Subhashini Sridharan's performance in the Sankranti Music Festival was exemplary.

Subhashini Sridharan, accompanied by Prema Vivek (violin), R. Adamya (mridanga), and N.S. Krishna Prasad (ghata), presented a vocal recital as part of the Sankranthi Music Festival 2010 conducted recently by Sri Rama Laltha Kala Mandira, Bangalore, in association with Neelambari.

The concert, devoted mainly to the compositions of Papanasam Sivan, began with an adi tala varna in Arabhi, which was followed by “Muladhara Murthe” in Hamsadhwani, bedecked with a crisp neraval and kalpana swaras. A compact alapana of Dhanyasi and the exquisite “Balakrishnan Padamalar” in rupaka tala prefaced a fairly detailed exposition of Harikamboji, and “Shankara Dayakara” set to khanda chapu thala, which featured a well constructed and appealing neraval and kalpana swaras at “Ondrum Ariya”.

The lilting composition “Maname Kanamum” in Bhimpalas raga and adi tala, was followed by an alapana of Kalyani that stressed the pivotal notes of the raga and incorporated several brigha oriented sancharas. A bhava laden rendition of “Unnaiallal” was reinforced by kalpana swaras in two speeds at “Neeye Meenakshi”, and rounded off with a short spell of diminishing cycles at the panchama. The alapana of Abhogi, which followed, was not as exhaustive as that of the preceding Kalyani, but better conceived and more melodious.The tana and pallavi beginning “Samiki Sariyevvare” set to adi tala were developed only briefly, and appended with kalpana swaras which also included some avarthanas in Mohanam, Amrithavarshini and Revathi. The performance, augmented by exemplary support from the accompanists, concluded with a tillana in Shanmukhapriya.

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The World Dance Alliance Asia – Pacific, Karnataka Chapter, Bangalore, held its International Dance Festival last week. The second day of the festival included Kuchipudi and Bharathanatya recitals by Ranjani Murthy and Karishma Brinda Desai respectively, two young artistes based in the U.S.A.

Ranjani Murthy began with the invocatory piece “Mahadevasutham” set to Arabhi raga and adi tala, paying obeisance to Lord Ganesha.

The artiste came into her own with a passage from “Manduka Sabdam” displaying nimble footed precision and an attractive stage persona. The introduction of the main character in “Bhama Kalapam” was also performed with grace and assurance. By far the best item of the presentation was “Marathakamanimaya Chela”, portraying the bejewelled attire, attributes Lord Krishna, with complex jathis executed effortlessly on the brass plate in perfect unison with the recorded music.

Karishma Brinda Desai commenced her Bharathanatya recital with a commendable exposition of the adi tala varna in Kharaharapriya, “Rama Neeve” an exacting item with intricate and elaborate choreography, presenting both the pure dance and narrative components with finesse. A slew of impressive poses introduced Lord Siva's cosmic dance at dusk, when time and nature stand still, as delineated in the beautiful padam “Pradosha Samayade”, set to Purvikalyani raga. A vigorous representation of the tillana in Vrindavani raga and adi tala saw intricate footwork and multiple rhythms performed with ease and accuracy, complemented by support from a live orchestra of seasoned musicians.