A. RAMALINGA SASTRY

A slice of dance and music tradition from across the country was there for everyone.

The 75th Spirit of Unity concerts by the Chennai-based Bharat Cultural Integration committee and Madras Telugu Academy was organised in Visakhapatnam.The three-day event began with mangalavadyam rendered on nagaswaram by T.E. Palaniswamy and party from Chennai, the marathon sessions of 11-hours a day began with a recital on veena by Duddu Sitaramayya in the company of M.L.N. Raju on mridangam and S. Hanumantharao on ghatam. He spiritedly played Navaragamalika varnam and a brief elaboration of a Dixitar composition in Simhedramadhyamam in the allocated 30 minutes. The thani on mridangam and ghatam also reflected the same verve and veracity. Similar were the recitals: 45-minute carnatic vocal by K. Krishnamurty and his wife Binny in the company of M. Sivakumar on violin and G. Balaji on mridangam; 45-minute Bharatanatyam revealing the various facets of the attributes of the Sun God, choreographed by Jayanthi Subrahmanyam and presented charmingly by Rithvika, Sowmitri, Sumitra, Preethi and Komal, all students of her dance school; flute recital in the North Indian tradition of classical music by Ronu Majundar in the company of Pt. Bhavanisankar, Ramdass, Ajay Pingle and Kalpesh Sachia on other instruments; carnatic vocal by D.V. Mohana Krishna with R. Dinakar on violin, M.L.N. Raju on mridangam and S. Hanumantharao on ghatam and finally the light music recital by Sankar Mahadevan which had everyone in raptures.

The highlights on the second day were a thematic dance recital in Kuchipudi style titled Vishnubhakti based on Dasavathara slokas, Jagadanandakaaraka of Thyagaraja, Brahmamokkata of Annamayya and Bhajagovindam of Sankaracharya. Violin recital by Kunnakkudi Vaidyanathan and his team (main item Hindolam kriti Samajamaragamana) and sedate but sensitively melodious vocal by Soumya (main item was Sivasivayenarada); devotional music by O.S. Arun, light music solos by Shajjad Hussain Khan, Ms. Mahalakshmi Iyer and Sairam Iyer. Viswaroopdarsan of Lord Balaji followed by light music by R. Suryaprakash marked the sublime start of the third and final day session.

Next, the jugalbandi on guitar and sitar by maestros Kamalasankar and her husband Pt. Rajeev Janardhan and classical-cum-devotional recital by sisters Shanmughapriya and Haripriya.

The other recitals which stood out were: devotional music by Sudha Raghunathan; recital of songs from Tamil feature films by children under 14; Kuchipudi dance ballet Kalyanasrinivasam of Balantrapu Rajanikantharao, choreographed by Sobha Naidu who played the lead role Padmavathi and devotional music by Mano with the music conducted by Saluru Vasurao.