In focus Nada Neerajanam telecast live on Sri Venkateswara Bhakthi Channel has created a record of sorts in world performing-arts history.

It is a cultural phenomenon, indeed. For over a year now, a concert platform right next to the Sri Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala has been host to a daily programme of classical music and/or dance called Nada Neerajanam.

This 90-minute programme staged everyday without a break since August 15, 2009, and featuring leading Indian artistes, has also created a record of sorts in world performing-arts history.

Showcasing Indian heritage

Nada Neerajanam is the brainchild of Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam Executive Officer, IYR Krishna Rao who says it was launched to “showcase the great Indian heritage in dance and music especially its bhakthi tradition.

So, Carnatic and Hindustani music have featured here including vocal and instrumental performances in each stream.

Similarly, all Indian classical-dance forms have been part of Nada Neerajanam.”

Living legends to upcoming artistes––you can find them performing here. These include the iconic M. Balamuralikrishna, Sudha Ragunathan, Shobha Naidu, Shovana Narayan, etc.

Adding tremendously to the reach and popularity of Nada Neerajanam is TTD's Sri Venkateswara Bhakti Channel (SVBC) which telecasts live every day's programme. This telecast enjoys a viewership of millions across India and is seen abroad too in over 100 countries including in Europe, Africa, and the Americas reveals BSK Shastry, GM, SVBC.

The location of the stage, prestigious selection committee, and humungous reach of the programme have made Nada Neerajanam a highly coveted platform for artistes. Sangeeta Kalanidhi Nedunuri Krishnamurthy, who leads the selection committee, says the “qualification for musicians is an AIR A-grade with considerable performing experience. They are given individual slots. B-graded musicians are allotted group devotional-music performances. Dancers have to be established artistes with solid track record.” Are guidelines given to performers?

No, says the committee, whose other members include A. Kanyakumari, Malladi Brothers, Pappu Venugopal Rao, Annavarapu Ramaswamy, and Ganga Devi.

Full freedom

The artistes enjoy full freedom of choice in what to perform.

“However,” adds Krishnamurthy, “we expect performers to understand the responsibility of delivering the highest quality given the prestige and sanctity of the platform.”

A total of 4,200 artistes, including men, women and children and from different artistic genres (an Indonesian troupe too) have participated, reveals eminent musicologist and dance scholar Dr Pappu, Secretary, Madras Music Academy.

What is incalculable, however, is the great appreciation and sheer delight that Nada Neerajanam has evoked among the artist community as well as music-and-dance connoisseurs. Anyone who has been part of Nada Neerajanam as performer or viewer would know.