Saturday, 12 January 2013

Dance recitals carry on, on Pongal eve

We are not very sure if this idea of tagging dance recitals and providing a platform to all young dancers after the real December Season is a great idea.
Yes, at local sabhas now banners are going up promoting the shows but peep inside and it is a sad story.

Since the door card says - Open to All - there is a small band of rasikas who may walk out on a whim.

We spotted Revathi Ramachandran doing a recce for her recital at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore this past week.

At Sri Kapali Temple in the same area, banners went up to promote the dance of the wellknown Odissi duo, Surupa and Bejayini from Nrityagram, Bangalore. The Reddys of the late Obul Reddy family who have upped the cash awards to all awardees at season time are the hosts of this special dance at the temple mantap on Saturday evening - great setting indeed in one of Chennai's great temples.

Dancer researcher Swarnamalya took time off to present her junior students at the annual Sundaram Finance sponsored Mylapore Festival (Jan.10 to 13 - - ) and then walked down the Food Street with friends to have a bite.

Yes, it really needs to be asked - how can the dances tagged to the season be made more focussed?

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Space for nadaswaram at Pongal time

This is a week that will lead to the harvest festival of Pongal. The city will empty itself for the long weekend starting Saturday as families go back to their hometowns for the holiday.

With the sparse monsoon and trickle from the Cauvery river, there will be little to celebrate for farmers and farm hands. So the interiors may see a very sober Pongal.

Pongal is also a time when some sabhas in the city give the stage to nadaswarm concerts.
Sri Krishna Gana Sabha in T. Nagar hosts a longish nadaswaram festival, featuring the best around.

Though the stage is welcome for these artistes, the air-conditioned hall is simply not the best place for this music. Perhaps the city parks would be a better space to host the vidwans. Or even the mantapams inside our leading temples.

This atmosphere may well be just the thing that artistes and genuine rasikas look forward to.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Malladi Bros. and Gundecha Bros. to perform together

IIT-Madras' annual cultural swing in the Guindy forest has come a tad soon this year. Saarang ( which used to be known as Mardigras once) is organised by students of IIT and this year, will run from Jan.9 to 13.

Dozens of events for collegians are hosted at various venues on the IIT campus, Guindy. There are also big show events which draw a large audience from the city.

The Classical Night is a double bill - the Malladi Brothers and the Gundecha Brothers will sing together. 

This will be followed by a recital by the Kathak great, Pandit Birju Maharaj and 20 dancers.

This show is free and on Jan.9.

There are many other professional shows on this campus.

For tickets log on to

Some good concerts coming up!

There are still some good concerts going top of the new year.

Kalarasana which has been hosting its fest a a new venue - Chinmaya Heritage Centre, off Harrington Road, Chetput is promoting two long concerts this week.

One by T M Krishna and the other by sisters Ranjani-Gayathri.

Kalarasana's branding has been to host at least a few four-hour long kutcheris - and these have been well received by rasikas.

A donation to the Academy

Prof. Sudharani Raghupathy is donating all her books on music, dance and the arts to the library of The Music Academy.

She said this when she gave the acceptance speech after she was decorated with the Natya Kala Acharya award by the Academy on Thursday evening.

The event was simple, neat and short with a small audience attending it.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Sudharani Ragupathy to be decorated at Academy's dance fest

The Music Academy's Dance Fest begins this evening at its auditorium with dance guru Sudharani Raghupathy being decorated with the Natya Kala Achrya award.

Dance recitals are to be held through the day but the big ones are in the evenings -a  solo followed by a dance production, all by India's leading artistes.

Season and daily tickets are on sale at the office.S

MSG passes away

A great violinist has passed away this morn.
M S Gopalakrishnan is no more and the arts world has begun to mourn his passing at his home in Mylapore in Chennai.

MSG, as he was fondly called passed away even as he was in the middle of the music he was born into in the Parur lineage.

Just over a week or so ago he was wheeled up to the stage at the Bala Mandir German Hall in T Nagar to be decorated with an award by Indian Fine Arts Society (IFAS). Despite his age and weakness, he chatted with rasikas and related to others here.

Sadas at the Academy

The sadas at The Music Academy on New Year's evening was very proper and smart, as it always is.

The award of the birudhu and citation to Trichur V Ramachandran, the address by chief guest Justice V Ramasubramaniam of the Madras High Court, the awards to senior artistes and the prizes to artistes who had been judged excellent in their December Season concerts.

The buzz though was on the sidelines as rasikas kept filing in for the T M Krishna concert later that evening. It was free, as has been Krishna's signature this season.

Those who had tickets queued outside while others took the lift to the 2nd floor to grab the free seats there. The rest had to sit in the mini hall for a TV-fed cast of the TMK recital.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Big Day at Music Academy

In many ways you may call Trichur V Ramachadran a cool vidwan.
He goes about his life like any other man on the road.

A few days ago we bumped into him outside Radha Silks in Sannidhi Square, Mylapore. He must have got some shopping done. The Sangita Kalanidhi designate loves being in natty kurtas and he must have bought a few new ones here.

This evening will be his big day. At the sadas at the Music Academy he will be decorated with the birudhu and given the insignia that is awarded to the Sangita Kalanidhi awardee.

Justice V Ramasubramaniam is the chief guest at this 5 p.m. event which is open to all.

Vocalist Tiruchi J. Venkataraman and violinist T. Rukmani will receive the ‘Sangita Kala Acharya’ awards, while the T.T.K. awards will be presented to mridangam vidwan Mullapudi Sriramamurthy and musician-cum-recording expert K.S. Raghunathan.

The award for a musicologist goes to Dr Ritha Rajan.

Prizes will also be given to a host of artistes for excelling during the season here.

The New Year tradition

New Year's Day concerts at some places follow a tradition.

Flutist Shashank always performs in the morning at the Academy. Makes for a great, quiet and peaceful sail into the new year.

Not far away, at MFAC the Lalgudi siblings, G J R Krishnan and sister Vijayalakshmi also keep a tradition that they have followed in the steps of their great father, Jayaraman. He used to perform on January 1 morn; now his children do so and it is a big concert.

At MFAC this evening, the big draw will be K J Yesudoss. He also keeps his New Year evening date at this sabha.

Quite a treat for rasikas as the season begins to wind up.