Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Looking for 'season' accommodation?

If you are traveling to Chennai for the season and still have not booked your accommodation, there is a utility section on the Kutcheribuzz web site which you may find useful.

It lists all the hotels located in the Mylapore - T. Nagar zone of the city - since most sabhas are located here!

There is also a section which lists private accommodation offered by residents to rasikas for short periods of stay. Check this out too.

If you have any other need that KutcheriBuzz can help you with send a mail to - 

Rain. Amrithavarshini. And a chill December.

The severe monsoon has had its effect on preparations for the 'season'.
Perhaps the spring cleaning in auditoriums, the most.

Rasikas too who have begun attending concerts at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Mylapore ( its fest was launched on Nov.20) stayed away on a few days when rain battered the city. Though some hard-core ones who live close to the venue made it - wading through knee-deep water.

At Kanyakumari's violin concert on Tuesday evening, a rasika stood up at about 8.35 p.m. and asked the artiste to play on though people were leaving the hall fearing another outbreak of rain though the sun shone well that day.

"Keep playing madam…I just went out and there is no sign of rain and we will stay on!", he said.

Kanyakumari smiled and assured the rasika she would play till 9. She closed at 9.10.

Rasikas on social media are wondering if artistes will ever play the amrithavarshini raga this 'season'. Chennai has had record rain in a short time, repeatedly flooded and says enough is enough!

The monsoon will fade out but December could be chill.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Sabhas take it cool releasing concert schedules

Sabhas will continue to play local. Though the December Season is global.

At least 3 leading sabhas still have not finalized their concert schedules, one pulled back the list that was released and is due to launch the fest on December 1.

One sabha's secretary is hard to get and another, which is well past 100 years of its life hopes to get the schedule out in early December.

And one sabha is constantly juggling artistes to fit them somewhere.

How does one expect rasikas from Bangalore and Kochi, USA and Singapore to make plans for their trips to Chennai?

KutcheriBuzz has been posting the schedules as they come.

'Give the stage to instrumentalists'; violinist Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari wants sabhas to schedule concerts for instrumentalists.
She said so in plain words and with a smile when she responded to felicitations at the Bhavan's event to award her and Neyveli Santhanagopalan on November 20 evening.

"The schedules are loaded with vocalists…sabha teams must keep a balance..else where will we all go?', she said.

And she reminded sabha heads that people like her were growing old and would not have much time to perform if they did not get the opportunity!

Many rasikas nodded.

The hardcore rasikas have found that this year, many sabhas have forgotten the veena.

Photo shows Kanyakumari with her students after she was given the award at BVB's fest launch.

Talk, talk, talk. At Bhavan's opening evening.

It rains when the Season begins. Perhaps a sign of good things to come!

It drizzled on Friday evening, November 20 as the curtains went up on the music and dance festival of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Mylapore.

Having been renovated last year, this is a great place to listen to music - if impatient rasikas allow you to do so!

The evening though was a lot of talk, talk, talk. There were four speakers and all of them did not stare at the huge clock that sits on the balcony and faces the main stage.

If you are not a great speaker or you don't have much to say at the podium, then it makes sense to be crisp and close.

Yes, Prof Jayanthasri Balakrishnan from Coimbatore's PSG College, a guest for this occasion spoke well - she is one of the TV stars at extempore oratory events. "Bring your children to concerts ..let them soak in the music," she urged the audience - in the hall there were probably 10 teens.

The speeches ran for 80minutes and rasikas started to lose patience - Abhishek Raghuram's concert was to follow and they didn't want to miss that.
Word went around that the drizzle outside has started again.

This evening was focussed on two senior artistes - violinist Kanyakumari and vocalist Neyveli Santhanagopalan were decorated with lifetime achievement awards.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Sudha Ragunathan cancels concerts

Sudha Ragunathan has cancelled all her concerts this Season. Her doctor has advised her to do so following medical related issues.

Sudha herself has not made an official statement as far as we know. But the little birds at sabhas confirmed that she asked for her concerts to be cancelled. The Music Academy's office said they did not have any intimation yet.

Welcome to Season 2015!!

