Music

Siblings Anahita and Apoorva tap into the right notes

Anahita and Apoorva performing at Mudhra’s 2015 Margazhi festival

Anahita and Apoorva performing at Mudhra’s 2015 Margazhi festival   | Photo Credit: M_Moorthy

Intensive shiksha and goal-oriented sadhana have aided the steady rise of siblings Anahita and Apoorva in the ranks of up-and-coming young performers.

The sisters teed off with an evocative varnam ‘Engum Nirai ‘(Hamsanandi, Adi tala) composed by their guru, Chitravina N. Ravikiran. The unusual khanda gati lent an interesting twist to rhythmic and melodic permutations. Meeting the challenge of ‘Uma Maheshwarathmajam’ (Uma Bharanam, Oothukadu Venkatasubba Iyer ) head-on, the duo revelled in the kriti’s alternating tisra-chatusra nadai.

Apoorva essayed Dhanyasi with azhuttam. An attractive collage of madhyama kala and dhurita passages and pidis, the alapana carried emotive heft. If the young vocalist could pay attention to two aspects, her presentation would be enhanced. One, her tendency to slightly over-oscillate gamakas occurring at the end of a phrase. Two, the need to occasionally pause for a breather between sancharas during alapana. This would increase her comfort levels and also allow the violinist to slip in a phrase edgeways. A relaxed ‘Meenalochana Brova’ (Syama Shastri) generated vistara and inspired a kizhkala niraval that rang with conviction. Melkala niraval was a shared effort, tapping into all the right notes. Kizhkala swaras sought to sustain vistara while kannakus added sparkle to kalpanaswara strings.

‘Nee Vada Negana’ (Saranga, Tyagaraja) was the filler that prepared the stage for the tour de force in Saveri. In the Saveri main alapana, underscored by technical finesse, the madhya sthayi shadja-panchama suite glowed with insightful prayogas. Proceeding towards the tara sthayi, passages gradually accelerated to a flowing cascade that rained imagery both familiar and rare. ‘Sri Rajagopala’ (Muthuswami Dikshitar) resonated with an amalgam of delicate cadences and sensitively crafted sangathis that encapsulated raga essence. The kriti was given the care and attention lavished on sangathi structuring that delved deep into the raga core. Weighty kizhkala swaras carried the requisite azhutham.

Violinist Nagarcoil K. Anand‘s playing carried freshness and spontaneity. Nirnayam tempered sollus in L. Gomathi Shankar’s mridangam accompaniment and absorbing tani avartanam.

The sisters blended their individual energies in pleasing unison. While Anahita is a conscious custodian of the pace and dazzle that young artistes rely on for drawing a full house, Apoorva, the younger sibling is the older soul, who has a sustained connect to the Carnatic idiom. Her tonal intensity when vocalising pracheena pidis, particularly in Dhanyasi, provided ample proof.

Once the duo begins to focus on greater internalisation, their music will gain an added dimension.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 11:41:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/anahita-and-apoorva-sisters-show-promise/article22420933.ece

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