A prodigy is not made. He is born. This was amply proved by the violin concert given by 11-year-old Vinjamuri Kamal Kiran of Washington, U.S. He played a violin solo on the first day of the three-day music and dance festival conducted by the Department of Culture, Government of A.P. and G.V.R. Government College of Music and Dance, Vijayawada, at Gokaraju Laila Gangaraju Kalavedika. With great ease and a charming smile throughout the concert, Kamal Kiran enchanted the audience with his technical virtuosity, amazing grasp of ragas like Devagandhari, Vanaspati, and the fourth Melakartha which has vivadi notes, Poorvikalyani and Khamas. Kamal Kiran began crisply with Natakuranji varnam followed by Gam Ganapati (Hamsadhvani), Anupama Gunambudhe (Athana), Pariyachakama (Vanaspati), Ksheerasagara Sayana (Devagandhari) and Brochevarevarura (Khamas). All his ragas and kalpanaswaras were of high standard, reminding one of senior vidwans.

Kamal comes from a reputed family of musicians and dancers. The highlight of his concert was the delineation of Poorvikalyana which was played with amazing expertise touching every phase of the raga. The keertana Meenakshi of Dikshitar was sumptuous and was finished with sparkling kalpana swaras. Kamal was supported excellently on mridangam by senior artiste P.S.N.S.V.S. Phalgun and G. Steven Raju on the ghatam.

On the second day of the festival, there was a fine Kuchipudi dance by Sravya Gundapaneni from the U.S. She is a disciple of Mrinalini Sadananda, and a senior disciple of Vempati Chinna Satyam. Sravya has all the requisites of a fine dancer such as expressive eyes and sharp laya gnanam. She started the performance with the invocative item Vandeham Sri Gananadham(Hamsadhvani) and followed it with Ramudu Raghuveerudu which brought to fore, the abhinaya skill of the dancer. The famous Kuchipudi item Bhama Kalapam came next. Sravya’s delightful portrayal of the main character Satyabhama received deserved applause from the audience.

This major item was followed by Balakanakamaya in Athana in which the intricately phrased charanams were performed with great clarity and proper bhava. A ragamalika Nandagopala was delightfully performed by Sravya. As the last item she performed Swati Thirunal’s popular thillana in Dhanasri.The musical team which consisted of Ch. Srinivas on the nattuvangam, K.R. Sudharani on vocals, M. Vijayakumar on the mridangam and Vinjamuri Subhash on the violin. Sravya’s mentor Mrinalini Sadananda was also present on the occasion.

Vocal magic

The three-day treat of music and dance came to a close with a melodious vocal concert by Manda Krishnamohan, lecturer in the Government Music College. A singer with a mellow voice and neat style, Krishnamohan has also written useful books on the theory and practice of music. He started the concert with a varnam in Sarasangi and followed with an attractive and elaborate alapana of Pantuvarali in which he sang Sankara Sutam, a composition of Tulasivanam, Devi Brova in Chintamani and Guruleka in Gowrimanohari. Major items in Krishnamohan’s concert were Merusamana in Mayamalavagowla and Nidhi Chala Sukhama in Kalyani. The alapanas and kalpana swaras were sumptuously rendered. In the kalpana swaras Krishnamohan showed precision.

Towards the close of the concert, Krishnamohan sang a Ramadas keertana in Kharaharapriya and a bhajan of Swathi Thirunal in rag Pahadi. Krishnamohan was finely supported by Vishnubhotla Krishnaveni, N.S. Kalyanaraman, G.Steven Raju and Raghuram Hari on violin, mridangam, ghatam and morsing respectively.