Music and dance reviews...

Music and dance reviews...

Classical to the core

Last Saturday evening, a surprise awaited the connoisseurs of music at Ammanni Iyengar Memorial Endowment Programme held under the aegis of the MES Kalavedi.
As the vocalist of the day was not heard much in this part, there was curiosity among the listeners. But as he began the first item – a varna in Kalyani – everybody started enjoying the music and sat in anticipation of a fine concert.

The artiste, Mavellikara Subramanian, fulfilled the expectations abundantly. A disciple of Mavellikara Prabhakara Varma, Subramanian, recently, retired as the Head of the Department of Music, Swathi Tirunal College (Kerala). The Lalgudi Jayaraman’s varna gave him an excellent start.

The alapana of Janaranjini was brief but melodious and the ‘Ganapathe Sugunanidhe’ of Dr L Muthaia Bhagawathar was a welcome change from the routine invocatory pieces. Even the chitte swara was attractive with lively swara. The ‘Nanu Brova’ was another memorable presentation – especially the swara phrases were appealing. After a fine alapana of Reethigowla, he gave a pleasant surprise by selecting a devaranama of Purandara Dasa (Katha Shravana mado).

The popular krithi of yester years ‘Brova Baramma’ was also delightful. Comparatively, Bhairavi and ‘Ika Nanu Brova’ was attractive and brought out the resilience, sweetness and allure in his voice. Right from the initial krithi, Subramaniam’s sonorous voice got into its stride and had several aesthetic passages and made it a dignified melody.

The ‘Pullaijani Karutho’ had its lilting quality. In total, Mavellikkara Subramaniam’s vocal concert was memorable with classical flavour to the core. Veteran violinist M Chandrasekharan shared the honours with his soulful sancharas and the percussion duo M T Rajakesari and Vyasa Vittala accompanied with good understanding.


Students from Singapore and Bangalore took part in the ‘Ananya  Samarpana’ dance festival on Saturday. In the ‘Moksha Mudra’ through the bright characters of Amarpali, Radha, Sita, Jhansi Rani Lakshmi Bai and Amrita – strength and intelligence of women were portrayed in a sparkling way. Journey of these women and their journey to salvation – were depicted through dance. Young dancers from Bangalore (students of Minal Prabhu and Suparna Venkatesh), Singapore (disciples of Shruti Laya) and members of Zaini Tahir’s troupe – performed with gay abandon.

Though they are all young dancers they danced with ease and confidence. Body language of Zaini Tahir’s also were appreciated along with the Abhinaya of the other dancers. It was the melodious vocal of Pallavi Arun, which enhanced the impact of the dance programme. Music was by Amit Heri and lyrics by Dr Shankar Rajaraman and choreographed by Minal Prabhu, Ponnamma, Gayatri Sriram and Zaini Tahir. With some more performances and editing ‘Moksha Mudra,’ may become more impactful.

Earlier, there were two Bharathanatya recitals of students of Shruti Laya, Singapore. ‘Uttara’ by Tanvi Bhaskar was based on the story of Princess Uttara, wife of Abhimanyu. With good grace and abhinaya Tanvi earned the appreciation of the assembly. Before her Divya Gopalan (Shruti Laya) also gave a Bharathanatya recital.

Young vocalist

With a vocal recital of Rithvik Raja, curtains came down on the 8-days Yuva Sangeethotsava held under the aegis of the Bangalore Gayana Samaja, on Sunday. Raja, a disciple of T M Krishna, has performed already in a few sabhas – both in and outside Chennai and has won prizes in a few competitions.

After a number of Ragas and compositions, Raja crowned his concert with an interesting Pallavi. It was a ‘Chatur Raga Pallavi,’ well woven in Shankarabharana, Kalyani, Durbar and Thodi. It is by no means a very melodious voice, but with his sincerity and relish intonates, the number make for pleasant listening.

Earlier, his artistic discernment was further embellished in the melodies like Bhairavi and Brovabaramma. The swara phrases round Gandhara was pleasing and the nerval (Merusamaana) enhanced the impact of the concert. He also sang ‘Brochevarevarura,’ the all time favourite of the listeners. Apoorva Krishna on violin, Avinash Krishna on mridanga and Sunad Anoor on Khanjari supported well on their respective instruments.

Kudos to Gayana Samaja for encouraging young and upcoming artistes and hope the ‘Yuva Sangeethotsava,’ will continue every year.

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