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Mixed bag

M.R. Satyanarayana

IN CELEBRATION of 40 years of its useful service to Carnatic music, Nadajyothi Sri Thyagarajaswamy Bhajana Sabha is holding a 40-day music and dance festival in the premises of Sri Kannika Parameshwari Temple, Malleswaram. Veteran mridangist A.V. Anand inaugurated the festival by lighting the lamp. A well-designed souvenir Navaneetha Nadajyothi was also released.

Veteran vocalist R.K. Padmanabha accompanied by J.K. Sridhar (violin), H.S. Sudhindra (mridanga) and Dayananda Mohite (ghata), gave the first concert of the series. In his usual style, he opened with Poorvikalyani varna in praise of Vadiraja, he presented an enjoyable agenda. Shuddha Dhanyasi, Devamanohari ("Evarikai avatara mettitivo"), "Narayana enniro" among others drew the attention of rasikas for their resonant renditions. In a detailed and nuanced treatment of Todi, the vocalist provided the comprehensive picture of the raga. The majestic kriti by Dikshitar "Sri Krishnam bhaja manasa" was ornamented by neraval and swaras, which bore the imprint of Padmanabha. H.S. Sudhindra's mridanga play needs a special mention here for his dexterous and unobtrusive laya patterns.


Archana Sastry, a proud disciple of Guru Radha Sridhar was at the helm of affairs in her Bharatanatya recital held at the same venue. Tall, well-built and endowed with expressive eyes she communicated the import of various krithis addressed to the Devi. Though one wished she had bettered mukhijas and eye movements, Archana could highlight the beauty of satwikaabhinaya. The recorded music was used for good results. Pushpanjali, Ganapathi Kauvuthuvam were the traditional items which warmed up the dancer. "Parashakthi Janani" (Hamsadhwani), "Umamaheshwari Maathe" (Revathi) and "Sandhyavandanamidi" (Valachi) were handy in sketching the varied traits of the Devi. In "Umamaheshwari", she depicted the attributes of Madurai Meenakshi, Kanchi Kamakshi and Kashi Vishalakshi. Her deeds of destruction of the evil and protection of the virtuous devotees were depicted neatly in Archana's abhinaya.

In an attractive contrast, she portrayed Krishnaleelas on the basis of "Marakatha manimaya" (Arabhi). In the same manner, the enormousness of Lord Rama was graphically presented through "Nannu paalimpa" (Mohana, Thyagaraja) and "Yamanelli kaananendu" (Purandaradasa, with an ugabhoga prelude) krithis. It was good that there was some delightful interspersion of nritta at regular intervals adding variety to the dance recital.

Gamaka vachana

Kavya Vachana or Gamaka Vachana is one of the oldest art forms. Poems from different classical literary works (epics etc) are selected and sung in appropriate ragas. Due to its simplicity and musicality, this form, is nowadays becoming very popular among rasikas.

M.R. Sathyanarayana, a staff of AIR is a fairly well-equipped gamaki. His father late M. Raghavendra Rao was one of the pioneers of gamaka in Karnataka. Thus it is no exaggeration to say that he has imbibed this art form by his birth. He has a thorough training in Carnatic music. Satyanarayana has been rendering yeoman service in the popularisation of Gamaka. He has been training several candidates under the schemes of Dept. of Kannada and Culture. Sathyanarayana and Kabbinale Vasantha Bharadwaj combined together to render an impressive kavya vachana programme at the above venue during Nadajyothi Sangeetha Nrithya Navaneetha. The tragic tale of Chandrahasa was delineated on the basis of the great Kannada poet Lakshmeesha's epic, Jaimani Bharatha. Sathyanarayana's recital of poems was melodious and elegant. Ragas such as Kalyani, Hamsadhwani, Hindola, Dhanyasi, Todi, Reetigowla, SindhuBhairavi, Bilahari were aptly used to enhance the sahitya bhava. Even the selection of the poems from the epic was interesting. Bharadwaj's explanations were complementary.


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