BENGALURU: The 34th four day annual Taalavaadyotsava 2015, a festival of music began on Thursday with a simple and scholarly vocal recital by veteran vocalist Dr. R.N. Srilatha from Mysuru. She has been recognised as the upholder of classicism and the tradition of Karnatak music. She has put her stamp on the music scene and consistently delivers energetic, musically dynamic performances. In her concert held at Bangalore Gayana Samaja under the auspices of Percussive Arts Centre, now led by an expert mridangist and professor Dr. V. Krishna, she could convey the feelings of the songs.
Her interpretations were apt and devoid of technological or conceptual gimmickry. With experienced Nalina Mohan (violin), Anur Dattatreya Sharma (mridanga) and B. Gururaj (morsing) as accompanists in full swing her selection and rendition of rare and substantive krithis were ornamented by her ripened manodharma. As usual the classicism and tradition reigned supreme throughout her recital. She served up some energetic offerings.
The performance started with a salutation to Lord Ganesha through Ajam nivikalpam, the Ganesha pancharathna stotra. A rare Bhairavi varna (Ninne kori) by Ponnaiah Pillai was sung in two tempos. Though at the outset, she seemed to be uneasy with her vocalisations, very soon she warmed up. An unfamiliar and weighty krithi by Thyagaraja Swamiki sari enuchu was sung with scholarly swaras. The raga visatara in Naasamani raga requires full use of the artiste’s abilities and resources and Srilatha’s elaboration was systematic and precise.
Dikshitar’s famous krithi Sri Ramaa Saraswathi drew the attention for its vilamba gati and clear diction and articulation. Studded with intricate laya, the attached chittaiswaras were further beautified by a few rounds of kalpanaswaras.
A crisp Bhogeendra shayinam led to the highlight of the recital. Raga Mohana was delineated in a methodical evolution.
A well settled Srilatha brought to the fore, the nuances of the raga with her ingenuous phrases. Another rare krithi Maravaka daya Mohanaanga naa pai by Parur Dakshinamurthy was embellished by neraval and swaravinyasa.
The swaras vouched for her rich manodharma and strong hold over laya. Kanakadasa’s Tanna prapthiya Phalava in Vijayanaagari raga was heard with keen interest. Muthaiah Bhagavatar’s Behag tillana brought down the curtain on the concert.
Dance performances by budding, enthusiastic dancers are always a good omen for not only the continuation of traditions of classical dance but also for the incessant growth of the art field.
Their majestic performances bewitch the rasikas. Their gestures and fervour make every mudra a delight to behold.
The delicate care with which the phrasing is handled turns every moment into a masterpiece and a masterpiece into something utterly magical. Two dance performances held last weekend by Subhiksha Srikumar (at JSS auditorium) and Priyadarshini Shivadass (at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan) respectively lived up to the above observations.
Subhiksha Srikumar trained by Gayathri Balaji was a picture of confidence in her Bharatanatya. Blessed with emotive eyes, she could communicate varied feelings with ease.
She was good in negotiating the rhythmic complexities. Appropriately accompanied by Savithri Vijayakumar (nattuvanga), Balasubramanya Sharma (vocal), Nithish (flute), Dr. Natarajamurthy (violin) and G.S.Nagaraj (mridanga), Subhiksha was applauded for her rendition of the opening Pushpanjali, shloka and Ganesha stuti.
Gaja vadana (Gambheer Nata) was saluted in an admirable gestural language and was followed by Andal Parshwarams.
The mishra alarippu accounted for her neat nritta. The little twitches of her head and its careful placing were eloquent.
Based on Andal Kauthuvam, she unfolded the tale of Andal. The ragamalika shabda on Lord Subrahmanya provided appreciable glimpses of her abhinaya talent.
The major item of her dance recital was a Dashavatara varna based on the description of the reclining God Ranganatha (Paalkadal alaiy mele) or Lord Vishnu.
Different segments of the composition had the elucidation of the 10 incarnations of the Lord. Accordingly Subhiksha portrayed them in her elegant abhinaya. Her nritta was light, sharp and generous in terms of dealing with the rhythm. Her histrionics exuded calm.
Talented Bharatanatya dancer Dr. Suhasini Kishore and her disciple Priyadarshini Shivadass made their triumphant first bow as Guru and Shishya respectively in the other dance performance.
Both of them performed with zeal. With seasoned accompanists Bharathi Venugopal (vocal), Mashusudan (violin), Vivek Krishna (flute) and Gurumurthy (mridanga) lending an inspiring support and her Guru Dr Suhasini on nattuvanga, Priyadarshini stole the show.
She wove into a kind of liquid poetry. She exhibited both nerve and confidence in her own technique. Her performance was full of lovely details. The rendition of theme was not just sketchy but became a series of artistic interpretations.
As usual Pushpanjali and the Nata Ganesha stuti saw her in exquisite mettle. The mishra alarippu brought to the fore, Priyadarshini’s subtle grip over her craft. One could enjoy the confluence of swaras, jathis and adavus topped by excellent teermanas in the presentment of Abhogi jathiswara.
The nritta was of high class. While physical resilience and artistic adaptability were conspicuous in her ensuing nrithya bandhas, her acting too was detailed and committed.
The popular Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer Janaranjini raga krithi Paahi maam Sri Rajarajeshwari on the Goddess Rajeshwari was a superb explication. Various forms of the Devi were etched beautifully by Priyadarshini.
The chittaiswaras and the manner in which the krithi was rounded off was noteworthy. In the end, to show the ferocious Devi, nritta was aptly used. Dandayudhapani Pillai’s Poorvi Kalyani varna Swamiye vara cholladi on Lord Murugha had a proportionate insertion of nritta, nrithya and abhinaya. The dancer’s representation of Bho Shambho (Revathi), Ennathavam (Kapi) and Idene sakhi (Behag) demonstrated her admirable abhinaya skills. The concluding Kaanda tillana was lively and spirited.