Visakha Music Academy’s three-day mid-year festival of up and coming artistes was a good showcase of promising talents in music and dance at Kalabharati in Visakhapatnam. The academy, which has been on the forefront in promoting classical music and dance for over four decades, remains instrumental in encouraging up and coming artistes by providing a platform for their performances. The Academy’s secretary M.S. Srinivas said that the fest was conceived to provide an opportunity to young talents on a good platform and to boost their confidence. Over the years the fest has been successful and has proved to be a boon for maestros in the making.

At the recent fest, the artistes displayed their grasp on the nitty-gritty of classical music and its presentation in a concert format. What was particularly impressive about their performances was their earnest efforts in raga elaboration and its improvisations. Though their exploration, in a way, remained limited, it was truly reflective of their genuine urge to scale the peaks. Their penchant for full-throated singing remained constant all through.

The vocal concert of Mula Srilatha set the fest rolling. She chose raga Kharaharapriya for Pakkalanilabadi of Thyagaraj for elaboration. She did a good job in bringing out the nuances of the raga in an appealing aalapana. M.P.S. Ravali’s concert that followed was noteworthy for its feel of classicism and it impeccably adhered to tradition. Her choice for delineation was raga Kambhoji for Evarimaata vinnavo of Thyagaraja. She presented it in a structured manner gradually building it up with an eye for detail. Replete with pithy and concise gamakas her raga essay was flashy. While V. Srikiran on violin for both the concerts was good, Varanasi Sree, Jayadeep Sarma and M.V.J.R. Lakshman Rao were adroit on mridangam respectively.

Dulcet notes from the veena of Padmaja Akella on the second day ladled out a feast in melody. Ably accompanied by G. Venkatesh on the mridangam, she took up raga Kalyani for Sive pahimam in the cycle of Adi talam for a detailed treatment, which mirrored her manodharma. With a perfect grip over the instrument, she tapped its melodic quotient well. Later, S.V. Subba Lakshmi presented an impressive vocal concert. Her music was soothing and soft in its appeal. Her spirited presentation of raga Shanmukhapriya, the mainstay of the session, for Mamava karunya wowed the audience. Her accent on lyrical nuances and clear diction further endeared it. Ch Ramya Kironmayi on violin and P. Jayadev on mridangam lent good support.

Hyderabad-based M. Kiranamayee’s Bharatanatyam that capped the fest was elegant and refined all through. Her ease in execution of complex floor designs in coalescence with rich emotional quotient in expression made it aesthetically appealing. Her expressional acumen came to fore in its myriad shades in varnam Manavi Chekonarada of Ponnaih Pillai set to raga Sankarabharanam. The way, she delineated the emotional landscape of Nayaki’s mind, who entreats her Lord not to be indifferent towards her, for it is impossible for her to be without His elegant presence, testified her grip over the idiom Bharatanatyam. Jayadev’s Ashtapadi Rathi sukha sare was another notable point in her performance and she capped it with a bubbly tillana in Hindolam.

K. Srinivas’s nattuvangam, K. Sangeetha Kala’s vocal, Kolanka Saikumar’s violin and Sridhar on mridangam were commendable in their orchestral support.