It was a celebration of classical music, dance, literature and folk arts, at Kalaiyurum Kaviri 2012, an annual music festival organised by the Kalai Kaviri College of Fine Arts, Tiruchi. Spread over three days, the festival witnessed the performances of veterans such as Anayampatti Ganesan, S. Kasim- S. Babu and Arimalam S. Padmanaban.
The festival that began on January 6 featured three varied performances on all three days, making it the perfect platform for senior artists as well as budding young talents.
S. Kasim and S. Babu , who performed first in the music festival, gave a consummate nagaswaram concert that focused on Tamil composers.
Commencing with the kriti, ‘Gajavadhana' composed by Papanasam Sivan, they treated the audience with a few rounds of fast-paced kalpanaswaras. Playing ‘Anandha Natamaduvar Thillai' in the raga Purvikalyani next, the duo went on to a detailed exposition of the raga Kiravani, in which they explored several bhava-oriented phrasings. The brothers then presented the rare ‘Vaananai' from Thirunavukkarasar's Thevaram in raga Kiravani.
The main piece was ‘Thunbam Nergayil,' a Bharathidasan composition in Desh. They followed it up with ‘Kandanaal Mudhal' in raga Madhuvanti. Their skilful rendition concluded with the performance of Subramaniya Bharati's ‘Paarukkulle Nalla Naadu' in Jhonpuri. Giving the performance their spirited support were Udumalaipettai M. Angusamy and Srirangam P.M. Sankar on the thavil.
Taking the stage next was Usha Padmanabhan , whose Carnatic music concert was enriched by her sense of raga and bhava. She chose a set of ragas that were part of the syllabus at Kalai Kaviri, in an effort to further the musical understanding of the students. Her renditions were accompanied by Pudugai Ambika Prasad on the violin and Srirangam Madhusudhanan on the mridangam. The evening drew to a close with ‘Gramanthu Ambugal,' a kalari performance by a group from Nagercoil. The group used social themes as its framework for the dance drama accompanied by some strident music and a pinch of humour.
The jalatarangam performance by Anayampatti Ganesan , on the second day of the festival, was the crowning jewel of the event. The musical notes that his hands elicited from water filled ceramic bowls were further enhanced by the strains of G. Venkatasubramanian's violin, Salem K. Seenivasan's mridangam, S.T. Murthy's ganjira and Anthanallur Ranganathan's ghatam. Beginning with the notes of Hamsadhwani, Anayampatti Ganesan traversed a musical path that was marked by ragas such as Valaji, Kanada and Kapi and finished with the western notes composed by Muthuswami Dikshitar.
Followed with a Bharatanatyam performance by T. Suhasini Rakesh , the festival progressed from classical music to dance. Themed around Saivism, Ms. Suhasini's recital explored a wide range of abhinayas executed with precise footwork and rhythm coordination. Day two of the festival concluded with a Thevara Isai concert by Shanmuga Tiruvaranga Yeyadhi, which brought to the stage the compositions of Appar, Sundarar and Gnanasambandar. Tiruchi K. Ramprasad on the violin, S.T. Murthy on the mridangam and Chidambaram Rajendran added soul to the concert.
The three-day music festival drew to a close with the performances of Dr. Arimalam S. Padmanaban, Prof. Rajashri Shripathi and L. Murugashankari. The high point of the veena recital by Prof. Rajashri was her delivery of the ragas, Bhairavi and Kapi, which was well supported by Srirangam Vijayaraghavan on the mridangam and Anthanallur Ranganathan on the ghatam.
A choice of rare works by Tamil poets, Bharati and Bharatidasan, forming the base for his concert, Dr. Padmanabhan punctuated his renditions with short explanations on the piece to follow. Tiruchi K. Ramprasad on the violin, S.T. Murthy on the mridangam and Selvakumar on the morsing added texture to his performance.
Astute in her presentation, L. Murugashankari 's dance recital began with the invocation song ‘Kaatharul Purivai Karpaga Vinayaka' set in Hamsadhwani raga and adi tala. Her performance of the lengthy navaragamalika varnam, ‘Swamiyai Azhaithodi Vaa,' composed by K.N. Dhandayudapani Pillai, was ample proof of her stamina, while her depiction of the siva thandavam in the padham ‘Ennalum Ambalathe' proved her expertise in using difficult karanas. The recital concluded with a rare thillana in the raga Garudadhwani, composed by Dr. Balamuralikrishna.