Two days of music and dance programmes served as a curtain raiser to the upcoming Dharani Kalotsav. Carnatic vocalist Sreevalsan J. Menon’s captivating recital was enhanced by an excellent percussion ensemble. The concert started with the Kedaragowla varnam ‘Samidayajooda’.

The percussion team, which included Balakrishna Kamath on the mridangam and Vazhapally Krishnakumar on the ghatam, gave a near to perfect back up for ‘Entharamahanubhavulu’, the Sri raga Pancharatna kriti. Violinist Edapally Ajith brought out the beauty of the niraval for the Kalyani composition ‘Vasudevayani’, while the vocalist suffused it with kalpanaswaras. Sreevalsan gave a structured short alapana for Saveri raga and tagged it to the Dikshitar composition ‘Karikalabhamukham’.

Vagadheeshwari was the main raga of the evening and the vocalist explored various possibilities of the raga well with long sustaining notes. Ajith, on the other hand, focussed on the middle octave to good effect. ‘Paramatmudu velige’, a Tyagaraja composition, was tastefully executed.

Balakrishna was an awesome combination of splendid manodharma and speed. He brought in immense variety in his presentation in the tani. Krishnakumar did his best to support him. An MD Ramanathan composition ‘Sagarashayana vibho’, a regular with the vocalist, in Bhagesree raga once again heightened the mood of the concert.

Rohini Prabhath, who performed a Kathak dance in the ‘Young Talent’ slot on the next day, showed immense promise. Most of her dance items were choreographed by legendary performers Kumudini Lakhia and Maya Rao.

P.N. Vikas, an alumnus and tutor at Kalakshetra, was a pleasant revelation. His performance was a refreshing combination of technique, style and grace. ‘Yathi’ was the main number of the day.. Rhythmic concept of ‘Yathi’ explored the five yathis: Sama, mrudanga yathi, damaru, gopucha and srothovaha. The item dedicated to Lord Shiva essayed the ecstasy of a devotee who rejoices at the sight of the dancing feet of the lord (‘Anandakoothadum malarpadam kanden’). Vikas’s professionalism came to the fore with the perfection and clarity of poses. While displaying tremendous grace in the slower swara passages, he executed perfect adavus in the higher speeds.

The event was organised by Dharani Society.