an alapana, which was pleasing. Thana – a speciality of veena, was brisk and well knit. The Pallavi (Adi Thala – Mukambika Devi Durge) was enjoyable with its lilting laya giving it a haunting tilt.

Thaala Vadyotsava

The Percussive Arts Centre conducted its annual “Thaala Vadyotsava” last week with music concerts, demonstrations and presentation of awards.

Sri Ramprasad and Ravikumar, who gave a vocal duet on Saturday in the festival, are popularly known as “Malladi Brothers”. With their fine choice dropping the usual selections – and lively presentation Malladi Brothers brought a serene musical atmosphere. The impact bristled  with an enduring  quality.  Purnachandrike  is not a rare raga. But the composition of Dikshitar “Shankha Chakra Gada” is not so familiar and caught the attention of the connoisseurs. Huseni was also pleasing for “Sri Raghukulanidhi”.

While Shanmukhapriya showed them in a buoyant mood, the stately raga Shankarabharana was a classic picture of the haunting melody and they left an indelible impact on the listeners. Charulatha Ramanujam on violin, MLN Raju on mridanga and B S Purushothama on khanjari – gave commendable support.

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