The Battle Within An intimate evening with Akademi’s founder

Celebration of virtuosity and aesthetics

October 14, 2019
Celebration of virtuosity and aesthetics

Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam recitals were the mainstay at an event organised by Gosri Gana Sabha in Fort Kochi.

Aishwarya Vidhya Raghunath’s concert was engaging from the word go. Her raga and song selections were balanced and gave an even flow to the concert. She set the mood of the concert with a weighty rendition of the Tyagaraja masterpiece ‘Jagadanandakaraka’ in Natta. She had some interesting exchanges with Idappally Ajith on the violin as she sang niraval and swaras for ‘Aparamabhakti’ in Pantuvarali. Bhava quotient was high in Aishwarya’s Bhairavi raga alaapana, which was filled with gamakas and long karvais, and she excelled in the final phase in which she sang passages till the upper rishabham, traversing the scale with ease and felicity.

Aishwarya’s execution of a pallavi in Khanda triputa was more aesthetic in its appeal than mere technical jugglery. She had vakra ragas such as Ananda Bhairavi, Kedaram and Poorvikalyani in the ragamalika section. Mahesh Kumar on the mridangam excelled in the tani and he amused the crowd by playing extended phrases on the left face of the instrument alone.

One of the most promising Carnatic vocalists, Bharat Sundar gave a concert that was rich in manodharma and technical wizardry. The swaras for Begada in ‘Ganarasamu’ moved way to a profuse exploration of Shanmukhapriya raga tagged along with the less-sung GN Balasubramaniam kriti ‘Needayagalgunu’. The swara segment had mathematical permutations and he threw quite a few challenges to violinist Trivandrum Sampath and Balakrishna Kamath, who played the mridangam. A high decibel niraval at ‘Ramanamamane’ in ‘Bandureetikolu’ (Hamsanadam) had some sparkling sarvalaghu swaras in short cycles. This brilliance was contrasted with a slow, soulful singing of Tyagaraja’s Utsavasampradaya kriti ‘Hecharikarara’ in Yadukulakamboji. In his round, well-modulated voice, Bharat gave expression to Saveri raga, with due emphasis on gamakas and bhava. The metrical proportion of the raga phrases stood out distinctly. Muthuswamy Dikshitar’s ‘Karikalabhamukham’ in Roopaka tala was sung with accent on enunciation.

Meera Sreenarayanan’s Bharatanatyam concert was complete with technical finesse and inspiring abhinaya. The varnam she presented was ‘Danike tagujanara’, which was first performed by the Devadasi Mannargudi Meenakshi in the court of Sivaji, the second. It was composed by Tanjore Sivanandam.

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