Ashwini's dance performance testified a deep love for the form
Learning an art form along with stage exposure can yield many a rewarding result. This was amply proved when S. Ashwini, the daughter-disciple of an expert Bharatanatya dancer-mridangist B.K. Shyama Prakash and a grand daughter of the veteran dance Guru late H.R. Keshavamurthy. Her performance at the Ravindra Kalakshetra was neat and tidy. Going by her admirable anga shuddhi, clarity in communication and hold over laya, I was convinced that she has been not only blessed by being the scion of a dance family but also benefited by it. She executed with ease the complicated jathis and the nritta for Tanjore Quartet's Chakravaka jathiswara. She could evoke both bhakti and shringara for the ragamalika shabda ("Gokulabdhi Chandra") that spoke of love between Krishna and the Gopis. The Todi varna ("Roopamu joochi") became a successful medium for Ashwini to demonstrate her fluidity of movements and meaningful mukhijas. The Lord Shiva of Tiruvayur was eulogised through this varna topping it with pleasing teermanas. If the attributes of the Devi glowed in the Neelambari krithi, Keshavamurthy's Kannada krithi "Nenapu" (Varali) brought alive a virahothkanthita nayaki.Guru B.K. Shyamaprakash (nattuvanga), P. Rama (vocal), Jayaram (flute), Geetha Shyamaprakash (veena) and Srihari (mridanga) excelled in their departments beatifying the dance. * * *
During the weeklong programmes of Nada Loka, there was group singing on Ganesha, Navagraha krithis by Dikshitar, Thyagaraja's Pancharathna krithis and krithis on Sri Rama, Purandaradasa's Navarathna krithis, Kanakadasa's Keshavanaama, Vadiraja krthis, and others. Homas were performed to the chanting of mantras, ragas and krithis on different deities. In the evening, veteran Harikatha vidwan Bhadragiri Achyutadas and Padmanabha threw light on Sri Vadiraja in their harikatha performances. Though there were mistakes, the panels with technical information about Indian music were interesting. Seasoned singer Vijaya Shiva regaled the audience with his chaste and charming renditions. He had some rare ragas and krithis on his agenda. He exhibited his well honed and seasoned artistry in the happy company of A. Kumar (mridanga) and Guruprasanna (khanjari). His concert began with a shloka on Ganesha followed by the famous "Vatapi Ganapathim bhaje". The neraval and short swaras were scholarly. He eulogised the Devi through Shyama Sastry's "Pahi Sri Girirajasuthe" (Anandabhairavi) attached with chittaiswaras. Rarely heard "Vishalakshi Vishweshi" (Kashiramakriya) was beautified by kalpanaswaras. Thyagaraja's "Raanidi raadu" (Manirangu) and "Padavi nee sadbhakti" (Salagabhairavi) were appealing. Classical values were upheld in presenting Kalyani ("Kamalambam bhaja re manasa") and Todi ("Sri Krishnam bhaja").* * *
An expert violinist and harmonium player B. Raghuram was honoured with the title of "Guru Kala Bhushana" at a function held at B.M. Sri Auditorium, N.R. Colony under the aegis of Sri Guru Sarvabhowma Academy for Music led by young vocalist B. R. Srinidhi. The students did proud to their teacher Srinidhi by rendering primary lessons in Carnatic music and keerthanas. In his short violin recital B. Raghuram accompanied by his daughters Ramya and Divya (on violins) and Srinivasan (mridanga) demonstrated his artistic and aesthetic equipment. He was applauded for the presentation of Nattakuranji varna, "Girirajasutha" (Bangala) and "Meevalla Gunadosha" (Kapi). The concluding Vasanthi tillana was a fine finale.
M. SURYA PRASAD