Culture The five-day music and dance festival ladled out a rich fare. Velcheti Subrahmanyam

Andhra Music Academy’s 13th annual five-day festival of music and dance ladled out a rich fare to the rasikas at Kalabharati Visakhapatnam. Featuring both veterans and young artistes, it was truly aglow with exuberant festive spirits.

A wide range of ragas and compositions in their masterly treatment, reflected the experience and vidwat of veterans like Sangeetha Kalanidhi Nedunuri Krishnamurthy and A Kanyakumari, providing a sumptuous feast of pure classicism. Youngsters showcased their talent in abundance, while Kakateeya Kala Vaibhavam , a Kuchipudi dance ballet by a Warangal–based troupe of Sudheer Rao saw grace and grandeur of Kakateeyas coming alive through kinetic idiom of dance in its entire luminosity. Yasoda Krishna dance ballet by Hyderabad-based Usha Gayatri’s team was a visual treat. At the inaugural of the festival, mridangam maestro Mullapudi Sreerama Murthy was honoured with the academy’s Sangeeta Vidya Nidhi award and Kuchipudi exponents Raja Reddy and Radha Reddy were given the Natya Vidya Nidhi award. Nedunuri Krishnamurthy felicitated the award-winners and complimented their sterling contribution in the realms of music and dance.

The fest opened with violin maestro A Kanyakumari’s scintillating concert. Grounded in classicism, her bow wafted the delectable fragrance of an array of ragas. Be it raga Kannada Gowla for Orajoopu or raga Vachaspati for Paratpara , her inimitable flourish of aesthetic beauty came into full play. Laden with succinct and lucent gamakas raga Kapi bloomed in full in its varied shades in her exposition in detail. Embellished with elaborate aalapana and tanam, it turned out to be connoisseur’s delight. With V Sanjeev on supporting violin, DSR Murthy on mridangam and K Shyamkumar on ghatam, it was a memorable treat all through.

On the second day, it was maestro Nedunuri Krishnamurthy who left his indelible mark on the minds of rasikas. His musical impulse defies his age and unfolds the chosen ragas in its entire depth and range. He chose raga Sankarabharanam for Sarojadalanetri for delineation. His raga essay at amble unfolding its stately profile was reflective of his vast experience taming the Carnatic classical idiom over decades. Malladi Ravikumar lent brilliant vocal support. Mysore V Srikanth responded well on violin, while KV Prasad on mridangam was admirable.

In the vocal section of the fest, concerts of Tirupathi-based A Sabarigirish, New Delhi-based Pt Ritish and Pt Rajnish Mishra (Hindusthani) Chennai-based V Sankaranarayanan and local talent Dwaram Thyagaraj delighted the music lovers.

In the dance segment, while Hyderabad-based troupe dealt with myriad shades of mythology through the tale of Yasoda Krishna in a spectacular manner holding the viewers in thrall all through, Warangal-based troupe chose for theme history and heritage of Kakateeya regime that showered glory and grandeur on Telugus with its splendid achievements on several fronts. In less than an hour, the ballet vivified a golden era in the annals of history on the stage. Venisetty Nilamani as Kakatiya Rudramma excelled. Katragadda Himansi Chowdary, Haripriya, Pranathi, Alekhya, Vishnavi and Sastry displayed remarkable talent both in expression and footwork.