Come Dasara and most mutts and temples throughout the state beckon devotees with varied festivities. Different types of poojas, homas and alankaaraas followed by various cultural programmes in the evening are a sight to behold and pleasing to the ears.
Sri Avani Shringeri Sharada Mutt in Basaveshwaranagar led by H H Sri Abhinava Vidyashankara Bharatahi Swamiji perhaps finds the first place in the celebrations.
The Swamiji is well known for his erudition and austere sadhana.
From the day one of the beginning of this year’s Navarathri celebrations, the Swamiji putting on a ceremonial golden crown, peethambara and traditional ornaments, has been holding an evening ‘Darbar’ and blessing disciples. It is a unique event indeed.
In her evening vocal recital held at Sri Avani Mutt premises under the banner of Sri Vidyaranya Bharathi Sangeetha Sabha on Monday, experienced singer H N Meera impressed the rasikas with the warmth of her portrayal bhava and raga.
The singer is uniformly of first rate and she stuck to the strict traditional and classical discipline.
Her renditions became transformed into a sophisticated matrix of imagery, organics and intimacy, where the interaction of music and language formed part of a wider cultural consciousness.
She sketched her musical ideas and exposed them with clarity and with great certainty.
There was an apt blend of vulnerability and defiance according to the demands of the presentations.
She could easily validate the poetic beauty of compositions that she sang with such secure techniques that there wasn’t a single note that sounded unreasonably forced or out of line
The vocalist surprised listeners by singing the famous Khamach Daru varna Maathe malayadhwaja. Dikshitar’s Ananaamrithakarshini (Amrithavarshini raga) warmed up the ears.
A brief Kalyani ragalapana suited well the mood to hear Shringapuradheeshwari Sharade. Meera excelled in singing Dikhitar’s grand and weighty Abhayambika krithi (Sadaashraye) set to Shanmukhapriya raga.
The manodharma dynamics made her alapana and kalpanaswaras taut and delightful. She presented them with conviction, aplomb and a formidable technical arsenal.
The pure and ravishing tone seemed to have been superbly controlled.
This impressive singer carried us through every musical and emotional pitch, riveting us with her absolute authority.
Hers is a voice of unostentatious power.
She sang the alpanas in Hindola (Mamavathi Sri Saraswathi) and Madhyamavathi (Paalimchu Kamakshi) with such elegance and precision that the audience was moved.
She proved that she is an immaculate musician and vocally complete through her delineations of these ragas and krithis.
She had a special way in making the words bear emotional content without overemphasising them for which she earned two of the loudest ovations during the evening, the alapanas and the swaras traversed the three registers. Nothing was overdone.
Singing in the happy and compatible company of B Raghu (violin), B Dhruvaraj (mridanga) and L Bheemachar (morsing), she packed her simple and serene vocal recital with Olideyatakamma Lakumi (Purandaradasa, Behag), Paahimaam Sri Rajarajeshwari (Janaranjani), Akhila-ndeshwari (Dwijavanthi). Two ragamalikas - Sri Chakrarajeshwari (Jhanj-hoti, Punnagavarali, Nadanamakriya and Sindhubhairavi ragas) and Yarige vadhuvaguve ((Kuranji, Yaman, Darbari Kaanada and Sindhubhairavi) - added spice to the entire concert.
The Bangalore branch of Sri Vyasaraja Mutt in Basavanagudi drew a sea of devotees during the Navarathri celebrations. Now administered by the retired bureaucrat-connoisseur K Jairaj, music programmes are also held every evening.
Seasoned and famous singer Raichur Seshagiridas’s singing of Haridasa krithis in the homely mutt premises on Tuesday was appealing and the audience filled with devotees was delighted to hear from him familiar and famous compositions. Accompanied by harmonium, tabla and tala, he infused his presentations with startling energy, vocal trills and tremendous charm. His refinement and impeccable intonation had a magical effect. Put simply, he had it all - a rich voice, dynamic stage presence (with useful commentaries now and then about the compositions that he sang), tremendous technique and a keen dramatic instinct. The vocalist sang compositions on different gods, goddesses, Guru Raghavendra and others by renowned Haridasas like Purandaradasa, Kanakadasa, Vijayadasa.
Singing of Vyasaraja’s krithis was appropriate to the occasion. Seshagiridas deserves to be commended for rendering a few krithis by Vidya Prasanna Teertha who is an important link in the Vyasaraja lineage. The composition on Lord Hanuman (Hanuman ki jai in Mohana, with jathis also studded on to it) in particular was a great hit. For me lilting tunes, selection of classical ragas like Kalyani, Yaman, Yaman Kalyani, raga preludes, taan like elongations and such were some of the musical highpoints of his recital. Every note from him was almost like a gift and they were limpid and satisfying. He was conniving, enticing, disdainful, and beautiful. His performance inspired similar enthusiasm from the audience. His incredible enunciation and the way he approached melodic climaxes by way of phrasing and melodic contour was tremendous.
Young Reddy Pravalika, a prized disciple of Guru Padmini Ramachandran’s gave an exquisite Bharatanatya performance at Ravindra Kalakshetra on October 6. She excelled in every aspect of her exposition with her vivid presence. Backed up by her Guru Padmini Ramachandran (nattuvanga), Ramesh Chadaga (vocal), Dr Natarajamurthy (violin), Karthik (flute), Janaradhanrao (mridanga) and Srihari (khanjari), she began with the traditional Todaya mangalam.
The swaras, jathis and aduvus were done with ease. She saluted Ganapati through Muthaiah Bhagavatar’s Gam Ganapathim (Hamsadh-wani). A choornika (Pankaja-sanadi, Arabhi) was the medium to eulogize the goddess of learning, Saraswati.
Her eyes, shoulders, neck and other parts of the body moved according to the demands of the three speeds of the tala in khanda and mishra to express the alarippu. It was surprising that she straight away took up the varna for exposition.However it invariably turned out to be a stunning performance and was fully up to form.
She was amazing in every way and held the audience in the palm of her hand and no one lost concentration for almost forty minutes watching her monologue like varna. The varna Nee mananmarangi set to Lathangi raga was all about Lord Subramanya Swamy. His birth, the killing of Tarakasura, burning of Manmatha, was neatly enacted by Pravalika.
The interpretation was a shining example of how important good, focused dance and theatrical skill is to selling a character. Tasked with dealing an intricate nritta, the young dancer came out in flying colours. Her bright, focused footwork and limb movements soared across the rhythmic passages with ease and did so magnificently. Although her laya sense was innately keen, she was equally strong in dramatic moments. Her dramatisation of the above mentioned episodes was simply remarkable.
Continuing with the same zeal and integrity she threw herself into the roles of child Krishna and different types of nayakis with abandon while depicting Elladi bande (Charukeshi), Parulenna maata (Javali Kapi), Ananda Tandaveshwarana kande (on Lord Shiva) and others. She demonstrated that she is simply the most instantly communicative and immediate artiste. She concluded with a Brindavani tillana.