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Celebration of raga and rhythm

Odissi by Vrinda Chadha at the silver jubilee celebrations of Chetana group of institutions in Thrissur

Odissi by Vrinda Chadha at the silver jubilee celebrations of Chetana group of institutions in Thrissur   | Photo Credit: KK Najeeb

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Music and dance performances by artistes of repute marked a cultural fete in Thrissur

Classical performances stood out among the programmes held as part of the silver jubilee celebrations of Chetana group in Thrissur.

Septuagenarian TV Sankaranarayanan’s concert stood out for the verve in his voice and his full-throated delivery. ‘Jaya jaya Ganapathy’, the opening number, a composition of Ganapathy Sachidananda in Hamsadwani and Adi, was noteworthy for the flashes of swara that covered three sthayis. His landing style of breaking the word ga, na, pa, thi appeared unique.

TV Sankaranarayanan in concert at the silver jubilee celebrations of Chetana group of institutions in Thrissur

TV Sankaranarayanan in concert at the silver jubilee celebrations of Chetana group of institutions in Thrissur   | Photo Credit: KK Najeeb

Less-heard ‘Karunakaramurthy’ by Vedanayakam Pillai in Poorvikalyani and Roopaka had a short aalaap in lower octave. Taking ‘Karunakaramurthy’ for niraval, he drew a splendid picture of the raga and the swaras that followed embellished it. Annamacharaya’s ‘Deva devam bhaje’, in Hindolam and Khanta chap, too entailed a short aalaap. Innumerable sangathis were applied to the line, ‘Lanka vinasam, Lalitha vibhishanam’.

Kamboji was the main raga and the kriti chosen was Tyagaraja’s ‘Ma Janaki’, much to the delight of the audience. The elaboration was mainly in the Tara sthayi. Niraval at ‘Raja rajavara’ and the swaras heightened the dimension of the raga. Accompanists SR Mahadeva Sarma (violin), K Jayakrishnan (mridangam) and Tripunithura N Radhakrishnan (ghatam) complemented him.

Vyasaraya’s ‘Krishna nee begane’ in Yamunakalyani had a virutham prefixed to it. ‘Eppo varuvaro’, Gopalakrishna Bharati’s Jonpuri composition, had a virutham in ragas Brindavanaa Saranga and Hamsanandi. TVS wound up the concert with Swathi Thirunal’s ‘Ramachandra prabhu’ in Sindhubhairavi, after a nottuswara of Muthuswami Dikshitar.

In command

Nabanita Chowdhary’s Hindustani recital showcased her command over the ragas and their delivery. The aalaap of Behag was soothing. The bada khayal was set to Ek Taal and the bandish was ‘Kaise such sobe’. The dynamics of her voice and effortless moves to the Tara sthayi with flowing notes made the rendition special. Taans were vibrant and the occasional fast-beat playing of tabla by Retnasree Iyer added to its appeal. Prolonged stay in Tara shadja was an added attraction.

Nabanita Chowdhary performing at the silver jubilee celebrations of Chetana group of institutions in Thrissur

Nabanita Chowdhary performing at the silver jubilee celebrations of Chetana group of institutions in Thrissur   | Photo Credit: KK Najeeb

Next, Nabanita took Bageshri for the madhya laya khayal set to Teen Taal. ‘Aeri ei kaise kaar aayoon’, the bandish, appeared emotive. The drut was set to Ek Taal and the bandish ‘Jamuna jaal bharan nahi mohe deto’ was picturesque. Retnasree’s short solo in between was noteworthy. The Dadra in Pahadi for which Satish Kolli’s harmonium gave a bewitching introduction was sweet.

Next came the famous ghazal ‘Mere humnafas, mere humnawa’ penned by Shakeel Badayuni and immortalised by Begum Akthar, with music directed by Khayyam. Nabanita concluded with a bhajan in Bhairavi, ‘Dhanya bhag sewa ka avasar paya’.

Kathak exponent Aditi Bhagwat began her performance with the traditional Vandana, ‘Om namoh namah Shivai vishweshwara shankaram’, composed in Basant Bahar in which she paid oblations to Siva. Set to Ek Taal, the composition belonged to her mother Ragini Bhagwat, an accomplished musician.

Aditi Bhagwat performing at the silver jubilee celebrations of Chetana group of institutions in Thrissur

Aditi Bhagwat performing at the silver jubilee celebrations of Chetana group of institutions in Thrissur   | Photo Credit: KK Najeeb

The technical repertoire of the dance form was elaborated both orally and through performance. They included Uthan, the introductory piece, Tihais, repetition of rhythmic phrases ending on Sum and intricate footwork. They were presented to a traditional Bandish of the Jaipur Gharana and Teen Taal of 16 beats. Aditi performed pirouettes and the striking pause at the end elicited spontaneous ovation.

Traditional Thumri and Tharana were set in Malkauns. While Thumri was in Adha Taal, Tharana was in Teel Taal. Tharana concluded with a traditional Kaydaa, the repertoire of tabla. The sawal-jawab between the dancer and the tabla was inspiring. The interesting part was demonstration of the varied system of beats in coordination with the audience. As the 4-6-8 cycles ascended in tempo, the audience could hardly catch up, leaving them in peals of laughter.

Odissi danseuse Vrinda Chadha, a disciple of Guru Ranjana Gauhar, began her performance with an invocation to Ganapathy. Interestingly, in the piece ‘Tandav Nritya Kare Gajanan’, Ganesha is seen performing tandava! Vrinda’s abhinaya soared as she portrayed the abhisarika nayika while presenting the sixth Ashtapadi, ‘Sakhi hey keshi madhan mudaram’, composed in Pahari. Portrayal of Krishna as the slayer of the demon Keshi was impressive. Enactment of the act of love with Krishna brought out the histrionic potential of the dancer.

She concluded with Swathi’s ‘Vishweshra darshan ko chalo’ in Asaveri and Taal Khemta of 12 beats. The devotee’s journey to Kashi for the darshan crossing Ganga and how he is enthralled by the sight of the Siva highlighted her abhinaya. The description of the deity was elaborate.

Fr Saju George performing Bharatanatyam

Fr Saju George performing Bharatanatyam   | Photo Credit: KK Najeeb

Bharatanatyam recital by the dancer-priest Saju George embraced both traditional and Christian themes. While he stuck to the margam (though varnam was excluded), three kirtanas were included, of which ‘Ananda nadamidum’, choreographed by his guru Leela Samson, in Kedaragoula, was outstanding. A Christian priest executing Ananda tandava of Siva in Chidambaram showcased his dedication to the dance form.

While the Lord’s Prayer was taken for Pushpanjali choreographed by him, the tisra gati Alarippu in Natta was a choreography of CV Chandrasekhar, also his guru. Saju’s adavus appeared geometrically perfect. Jatiswaram in Saveri and Roopakam, choreographed by Rukmini Devi Arundale, was performed by the dancer with his disciples Satyen, Gloria and Parwati.

Padam explained the story of the Samaritan woman from whom Jesus took water. Scored in Dhanyasi by Fr Paul Poovathingal, the number demonstrated his skill in abhinaya. But he went overboard with his mukhabhinaya while expressing Karuna. A kirtana in Bengali on Holy Spirit, a bhajan in ragamalika on the resurrection of Christ and thillana on the risen Christ were the other numbers.

The five-day event was organised by Chetana Centre for Culture and Communication.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 8:46:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/reviews/cultural-fete-in-connection-with-silver-jubilee-celebrations-of-chetana-group-of-institutions-in-thrissur/article30104892.ece

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