Spring music festival

Music and dance reviews

Spring music festival

Spring music festival

In the annual Spring Music Festival, Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandira presented the “Sangeetha Vedanta Dhureena” award (purse of Rs one lakh) to well known vocalist Sanjay Subrahmanyan, last week.

Shanmukha and Haripriya, who are better known as Priya Sisters, opened their concert here with a well knit varna of Mysore Sadashiva Rao. Their alap and nerval for “Chintayamam” was tidy and wholesome, the kriti enriched with some sprightly swara phrases. Some of the compositions like – Sarasa Samadana, Swaminatha Paripalaya, Marugelara – brought nostalgic memories, in old timers. Raga Bindumalini belongs to Chakravaka (16th mela) varga.

The raga became popular through the Tyagaraja kruthi “Entamuddo”. Priya Sisters chose Bindumalini and presented evocatively, though elder sister Shanmukha Priya, was faltering and fell short in meeting the requirements.

Mysore Srikanth on violin, Pathri Satish Kumar on mridanga and B S Purushottam on Khanjari – gave good support on their respective instruments.

Vocal duet

Ranjani and Gayathri, who gave a vocal duet in the Spring Music Festival, are most sought after musicians these days and they proved once again that they are crowd-pullers also. The weighty alap of Kambodhi was enough to reveal their sensitive touch and musical erudition. Through this raga and composition, the sisters paid homage to Papanasham Shivan, on the occasion of  his 125th jayanthi.

It was followed by a small but fine keertana of Tyagaraja “Yeti Yochanalu” in the raga Kiranavali. They crowned the concert with an attractive Dwiraga Pallavi. Kannada and Kaanada flowed gracefully with an intelligent graha-bheda also.  With ragamalika swara, the Pallavi was a real treat.

H N Bhaskar on violin proved as a worthy accompanist, while the percussionist Sai Kumar and G S Ramanujam supported with good understanding.

Devotional  compositions

Sadguru Sri Thyagabrahma Aradhana Kainkarya Trust presented a special dance programme called “Bhadrachala Ramadas Charitramu”. Bhadrachala Ramadas, the great composer of devotional songs in Telugu, lived in the 17th century. His real name is Kancherla Gopanna Garu and he was appointed as the tahsildar of Bhadrachalam taluk.

It is believed that Saint Kabir Das appeared to him in dream and gave him the ‘Upadesha’ of Taraka mantra and his devotion towards Rama increased and he started composing beautiful songs in praise of Lord Rama. People started calling him Ramadasa. Rama Dasa used to celebrate Ramotsava every year, with great devotion and enthusiasm. He renovated the Sri Rama Temple in Bhadrachalam, using the revenue of the State. For the offence, he was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment and kept in a cell in the Golconda fortress. It is said the Lord Rama and Lakshmana appeared before the King and paid the entire amount owed by Ramadas to the ruler and got Ramdas released. The King, it seems realised his mistake and apologised. Ramadas’ compositions have a wide appeal and are sung in music concerts and bhajana parties.

In the current programme, the students of Samudyatha Prabhat, Kalasindhu and Narthana Keerthana presented 10 songs of Bhadrachala Ramadas. Dasharatha Rama Govinda, Diname Sudimanu Ra, Rama Jogi, Charanamule etc. Some of them like “Paluke Bangara” are already popular in both dance and music.

Though Ramdas’ compositions are soul stirring, it is not easy to perform whole programme with them. Some episodes like Gajendra Moksha, Ahalya Moksha are in the songs. There is no much scope for ‘Sanchari’ and only ‘Bhakthi rasa’ flows throughout. Still young students performed with ease and confidence under the direction of Shakunthala Prabhat, Purnima Gururaj and Dr Soundarya Srivathsa.

Prabhat Shakunthala and Soundarya Srivatsa (Natuvanga), Vasudha Balakrishna (vocal), S V Balakrishna on Mridanga and Raghunandan on flute – supported the dancers.

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