Welcome to Season 2015.
I write this on a day when the rains hold back and we wonder if we will have a true monsoon, which keeps its date at this time of the year in this part of India.

It broke on the eve of November but has been patchy and that is not good news for lots of people who depend on it.

We at KutcheriBuzz start out work, as if on cue in early October. We need to get going on the production of the two Season Guides that KB brings out - one for the music concerts and one for dance.

Thankfully, our advertisers respond fairly quickly. Our sabhas don't. So we call and call and hope the schedules reach us early to get the Guides out by December 5/7. Though these should ideally be out by November 23/25.

One must say this is boring work. But when it comes out as a Guide it is valued and that is what makes us devote time to this part of the Season's work.

There will not be any surprises between the covers. And if you are traveling to Madras/Chennai later in December there will be some copies left for people like you to pick up - at the KB office.

I guess in an age when people use smartphones at every turn, the Guides are irrelevant for some rasikas! But they have their place!!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Time to wrap up!

It is time to wrap up our coverage of Season 2014 and move on.
While a few sabhas continue with dance and music concerts, the zing has fizzled out and people are back to daily life and music and dance on a good weekend!

Nalli Chinnaswamy Chetti hosted his annual high coffee party where awards were given too every artistes who was decorated with awards by various sabhas.

Many rasikas have made plans to head to the Thyagaraja aradhana at Thiruvaiyaru in Thanjavur since it falls this week, close to the season.

For us, the season did not seem too exciting. Rather, it seems to be sliding into a pedestrian routine save for some great concerts. Sabhas need to rethink and to present the season smartly.

Hope to see you all back in December 2015.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Useful brochure for dancers

This is a smartly designed brochure that classical dancers must possess - the brochure published for the Natya Kala Conference curated by dancer Swapna Sundari for Sri Krishna Gana Sabha.

The conference asked select dancers to focus on one character they had explored as an artiste and present the character on stage. 'Knowing Again' was the conference theme.
The brochure carries a gist of all characters explored and a bio-note on each participant.

Anupama Kylash co ordinated the contents and Aalaap helped produce this brochure in Chennai. The sabha should have copies now. Grab one.

No percussions please. T M Krishna in concert.

T M Krishna's morning concert at Krishna Gana Sabha on 23rd Dec. at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha was unique and as has now come to be expected, unpredictable. He had no percussion that day for his concert ( no kutcheris for him please ). No mridangam, no khanjira, no ghatam and no moharsing. Just he and his conscience keeper R K Sriram Kumar on the violin. And of course the thamburas. 

For someone who staunchly vouched for thanis during his erstwhile kutcheris, even asking rasikas stepping out for coffee breaks during thanis to sit back, it being an important constituent of kutcheris or so he used to announce, this was more than a huge surprise. 

But surprises have come to be part and parcel of TMKs concerts these days haven't they?. So what next ? Who knows violin could be the next victim, and it could well be TMK and TMK alone some day soon ! 

Sabhas should be the last ones to complain as he is helping them bring down the cost of accompanying artists, however small, having already denied them their legitimate dues to ticket his concerts, by insisting his concerts are to be free and free only. A ploy TMK has adopted for his concerts, ONLY during the Music Season for last three years. 

TMK's so-called innovations apparently have no limits ! 

- By N. Srikumar 

Charumathi Ramachandran's one-day fest on Jan.1

Vocalist Charumathi Ramachandran's music academy is hosting a one-day concert and lec-dem series at Arkay Centre, Luz on January 1. This is open to all. Here is the schedule --








Season's star - Abhishek Raghuram

Abhishek Raghuram is clearly the star of this December Season. His fans kept growing, excited and gushing. Lots of young ones in the audience. They did not miss even his fringe events. And lots is written on his music and concerts on social media. 

Says D. Gopalakrishan, "He is full of energy and so audience are also electrified. Abhishek Raghuramukku drishti chuthi podungo."

But there are others who have counter-points. Said Frenchwoman Chantal who lives in Chennai for three months at this time of the year," Abhishek's mastery is great and he is talented but the musicality…the bhava of the music does not touch times, I feel his music lies too heavy on me."

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