Music and dance reviews

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Vijia Rao and B P SweekrithVintage flavour

On the eve of the 90th birthday of veteran musician Dr R K Srikantan, a 4-day music festival was organised at the Seva Sadana Hall, by the Vidwan R K Srikankatan Trust.
M Chandrasekaran, senior violinist, gave a solo violin recital, accompanied by Bharathy (co-player), Srimushnam Raja Rao (mridanga), H S Sudhindra (double Mridanga) and Dayanand Mohithe (Ghata). Chandarasekaran sprang a surprise by opening the concert with a unfamiliar composition ‘Srikantan namami’ of Bangalore Sundaram.

But Chandarasekaran chose a stately Krithy of saint Tyagaraja as the piece de resistance of his concert. His daughter Bharathy opened the alapana and the senior violinst continued it.

Though it was a brief concert, the keerthana ‘Nadopasana’ reverberated with glowing cadences of the melody which reminded his past glorious days, with vintage flavour.
Chandarasekaran concluded with two popular devotionals — Baro Krishnaiah and Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma.

The Srikantan Trust presented annual awards to Bhadragiri Achutha Das (Harikatha) N Murali (President, Music Academy) and H K Narasimha Murthy (violin).

Not impactful

Bhavani Kanesha Murthy who gave a Kuchipudi recital at the seva sadana, is from Malaysia and has learnt Bharathanatya and Odissi also from renowned gurus. She opened her programme with the pushpanjali followed by the invocatory piece ‘Sri Mahaganapathi surapathe’. The second one was a interesting episode. ‘Pravesha' of Nayaki in the famous ‘Vipranarayana’ dance drama, which provided ample opportunity for abhinaya. Later a devaranama (Baro Krishnaiah) was chosen for the taranga. Though she performed on the brass plate and pot on the head customarily, the Jathies were too simple. With some more higher training and stage experience Bhavani’s dance may become more impactful.


Curtain came down on the International dance festival, with the ‘Yugala’ held under the aegis of the International dance festival. ‘Yugala’ was performed by Vijia Rao (USA) and B P Sweekrith. Viji/disciple of Sridhars, is a resident artist of Girard college, Philadelphia, and director of ‘Three Aksha Institute of performing arts’.  A performer, choreographer and teacher, Viji Rao has performed in many parts of the world. Sweekrith is an accomplished kathak dancer, teacher and choreographer and is the director of Sathkrutha Academy of Movement and Expression Viji Rao and Sweekrith saluted to invocatory God, through ‘Ikshudandadhara’ of Dr Raghu. The teental (of 16 beats) glowed with a variety of chakkars, aamad, thaat, tukada, parans. Both the bhajan (Meera Bai) and tarana were lively and performed convincingly.

Not wholesome

Nirmala Raja Shekhar, who gave a veena recital at the Ananya, is not a stranger to Bangalore.

In fact she took her initial training in music at Bangalore before being groomed by several stalwarts. Now a resident of USA Nirmala opened her current recital with ‘Vandenishamaham’ in the raga Hamsadwani.

The Swara was brief but pleasing. ‘Jaya Janakeekantha’ is another popular composition. The infrequent composition of Dikshitar ‘Saraswathyam’ in the raga chayagowla was a welcome change from the routine ones. She elaborated two ragas in the current concert. First, Kharaharapriya, the most familiar raga, was embellished impressively. Later she presented a part of the composition ‘Meenakshee memuda’.

The rangalapana glowed with good phrases and the Thana was redolent with, flashes of sustained musical quality. But the composition was not wholesome. It was not without its short falls though it was tidy enough to sustain patient listening. And also a thillana would have brought a better impact than the folktune, she chose, in the end. C N Chandrasekhar on violin, Thanjavur Murughabhupathi on Mridanga and G Guruprasanna on Khanjari - gave sustained support on their respective instruments.

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