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Shashank and Ravikiran: Beauty of ragas reigned supreme

Shashank and Chitravina Ravikiran.

Shashank and Chitravina Ravikiran.  

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It wasn’t just a meeting of musical accumen but of minds at the concert

When two child prodigies meet sparks will fly. Sharing the stage was not new for Chitravina Ravikiran and Shashank Subramanyam, but this was a no-holds-barred recital, while not giving in to gimmickry. Their idea was to complement rather than indulge in dizzy battle. Ravikiran displayed power and prowess both in raga excursions and interpretation of laya. Sarvalagu was still the hot favourite as against presenting swarakalpana for the thrill factor.

Sowkya and bhava ruled supreme in the RTP with the meeting of the minds of the two exponents. Shashank’s opening sedate strains of Sankarabharanam was a precursor of things to come as they launched into Swati Tirunal’s Ata tala varnam, ‘Chalamela.’ Sriranjani came next, revealed in the very first phrase from the flute, the raga’s beauty emerged effortlessly through a soulful alapana in which rishabha and madhayma played pivotal roles.

Ravikiran’s chitravina alternated, raising the complexity to a higher level with beautiful prayogas. Tyagaraja’s ‘Sogasuga’ captured the imagination.

Shashank and Ravikiran never let go of the raga’s melodic soul even while playing brilliant kalpanaswara kanakku. In ‘Ninnuvina’ (Purvikalyani), an inspired Shashank began with undulating soft phrases, while Ravikiran unfolded the raga’s aesthetics with long, powerful gamaka-laden, panchama-varja patterns. Both shared the raga’s beauty but did not miss to show their distinct abilities — Shashank on the tara sthayi shadja and Ravikiran’s phrases spanning more than two octaves. The kriti was replete with rakti prayogas, while the swarakalpana suite sparkled. They had time only for a brief Vagadheeswari RTP yet the two managed to play an alapana that captured the essence. The tanam was pure joy and was greeted with applause. The pallavi, ‘Vagadheeswari Bharati varija sambhava mohini vahini mamava’ by Ravikiran was set differently, the first half in Chaturashra gati and the second half in Chaturashra tisra. This let the two other wonderful artistes, Patri Satish Kumar (mridangam) and Shree Sunder Kumar (ganjira) convey the pallavi’s rhythmic intricacies during the tani.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 11:18:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/shashank-and-ravikiran-beauty-of-ragas-reigned-supreme/article30575940.ece

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