A touch of class

Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), in collaboration with Sri Sai Nataraja Academy of Kuchipudi, organised a two-day music and dance festival titled ‘Sangeeta Natya Hela’ under ‘Horizon Series’ at Thyagaraja Gana Sabha last week.

The event was opened with Carnatic vocal by Swetha Prasad, an A-grade vocalist of AIR. Shobhillu Saptha Swara in Jaganmohini was the opening number that she presented with devotion. She followed it up with Mathe Malayadhwaja in Khamas. Then she rendered Seethamma Maayamma in Vasantha, keeping up to its emotional appeal. Swetha concluded her show with a tillana in Behag, set to Tisra adi tala. She was in the company of her husband Renuka Prasad on mridangam, Sai Kumar on violin, Sreedharacharya on ghatam and Srikanth on kanjira.

This event was followed by Delhi-based Kathak exponent Moumala Nayak’s performance. She is an artist of ICCR and a disciple of Pt. Birju Maharaj. Neethukumari, her disciple, too joined her show. All the numbers they presented were choreographic pieces of Pt. Birju Maharaj. She opened with a rare composition Ardhanareeswara stuti in Shankar raga, set to Roopak tal. It was a blend of Thandava and Lasya dances, representative of Shiva and Parvathi. She then chose a pure nritta number Thamar . There was an abhinaya piece in which she portrayed ‘Virahothkhantitha’ nayika. Neethukumari took to the stage later and presented pure dance number in Teen Taal.

Later, Moumala along with her disciple performed Darbari Tharannum set in Kalawati raga, Druth ektal. This Mughal tarana recalled the period of durbar, and mehfils. The concluding number was a thumri presented by Moumala, an expressional musical composition narrating mythological themes related to Lord Krishna.

The concluding part of the first day’s events was a Kuchipudi recital by Lalitha Sindhuri of Rajahmundry. Sri Maha Ganapathini Sevimparare of Thyagaraja in Sourashtra was a refreshing number to open her show.

Later, she moved to Sandhya Tandavam that she presented depicting the Thandava of Lord Shiva, set in Shanmukhapriya. She then presented a lighter number, a javali Sarasamulaadutaku Samayamidi Kaadura in Kapi penned by Subrahmanya Iyer, focusing on Parakeeya Nayika . Meera bhajan in Darbari Kanada was her final number.

Second day events opened with Swarna Mangalampalli’s Carnatic vocal.

She is armed with a Ph.D in music and was a disciple of the late Susarla Sivaram. Though brief, her concert won hearts. She started with Ninne Bhajana in Nata.

This was followed by another popular number of Thyagaraja Durmarga charaadhamula in Rajani and followed it with Dharmapuri’s javali Naarimani Neekaina . She concluded the show with Balamuralikrishna’s tillana in Brundavani. All these numbers were set in Adi talam.

Later Bharatanatyam artiste of Bengaluru, Uma Govind, took the stage. She started with Ganesha stuti in Bahudari, a composition of Tulasivanam. Swathi Thirunal’s Navaraathri kirtana in Bhairavi ragam set in Misrachapu talam figured next that had dominating nritta and pleasing abhinaya. She also portrayed navarasas imbedded in series of slokas taken out of Bhagavatha that formed the base for abhinaya to this text.

The sloka rendition was set in ragamalika. She concluded with Dharmapuri’s javali Parulanna mata in Kapi.

The final show of the evening was that of P.V.S.E. Haripriya’s Kuchipudi. The major number was a Tarangam Krishnam Kalaya Sakhi Sundaram . The other numbers she presented were the Pravesa Daruvu of Bhama Kalapam and Ramadasu kirtana — Thakkuvemi Manaku .

Bharatanatyam guru Ramamurthy and his daughter Manjula Ramaswamy felicitated the artistes.

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