A jugalbandi of Carnatic and Hindustani music

Mellifluous confluence

It’s not every day that Delhi gets to see a festival of carnatic music. So when Padma Shri awardee Bharatnatyam dancer Komala Varadan organised a three-day Young Musicians Festival, focusing on Carnatic music, connoisseurs from all corners of the city came rushing to see it.

In the offing were promising young exponents of Carnatic as well as Hindustani music not just from the South but all over the country. The audience just couldn’t stop applauding the thought behind the fest as well as its splendid execution.

Komala Varadan is one of the most celebrated Bharatnatyam dancers of India. A disciple of Cheyyur Thiruvengada Nattuvanar and Vazhuvoor Ramiah Pillai in Chennai, she took to the stage at age ten and has since performed in all parts of the world picking up honours like the Padma Shri (2005) and Bharat Shiromani (2009). She started her own institute of arts Kalaikoodam in 1983.

Kalaikoodam conducts various festivals of performing arts throughout the year – including those on auspicious occasions and the World Dance Day – and has conducted a Young Musicians Festival for the first time. Komala informed Metrolife, “It was my long-cherished dream to bring Carnatic music to North India and also have a comparative performance of Hindustani and Carnatic music.”

“I also purposefully selected artistes from all over the country and am extremely glad that we have such gems of young musicians who have an innate understanding of classical music. They traverse the worlds of both Hindustani and Carnatic music with flair and ease,” she added.

First came Dr R K Govindarajan and his troupe from Nagpur with a composition called Anubhuti. They presented a most elegant fusion of Carnatic, Hindustani and Western music complete with the sitar, guitar, violin, tabla and mridangam.

This was followed by Chandana Bala, a Carnatic vocal recitalist from Mumbai. Her mastery over laya, learnt from here guru H S Sudhindhra, was apparent. She was followed by Tulasi Vishwanath of Hyderabad the next day. A senior disciple of Annavarapu Ramaswamy, Tulasi is a specialist in singing rare ragas and pallavis.

 Ramakrishnan Murthy of Chennai then closed the day with his superb performance.The last day belonged to Carnatic music maestro Sriram Parasuram and his disciple Manasi Prasad. While the former first delivered a workshop on the complex Raagam Taanam Pallavi, the latter rendered her favourite Avadhana Pallavi.

Parasuram closed the fest with a programme on comparative rare raagas in Carnatic and Hindustani styles. He also played the violin alongside. It was truly the North and South of India coming together in a mellifluous confluence.

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