In the footsteps of Srikantan

Music and dance reviews

In the footsteps of  Srikantan

In the footsteps of  Srikantan

Senior musician M S Sheela,  gave a vocal recital in the City last week. A senior student of R K Srikantan and ‘a top grade’ musician of the Akashavani, Sheela, also received the Swaramurthy V N Rao Memorial National Award on Saturday. Connoisseurs were also happy to hear and attend her concert after a gap of few months. The event saw a huge attendance.

In an old world atmosphere in front of the sanctum sanctorum of the Yathiraja Mutt in Malleswaram, Sheela gave a delectable vocal recital. After a brisk varna (chalame), she presented “Deva Deva Kalayambike” of Swathi Tirunal in the raga Mayamalavagowla, setting a stately colour to the concert. Two pleasing compositions – ‘Rama Ramana’, with chitteswara and ‘Govardhana Gireesham’ – were rendered in quick succession. The tranquility of Varali, which she brou­ght out in her alap, was commendable.

Though Mohana is a common raga, she presented in a way worthy of a senior with a spacious and sensitive unfolding in both Madhya and Thara sthayee and the swaraprasthara was creditably manoeuvred with interesting phrases. Few devotionals such as ‘Thoradu Jeevisabahude’ also pleased the gathering and ‘Krishnana Kolalina Kare’ (of  P T Narasimhachar) was a welcome change and she concluded it with a thillana. While Nalina Mohan on violin gave the vocalist ample support, Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma on mridanga played with a thorough understanding of the vocalist’s style and its needs. And S N Narayana Murthy was in charge of Ghata.

A puppet show

Puppet theatre shows of Karnataka are known to have a rich cultural history. K Narahari Sastry performed the yeoman service through Suthramela. Inspired by M R Ramaiah of Agalakote and M R Ranganatha Rao (of Ranga Puthali), Sri Narahari Sastry has practised and mastered the traditional rod puppetry and has been performing from last several years.

The Bangalore Lalitkala Parishat presented a puppet show by Suthra Mela at the Dr H N Kalakshetra. They chose the popular “Indra Garva Bhanga’ episode. With colourful costumes and jewels, the puppets caught the attention of one and all. Episodes such as – Krishna as Gollathi, palm reading – were very impactful. Background music was given by K Muralidhara, Saroja Ganapathi was good and suited the occasion. Under the direction of Narahari Sastry, 82, Ravindra Narahari, Satyanarayana, Shankara Murthy, Sandhya Raveendra – acted as “Suthradharas” to make it a successful show.

Saama Festival

Sri Academy of Music and Arts concluded the annual music festival “Saama” with day-long music concerts, competitions and felicitation programs, in which nearly 50 artistes performed in both vocal and instrumental concerts.

Senior vocalist R S Ramakantha presented Devi kruthies of different composers. Muthaiah Bhagawathar’s varna “Mahishasura Mardhini” was the right choice to begin with followed by “Kamalambike Mamavasada”, a composition of Jayachamaraja Wodeyar in the raga Nadaranjini. “Kanjadalayatakshi” is a popular kruthi and he chose an infrequent kruthi of Syama Sastri “Pahisri Giriraja Suthe”. The “Ambavani” in Saraswathi was very familiar in old Mysuru and he elaborated Kalyani for “Bhajare Rachitha with nerval and swara, which was proof of his expertise. B Raghuram on violin, T S Chandrasekhar on mridanga, Somashekhar on ghata, Bhargava Halambi on khanjari and B Rajashekhar on morching – supported him on their respective instruments.

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