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WITH GRACE: The hallmark of Shobhana's recital was the right blend of Nrutha and Nruthya.
WITH GRACE: The hallmark of Shobhana's recital was the right blend of Nrutha and Nruthya.

P. VIJAYAMBIKA

`Swaralaya Annual Dance and Music festival 2006' provided a memorable experience for rasikas in Palakkad.

The 11-day `Swaralaya Annual Dance and Music festival 2006,' organised by the Palakkad chapter of Swaralaya at Ustad Bismilla Khan Nagar, Fort Maidan, was a sumptuous cultural feast. The cultural fiesta featured an excellent vocal concert by Vijayalekshmi Subramanian. Her well-trained pliable voice and crystal clear padanthara were the highlights of her show. The main piece of the concert was a classical and mellifluous Tyagaraja krithi `Nannupalimpa,' set to Adi tala.An Odissi performance by Sharmila Mukherjee, disciple of Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra, was a delight to watch. The `Bhoomipranam,' praising Lord Jagannath, was followed by `Srithakamalakuchamandala' from Jayadeva's Gita Govinda, which was set in Rag Kambaj (Jathi thal comprising 14 beats.)

Saxophone concert

The third day's highlight was a saxaphone concert of Kadri Gopalnath. The latter half of that evening saw a Bharatanatyam recital by Rajasree Warrier. Abhishek Raghuram, grandson of mridangam maestro Palakkad Raghu, came up with a scintillating performance. Meera Das' Odissi recital included Mangalacharan, Pallavi, Geethagovinda and Dasavathara. She also presented a Battu dance and Mayura Nrutha (peacock dance), which were choreographed by her. Fusion music by Trishakti was an instrumental symphony. The musicians were Attukal Balasubramanian (violin), Jijith (keyboard), Premjith (guitar), Palakkad Mahesh (mridangam), Karunamurthy (thavil), Anil Kumar (ghatom), Jayan (tabla) and Sasi (drums). A Bharathanatyam recital by Shobhana stood out for its right blend of Nrutha and Nruthya, and her graceful body language. Dr. Omanakkutty's careful selection of Malayalam and Tamil kritis along with Tyagaraja and Dikshitar kritis was well received by the audience.An enthralling Kathak performance of Swathi Sinha, disciple of Kathak maestro Rajendra Gangani, an exponent of Jaipur Kharana, captivated the audience.

With verve and vigour

Another highlight of the festival was the Carnatic vocal concert of T.M. Krishna. His concert was punctuated by his usual verve and vigour. A Bharathanatyam recital by cine artiste Kavya Madhavan was a crowd puller.The Bharathanatyam recital by Dr. Padma Subramaniam and her disciples Vineeth and Gayathri Kannan deserves special mention. Her grace, vigour and virtuosity blended with rhythmic and aesthetic excellence to enthral the spectators. A concert `Raveendra geethangal,' a tribute to music director Raveendran was again a crowd puller as many of Raveendran's compositions still top the charts of all-time great film songs. Jugalbandi by Hindusthani vocalist Ramesh Narayan and veena maestro Ananthapadmanabhan was a memorable programme. A Kuchippudi recital by Sonia. B. Nair was also staged on that day. Violin duet of Lalgudi G. J. R. Krishnan and Vijayalakshmi from the Lalgudi school of violin enthralled the audience on the 10th day of the festival. `Kamadahana saptham,' a dance-drama in Mohiniyattom, was presented by Natana Kairali. The story, based on `Kumarasambhavam,' delineated the destruction of Kamadeva, Palazhimadhanam and Neelakandha namardham. Parvathy's `balakreeda' and the incensed Sati's immolation were gracefully portrayed by Kapila. Stories of Mohini and Ayyappa were narrated in the Kurathi Nrutha style.Ghazals and bhajans by Vani Jayaram preceded a tribute to music director Naushad.


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