Music and dance reviews

Music and dance reviews

Vocal with feeling

Under the aegis of the Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamiji’s 75th Birthday Trust, the birthday of Sri Chandrasekhara Bharathi Swamiji was celebrated at the Kanchi Kamakoti Peeta, Malleswaram. Veteran musician  T V Gopalakrishnan is well versed in both vocal and mridanga and in Karnatic and Hindustani music. He is not only a senior performer but also an able Guru and many of today’s performers are his students. A recipient of Padmabhushan award, TVG. was conferred with ‘Naada Chinthamani’ title on the occasion. The felicitation was followed by a vocal concert by Vidwan T V Gopalakrishnan, accompanied by Varadarajan on violin, Thiruvarur Bhakthavatsala on mridanga and Vyasa Vittala on Khanjari. Gopalakrishnan opened his concert with the verses ‘Sahanabhavathu’. ‘Vathapi,’ the familiar invocatory piece, gave him a flying start. The swara for it was brief but was in TVG. style.

‘Ragasudharasa’ was a good choice and then the mike began its own music. And the amplifier problem continued till the end of the concert, testing the patience of both the artistes and audience. Nagaswaravali belongs to Harikambhoji varga and an ‘Audava raga’. It is an appealing rakti raga. After a brief sketch of the raga, he chose ‘Sri Shankara Guruvaram’ of Maha Vaidynatha Iyer. Few swara phrases especially around Gandhara, caught the attention of the connoisseurs. It was not short of emotion as he sang with involvement and good feeling. It was followed by the majestic composition ‘Subramanyena Rakshito’.

The ‘Shankaracharyam Smaramyaham’ was briefly elaborated. Though voice was reminding his age frequently, the concert gave glimpses of his expertise, what he sings verily surges out of his very being. Violinist Varadarajan supported well and responded with alacrity. Bhaktavatsala is a brilliant exponent of the mridanga, played without the usual excitement but delighted the connoisseurs. Vyasa Vittala on Khanjari followed faithfully and Pavan Deep was also there as a singer.

Gopalakrishnan chose a composition of Swati Tirunal ‘Shankara Gurunatha’ and concluded his concert. The whole concert was heard with more respect than excitement.

Not impactful

Manjula and Meghna Venkat gave a Bharathanatya recital under the aegis of the Every Friday Cultural Evening Programme at Yavanika Auditorium. Both are post graduates in dance from Bangalore University and have performed in few cities also.
The Bhagawata Purana elaborates the concept of ‘Bhakti’ and explains the ‘Nava Vidha Bhakti’ (nine facets of Bhakti) as told by Prahlada. They chose few verses from Narayaneem (Vasanthi and Brindavani raga) for the ‘Sravanam,’ depicting Maharaja Parikshit and Shuka Maharshi episodes. Popular devaranama “Yelliruvano Ranga” was chosen for the ‘Smaranam’ with Prahlada, Hiranyakashipu and Narasimha; A Annamacharya’s Keerthana for ‘Paada Sevanam’ (Brahma Kadagina Paadamu). For ‘Archanam’ (worship of Lord) they chose a Thirupugazh (Arunagiri Nadar) and a composition (Papanasam Sivan).

Well-known keertana of Saint Tyagaraja ‘Vandanamu Raghu Nandana’ (raga Shahana) was for ‘Vandana’ and ‘Tava Dasoham’ (Punnaga Varali raga) for ‘Dasyam’ in which Anjaneya – Rama – Sethu Bandhana’ were enacted. Sudhama and Srikrishna’s friendship was taken for ‘Sakhyam’ with a Surdas Bhajan (Gorak Kalyan raga). Meera Bai’s lyrics was chosen for ‘Atma Nivedana.’ They concluded with a thillana in the raga Hamsanandi.

No doubt Manjula and Meghna Venkat performed with ease and confidence dramatising the sequences. Their dance will be much more impactful, if they improve their abhinaya, especially their facials. Vasudha (vocal), Prasanna (Natuvanga), Janardhan (mridanga) and Maheshswamy (flute) – supported from the wings.

Need to improve

Ananya conducted the  Nrityollasa at the Seva Sadana Auditorium, Malleswara, last week. Anju Nair, who gave a Bharathanatya recital here, is a student of Samskruti and recipient of a scholarship also. She is learning music and equally talented in sports and has represented the state in 800m race. She is part of the ‘Chaturgamini’ group and has performed in few places. Anju opened her programme with a invocatory piece, customarily. With her pleasing presence and confident steps she caught the attention of the house, easily. ‘Devadideva Nataraja’, in the raga Shanmukhapriya, was performed with ease and assurance. But the ‘Navarasa’ was rather dull and she has to improve her laya also. As she is sincere and receiving good training, it will not be difficult for her to improve her performance.

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