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Soft melodies

Chandrika's recital was competent

Vocalist R. Chandrika, accompanied by C.N. Chandrasekhar (violin), and M.Gururaj (mridanga), presented “Eka Vaggeyakara Concert Series 3 of Patnam Subrahmanya Iyer”, organised jointly by Vamshi Academy of Music Trust, Bangalore, and Ananya.

The concert began with the varna “Sarasuda” in Saveri raga and aditala. “Rama Ika Nannu Brovarada” in Shahana and rupaka tala was presented with a brief introduction referring to similarities with Thyagaraja's “Ee Vasudha” and “Vandanamu Raghunandana”. Attention was also drawn to the rhythmic patterns and plethora of sangathis in the Sourashtram masterpiece “Ninnu Juchi” set to aditala before a fine rendition of the krithi.

A succinct alapana of Begada, suffused with raga bhava, prefaced “Abhimanamennadu” in aditala, adorned with a few kalpana swaras. Manirang was then taken up for an elaboration that projected the distinct identity of the raga, suffixed with the krithi “Naravara Raghunandana” set to rupaka tala. While the madhyama kala sahithya in “Samayamide Nannu Brova” set Kedaram and rupaka tala, was cited as an example of affinity to Deekshithar's compositions, a slight reduction in speed would have highlighted the lilting beauty of the piece more effectively.

The main raga of the evening, Vachaspathi, was elaborated systematically, emphasising in particular the dhaivatha and the thara sthayi gandhara with multiple-brigha laden sancharas punctuated with soft melodious touches. “Ennadu Nee Kripa” in adi tala was supplemented with a neraval and kalpana swaras at the pallavi sahithya, with a final stint of diminishing thala cycles around the dhaivatha, with appropriate support from the accompanists, and concluding with a tani avarthana. The recital, lasting about an hour and a half, ended with the javali “Samayamide” set to Behag raga and rupaka tala, exemplifying the wide variety in the compositions of the great vaggeyakara.

***

The 34th Anniversary Programme of Natya Niketan, headed by senior Bharathanatya exponent Revathi Narasimhan, was held recently with performances by students of the institute.

A large number of items, covering almost the entire gamut of the margam from pushpanjali to thillana, were presented by young dancers in various groups. Pieces like the jathiswaram, Andal kauthuwam, and shabdam, performed by junior level students, exhibited commendable co-ordination and a good sense of rhythm, attesting to meticulous training in the basics, making optimum use of stage space in attractive formations. The highlight of the evening was the tana varna “Ninnu Kori” set to Vasantha raga and adi tala, a compact, densely choreographed item, performed by seniors Lavanya Vijaykumar and Shruthi N. Murthy, the jathis executed together and at times alternately by the duo with much finesse. The following exposition of Tanjavur Sankara Iyer's Ranjinimala was by a well synchronised group of six dancers.

Excellent orchestral support was provided by Bharathi Venugopal (vocal), Gurumurthy (mridanga), Dr. Natarajamurthy (violin), and Vivek Krishna (flute). The programme, conceptualised, choreographed and directed by Revathi Narasimhan, also announced the initiation of senior disciples Deepa Srikanth, Shruthi N. Murthy, Lavanya Vijaykumar and Vanitha M.D. as trainers and teachers for younger students, a laudable step that augurs well for the grooming of a future generation of artistes.

MADHAVI RAMKUMAR

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