Fragrant Potpourri Of Dance, Vocal Music and Culture

Published: 02nd February 2015 06:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd February 2015 06:17 AM   |  A+A-

The tale of Lord Krishna has undergone so many psychological, historical and stylistic reinterpretations. It is particularly so in the classical dance arena. The Krishna theme has been one of the most loved and explored by  dancers. On the first day of the Sadhana Sangama Dance Centre’s dance festival held at Karnataka Engineer’s Academy, Basaveshwaranagar a dance feature on Krishna’s life at Gurukula (Gurukuladalli Sri Krishna) was presented with a version that offered an interesting fresh take.

While the feature was placed in the realm of fairytale, Jyothi Pattabhiram had rechoreographed it so that its essential conflict between good and evil melded in a drama of ambition and love. She had impressively infused the dancing with vividly pointed character detail and her students of the Sadhana Sangama worked well with their material.

Thus it became a presentation that captivated the audience of all ages. The elegant dancing with characteristic twirls, leaps, bends et al was majestic.The acting was ingeniously incorporated in the dance and although mime was used throughout, the recorded orchestra’s music communicated the moments superbly.The seminal episodes in Krishna and his elder brother Balarama’s life like their meeting with their Guru Sandeepini, Krishna’s interactions with his dearest friend Sudama, the killing of demons etc, were portrayed neatly.

The young dancers in traditional and supported by glorious music and lyrics costumes exuded elegance and vigour.  The ensemble was flawless save one or two visible wobbles that could be forgiven. The dancers made full use of the stage and not only performed tightly controlled moves but also showed impressive flexibility in their jumps and glides.

Seasoned vocalist Balasubramanya Sharma and versatile mridangist Gurumurthy’s music compositions had Karnatic ragas and varied layas which suited changing emotions.

Talented dancer

Smruthi K gave a creditable account of her understanding of the Bharatanatya technique and artistry at a performance held at ADA Rangamandira on January 25.  Trained by Guru US Ramesh, she impressed with her nritta, nrithya and abhinaya. The traditional opening Marga items were handled with care. The Saraswathi raga jathiswara vouched for her hold over laya, jathis, swaras and adavus.  Smruthi’s abhinaya for the Kannada ragamalika shabda Shankara Parameshwara in praise of Lord Shiva was neat. The headliner of the show was an Athana varna Kanna nine nera namminaanura. She packed the nritta of the varna with all the intricacies of rhythm. She was profound in her abhinaya. Guru Ramesh (nattuvanga), Murali (vocal), Madhusudan (violin), Jayaram (flute) and Purushottam’s (mridanga) music support complimented the dancer’s movements and moods.

Golden jubilee

Nadajyothi Sri Thyagarajaswamy Bhajana Sabha, Malleshwaram now led by Dr Sootram Nagaraja Sastry has accomplished another milestone in its chequered existence. Started by violinist late Prabhakar Pathak, J L Krishnamurthy, Adiga and others as a small organisation, now the Sabha has completed 50 years of service to music.

The Sabha has created a history by scheduling a 50-day programme series starting from last Sunday at Sri Kannika Parameshwari temple, Malleshwaram in commemoration of the golden jubilee under the name of Swarna Sangeetha Sambhrama.

 The Governor of Karnataka Vajubhai Vala inaugurated the celebrations and also released a souvenir titled Nadajyothi 2015. Earlier the Karnataka Lokayuktha Dr. Bhaskara Rao launched the programme series by lighting the lamp. The popular vocalist TMS Krishna released a documentary CD.

Elegant and vigorous

Bold, bright and brilliant were the words that come to my mind after listening to the opening phase of Krishna’s recital. He presented a spellbinding performance that enchanted both the young and the old. He easily executed impressive lifts in all the sthayis and the vilamba kaala and won the repeated appreciation. The rasikas were most impressed by the high quality of the music he chose and how those works allowed him to exhibit the many aspects of his fine technique and deep musicality.

Krishna possesses a beautiful, bright voice which produced innumerable intricacies of Karnatic vocal music. His recital became a vilamba kaala oriented delight. He opened with a rare Thyagaraja krithi Emanatichchedavo (Shahana, with neraval at Naa matalu vinavo and swaras) in a leisurely pace and ended it with a scholarly neraval and swaraprastara. It gave us a foretaste of many pleasures to come. 

H K Venkataram on violin and Jayachandrarao on mridanga as trusted accompanists truly reflected the beauty of the whole performance. The expressive opening of the krithi and then its thrilling dramatic conclusion cast a spell on the audience.  He spun out most ravishing phrases in Kalanidhi raga for Thyagaraja’s famous krithi Chinnanadina. It was marked by unfailing sense of balance and textural clarity. His swaras and tala, as always, were clear and decisive.  His transitions and tempo changes were admirably smooth and organic. His mastery of manodharma glowed in the smallest detail to its monumental over-all structure. He was prodigious; he led his enormous forces with the natural authority born of a thorough knowledge and deeply felt love of the music.

Raga Mukhari was the pinnacle of the night. Singing in an unhurried pace, he conveyed the right mood of the raga to perfection and held complete command over the medium as he created assured lines effortlessly. First he prefaced a refined alapana of Mukhari for Thyagaraja’s Kaarubaaru and rounded it off with a scholarly neraval and swaravinyasa. He surprised by singing taana in Mukhari and following it up with Entaninne varninchu.The neraval at Kanulara was a delight. He finished with an inspiring  swaraprastara and rendered a radiant Kalyani for Shyama Sastry’s Talli ninnu. Purandaradasa’s Pogadiralo Ranga was sung in a telling manner.

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