Music and dance reviews

Music and dance reviews

Students’ creativity

There was a different type of programme at the Bangalore University on Thursday. Third semester students of the Department of Performing Arts presented a special music programme on the “influence of Bhagavadgeeta on the compositions of Tyagaraja”.

They opened the programme with “Raghunayaka” in Hamsadwani. They sang Keerthanas in Salagabhairavi, Garudadwani, Umabharana, Attana, Kannadagowla, Chandrajyothi and Easha Manohari ragas. Meaningful compositions, with brief commentary were rendered in unison. Anuma, Bhavana, Divya, Geetha, Hamsageethe, Manjula, Vani and Varada Bai – sang pleasingly with good voice aligning with sruthi. Ganesh Kumar on the violin, Shubha Santosh on veena, A S N Swamy on mridanga, Dayanand Mohithe on ghata – accompanied with good understanding.

Ashta Nayaka

“Ashtanayakies” is a well known concept in dance and there are a number of compositions to interpret them. However, for male dancers there are very few choices as there are only few compositions that depict “Nayaka Bhava”. Realising this, reputed Shatavadhani scholar Dr R Ganesh has composed “Ashta Nayaka” compositions, which were performed by 4 senior dancers of Bangalore last week, under the aegis of the Drishti in association with Ananya. Paantha (contrast to Proshitha Pathike), Abhisarika (Abhisarike), Nireekshaka (Vipra Labde), Virahi (Virahotkhandithe), Bhamineebheeta (Vasakasajjike), Narma Praaasadaka (Khandithe) and Kanthavidheya (Swadheena Pathike) – were presented by Praveen Kumar, Seshadri Iyengar, Surya Narayana Rao and Sanjay Shantharam.

The Nayika-Nayaka concept of Indian classical dancing is one of the most marvelous contributions to the world of dance.

From Dr R Ganesh’s 8 new Kannada compositions in 8 ragas and different thalas, dancers chose 2 kruthies each for the performance. But it was a challenging task and a test to prove their potentiality of Abhinaya.

Though all the four performed with ease and assurance, at times the performance was bereft of the enlivening touch of artistry and a wee bit theatrical. No doubt, with some more performances they will be able to bring more depth and weight as the character (Nayaka) demands. Dr R Ganesh’s concept and lyrics are most appreciable and a welcome addition to the dance repertoire.
D S Srivathsa’s music made an indelible impact on the audience, gathered in good number. Srihari and Narasimha Murthy supported on mridanga and flute respectively.

Dancer from coastal area

Veene Seshanna was not only a great Veena player, but also a prominent composer of the post Tyagaraja period. Though we hear his compositions in music concerts, we rarely see them on the dance platform.

In this contest, the programme organised by the Bangalore Lalithakala Parishat on Friday was a welcome change from routine dance programmes.

Young dancer Brahmari Shivaprakash, was initiated to dance by K B Madhava Rao and has been receiving advance training from Dr Vasundhara Doraswamy. She has passed Vidwath examination and has received a fellowship from the Department of Culture. She has also performed under several organisations and teaches at the Naada Nrityakala Shale, Mangalooru.

Brahmari Shivaprakash had selected exclusive compositions of Veena Seshanna. She opened her programme with Mela Prapthi, followed by “Sharade Varade” in Kalyani. The structure and “Kaala Pramana” of Karnataka Kaapi swarajathi, is difficult and not easy to perform. But Bhramari performed it with ease and confidence.

Behag varna was another challenging piece. With 14 ragas (Ragamalike) it flows with lilting melody, but demands full attention of the performer. Bhramari performed gracefully with good Abhinaya.

She has a bright future in the years to come. She also presented a devaranama (Ghanavada Ninna Sannidhige) and concluded with a thillana in the raga Purvi. While Sheela Diwakar’s vocal was complementary, mridanga of Balachandra Bhagawath, Veena of Arun Kumari and flute of Niteesh Ammannaya – were supportive.

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