The performances left a lasting impression.
The artistic talent of the members of RASA came to the fore when the cultural organisation joined hands with the Lions club of South Madras, which conducted its tenth Music, Dance, Drama Festival. Jayapal, Deputy Commissioner-Directorate of Art and Culture, Government of Tamil Nadu, declared the festival open and the events were flagged off by the veena concert of Jeyaraj and Jayasri.
The inauguration function saw the Fourees Special Theatre group of Rasa present a small skit “Anbe Azhagu.” The special performers got a grand response.
New Year eve saw Dr Ambika Kameshwar present a musical feature ‘Shanmatham.' Beginning with ‘Sharanu Siddhi Vinayaka' to ‘Brahmam Okate,' Dr. Ambika Kameshwar took the audience through a journey of bhakti for the divine manifestations of Ganesha, Muruga, Siva, Sakti, Narayana and Surya.
Blessed with a voice that easily travels over three octaves, her melodious rendition of ‘Muruganin maru peyar azhagu' (Behag), the ragamalika Bhaja Govindam, ‘Adi Aruna Giri Annallar' (Gowda Malhar) and Karunai Deivame (Sindhu Bhairavi) held the rasikas in a spiritually charged mood.
If Dr Ambika's performance moved the audience, the Tandava Group of five young male dancers from Bangalore had them almost dancing in ecstasy. It was a power-packed performance from Ananth, Karthik, Somu, Srinivas and Ujwal. The highlight of their presentation was the Ragam Thanam Pallavi, which brought out the greatness of the four Nayakas who have been outlined in poet/dramatist Dhananjaya's Dasharupaka. Rama as the Dhiroddatta, Krishna as Dhira Lalitha, Charudatta of Mricchakatika as Dhira Shantha and Bhima as Dhira Uddatta Nayakas were presented. This piece was an absolute delight.
Kathadi Ramamurthy's ‘Ah Aah' had the audience in splits with the perfect comedy timing of the main artist and the supportive cast. The other plays presented were ‘Kadhal Sadugudu' ‘Subasya Seekiram' and ‘Gnanapeetam' by Mali. Vocal concerts by Sowmya and Sikkil Gurucharan, devotional rendition by Ramananjali group and ‘Athma Ramana Oli,' a multimedia supported dance production by Dr. Ambika Kameshwar made the event memorable.
The festival included dance performances by Srekala Bharat, students of Niveditha Parthasarathy and Kripa Baskaran (U.S.). The highlight of the tenth annual music, dance and drama festival of the Lions' Club of South Madras, coordinated by RASA Arpita, was the honouring of violin maestro M. Chandrasekaran with the title Isai Rasa Mamani during the valedictory function.
Sita Ratnakar, Assistant Station Director, Chennai Doordarshan Kendra, presented the award and K.S. Raghunathan (HMV) felicitated the veteran.