The festivity at Arsha Kalarangam included music, dance and more.

The sixth edition of Arsha Kalarangam’s Cultural Utsav, organised by Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Anaikatti, Coimbatore, was inaugurated by Sri Dayananda Saraswati. The three-day event took place at Sarojini Nataraj Auditorium.

Eminent artists such as Sudha Ragunathan, E. Gayathri, M.S. Anantharaman, Mannargudi A. Easwaran, Prof. S.R. Janakiraman, and dancer Chitra Visveswaran were honoured with the Arsha Kala Bhushanam award by Swami Dayananda Saraswati.

Sanjay’s forte

The award function was followed by the vocal concert of Sanjay Subramanian. Beginning with the Begada varnam, ‘Inthachala,’ in two speeds Sanjay Subramanian struck an instant rapport with the rasikas with his robust style and recalcitrant voice. ‘Kaappadhuve Unadhu’ in Anandhabhairavi that came next was a powerful interpretation. His raga vinyasams of Harikhambodi for the kriti, ‘Paamaalaikkinaiyundo,’ and Dhanyasi for the kriti, ‘Paradevata Brihatkuchamba,’ woven with telling musical phrases braced with raga bhava took the audience to a world of sublime.

‘Maragave O! Manasa’ in Sama offered ample scope for him to display an array of sangatis and swaras. Sankarabharanam seemed to be Sanjay’s forte. The delineation of this raga for his RTP – ‘Dakshinamurthe Amurthe,’ with power-packed korvais brought out varied nuggets of the raga. ‘Haridasulu Vedale’ in Yamunakalyani was an animated version. Varadarajan’s deft handling of the bow in his solo versions of the ragas and swara repartees were impressive and spontaneous. Venkatesh’s accompaniment and thani in mridangam was noteworthy.

Controlled adavus

Pavithra Srinivasan’s Bharatanatyam recital showcased her talent and artistry with rhythmic combination of expressive abhinaya and a neat and controlled adavus to convey the meaning of the lyrics. Her obeisance to Lord Siva in ‘Bho Sambho,’ composed by Sri Dayananda Saraswathi, in different moods and expressions with crisp and firm teermanams, brought out the bhakti bhava with élan. The following Nrityopaharam in Ataana, a composition of Thuraiyur Rajagopala Sharma, portraying the request of the devotee to obtain the grace of Lord Krishna with pulsating passages by Arun (music support), especially Draupadi’s ‘maana samrakshanam,’ was awesome.

The highlight of the recital was the Ramanataka episode — Sree Rama Pattabhisheka Bhangam. It portrayed the wickedness of Manthara (Kooni) in persuading Kaikeyi to demand the two boons from King Dasaratha and the King’s plight at the hands of Kaikeyi, played by V.P. Dhananjayan (Dasaratha) and Shantha Dhananjayan (Kooni). The whole episode was packed with a surfeit of emotions.

Petite Pavithra’s graceful movements, combined with her netrabhinaya, impacted the dance buffs immensely. The impact of the recital was enhanced by Arun’s melodious rendition of the songs.

The orchestra included Rajesh (violin), Muthukumar (flute), Karthikeyan (mridangam) and Shantha Dhananjayan (nattuvangam). The final day of the utsav showcased swaralayam, a music ensemble, by Durai Bharathidasan (nagaswaram) with Radhakrishnan (violin), Sivaramakrishnan (sitar), Ganesh Rao (tabla) and Shankar (ghatam), led by A.K. Palanivel, thavil vidwan, enthralled the rasikas. The fusion music also included a Tillang piece – ‘Moksha,’ Tyagaraja’s pancharatna kriti and an RTP following an alapana in Hindolam. The festival culminated with the rendition of ‘Bho Shambo’ in Revathi.