The three-day event displayed a rich cultural range.
A three-day cultural fiesta of dance and music was held as part of the Mahasamadhi Aradhana of Swami Shanthananda Saraswathi at the Shivanjali Auditorium in Vadavalli, Coimbatore. It was organised by the Shivanjali Temple of Fine Arts.
The programme began with Anand’s sitar recital recreating the romantic flavour of raga Madhuvanti. He brought out its nuances in the alap, jod and jhala followed by gat in teen taal (16 beats) to the accompaniment of Lavanya on the violin, and Kedar Karat and Augustin Paul on the tabla. Young Anand’s imaginative improvisations, when he played the gats in varying rhythmic movements cast a spell on the audience. The following recitals had Ragunathan on the flute and his disciples on the keyboard. They presented ‘Iswari Bhuvaneswari’ (Bagesri) and ‘Pahimam Durge,’ and wound up with a Lalgudi tillana, all of which mesmerised the listeners.
Marked by finesse
A western offering with three keyboards, violin, sitar and tabla played by a group of young artists stole the show with the harmony of sound. The pranams to their guru, Shantananda, by young dancers Bhaskar, Dhanush, Dileep, Ruth and Akshitha were marked by finesse, clarity, style and a compellingly expressive abhinaya in their two numbers — ‘Seeradipanindor’ and ‘Sri Chakraraja,’ followed by a tillana. Their aesthetic show was characterised by elegance and light-footed leaps. Effective araimandi and sculpturesque poses drew acclaim from the dance buffs.
The rendition of the Pancharatna kriti of Tyagaraja, ‘Jagadanandakaraka’ (Nattai) on the veena, by the students of Temple of Fine Arts, was well-aligned to sruti and a showcase of grandeur. Viswesh Krishnamurthy’s Hindustani rendition of ‘Rang Rangeelabanvamora’ in 12 beats and Prakash Rangaswami’s tabla beats with Kedar Karat (harmonium) were enjoyable.
Chinmayi Dwaraknath is a petite Bharatanatyam and Odissi dancer. She portrayed a woman’s life in a village - from a child to an adult. Her performance had a good measure of nritta, abhinaya and natya. Her short theermanams, pirouettes and the wide palette of emotions portrayed the mood of the young lass admirably.
The students showcased their artistry in ‘Amba Jagajjanani’ by sketching the ferociousness of the Devi in their dance and with emotive techniques in an episode from the Devi Mahathmiyam.
Ideas and idioms werea clear interpretation of how emotions recollected in tranquil moods can bring about sahrdya feeling in poetic compositions drawing parallels from Swati Tirunal, Venkatakavi and Rajaji. Lalitha Venkatraman’s powerful voice in her Hindustani recital was a facile course through the octaves. Pramod Gaekwad’s shehnai music session showcased his aesthetic skill in handling the instrument. Ustad Usmanji’s sitar concert was a moment to cherish. The disciplined audience could not have missed the progression from the alap to the jod and jhala followed by gat in teen taal. The concluding dhun in Bhairavi was a brisk presentation. Prakash’s rhythmic spells on the tabla were enjoyable. Poornima Satish’s devotional hymns in a reflective mood blended seamlessly with melodic harmony. The dance troupe of Coimbatore staged ‘Jaya Jaya Jagajjanani,’ an offering to Goddess Kali, and the one from Kuala Lumpur paid their obeisance to Nagabushani. Both underscored the well-balanced twirls, suggestive gestures and rhythm on the concluding day of the aradhana.