The ‘Ganesha Sangeetha Nrithotsavam’ in Kozhikode featured some outstanding recitals by artistes of repute.

A series of concerts, under the banner of ‘Ganesha Sangeetha Nrithotsavam’, which was held at the Tali Sri Ganapati Balasubrahmanya Temple, Kozhikode, featured acclaimed artistes.

J.B. Sruthisagar

The first was a flute concert by J.B. Sruthisagar. He is an artiste to watch out for as he has been giving brilliant performances in recent times. The concert, which started off with the navaraga varnam of Patnam Subramania Iyer, was noteworthy for the outstanding exposition of Dharmavati as the sub-main piece with ‘Bhajanaseyarada’, a beautiful kriti composed by Mysore Vasudevacharya. The main piece was Bilahari and the composition was ‘Smarasadaa manasa’ of Swati Tirunal’s. The taniavartanam was outstanding. Sruthisagar also rendered Muthuswami Dikshitar’s ‘Sri Dumdurge’ in Sriranjani (Khanda jati, eka tala), Syama Sastri’s ‘Mayamma’ in Ahiri (Adi), Tyagaraja’s ‘Padavini Sadbhakti’ in Salaka bhairavi (Adi) and Papanasam Sivan’s ‘Kumaran Thaal’, thus paying tribute to the Trinity, Chinna Tyagaraja (Patnam Subramania Iyer) and his disciple Vasudevacharya and Papanasam Sivan, known as Tamil Thyagayya. Srutisagar was accompanied by Attukkal Balasubramaniam on the violin, Aanoor Ananthakrishna Sharma on the mridangam and Vazhappalli Krishnakumar on the ghatam. The accompanying artistes gave solid support to Sruthisagar in their respective capacities.

Baby Sriram

The second day featured a concert by Baby Sriram, an artiste known for her adherence to tradition and also her ability to handle lesser known ragas. She began with a varnam in Hamsanandi, followed by a sloka on Ganesha in Kharaharapriya as a prelude to Papanasam Sivan’s ‘Ganapatiye Karunanidhiye’. She also rendered Dikshitar’s ‘Budhamasrayami’ in Natakurinji (Misra Jhampa), the vara kriti for the day. Other highlights were ‘Muruga muruga’ in Saveri (Misra chappu tala), which was the sub-main piece, and ‘Sri Lalithe’ in Bhairavi, composed by Annaswami Sastri, a brilliant composer and grandson of Syama Sastri. The alapana of Bhairavi brought out the best in the artiste. She was accompanied on the violin by Viju S. Anand, B. Sivaraman on the mridangam and Udupi Srikanth on the ghatam.

Abhishek Raghuram

The next concert was by young Abhishek Raghuram, who has carved out a style of his own. He began the concert with ‘Taruni’, a varnam in Kambhoji, composed by Fiddle Ponnuswamy. A crisp rendition of Arabhi followed by Dikshitar’s ‘Ganarajena’ came next. ‘Nannu kanna talli’, composed by Tyagaraja in Sindhu kannada, was well rendered. He sang a beautiful and elaborate alapana of Saveri and went on to sing ‘Karikalabhamukham’ (Rupaka tala), a kriti of Dikshitar’s. The niraval at Harihayadi was outstanding. This kriti is unique for its opening swara sahitya. An exquisite alapana of Atana followed after which he sang two verses of the Ganesha pancharatna sthothram. For the ragam tanam pallavi, he chose the 27th, which is not commonly handled. Here he demonstrated his mastery over laya as well. The pallavi was set to Misra jati triputa tala (2 kala). Idappally Ajith on the violin and Anand R. Krishnan on the mridangam gave excellent support throughout.

V.R. Dileep Kumar

Starting off with the varnam ‘Eranapai’ in Thodi, he sang Muthiah Bhagavathar’s ‘Gamganapate namo namah’ in Hamsadhwani. Being a Friday as well as Akshaya Tritiya, the choice of ‘Hiranmayeem Lakshmeem’ in Lalita (Roopaka) was apt for the occasion. He gave a good sketch of the raga. ‘Valli devasenapate’ in Natabhairavi (Adi), a Sanskrit composition of Papanasam Sivan’s, was rendered next. The 67th mela raga Sucharitra was elaborated next with Koteeswara Iyer’s kriti –‘Velum Mayilume’ (Roopaka tala). The artiste showed his ability in handling vivadi ragas with ease, especially considering that Sucharitra has Shadshruti Rishabha and Suddha Nishada, thus making it quite difficult to sing. ‘Kannathandri na pai’ in Devamanohari followed. The next was the main piece in Sankarabharanam –‘Endukku peddala’. He concluded the concert with ‘Eppo varuvaro’ in Jonpuri. T.H. Subramaniam accompanied on the violin, N.C. Bharadwaj on mridangam, and Vellattanjoor Sreejith on the ghatam.

Cherthala Ranganatha Sharma

The final concert was by Cherthala Ranganatha Sharma whose clear renditions of ragas and kritis made the concert a great success. He began with the varnam in Sahana. ‘Tatvamariya tarama’ in Reetigowla by Papanasam Sivan came next. He took up an uncommon choice of Vakulabharanam, the 14th mela karta raga for elaboration. Tyagaraja’s kriti ‘Eramuni’ (Misra chappu) was well rendered. He then sang a simple but charming kriti ‘Parama kripa sagari’ in Yadukulakambhoji, composed by G.N. Balasubramaniam. Syama Sastri’s Ninnu Vina (Misra chappu) in Purvikalyani came next, for which he gave a good alapana, niraval and swaras. Koteeswara Iyer’s ‘Edayya gati’ in Chalanatta and Tygaraja’s ‘Vararagalaya’ in Chenchukambhoji were sung after this. A short alapana of the rare raga Chintamani was refreshing, after which he sang ‘Devi Brova samayamide’, composed by Syama Sastri (Adi). The two kritis of Syama Sastri were rendered thoughtfully as a tribute to the composer, whose Jayanti falls this month. The main piece was a ragam tanam pallavi in Thodi. The vocalist was accompanied by Idappally Ajith Kumar on the violin, P.V. Anil Kumar on the mridangam, Vellattanjoor Sreejith on the ghatam and Kannur Santosh on the morsing.

The last two days featured dance performances by Aiswarya Warrier (Mohiniyattam) and Sreelakshmi Govardhan (Kuchipudi).