Music & dance reviews

Music & dance reviews

Homage to Oothukkadu

Oothukkadu Venkatasubba Iyer is one of the brilliant composers of Carnatic music. Known also as Venkata Kavi, he has composed in a variety of musical forms such as the krithi, thillana and kavadichindu. Oothukkadu is a small village near the temple town of Kumbhakonam.

‘Swarakshara’ is one of the speciality of his compositions and he has also incorporated ‘raga mudra’ in some of his krithies. His compositions include Kamakshi Navavarana, Aanjaneya Pancharathna, Madhava Panchaka, Narisimha Panchaka and Ranganatha Panchaka. Thus his compositions reveal his deep devotion and scholarship.

The Iskcon conducted the Aradhana of Oothukkadu Venkatakavi in collaboration with International Foundation for Carnatic Music (Chennai) and Omkaar Jhankaar (Bangalore). The serene atmosphere of the Radhakrishna Mandir at the Harekrishna Hill, suited the occasion and was complimentary to the theme.

The vocal ensemble of ‘Saptaratnas’ of Oothukkadu Venkatasubba Iyer was led by Neela Ramgopal (Neelambari), Rudrapattana Brothers, Bhargavi Balasubramanyam and Surabhi Ganakala Mandira members. ‘Bhajanamritha’ in the raga Nata; ‘Aganithamahima’ in Gowla, ‘Madhava hrithkelini’ in Kalyani, Baala Sarasa Murali (Keervani), ‘Sundara Nandakumara’ (Madhyamavathi) – were rendered in unison and pleased the large gathering. Chaitanya Kumar and Sudarshan Chakravarthi accompanied the group on flute and mridanga, respectively.

Sparkling dance

Popular dancer Padma Subramaniam gave a Bharatanrithya recital, exclusively on the Oothukkadu Venkata Subba Iyer’s compositions. The opening with salutations to ‘Astadikpalaka’ itself was sparkling.

The ‘Marakathamanimaya’, which is seen more in the Kuchipudi style, was again impressive with the episodes of Sudhama and Draupadi Vasthrapaharana, in the ‘Sanchari’. Jathi and Swara and madhyama kaala – enhanced the tempo and the effect.

Another popular composition ‘Thaye Yashode’, with the ‘Padma’s stamp’ in every step, and bringing the respective characters come alive, she was able to make an indelible impact. Her students Mahithi Kannan, G Aparna and N Neeraja performed – Maninupura and Gopakumara (Attana) – neatly. Choreography of steps and movements like a peacock, attracted in the Simhendra madhyama krithi. Dr Gayathri Kannan (Natuvanga and vocal), Radhika Muthukrishnan (vocal), Nagai Sriram (mridanga), Bombay Anand (violin) and Devraj (flute) – rose to great heights in their supporting roles.

Session sans audience

The ‘Natya Saraswathi’ School conducted a two-day Kuchipudi ‘Nrithyothsava’ last week under the direction of Dr Saraswathi Rajathesh. Experienced artiste Vedantham Ramu (Chennai), demonstrated Uddatha, and Lasya. He also chose a Jawadi (Chalu Vachane Vanithamani) and the famous composition ‘Kanjadalaya Thakshi’.

Senior Guru Vedantham Radheshyam (Kuchipudi Village) stole the show in the Pada (Muvva Gopala) ‘Entha Chakkani Vade Na sami’. Under his directions few youngsters (Neha, Rajashree, Acharya) demonstrated Namaskara Vidhi, Nrithya Yoga neatly. Veena Murthy Vijay (Rajarajeswari Kala Nikethan) gave a lecture on ‘Kuchipudi and Karnataka Yakshagana’. Mela, Prarthana – swamy paraku, suthradhara, purvaranga, steps – were discussed by her. Dr Ramadevi (Hyderabad) demonstrated ‘Golla kalapam’. Praveshadaru (Gollabhama Vachenu) and lively conversation – were attractive.

Senior dancer-cum-teacher Vijayanthi Kashi emphasised the need of good relationship between ‘Guru’ and ‘Shishya’ and illustrated a Daru (Usha’s dream). Rukminiamma (Education Department) also spoke on the need of good text books.

Though it was a useful and informative session, a senior artiste frequently interfered and speakers were forced to stop abruptly, which was not fair. Moreover, the response from the dancers and connoisseurs, was also very poor.

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