Music and dance reviews

Music and dance reviews

A different experience

Connoisseurs of music had a different kind of experience at the Bangalore Lalithakala Parishat on Friday. A popular instrument of the eastern country – Anklung, was performed by a Bangalorean. That too Karnatic music was performed on that foreign instrument like a ‘Kacheri’ of  Karnatic music.

It was presented by

Dr Anasuya Kulakarni, a graduate of the University of Mysore who has earned a doctorate in music from the Annamalai University. She is also a recipient of several awards including the Karnataka Sangeetha Nritya Academy award.

‘Anghklung’ is a bamboo rattle instrument of Indonesia, played by a group of people, each holding a note or two and rattled on the direction of a conductor.

 Anasuya has adopted this instrument by making a few innovations in the playing technique to a “solo” Indian music playing and named it as ‘Ankrang.’ She has performed on this instrument in a number of international conferences, both in and outside India and her name was entered into the Limca Book of Records of 2008 edition.

In the current concert, Dr. Anasuya Kulakarni’s ‘Ankrang’ was supported by four instruments – like any other instrumental concert of Karnatic music. Violin (Jyotsna Manjunath) and three percussion instruments – Mridanga (B N Ramesh), Khanjari (A V Kashinath) and Morching (Amrit Kumar). Anasuya opened her concert with a varna in the raga ‘Nainakanthi,’ followed by ‘Vathapi’ with brief swara. ‘Bantureethi’ and ‘Sharashara Samare’ had a popular appeal.

‘Sudhamayee’ was elaborated, with lilting melody. ‘Bo shambo’ was followed by the ‘Thani’ of percussion instruments. But in such a brief concert, the ‘thani’ appeared over stretched.

Anasuya presented a Bhavageethe, Devaranama and a folk song also.
A thillana (Brindavani) and Madhyamavathi – came in the last part of the concert. Dr Anasuya produced metallic chime-like sounds on ‘Anklung’ and selected mostly ‘Madhyama Kaala krithies,’ which suited the instrument.

 Her mastery over the instrument, hard practice and talent was evident throughout the concert.

Falls short in  overall appeal

Kathak and Bharathanatya were presented by the students of Natya Taranga, which was led by their teacher Shubha Dhananjay. Shubha, a graduate in dance, is known in the field as a performer, teacher and choreographer. In the current recital, the composition on Ganapathi gave them a good start. Shubha performed ‘Omkar’ neatly and raised the fare to its rhythmic heights. Mudra Dhananjay attracted in ‘Perini’ (Sakala Kalavani) accounting for instant popular appeal. Students performed ‘Chaturang’ though the recorded music (CD) was troubling frequently.

After ‘Mahadeva Shiva Shambho’ the students chose jugalbandi – six students each on Bharathanatya and Kathak. They performed with ease and assurance though their facials came alive only in parts and their depiction fell short in its overall appeal. But Shubha Dhananjay, the senior dancer lifted the programme through her delightful performance.

Lingering impression

Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandira presented the Indian National orchestra, the extravaganza under the leadership of Jayanthi Kumaresh, reputed Veena player. One of the earliest orchestra of India was formed in Mysore Palace during the rule of Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, in the early part of 20th Century.

In fact, there were two ensembles – Karnatic Band and English (Western) Band – and musicians from Trinity College of Music, London, were invited to direct these bands. We are happy that in this respect Jayanthi Kumaresh started this Orchestra (I.N.O.) last year with talented musicians and they have performed in few places already.

The Indian National Orchestra performed in Bangalore for the first time. A composition in the raga Gambheera naata ‘Sri Vignarajam Bhaje’ (Uthakadu Venkatasubba Iyer) gave them a bright start, which ended briskly with percussion – especially with Konakol.

Opening with the mellow sound of  Morching and Khanjari for the dancing peacock in the raga Reetigowla, the instruments shifted from Chatushra to Thissra with delightful effect. They chose rag Gangeswari to show the flow of river Ganga, which was based on the verses of Adi Shankaracharya. The climax came in the form of ‘Binnalalith’ (Haricharan). Behag rag was chosen for the folk and concluded with the Sindhubhairavi.

Veena, violin, flute, sitar, harmonium along with percussion instruments (Mridanga, Khanjari, Ghata, Morching, Tabla, Konakol) – were played in unison, with sufficient opportunities for each musician, to register their talent and experience. 16 artistes – all of them highly talented with command over their respective instruments. It is not an easy task and kudos to Jayanthi Kumaresh, who has created and left a lingering and haunting impression through the “Vadya Vrinda”.

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