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Balu live and lively

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Enthralling Balu and Sailaja sharing a lighter moment during the concert
Enthralling Balu and Sailaja sharing a lighter moment during the concert

The brother and sister duo held the audience spellbound for over two hours at the Andhra Music Academy concert

It was a mellifluous rendition of spiritual songs that held the audience spell bound and in divine ecstasy for over two hours at the Kalabharathi auditorium on Tuesday. Padmashri S. P. Balasubrahmanyam and S.P. Sailaja sang about 25 devotional songs, both solo and duet combined, and the audience just drank the eternal flow of music and lyrics that streamed into their ears. Spiritual fervour climbed a higher plane, and a few were seen swaying to the tune of Shiva Sthuti, as tears welled up their eyes. The jam-packed auditorium was bursting at its seams and many, both men and women and young and old, were seen standing at corners, trying to record the concert with the help of voice recorders in their mobile phones.

The duo was here as part of the 10th Annual Music and Dance Festival, organised by Andhra Music Academy. For the last couple of years, the festival, organised under the patronage of Sadguru Sivananda Murty, has been held at Hyderabad and for the first time it is being held in Visakhapatnam, thanks to the ongoing Telangana agitation at Hyderabad.

Singing devotional songs from both, films and private albums, the duo held the audience captive.

The duration and pitch of the applause for Balu who sang over 35,000 songs so far, increased with every song that he sang. Touching hits from films like Swathi Kiranam, Sankarabharanam, Annamayya, Ramadasu, Sirivennela and Saagara Sangamam, Balu also sang a number of devotional songs from the private albums.

He received standing ovation for songs like Adivo Alladivo and Antharyami from the film Annamayya, Adi Bhikshuvu from the film Sirivennela, Sageetha Sahitya from the film Swathi Kiranam and songs from the film Sankarabharanam.

Praising poet Sirivennela Sitarama Sastri and local poet Rambhatla Nrusimha Sarma, he said, “To pen such lyrics one should have the divine grace and they both seem to have it in abundance.”

He also sang a song penned by Rambhatla who works as Senior Announcer in All India Radio at Visakhapatnam station. Punctuating his concert with adequate humour, the singer also stressed on the development of mother tongue language skills. Known to be big critic of remix trend and western influence he said, “The parents should take some time off to create a positive influence of Telugu language among the children otherwise the language will be lost with the glorious culture and heritage.”

Andhra Music Academy was established by Sadguru Kandukuri Sivananda Murty to promote the cause of Indian classical music and dance, which according to him is slowly losing its roots. Over the years a number of renowned Carnatic and Hindustani exponents like M. Balamuralikrishna, Pandit Jasraj, Nedunuri Krishnamurthy and Padma Subrahmanyam had performed at the weeklong music and dance festival.

The academy also honours eminent performers with titles like Sangeeta Vidyanidhi and Natya Vidyanidhi. This year the recipient of SangeetaVidyanidhi is Dr. R.K. Srikantan and danseuse Swapnasundari will receive the Natya Vidyanidhi title.

R.JAGADEESWARA RAO

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