Six leading vocalists specialising in different genres of the art form present memorable performances

: When the spirit of Subramanya Bharathi's ‘Kannamma' enveloped The Music Academy auditorium in vocalist Bombay Jayashri's voice, members of the audience knew what was in store – a very engaging evening filled with music.

Organised as part of ‘The Hindu World of Women' events, in connection with International Women's Day, ‘Divas Live' was a medley of performances by six leading vocalists specialising in different genres of the art form. ‘The Hindu World of Women' was presented by Chennai Silks, powered by Tata Nano, and co-sponsored by Univercell and Sowbhagya.

Bombay Jayashri's performance, along with her team, was a presentation of select verses of Bharathiyar, which speak of the power intrinsic to every woman.

Her melody-intense rendition of the verses, including ‘Ninnai charan adainden', seemed an attempt to consciously highlight the beauty and profundity of the lyrics. The subtle vocal and instrumental harmonising enriched the performance.

The classical idiom was followed by singer Chinmayi's presentation of folk music of the Punjab and Marwar regions. Eloquently capturing the mood of the compositions in her short introductions to each of the pieces, she said the songs were largely about the young woman pining for the man or the Lord. The vibrant performance by Chinmayi left the audience wanting for more.

Film music, which has given some of the finest singers to the world of music, came to the fore in the performances of singer Srilekha Parthasarathy and Swetha Mohan. Nothing like legendary singer Asha Bhosle's 'Dum maro dum' to enliven any auditorium. Srilekha's rendition of the song had listeners clapping along and tapping their feet.

Swetha, who presented a collection of songs by five veteran singers — P. Susheela, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Vani Jairam and S. Janaki — was a huge hit with the audience.

Whether it was the vintage ‘Athan ennathan', or the lilting ‘Oh, butterfly' or the scintillating ‘Kannan vandu', her treatment of songs showed how much she loved and enjoyed singing them. The shades of Dwijavanthi raga that she impressively brought out in the old Hindi gem ‘Man Mohana' was truly a treat.

The two singers who followed took the show through the western genres through their admirable performances. Andrea Jeremiah's powerful singing and Tanvi Shah's electrifying performance, which had compositions not heard too frequently in this part of the world, added novelty to the event. The ease and energy with which Tanvi performed had the audience engrossed till the very last minute of the show. Tanvi, being the seasoned live performer she is, called the other playback singers to join her on stage for the award-winning, super-hit number ‘Jai Ho', which proved an apt finale.

NDTV Hindu was the channel partner and Beep, the experience partner.

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Meera SrinivasanJune 28, 2012

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