Margazhi melodies Society

This Margazhi, music soars beyond boundaries

The OMR music festival, being held in venues on the IT corridor, has its genesis in a feeling among residents that there are not enough events in the area. Photo: M. Karunakaran

The OMR music festival, being held in venues on the IT corridor, has its genesis in a feeling among residents that there are not enough events in the area. Photo: M. Karunakaran   | Photo Credit: M_Karunakaran;M_Karunakaran -

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Two very different festivals seek to take concerts outside conventional sabhas and into new venues

The Margazhi season in Chennai has always been associated with sabhas in the heart of the city where connoisseurs from across the world come to appreciate the music. Now, a few people have decided to take Carnatic music out of the sabhas and to the common man.

Residents along the IT corridor, (Rajiv Gandhi Salai) are now inviting musicians to perform in their community halls.

The Vettiver Koottamaipu, on the other hand, is conducting concerts on the beach at Urur-Olcott Kuppam to bring together the residents of the kuppam and the people of Besant Nagar.

For the people of OMR, most sabhas are over 20 km away. “We were discussing the Margazhi season and how there are no performances in our area. And so we decided to start a sabha for residents here. The residents of Hiranandani community reached out to other gated communities through music teachers in the area and flyers. We want to have at least one concert every month,” said Rajeshwari Harish, who started the Rasikapriya Fine Arts Academy Trust along with other OMR residents.

Residents of large gated communities including Hiranandani, Opaline, DLF L&T and Bollineni are members of Rasikapriya’s organising committee.

“The concerts are being held at different halls in the area and are free for all to attend,” said K. Seethalakshmi, a DLF resident

Their OMR Margazhi festival started on November 30 and will go on till January 3. Three concerts so far have been well-attended.

“Since we have a cosmopolitan crowd, we included fusion and jugalbandi. We have already planned for a Shivarathri series in February,” said K. Shivram, Rasikapriya’s secretary.

A community experience

The Urur-Olcott Margazhi Vizha will take place on December 29 and 30 at the Urur-Olcott Kuppam in Besant Nagar.

This vizha has been crowd-funded and will feature performances on the beach.

Carnatic musician Sangeetha Sivakumar, one of the organisers, said, “Chennai is famous for its music season, with people from across the world coming in to the city. Despite this, many people within the city have not been exposed to carnatic music or bharathanatyam”.

The festival will be a learning experience for both the performers and the audience, she said.

Nityanand Jayaraman, another organiser said, “Many people in Besant Nagar do not know Urur-Olcott Kuppam. By allowing the residents of the kuppam and of Besant Nagar to appreciate the fine arts on even keel, we can help the community.”

Vocalist P. Unnikrishnan, who will be performing at the festival, says he will be singing only classical songs. “I plan to include songs that people would have heard, like Bharathiyar’s songs and some songs by Papanasam Sivan to engage the audience,” he said.

The Urur-Olcott festival will also feature performances by Jayanthi Kumaresh and Kumaresh, a dance performance by Kalakshetra students as well as Villupaatu, Parayattam and Kattai-k- Koothu.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 11:53:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chen-society/this-margazhi-music-soars-beyond-boundaries/article6691406.ece

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