The city’s reputation as a centre of art and culture remains intact, considering the sheer size of the audience drawn to the Dasara festivities.
Be it the palace concerts or Yuva Dasara, Yoga Dasara or the food mela, all the venues were packed to capacity and the city is witnessing traffic jams in the evenings indicating that local people are thronging to the event venues like never before.
Hema Malini and her troupe received a standing ovation after their performance in front of the illuminated palace on Tuesday night. The classical dance programme, shored up by state-of-the-art audio and video systems, kept the audience enthralled for what already seems to be one of the most successful events of Dasara.
Still, they’ve only just begun. Other events to look forward to include a violin duet by Mysore Nagaraj and Manjunath on Thursday, followed by Sufi music on Friday by Mukthiyar Ali of Bikaner, Rajasthan. For dance aficionados, Russian artistes will stage a performance on Saturday. The curtains will come down on cultural programmes at the palace after a Hindustani concert by Pandit Jasraj on Sunday.
The Yuva Dasara continues to draw youth in large numbers. Shaan and Sunidhi Chauhan played to an immense crowd on the Maharaja’s College grounds. Youngsters can look forward to performances by Sukhwinder Singh on Thursday, Shivamani and Mika Singh on Friday and a musical concert by Arjun Janya on Saturday.
It was feared that Yuva Dasara would steal the thunder of the cultural programmes at the palace, the audience’s response has proved otherwise.
This is a testimony to Mysore’s reputation as a centre for arts and culture. Historians have noted that the rise of Mysore as a centre for classical arts began more than two centuries ago as the rulers patronised painting, sculpture, woodcrafts, dance and music.
However, modern Mysore came into its own as a centre for classical arts during the regime of the last few maharajas. Mysore palace has emerged as a nucleus for musicians to congregate, and names like Bakshi Venkatsubbaiah, Mysore Sadashiva Rao, Patnam Subramanya Iyer, Veene Seshanna, Tiger Varadachariar, Fiaz Khan, Abdul Karim Khan, et al are associated with the city. In past decades, legends like Bhimsen Joshi, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ustad Rashid Khan, Rajan Mishra and Sajan Mishra, Kumari Amonkar, K.J. Yesudas, Lalgudi Jayaraman, Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan, L. Subramanyam and U. Srinivas also performed at Mysore Dasara.