BANGALORE: It is nice to watch a Bharatanatya recital picking up right from the beginning. Bhuvana Prasad's recital, at Gayana Samaja auditorium on Sunday, was one such. In other words, the dancer warmed up immediately after entry. But I was surprised to see alarippu and jatiswara in the opening part of the recital. These are useful not only to condition the body of the dancer but also to show rhythmic exploration and attract the audience.
In the dance recital under review, the compilation of songs seemed more abhinaya-oriented. However, the coverage of the nritta portion was praiseworthy with its own limited elaborations.
Bhuvana opened her presentation with Pushpanjali and then paid obeisance to the Lord of Obstacles through Muthuswamy Dikshitar’s famous Gowla composition Sri Mahaganapathiravathumam. Her abhinaya for the sahitya and footwork and limb movements for the chittaiswaras had some sparkling moments. She neatly froze into varied poses of Lord Ganapathi. Her nritta suggested rhythmic taste and ease.
The varna selected for the evening was Lalgudi's familiar Devar munivar in Shanmukhapriya raga, addressed to Lord Srinivasa. Her prowess with abhinaya and on laya was noteworthy. Bhuvana's artistry was visible in her depiction of Gajendramoksha, Geetopadesha and other sequences. The exposition of the varna had a balanced representation of nritta, nrithya and abhinaya.
Vigorous and precise movements, rhythmic landings and vivid expressions marked the rendition of the Shiva Tandava stotra. Her mercurial movements were enthralling.
The rendition of Madhura nagarilo chala nammabone in Anandabhairavi raga and adi tala had great intensity but for the overdone smile. The depiction of a nayika telling mischievous child Krishna not to make mock her in public but to let her go and join the other Gopis was almost a winning item. Her abhinaya got showcased neatly. At almost every point the dancer demonstrated her strength at nritta (pure dance) through powerful footwork and deep emotive abilities in abhinaya.
Guru Sheela Chandrasekhar (nattuvanga), D S Srivatsa, Hemanthkumar (violin), Shankararaman (veena), Karthik Satvalli (flute), Narayanaswamy (mridanga) and Karthik (morsing) were in their elements to elevate the proceedings.
Seasoned exponent of Hindusthani music Pandit Ganapathi Bhat Hasanagi won the hearts of rasikas at Gayana Samaja with waves of stark and emotionally textured musical phrases. As he conceded, it was a challenging recital. Adi Jagadguru Sri Shankaracharya’s stotras addressed to various Gods and Goddesses are not only classical but also thought-provoking as far as their text is concerned.
The Sanskrit language and the metres that he used are intricate and of a high standard. Adapting them to classical Hindustani music is a further demanding task. They put the music composer’s great patience, effort and skill to test. Only a well-equipped and knowledgeable musician can accomplish this.
Pandit Ganapathi Bhat proved that he is one such composer-musician. His sustained approach to the music ultimately took top honours for rhythmic warmth and sharp attention to detail. His affinity for the lyric made itself felt in his singing. It was a highly distinctive recital from a well established and profound scholar-musician who treated the themes with sensitive gradations of touch, poetry, and an affinity for the music. He did full justice to the verses.
Accompanied by Pandit Gurumurthy Vaidya (tabla) and Roopak Vaidya (manjira), he gave a poised performance with wonderful technique and tremendous energy.
Splendid rhythmic grasp and fulness of tone allowed his recital to reach great heights. He rendered the first concert of the week-long Shaankara Geetha Sourabha, a festival of classical musical renditions of stotras composed by Adi Guru Sri Shankaracharya being held under the aegis of Vedantha Bharathi in the presence of Sri Shankara Bharati Mahaswamiji of Yadathore Math on Wednesday.
It was interesting to hear some intricate patterns of rhythm interwoven into the elaborations in a steadily paced, sonorous presentation.
There was plenty of brilliance and dazzling passagework in his singing of Udyadbhanu (Vibhas raga). The ever popular Bhaja Govindam was sung in Yaman commendably. Nagendra haaraaya set to Brindavani Sarang was a class in itself. The essence and beauty of Malkauns was packed into Hey Chandrachuda Madanaantaka. His improvisatory feel matched the lyrics. Shivoham in Bhairavi was a fitting finale to a grand evening of music and devotion. This was a performance that highlighted the vibrancy of classical music and poetic lyricism. The finale was especially good, played with refreshing lightness and bite.