Sruti paid tribute to its founder with a three-day cultural fest.
Sruti, which was launched in October 1983, and received a fresh lease of life when it came under the umbrella of The Sanmar Group with a reconstituted Sruti Foundation in December 2006, recently celebrated the birth anniversary of its founder-editor Dr N.Pattabhi Raman, at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore, Chennai.
The highlights of the celebration, which also marked Sruti’s 30th year of existence, were the awards presented to vocalist Suguna Purushothaman (the Vellore Gopalachariar Memorial Award) and Guru T. K. Kalyanasundaram, head of the Raja Rajeswari Bharata Natya Kala Mandir of Mumbai (E. Krishna Iyer Medal), by former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s main auditorium was the scene of the confluence of music, dance and cultural history. On the first day, historian and archaeologist Chithra Madhavan gave a splendid account of the lore of Chidambaram as a seat of spiritual and artistic efflorescence in a scholarly yet entertaining style. She was supported by Bharatanatyam artist Roja Kannan, Carnatic vocalist Bharathi Ramasubban, and orchestra members T.N. Sharanya (nattuvangam), G.Vijayaraghavan (mridangam) and Kalaiarasan (violin).
The Musiri bani
On the second day, Suguna Purushothaman took the audience on a delightful classical journey, and despite indifferent health she gave a demonstration on the nuances of the bani of her guru Musiri Subramania Iyer. She was assisted by her disciple K. Gayatri, whose vocal accompaniment was both supportive and melodious.
The final evening was marked by a spectacular show of the three styles of Chhau dance — Seraikella, Mayurbhanj and Purulia — by Shashadhar Acharya and his troupe of nearly 30 artists who filled the stage with aesthetic and uninhibited dancing.
The three-day festival also featured audiovisuals on The Sruti Foundation and Chhau. Executive Editor S. Janaki anchored the programme while Editor-in-Chief V. Ramnarayan delivered the welcome address.