Colourful Kalataranga

Colourful Kalataranga

Colourful Kalataranga
The Kala Sindhu school conducts a dance programme every year in memory of Guru Narmada. The 10th edition of Nirantara Narmada Festival was different and unique in many respects.

The “Karnataka Kalataranga” directed by Dr Lalitha Srinivasan was based on state temple sculptures, portraying glimpses of royalties of Karnataka that have patronised the arts - especially the dance. After the invocatory piece, it started right from the Chalukyan period, followed by the Pulikeshi; the cave temples, historical dancing Shiva (Mahanata) of Badami and “Shilabalike” of Belur of Hoysala period, probably inspired by queen Natyarani Shanthala. To project the glory of Vijayanagara, the selection of Krishna Devaraya’s court, suited the occasion. There were three types of dances, on that occasion - a devaranama, a kuchipudi and a “kolaata” - specially trained for this programme, based on the sculptures of “Marnavami Dibba” of Hampi.

The Maharajas of Mysore were not only patrons of arts, but also musicians and composers themselves. A number of artistes like Mysore Sadashiva Rao, Veena Seshanna, Aliya Lingaraja, Chinnaiah - also graced their courts. For this scene, the dancers chose lyrics from “Geetha Gopala” (Geluvu Geluvu) while Subhashini chose astadikpalaka, Purnima Gururaj selected a jawadi (Mathada Baradeno) and with Anupama Hosakere they presented a majestic varna (Manavi). “Kaye Sri Gowri” was the right choice to conclude. Students of three dance schools - Kala Sindhu, Nupura and Samskruthi - performed a variety of compositions with Desi Karna, Chary etc., kudos to the direction by Dr Lalitha Srinivasan. The team had good support from a band of talented artistes: vocal by Srivatsa and Vasudha Balakrishna, Natuvanga by Suma Krishnamurthy, mridanga - Gurumurthy, flute - Mahesh Swamy, Veena - Shankara Raman and rhythm pad - Prasanna Kumar.

Tribute to Doreswamy Iyengar
Dr V Doreswamy Iyengar (1920-1997) was the torchbearer of a hoary tradition in the Veena (Mysore Baani). Undoubtedly he was (and is) the most reputed Veena player of his time. He is one of the few musicians who had received both “Sangeetha Kalanidhi” (of Music Academy) and “Sangeetha Kalarathna” (of Bangalore Gayana Samaja). Also a recipient of Padmabhushana, Dr Iyengar was also a great teacher and composer. In his memory, a trust has been formed to conduct music programmes.

The Veena Doreswamy Iyengar Memorial Trust conducted a music festival last week in association with Ananya. Veena, flute and clarinet recitals apart from vocal concerts by both senior and young artistes of Karnataka were organised during the seven-day festival.

Vidushi Neela Ramgopal, who gave the opening concert, is also a recipient of both Sangeetha Kalarathna and Sangeetha Kala Acharya (Music Academy) titles. There is certain steadfast quality about the music of Neela Ramgopal which never lets down the diehard and choosy music lover who swears in the name of tradition and classicism. In this respect she is a worthy heir to a great ‘Sampradaya’ and tradition. Starting with a Ugabhoga (Kariya Kannadiyolu) she followed it with a composition in Kharaharapriya. The chitteswara of “Palimparava Chelara” (Arabhi) was also well knit and a keerthana in the raga Natakapriya came next.

She provided a variety in the choice of composers, ragas and krithies. Then, Neela Ramgopal chose “Enduku Nee Manasu” in Kalyani for a detailed elaboration. But it must be conceded that of late her efforts are occasionally bogged down by her voice, due to age. She brought out the emotional appeal of the composition by her superb matching of the mood of the lyrics and raga, through her expertise.

Kalpana Venkat on violin, K U Jayachandra Rao on mridanga and A S N Swamy on Khanjari - rose to the occasion creditably.