Ensemble The highlight of the presentation was the pallavi.
The concept of the five elements (Pancha Bhootas) is a major aspect of philosophy. As a pervading force in the universe Sri Tyagaraja has encapsulated this fact in his profound kriti ‘Paramaatmudu Velege Muchchata Baaga Telusukore’ (Vagadeeswari). From the Atom to the Cosmos the Panchasakti permeates everything in the universe. In this bold adventure of Panchajanya, violinist Kanyakumari used her knowledge of music, in a way, to indentify musicians with characteristics of each Element – Akasa, Prithvi, Agni etc. with M.S. Subbulakshmi, Brinda, Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar and M.D.Ramanathan to mention a few. Though falling short to hit the objective, the performance for Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, focussed on the transcendent dimension of sangita.
She rendered ‘Vaatapi Ganapathim (Hamsadhwani), ‘Deva Deva Kalayami’ (Mayamalavagowla), ‘Raga Sudharasa’ (Andolika), ‘Chintayamam’ (Bhairavi) and ‘Meevalla’ (Kapi). To represent the five jatis of the talas, she presented a piece of M.L. Vasanthakumari, which was greatly relished by Patri Satishkumar (mridangam) and Pramod Kiran (rhythm pad). The thani reverberated stupendously. The piece de resistance of the evening was the Pallavi with the first line taken from ‘Endaro Mahanubhavulu’ played in Madhyamavati, impeccable and innovative in pallavi structuring. Kanyakumari discarded the clichéd practice of tagging on labyrinthine swaras in different ragas but preferred in its stead the pallavi lines of many kirtanas with consummate excellence. In this respect the pallavi was exquisite. . In this way she covered nearly the pallavis of 25 to 30 very familiar songs providing pleasure to enjoy the lofty music by great vaggeyakaras. She brought freshness to pallavi instead of the present day technically fitted robot-like exercises. There is no doubt that genuine music lives in ragas and kirtanas and absolutely not in the dry-as-dust swaras. The team comprised Hemalatha, Krishnaveni, Srilakshmi Venkatramani and Bombay Sri Anand.