A festival in Irinjalakuda dedicated to Maharaja Swati Tirunal featured dance and music performances by various artistes.

A three-day music and dance festival at Irinjalakuda, dedicated to Maharaja Swati Tirunal, began with a vocal concert by Bangalore Vinay Sharva. Kamboji varnam was followed by the kriti ‘Gopanandana’, where the vocalist had some initial hiccups in portraying the purity of the raga Bhooshavali. An excellent rendition of ‘Devadevakalayami’ (Mayamalavagoula) followed. Correct emphasis on the verses captured and conveyed the meaning of the lyrics. Swara passages woven by him were simple and elegant.

A short and soothing ‘Jayajayapadmanabha’ (Manirang) was followed by a detailed alapana of Charukesi. He portrayed the raga in such a way that it unfolded its charm and traversed through different contours in three octaves. The kriti ‘Kripaya palaya’ was well-delineated with niraval and kalpanaswarams in different permutations and combinations.

A casual rendition of ‘Smarajanaka’ (Behag) preceded the ragam tanam pallavi in Kanada, wherein he decorated the niraval with ragamalikaswarams in Behag and Nasikabhushani.

The fag end of the concert comprised a Sindhubhairavi bhajan and Dhanasree thillana. Vinay was accompanied by Edappally Ajithkumar, Changanassery Harikumar and Alathur Rajaganesh. Ajithkumar succeeded in expressing the hues of Charukesi and Kanada. Vibrant strokes by Harikumar elevated the aesthetics of the concert and along with Rajaganesh he performed an enthusiastic taniavarthanam for the pallavi in Adi tala.

On the second day, Suresh Namboodiri performed a violin solo, accompanied by Balakrishna Kammath (mridangam) and Mangad Pramod (ghatam). A soothing ‘Maamavasadha’ (Kanada) was followed by ‘Saadhuthava’ (Vakulabharanam). Even though a novice on the concert platform, he prudently included a rarely heard kriti, because, ideally, these festivals are meant to unearth and propagate such kritis.

‘Gopanandana’ (Bhooshavali) was followed by an elaboration of Thodi raga wherein he tried sruthibhedam at the rishabham to create Kalyani. The kriti ‘Sarasijanaabhamurare’ was neatly played and tagged with swara passages. The last part of the concert was filled with ‘Poonthen nermozhi’ (Ananthabhairavi) and ‘Chaliye’ (Brindavana Saranga).

A Mohiniyattam recital by Bangalore-based Swapna Rajendrakumar followed. Starting with an invocatory item on Ganapathy, the rhythmic syllables of which were taken from various indigenous instruments of Kerala, she proceeded to perform the Swati padam ‘Poontein nermozhi’ in Anandabhairavi. She depicted the feelings of the ‘mughda naayika’, anxiously waiting for the Lord. ‘Chandana charchitha’ (Mohanam), a piece from Jayadeva’s Gitagovinda, and the nritha item ‘Jeeva’ based on the ritual Jeevaprathishta were the other items performed.

Arjun B. Krishna, accompanied by Manjoor Ranjith, G. Chandrasekharan Nair and Perukavu Sudheer, presented a memorable concert on the final day. After the initial phase, which was composed of ‘Sarasijanabha’ (Kambhoji), ‘Paahisreepathe’ (Hamswadwani), ‘Maamavasadhavarade’ (Naatakurinji) and ‘Jayajayapadmanabha’ (Manirang), he delivered the Hamirkalyani kriti ‘Gangeyavasanadhara’, bringing forth the mood of the raga. Mukhari was taken for detailed alaapana and was followed by a rarely heard kriti ‘Paahisadapadmanabha’.

‘Bhogeendrasayinam’ in Kunthalavarali glittered with swara passages. The jandaprayogas gave an insight to the creativity of the singer. The main kriti was ‘Maamavapadmanabhasada’ in Varali, which did justice to the raga.

He rounded off the concert with ‘Jamunakinare’ (Misrapeelu) and ‘Bhujagasaayino’ (Yadukulakamboji). Ranjith followed the singer like a shadow.

Chandrasekharan Nair’s disciplined performance enhanced the standard of the concert and delicate passages played by him gave a new dimension to the kritis. He, along with Sudheer, played a well-structured tani in Misrachaappu for the main kriti.

Sopanasangeetham by Thuravoor Rakesh Kammath, rendition of Swati compositions by students, and a mridangam arangettam were some of the other programmes in the fete organised by Nadopasana.