FRIDAY REVIEW

Feminine touch, traditional fare

ZESTFUL: Akhilandeswari and Vijayalakshmi   | Photo Credit: Photos: M. Karunakaran.

LALITHAA KRISHNAN

The Palni Sisters synchronised well and Kothandaraman was absolutely classical.

It is essentially a man's world in the nagaswaram-thavil scenario. Both instruments are exacting and make considerable demands on even the most resilient male practitioners of the art. Given this, the chances of encountering women artistes are about as remote as locating a needle in a haystack. Which is why the nagaswaram concert of siblings Palani P. Akhilandeswari and P. Vijayalakshmi and party excited much curiosity amongst the audience at the Nadaswara Thavil Music Festival. The sisters presented a well-synchronised programme. `Thaye Tripurasundari' (Suddha Saveri) with chittaswaram carried zest and punch. Much effort was expended on the main raga Kiravani and the kalpanaswara segment as the duo gallantly rallied to tow the kanakku-riddled swaras to safe harbour. The tukkadas included a piece in Revathi, and Tiruppugazh.

Crisp phrases

Senior vidwan, Bangalore M. Kodandaraman made a mark with his recital, accompanied by his disciple Bangalore B.S. Ramesh Babu. The artistes opted for a traditional invocation with Muthuswami Dikshitar's `Siddhi Vinayakam' in Shanmukhapriya (Chamaram in Dikshitar parlance). A fine succession of Tyagaraja kritis effectively juxtaposed contrasting moods, talas and kalapramanas. `Enthavedukondhu Raghava' in Saraswathi Manohari introduced an upbeat note while `Gurulekha' encapsulated the deeply classical flavour of Gowrimanohari and `Sri Rama Padama' projected the now-melancholic, now-intellectual appeal of Amrithavahini. The main alapana, Kalyani, shone with crisp, short phrases and supple jarus, the artist's air of command evident in Muthuswami Dikshitar's `Sivakameshwarim' and the swaraprastaras that resonated with raga bhava at every turn. Ramesh Babu's playing exuded confidence, yet observed restraint. The special thavil artistes, Kongampattu A.V. Murugaiyyan and Palani M. Muthumanickam dazzled rasikas with the splendour of their thani avartanam which resounded with sollus that flew thick and fast, keeping pace with fascinating rhythmic patterns.