Dance and music reviews

Dance and music reviews

Colourful ragamalika

Ragamalika, as the title implies, is a garland of ragas. Choice of the ragas are based on aesthetic considerations. Decorative patterns in their highly artistic forms are seen both in the ‘dhatu’ (musical setting) and ‘maatu’ (Sahitya) of ‘ragamalikas’.

Lyrics of ‘ragamalika’ are usually themed devotional , and sometimes, love or praise of a patron, which will be followed by an appropriate chitte swara, usually. From the standpoint of ‘bhava’ and ‘rasa’, there should be naturalness in the sequence of ragas and it should comprise minimum of four ragas. Raga mudra, vaggeyakara mudra, prabhanda mudra and raja mudra are incorporated, suitably. There are ‘ragamalikas’ belonging to ‘Kalpita Sangita’ and the sphere of ‘Manodharma Sangita’.

Vidushi Manasi Prasad elaborated on ‘ragamalikas’, at the music festival organised by the M A Narasimhachar Music Foundation. Vocal, musical discourse, instrumental trio – were held at the 11th annual music festival and violinist H K Venkatram was honoured with the title ‘Gaana Varidhi’ on the occasion.

Manasi Prasad presented a number of ‘ragamalikas’ – from ‘varna’ to ‘laalee’ – which was proof of her hard work and repertoire.

‘Ranjanimala’ of Tanjore Shankara Iyer  is a familiar composition. ‘Sri Viswanatham Bhajeham’, the ‘Chaturdasha ragamalike’ of Dikshitar, is a well-knit, dignified composition. In contrast, ‘Sananda Kamala Manohari’ of Swathi Tirunal, in four ragas, is a rare at the concert.

Manasi Prasad also sang a ‘Dwiraga Pallavi’ in ‘amrithavarshini’ and ‘anandabhairavi’, set to ‘Khanda Mattya Thala’. In ‘Virutham’ and ‘Ragamala’, each line was in different ragas, and it was followed by a ‘Thillana’ of Dandayudha Pani. She concluded with an appropriate ‘lalee’ on Lord Sri Rama. She was very well supported by Nalina Mohan on violin, C Cheluvaraj on Mridanga and Sukanya Ramgopal on Ghata.

Promising dancer

Madhuri Nagesh, who presented Bharathanatya at the Indian Institute of World Culture last week, is the daughter of senior dancers Suma Nagesh and R Nagesh. After initial training from Suma Nagesh (Natya Shree), she is receiving training from Prof M R Krishnamurthy (Kalakshithi), and has passed the senior examination also.

A first rank holder and gold medalist in MSc (Botany), Madhuri performed her ‘Ranga Pravesha’ in 2007. She has taken the lead roles in several dance dramas and has performed in a few Sabhas.

The piece de resistant of her recital was the well known ‘varna’ of Papanasham Shivan “Swamy nee” in the raga ‘Sriranjini’. With good ‘thattu-mettu’ and expression, she performed the “Virahoth Khanditha Nayika” in a pleasing manner.

She also performed –Alaripu, Astapadi (Radhe Hari – Todi raga) and Jawadi (Kamach) with impactful ‘abhinaya’. A well known devaranama (Venkatachala Nilayam) and Thillana (Hindola) and Mangala (on Srirama) – were the concluding items. A promising Madhuri Nagesh can improve her laya with further training.

Raag rang
The Bangalore Lalitha Kala Parishat presented a unique music programme, “Raag Rang Samay Yatra”, on Friday. The musical event is based on the ‘raag-time’ concept of Hindustani music. The troupe explained the moods created by different notes in a raga – how, as the Sun traverses from dawn to dusk and back to dawn, ragas create different moods of the time of day.

The event unfolded with a ‘Shiva stuthi’ in the ‘drupad’ style to suit the dawn in the raga ‘bhairav’. It was followed by a ‘khyal’ to suit the first ‘prahar’, in the raga ‘allaya bilawal’, which was followed by ‘gurjari todi’ and ‘komal rishab asaveri’. Later began ‘Purvang Pradhan’ and ‘Bhim Palas’ with a lovely lilt and the Bhajan ‘Hari Ke Charan’ and ‘yaman kalyan’, the king of ragas. ‘Ada chowtal bandish’ and ‘gowda malhar’ was sung with gay abandon. A few monsoon melodies also pleased the gathering. It concluded with the ‘Payaliya Baaje’ in ‘bhairavi’.

Eighteen ragas in chorus, duets and solo, highlighted the beauty of the ‘raagdhari’ system. Direction and commentary by musician Lalith J Rao were successful in showcasing the nuances and shades of a few ragas of Hindustani music. Nine vocalists, aged between 14 and 70, sang ‘dhrupad’, ‘khayal’, ‘tarana’, ‘dadra’ and ‘kajri’, set in different taals. It was melodious, interesting and informative. Of course, it was the result of Lalitha Rao’s talent, experience and disciplined training. They were accompanied on Harmonium by Vyasamurthy Katti, on thabala by Gurumurthy Vaidya and Shashibhushan Gurjar.

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