Dance

Happy tunes

It’s not always that you get to attend a music show for children that is so completely child-friendly. Where children are not expected to be ‘prim and propah’ and sit in their seats, clap elegantly on cue and sport plastic smiles. A t Sing Along ‘09, held recently at the Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall, it was as if the children, and even their parents, knew they could be themselves.

A few kids gingerly walked up the stage or wandered about the hall even as the show was on, while the older ones giggled and laughed and made friends while keeping beat with their legs. And, if despite all these cute distractions, they listened to the songs, sang along lustily and groaned when the last song was announced, it was proof of how much they enjoyed the evening.

Krishna Iyer, Jeeva Raghunath, Leena Pradeep, Sumitha Menon and Sunethra Selvam started with everyone’s favourite ‘ABCD’ and a couple of nursery rhymes before moving on to the evergreen ‘Old Mac Donald’, the crocodile song and ‘Jumbo Elephanto’, about the pachyderm from Mahalingapuram.

And then, the inimitable Jeeva started off on a story about two goats who crossed the bridge to eat grass. Using mere action, she got the audience to join her in the ‘tell along” story that finally asked you what kind of goat you were. The parents joined in happily, eager to be children again.

It was time to launch Sing Along’s first audio CD, “Sing Along Peppy Songs”. Sarvajith Santosh Sivan, the two-year-old son of cinematographer-director Santosh Sivan did the honours, and Jeeva received the first copy, bent on her knees. Immediately, the team burst into the peppy ‘Kumbaladi’, the mosquito song, apparently Sarvajith’s favourite.

They also rendered the classic ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic’ and ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’. Then, Krishna took over for the lilting ‘Thanjavur Bommai’. Jeeva got the audience to tap their hands to create the sound of thunder and rain inside the auditorium, and followed it with ‘Idi Satham Kekuthe’, the Tamil version of ‘I Hear Thunder’ before rendering the original.

The story of Joe who worked in a button factory had the audience pull out their hands, punch an imaginary button and rush through the paces to keep up with the music. The loudest claps were probably reserved for ‘Hara Samundar Gopi Chandar’, and ‘Bum Bum Bole’ (“Taare Zameen Par”).

The band, comprising Gerard Joseph (bass guitar), Nelson Samuel (keys), Prabhu George (violin) and Samson Isaac (drums), enthralled the audience with their peppy tunes. The show introduced Anjanaa Aravindan, Agraja Magesh, Ritika Madhira, Sanjana Srikant, Shilpa J and Taniv NS.

The show also had a heart — it was the annual fundraiser for Reach Out, an organisation that helps children cope with stressful situations.

To buy the CDs, priced at Rs. 100, call 98842-16789 or e-mail citf2009@gmail.com.


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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 7:24:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/dance/Happy-tunes/article16874803.ece

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