Ease and poise

CAPTIVATING The performance had pure dance passages

CAPTIVATING The performance had pure dance passages  

Satyanarayana Raju’s performance stood out for exquisite and intricate choreography

M. Raghavendra, accompanied by Jyotsna Srikanth (violin), B.C. Manjunath (mridanga) and Raghavendra Prakash (ghata), presented a vocal concert under the auspices of the MES Kalavedi, Bangalore, on Saturday.

The seasoned vocalist established his command over the medium with the very first item, “Vanajakshi”, Pallavi Gopalayyar’s imposing atta thala varnam, presented in three tempos including the tisra gathi, emphasising its heavy gamaka-oriented structure. “Vandenishamaham” in Hamsadhwani preceded Swathi Thirunal’s “Devadeva Kalayami” in Mayamalavagaula raga and rupaka thala, rendered with neraval and extensive kalpana swaras featuring a variety of permutations at “Jatharupanibhachela”, with the accompanying artistes joining in with gusto. The raga alapana prefixed to “Sri Purandaragurum” in the rare raga Hradini, a pentatonic scale derived from Vachaspathi, incorporated several briga-based sancharas that introduced a Hindustani flavour to the presentation.

“Nadupai” in Madhayamavathi, notable for neraval and kalpana swaras replete with rhythmic combinations, “Palinthuvo” in Kanthamani, and a compact bhava-laden alapana of Sama succeeded by the krithi “Haribhajaname”, followed in quick succession. A reduction in the profusion of intervening krithis would, however, have facilitated a more comprehensive treatment of the various components of the main item of the concert, “Paramapavana Rama”, the Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar composition in Poorvi Kalyani set to adi thala. The relatively brief alapana, the neraval at “Kanakambaradhara” and the kalpana swaras were, nevertheless, expositions of commendable creativity that highlighted the essence of the raga, with the violinist responding to the improvisational passages with aplomb, and the ensuing thani avarthana matching the scope and quality of the vocal rendition.

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A Bharathanatya recital by Satyanarayana Raju, supported by Shakunthala R. Prabhath (nattuvanga), Balasubrahmanya Sharma (vocal), Janardhan (mridanga) and Narasimha Murthy (flute), was held at the same venue on Sunday.

The performance commenced with “Gambhira Gananayakam” an invocation to Lord Ganesha, the destroyer of obstacles, set to Gambhira Nattai raga and adi tala, which was performed at a lively pace with light-footed elegance. The focal point of the programme was “Adi Sivane”, Dandayudhapani Pillai’s varna in Todi raga and adi thala, remarkable for its exquisite and intricate choreography, presented with practised ease and poise. The nayika’s longing for the presiding deity of Chidambaram, representing the soul’s yearning for the Almighty was delineated with subdued fervour. It was juxtaposed effectively with depictions of Lord Nataraja’s attributes, and interspersed with elaborate and perfectly executed pure dance passages that fulfilled the demands of the item.

The Purandaradasa devarnama beginning “Hanumantha Deva”, set to Purvi Kalyani raga and adi tala, portrayed Hanuman’s unswerving and unconditional devotion to Lord Rama. His surprise visit to a distraught Sita, languishing in captivity under the watchful eyes of Ravana’s minions, was deftly woven into the composition and attested to the artiste’s histrionic skills. The concluding tillana in Rathipathipriya raga and aditala was a captivating confluence of effervescent nritta based on complex rhythmic patterns, and the appealing melody of the raga and the composition itself. The performance on the whole, augmented by outstanding support from all members of the orchestra, was a display of consummate artistry and professionalism.


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