Classical and aesthetic

Nagai Muralidharan and Nagai Sriram   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Art aficionados of Mattanchery were treated to a rich melange of pure classical music and dance performances.

A three-day fiesta began with a performance by violin virtuoso Nagai Muralidharan and his student and nephew, Nagai Sriram. The duo took the audiences to dazzling heights of music with their concert. Dikshitar kriti Vathapi Ganapathim in Hamsadhwani had some intricate kanaku and nadai variations in the mukthai.

They played several raga selections from Hindustani music. After demonstrating its similarity with Gorakh Kalyan in its ‘ma ri sa’ descent, Nagai Murali played raga Narayani and the kriti Ramaneeve. A weighty rendition of Dikshitar’s Chetah Sribalakrishnam in Dwijavanthi was followed by Jnanamusagaradha in Poorvikalyani.

After Muralidharan depicted the melody of Khamas raga, the duo presented Mysore Vasudevachar’s Brochevarevarura. Swaras of two cycles in the first tempo led to the third one, and thereafter he mixed the three tempos in the muktai. Veteran mridangam player Mannargudi Easwaran played a composite kuraippu (reduction of rhythmic phrases) during the thaniavarthanam. He was well accompanied by Tripunitura Radhakrishnan on the ghatam.

The ragam tanam pallavi in tisra triputa tala again came as a surprise in raga Desh, a raga chosen mainly for lighter compositions. The ragamalika swaras in Jog and Darbari were engaging and the violinists concluded the concert with M.D. Ramanathan’s Sagarashayanavibho in Bhageshri.

Vasudha Ravi

Vasudha Ravi   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Vasudha Ravi’s concert on the second day stood out on account of her srutishudha and melody. A round timbre in the low registers came to the fore in her small sketch of raga Sahana followed by Tyagaraja’s Ee Vasudha. She delivered a good niraval for the line ‘Dasaratha rajakumaraya’ for the compact rendition of Todi kriti Ramachandraya Namaste in Misra Chapu tala. She retained verve and style in the Mohanam alaapana for Mohanarama. She captured the melody in distant notes and vakra usages in the first speed of kalpanaswaras.

The vocalist wove fast phrases around dhaivatha moving on to tisram and khandam before jumping on to the second tempo. Viju S. Anand accompanied her well on the violin while presenting the avarthana and kuraipu. Cherthala Krishna Kumar supported the kriti rendition well on the mridangam and in a thani with Velattanjoor Srijith on the ghatam.

Aswathy and Srikanth

Aswathy and Srikanth   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Aswathy and Srikanth were the show-stealers of the festival as they danced their way into the hearts of the rasikas who could not help asking for more at the end of a 90-minute Bharatanatyam performance on the third day.

The ‘Dasyam’ aspect of bhakti was evinced in Papanasam Sivan’s Nattakuranji varnam Swami naan unthan adimai. Srikanth traced the devotion aspect of the piece in his detailed and transparent sanchari on Kannappan who pulls out his eyes to replace the bleeding eyes of the Shiva idol he worshipped. Parvati, as a fisher woman, was reunited with Shiva, and this formed the theme of Aswathy’s sanchari, with focus on sringara.

The ettugada swara segment and teermanams demonstrated the dancers’ grip over laya and technique and their wonderful coordination with the musicians. Aswathy was all involvement in her abhinaya piece Kanakamayamaayeedum, Swati Tirunal’s Utsava Prabandham in Huseni raga. She highlighted the nayika’s eagerness in speculating the identity of the serene faced hero who proceeds in all splendour on a golden chariot. The radiance of the sun and the brilliance of the chariot were portrayed dramatically yet subtly.

The event was organised by Gosri Gana Sabha as part of their 51st anniversary celebrations.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 5:15:45 AM |

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