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Bhakti gets a fusion touch

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Culture Violinist L Subramanyam and dancer Madhurima displayed mastery over the classical idiom.

Live and loudThe troupe at the event
Live and loudThe troupe at the event

Sri Venkateswara Bhakti Channel, run by TTD, celebrated its fifth anniversary at Ravindra Bharati. As part of this event, violin maestro L. Subramanyam and Kuchipudi exponent Madhurima of Chennai gave performances. Subramanyam, particularly known for fusion music, gave a traditional solo.

The fusion influence was however evident in manodharma parts like raga and swara. He had a contact mike attached to his instrument resulting in high volume overtaking melody and rhythm. He was accompanied by R. V. Subramanyam on second violin, D. S. R Murthy on mridangam and Ghantasala Satya Sai on morsing.

Subramanyam began with a rare Saveri varnam written by Kothavasal Venkatramaiah set to Adi talam. He gave raga picture in detail with its salient features. The take off was in vilambakala that gave space for him to present swarakalpana scaling upto five kalas - all with clarity. The composition was in praise of Lord Venkateswara. Yet this gave taste of Subramanyam’s virtuoso skills demonstrated especially in the kalpana swara.

This was followed by ‘Vallabhanayakasya’ in Begada, a kirtana on Vinayaka in Roopaka Talam of Dikshitar. He essayed the raga bringing out its myriad colors and the kalpana swara structures in an impressive manner. Subramanyam gave an opportunity to the accompanist to present tani avartanam that projected their talent and received great applause.

Subramanyam chose to play ‘Varanarada’ in Vijayasri raga of Thyagaraja set in Aditalam. He then took up Bilahari as his main number for Thyagaraja’s ‘Toli Janmamuna’ in Khandachapu Talam. The kirtana was a neat presentation, with the swara part displaying his wizardry.

The brief concert ended with a javali written by Tirupati Narayana Swami in Behag.

In the second part, Madhurima, disciple of the late Vempati Chinna Satyam, came out with a ballet ‘Kuchipudi Sourabham’. Writer Jonnavittula Ramalinga Sastry went on to explain in song, about performing aspects of Kuchipudi, saying Kuchipudi dance as the best.

What we watched was presentation of universal grammar of any Indian dance like the elements of Navarasas, Ashtavidha Nayika bhavas, Hastas, Padas like ‘Kunchita Padam’, Angikam, Aharyam and so on all, common to any Indian dance. The only attraction was presentation of a small bit from ‘Bhama Kalapam’s Pravesa Daruvu. But Bhama entered the stage behind a translucent curtain, instead of the traditional opaque one, concealing her till the curtain is withdrawn. However, Madhurima proved a good dancer and her presentation was apt.

There were half a dozen artistes portraying other characters in different acts. It ended with dance presentation to a couple of Annamacharya kirtanas.

Susarla Seshu as conductor and Pavan Charan as vocalist , presented to a live orchestra received appreciation.

G.S.

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