FRIDAY REVIEW

Accolade for the young

EXHIBITING TALENT: Ghatam Karthick  

VENKATESAN SRIKANTH

The Sangeet Natak Akademi awards, recently given away in New Delhi, recognised the new stars in the arts.

The award ceremony was followed by a performance of the recipients.

Delhi was busy with award ceremonies this weekend. TheSangeet Natak Akademi (National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama), New Delhi, gave the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar 2006 to youngsters in the field of art, thus recognising and encouraging their talent. Five youngsters, T.M.Krishna, Sreeram Prasad Malladi and Ravi Kumar Malladi (popularly known as the "Malladi brothers"), N. Manoj Siva and S. Karthick received this award for their contribution to Carnatic music. While Krishna and the Malladi brothers are Carnatic vocalists, Manoj Siva is a mridangam artist and Karthick a ghatam artist. Other recipients of this award are from various disciplines like Hindustani music, Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kutiyattam, Odissi, Manipuri,etc. It was therefore a delightful experience to see these youngsters receive the award instituted, for the first time, by Sangeet Natak Akademi in memory of the late Ustad Bismillah Khan. The contribution and efforts of these five youngsters in flying the Carnatic music flag high deserve to be congratulated.

Week-long festival

The award ceremony was followed by aweek-long festival by the recipients of the award, including Krishna and the Malladi brothers . Though their concerts were very brief (less than an hour), the talents of these artistes as well as the accompanying awardees, Manjo Siva and Karthick, came to the fore. Krishna thoughtfully began his concert with a composition of Muthuswami Dikshidar, whose Jayanthi (birth anniversary) happened to fall that dayHe presented the composition, "Mahaganapathe Palayasumam" in the raga Natanarayanee, rarely sung in concerts. Krishna followed it with a brief "Ragam-Thanam-Pallavi" session, in which he presented the pallavi "Kamalasani sundari chandravadani karunarasa vinochani" composed in the raga Bhairavi. Earlier, he presented a fine alapana and a mellifluous thanam in this raga. The session concluded with a "Ragamalika swaraprasthara" in the raga Sahana and Varali, apart from Bhairavi. Krishna was ably assisted by Vittal Ramamurthy on the violin, the awardees N. Manoj Siva on the mridangam and S. Karthick on the ghatam. While Ramamurthy's delineation of the raga Bhairavi was good, the tani avarthanam (rhythm solo) by Manoj Siva and Karthick was delightful, though very brief.While the gesture of Sangeet Natak Akademi in recognising and awarding young talents deserves to be applauded, the Akademi could have done a little more homework in how to organise Carnatic music concerts and a few presentation errors could have been avoided.