Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Kutcheri Schedules; this year they are out early

Chennai's sabhas are waking up slowly to the changing world of the performing arts and the people who indulge in it. Till about a year ago, most sabhas put out their December Season schedules in late November or as late as early December, just weeks before their music / dance tests would begin.

Times seem to have made some impact. This year, many sabhas issued their schedules as early as the first week of November. Those who are delaying it are the ones who still have trouble fixing the accompanists for some artistes or have some blanks in their dance concerts time table.

Sabhas need to realize that many rasikas from outside Chennai are keen to pick and choose the concerts they wish to attend, curate a schedule personally and book travel tickets and accommodation.

Little effort is made to attract tourists and others to the city and to its music/dance season. Sabhas seem to be still content with serving members and local rasikas.

Here are sabha schedules - http://www.kutcheribuzz.com/schedules-2014

Odd sight at music space . . .

The house was full, the event was businesslike and the music was good but at the inauguration of the music fest of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore there was one small sight that was odd.

A armed policeman who stood in the aisle and kept to himself.  One assumed that perhaps he was here as part of the team behind the chief justice of the Madras High Court who was the chief guest. Later we were told that the man was security provided to E Gayathri, who was decorated with an award that evening - Nov.21.

This senior artiste, best known for her veena playing artistry since her pre-teen years is now vice chancellor of the TN Music University.

Guns and music cannot be in the same place . . .

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Umayalpuram Sivaraman teams up with dancers

This Season, you will get to experience mridangam maestro Umayalpuram R Sivaraman is a different avatar that is not wholly new to the artiste. Being at the core of a dance recital.

The vidwan has been in recent times experimenting in playing for classical dance. Recently, he performed as dancers Roja Kannan and Priya Murle performed. Priya recalls that he played the Tandava and Lasya.

The two senior Bharatanatyam dancers will be seen on stage alongside Sivaraman and other musicians. The group does not want to talk much on the recital.

Says Priya, "Once he has set his mind to it Sivaraman sir just works at it. He brings a lot to dance."

Monday, 17 November 2014

Bhavan's auditoria offer good experience

A good listening experience awaits rasikas at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's main auditorium in Mylapore this season.

The renovation which began late last year and ran into the 2013 season took time to complete and now, the auditorium is one of the best in the city.

Seating is comfortable and designed such that you get to see the artistes on stage from all corners. The audio system is fairly good and the lights, good enough for use by dancers.

The lobby space is also neat, well-lit and swank.

The smaller auditoria at the upper levels are also neat.

The Bhavans' Chennai kendra director K N Ramaswamy says he intends to raise the level of the stage for artistes at the mini hall so that eye contact with rasikas is better.

This is one campus which has events right through the day - discourses, music/dance concerts, talks . . .

Welcome to Season 2014; the nip is in the air

It feels good to be back here as we at KutcheriBuzz begin our coverage of December Season 2014.

Chennai had its spell of pre-monsoon showers - the potholes on the roads got wider, the dust was in the air and the nights got a wee bit chill. The weather map does show indications of the monsoon and if this is delayed then December may well be a wet month.

If there is one prediction that we can make then we always expect a spell of rain on the day the curtains go up on the festival of Kartik Fine Arts!

It will be a chill December, at least by Chennai standards and so seniors will want to pull out their monkey caps, mufflers and light sweaters.

The temperatures in the mid 20s after dusk make for a pleasant experience in a  city where the standard daytime temperature is in the mid-30s.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Thanks to the KB Team. Belated but well-deserved wishes.

As editor of KutcheriBuzz I slipped badly as we bade goodbye to Season 2013.
I overlooked my duty to say thank you to my team.


R Revathi not only filed reports and profiled some young talents who may well make a mark in the years to come but also contributed ideas and shared inputs as she did her own rounds of the sabhas this season. Thanks to her.

To photographer R Saravanan who criss crossed the sabhas, though limited by resources and hurried by demanding deadlines.

Thanks also to desk-based techperson Parameshwaran; he kept posting the pictures, videos and stories that heaped on his desk across December.

To designer Prema who doubled at her desk at Mylapore Times to prepare the KB Season's Daily. Thanks.

To our printers, Copyaid and Ratna Offset our thanks for keeping to deadlines.

To Circulation Exec Kathiravan and his team; they made sure the Guides and Daily got to the sabhas on time. Thanks. And to other colleagues at our offices here.

Thanks to our clients as advertisers in print and online. Their support was crucial to the ideas.

To all our readers, a great community deserves our thanks too.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Sun sets on Season 2013. Hard rethink must for the next. . .

The Music Academy decorated Bharatanatyam guru Chitra Visweswaran with its annual award on Friday evening. The occasion was also the launch of the Dance Fest of the Academy; some great artistes across the day for a few days.

Back to back shows in the evening. Costs Rs.250 a ticket and this created some heartburn among rasikas and artistes who expect their fans to troop in.

Elsewhere, dance recitals too root in the sabha halls, some drawing 50 to 100 rasikas, some just a handful. It helped if the host used smart and ingenuous methods to draw well wishers.

The music ebbed a bit and flowed at sabhas on the city's fringe - Madipakkam and Velachery and the like. These rasikas may be lucky if the voices of the best who will perform for them aren't sore or tired. It has been a sever winter by Madras standards....temps in the 22degrees region, lots of dew and the odd sprinkle.

NRIs fly back home, tired and happy and with mixed feelings. One well-wisher said he and his dancer wife who had her last show at a hall on the banks of the Adyar river would catch up sleep on the 18-hour flight.

NRIs are feeling the pinch too; if they lead a hectic performance and travel schedule at season time. They say prices have been rising at about 20%. The sting hurts even as expenses rise.

The Season has to get real in many ways. And as the sun sets on Season 2013, sabha heads, artistes and rasikas will have to rethink ways in which they can host shows, perform and enjoy smart even as times change, technology sways and tastes change.

The Music Academy -Dance Festival

Monday, 30 December 2013

Ganesh-Kumaresh, Sonal Mansigh at IIT Fest

Rajaram Suresh, a student of IIT Madras, and an organizer of Saarang
2014, IIT's annual cultural festival mailed this note -

As part of our Classical Night, we are organising an open concert on
January 8th, featuring the violin duo GANESH-KUMARESH (music) and the
legendary Odissi dancer SONAL MANSINGH(Dance) both on one night.

Date: 8th January, 2014
Time: 6 00 pm onwards
Venue: Open Air Theatre, IIT Madras campus, Adayar, Chennai 600036
Concerts are open to all and is free,