Singer Sanjay Subramanyam was excellent in his concert held at Sri Venugopalakrishnaswamy Temple, Malleshwara. As it was the Gokulashtami festival, Sanjay enthralled the packed audience by rendering mostly compositions on Lord Krishna. His manodharma behind the images was evocative. He masterfully found the word or phrase to unify ideas and images and amplified the dormant meaning. A rare joy and feeling was created when he sang Patnam Subbramanya Iyer’s quaint krithi Marachedi nyayama Raama in the most popular Hamsadhwani raga. He further beautified it with succinct swaras. Accompanied ably by his usual partners Varadarajan (violin), Neyveli Venkatesh (mridanga) and Alathur Rajganesh (khanjari) he sang a majestic Reetigowla alapana for Paripalayamam. The stage was well set for a detailed Shankarabharana. Thyagaraja’s Buddhiraadu was touching. Kalpanaswaras for it had the imprint of Sanjay. A shloka in praise of Lord Krishna Kutilalaka Samyuktham in the middle of the concert was welcome. This was followed by Narayana Teertha’s Jaya Jaya Gokula in Bhairavi, Kambhoji and Suruti ragas drawn from his Tarangam. The manner in which he switched to different ragas demonstrated his hold over the mode and the medium.
For a welcome change, it was good that Sanjay accorded the top most place of his concert to the elaboration of Saveri raga.
Every bit of the delineation afforded satisfaction and pleasure. Muthuswamy Dikshitar’s very distinguishing krithi on Krishna Baala Shrungara Leela glowed. The neraval of the anupallavi portion (Dheeraagraganya deena sharanya) and the swaravinyasa was beautiful. Though tani avartana tended to be a bit longish, it had attractive rhythmic combinations.
Sanjay surprised us by presenting the rarely heard Papanasham Shivan’s Sri Madhava in Behag raga. Oorile (Aduguran yengal Kannan, Tondaradipodi Azvar) and other songs were featured at the end of the concert.
Enthralling audio visual tapestry
On the day of Sri Krishnashtami, the JSS auditorium overflowed with avid lovers of dance and music. Sharath R. Prabhath and Bharath R. Prabhath of the well known Prabhath family were the heroes both on and off the stage. The best part was the multi-media presentation Kathaastra which was excellent and told the story of Kiraataarjuna (tale of Paashpataastra) in an interesting and compelling way. It was a multimedia symphony performance that celebrated the splendour of Harikatha, sahitya, sangeetha, 3D visuals and five forms of classical dances including martial arts.
It was an extravaganza for the senses, enabling viewers to imagine and interpret a mythological story drawn from the Mahabharatha. The resulting performance was a spectacular and emotionally charged journey through time with continuous music and imagery. It was a feast for both eyes and ears. The Prabhath brothers handled the score beautifully in a detailed, evocative and stunning performance.
The goal was to tell the story in an innovative way in about two hours and it was spectacularly done. The dancers led by Bharath and Sharath achieved some marvelously crisp synchronizations of sound and image. The graphics digitally matched the lushly pulsing music and dance of the production. The score was precisely timed to the visuals too. The brothers not only led the show with their concept, direction and stage adaptation but also gave a creditable account of their artistry in the lead roles.
Bharat R Prabhath as Arjuna was the cynosure of all eyes with his masterly abhinaya and dance. His dance skills in kalariyapattu, Kung Fu, Caipora and subtle dance moves from the classical dances were applauded.
Likewise, his vigorous dance comprising of tandava elements drew attention for its vibrancy. Sharath as the Harikatha exponent and enacting the role of Mahadeva (the leader of the tribe) exhibited his latent talent. Supreeth’s 3D animations were vivid. Nikitha, Kruthika, Chinmayi, Jahnavi, Simran, Sujay, Rajesh, Shishir and Nischay were the other dancers who contributed much to the success of the production..
The story of Arjuna seeking Pashupataastra from Lord Shiva being put to test by the latter and ultimately being blessed by Him with the missile unfolded in a unique audio-visual tapestry. The characters of Kirathaa (hunter, Lord Shiva), the pig (Mookaasura), Arjuna, ganaas of Shiva et al came to life on the stage. The production proved that artistry and entertainment can aid and enrich communication.
As a vivid finale Sharath rendered an Abhang and paid rich tributes to Kumara Vyasa, the author of Kannada Mahabharatha. The recorded music was appropriately handled. Selection of the ragas and their renditions were highly classical. Almost every technique of lighting was explored to suit the themes and the play of sound and light was another embellishing element. The voice overs, narrations and effects were exquisite.
— Dr M SURYA PRASAD