Signing off with a bangAug 7th, 2009 | By editor | Category: City Culture, Music & Dance
Due to delayed start, the Carnatic vocal concert of N. Vijay Siva on the penultimate day of the celebrations could go on for only about two hours. Nevertheless, Vijay Siva structured his recital to fit in well in this time limit and enthralled the rasikas with some outstanding presentations right from his first item which was a varnam in the raga Todi till the last item a Thiruppugazh in the raga Huseni. Accompanied by two tanpuras, Vijay Siva’s recital had a resounding effect in Kamani auditorium.
Presenting the Adi tala varnam in two speeds gave Vijay Siva a bright start. His vidwat in manodharma music (creative music) came to the fore right from the second piece, which was Tyagaraja’s “Sobillu saptasvara” in raga Jaganmohini. Vijay Siva took up the phrase “dhara raksamadulalo vara Gayatri hrudayamuna” for niraval from the charanam of the composition and followed it up with swaraprastaras. Here, creativity flowed with ease.
A Tamil composition of Papanasam Sivan, “Paraatpara parameswara” in raga Vachaspati (64th melakarta raga) underwent fine treatment. The vocalist delineated the raga beautifully, bringing out its bhava. Shyama Sastri’s “Nannu brova lalita” in raga Lalita was emotive. Here again, he delivered a fine alapana. This raga, incidentally, takes all the swaras of the 15th melakarta raga Mayamalavagowla, except the Pancham. The swaraprastaras towards the end were rich in eloquence and creativity.
Muthuswami Dikshitar’s “Balagopala” in raga Bhairavi formed the main item of the recital. Here again, apart from the presenting the composition with utmost care for the sangatis and kalapramanam (tempo), the alapana of the raga was outstanding. The niraval of the phrase “Manikyamakutaharavalayadhara” was creatively handled. So were the subsequent swaraprastaras.
Expectedly, the post tani-avartanam session was brief. But Vijay Siva did pack this session with items that were engrossing, like viruttams in ragas Kapi, Mohanam and Jaunpuri, Subramania Bharati’s “Asai mugam marandu poocchu” tuned in Jaunpuri, a tillana in raga Suruti and Saint Arunagirinathar’s Thiruppugazh “Iyel Isaiyel”.
R.K. Sreeramkumar who provided violin support to Vijay Siva had perfect understanding, possibly partly due to his also having learnt Carnatic music from the late D.K. Jayaraman. His experience in accompanying numerous artistes, including those of yesteryear, gave him an edge.
His takes on various occasions, whether it was delineating ragas, playing niravals or swaraprastaras, were delightful. In particular, his delineations of ragas Lalita, Vachaspati and Bhairavi were enjoyable.
Delhi’s K.N. Padmanabhan too had perfect understanding and provided excellent support on the mridangam. He played a riveting tani avartanam in Adi tala. On the whole, a delightful concert rooted in traditional musical values. The organisation deserves appreciation for inclusion of such a concert in their celebrations.
The feisty Komala Varadan brought the curtains down on the yearlong silver jubilee celebrations of her organisation Kalaikoodam with an edited version of her Bharatanatyam interpretation of Ramcharitmanas. Based on the Tulsidas epic, this solo presentation offers a dancer ample scope to delve imaginatively into both the technical and mimetic aspects of classical dance. Though it has been performed on numerous occasions, it was a good choice with which to end the festival, as it is considered in some ways the dancer’s signature creation.
The eminent dancer, long settled in Delhi, spoke feelingly of her efforts to bring Bharatanatyam, once considered the prerogative of Tamil Nadu, closer to the people of North India. In her closing remarks she mentioned how people had initially discouraged her from choreographing the Ramcharitmanas in Bharatanatyam, since the metre of the poetry — the dohas and chaupais so beloved of the common devotee in the Hindi belt — would not suit the dance form. However, she had proved this dubious contention wrong.
In this performance time the veteran put more emphasis on the abhinaya aspects than the adavus and footwork, and in this she had able support in the form of a fine orchestral team, including melodious vocalist Sadanam Rajagopalan, with VSK Annadurai on the violin and Thanjavur Kesavan on the mridangam. There was also an edakka that added effectively to the orchestra. However, while percussion was elaborate, the footwork was mild in comparison. At times tala matching left something to be desired. Still, the audience enjoyed the drama of the story that the world never tires of.
Music by Varadan was a highpoint. With a variety of ragas redolent with emotion to which Rajagopalan did justice — his strong point is musical improvisation to bring out the feeling of the piece — it was an apt composition for dance choreography. The finale was a melodious tillana and a closing prayer.