Audience spellbound at music and dance extravaganza

From Carnatic and Hindustani to western and Sufi music, the three day Bharath Utsav had an eclectic range of music and dance much to the pleasure of South Bangalore fans.

The three days of music and dance at Brigade MLR Convention centre, JP Nagar was a thorough treat for all music and dance lovers. Hats off to Manasi Prasad (Head – Music Project, Brigade Enterprises) and K N Sashikiran (Founder and Director of Carnatica) who made this event possible.

On February 26th evening a grand inaugural concert by Ganesh and Kumaresh (violin) and party marked the beginning of the Utsav. The duo presented a remarkable blend of melody and synchronisation. The theme was "Six seasons". The first Vasantha Rithu in Bilahari Raga was meticulously executed and was followed by Greeshma Rithu in Raga Shanmugapriya which kept the audience hooked on to their seats.

The crowning piece of their recital was the Sharad Rithu in Kalyani where they performed ‘Grehabedham‘. The concert was truly magical.

As singer Anuradha Sriram was indisposed, her musician husband Sriram Parasuram gave a solo vocal performance. The concert connected Carnatic with Hindustani music. Sriram Parasuram seemed so versatile and was at ease switching between both

Sufi troupe

Sufi Manganiyar troupe. Courtesy: Gajendra Stills

Saturday, February 27th began briskly at 9.45 am by R K Padmanabha and party. His voice was rich and resilient. The resonance was consistent throughout three ranges or sthayis. He discussed about Vivaadhi Swaras. He gave a detailed introduction and sang the ragas Ganamurthi, Nattai, Manasaullasini, Rasikapriya and Varali.

In the afternoon, the auditorium was packed once again to see Manasi Prasad’s Music and Dance presentation of Giridhara Meera. She commenced her recital with ‘Chalo Man Jamuna Theera‘ which was followed by Pyaare Darsan Dheejyo. Manasi brought alive the role of Meera. Meera was forced to marry the Rana and after marriage, when Rana died, she was asked to commit Sati. She refused to do so and sang Meera maganu Bhai Hari ke gun gaaye. Manasi’s abhinaya skills were good and the emotions were depicted beautifully. Meera decides to go to Dwaraka and spend her life singing His praises. The finale with Pag ghungroo with vibrant dance steps was catchy, and then Manasi depicted Meera giving up her senses one by one to attain Him.

In the evening, Sanjay Subrahmanyan’s classical treat had clarity, fluency and imagination which characterised his vibrant extempore. He started off with ‘KarunimpaSahaana varnam followed by ‘Samayamide nannu brova‘ in Dhanyasi raga. Then came the beautiful rendition of ‘Kumara swaminam‘, Muthuswami Dikshtar’s Kriti in Asaveri raga. The vocalist’s aesthetic sensibility and rich manodharma were explicit throughout the performance.

Later that evening, it was as if the audience was transported to the desert land with Sufi music from ‘The Desert‘ by the Manganiyars. Jameel Khan and Mansoor Khan’s group were truly amazing and audience was dumb-struck. The Khartal was really mesmerising, the Dhol was perfect and everybody was clapping in rhythm for the Nimbuda Nimbuda folk song. Then a glorious piece described the love between a Hindu girl and Muslim boy. The whole group kept the audience tied to their seats till the end of the programme. It was truly awesome and wonderful. Enamoured by their repertoire, Kala Rasikas, a couple contributed the handsome sum of Rs 50,000 to the group.

Sunday, 27th February afternoon kicked off with a performance by the ‘Madras String Quartet’. V S Narasimhan, Hemanthraj Muliyil, V R Sekar and B J Chandran were very much in sync and sounded marvelous. Then they played an elementary piece Ra ra venu gopala and Abhogi varnam followed by Sree mahagapathim in Gaulai and an excellent rendition of Sri subrahmanyaya namasthe in Kamboji. As Manasi said, East is Melody and West is Harmony and Madras String Quartet made them meet. They concluded with the popular ‘Krishna nee begane‘ in Yamuna Kalyani.

madras quartet

Madras Quartet. Courtesy: Gajendra Stills

The evening began with a carnatic concert by Sangita Kalanidhi R K Srikantan with Chitraveena maestro N Ravikiran. At 90, veteran R K Srikantan’s astounding verve and swiftness kept the audience spellbound. The concert opened with Navaragamalika Varnam followed by Sidhi Vinayakam. The accompaniment to the vocals was Chitravina in this concert and Ravikiran’s hands were magical. R K Srikantan got a standing ovation.

The valedictory performance was Nirupama & Rajendra’s Ojas – rare Brilliance in Kathak. This was another dance feast to the eyes. First piece was ‘Rang’ which represented the colours of life. Second was ‘Shrungara Rama‘ depicting Rama and Seetha fell in love at first sight. Third piece was ‘Raasleela‘ where Gopikas fell prey to Ahankara had some folk movements of Uttar Pradesh. Next a contemporary piece choreographed by Kumudini Lakya’s ‘ThaDhaa‘ emerged stupendously. The final piece was Rhapsody in footwork which was ‘Kadam Kadam‘.   ⊕

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