Friday 29 November 2013

Check out these docu films. Dec.1 onwards in Thiruvanmiyur

If you like docu-films or wish to support the people who make and screen them ( so that more will be made!), here is a fest of films you may want to eheck out.

The reprinted RIG is on sale; music rasikas may want to buy one

The palm-sized book called RIG-3 or (Raga Identification Guide version 3) has had its demand among rasikas.

The current one that is out is a reprint of earlier issues with some additions, based on the response by rasikas, says K. Balasubramaniam, convener of Balaganamrutham, which is a registered trust promoting young talent in classical music.

The book contains nearly 6500 kritis/songs with relevant ragas/composers, and is available for sale; proceeds of which go towards the trust's activities. The under-300 page guide is easy to carry and very useful for music lovers, continues Balasubramaniam.

The book is priced at Rs. 75 and limited copies are available for sale at KutcheriBuzz office, Corporation Complex, 77, C. P. Ramaswamy Road, Alwarpet. 11 am to 5 pm only. Contact - Parameswaran.

Thiruvarur Bhakatavatsalam hosts a fest

Mridangam vidwan Thiruvarur Bhakatavatsalam had his own version of a music fest launched this evening in Luz. At the Arkay Centre.

He grants the stage to a group of his sishyas every evening before the big timers take charge. And he also ensures the great of percussion attend or come by.

Arkay Centre now seems to the favourite space to hire for small events. No wonder Ramakrishnan's smart auditorium is fully booked.

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Doodles from the sabha hall . . first one

Two talented creative artists, Murali and Ganapathy Subramaniam have started dropping into the eoncerts at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore to sketch 'live'.

The duo are part of Chennai Weekend Artists, an informal body of artists who chose and head to a location now and then and sketch 'live'.

The duo checked in at Sudha Ragunathan's concert one evening and hope to be in for more.
Ganapathy says - We do want to keep it kind of unfinished to maintain the real time feel.

Ganapathy has a point. This one here is by Murali. KB will feature more as the doodles flow in!

Sunday 24 November 2013

Efforts seniors make to enjoy music . . .

Seniors who reside in the neighbourhood of Sri Kapali Temple, Mylapore are the lucky rasikas, always. They have to take a few steps to get into a concert.

The best destination is  Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

Many of them are well into their 80s but gather their bones and pump up their spirits to make it to the concerts. It isn't easy - few places are seniors-friendly. Ramps, access to gates and suitable washrooms are in place only at the renovated or new halls.

This visual records the effort a senior puts in to enjoy some music. A man at hand helps but this woman made immense effort to be at a concert by the Priya Sisters.

Celebrating 'Paalam'; webcasting concerts year round

T. Nagar got into a pre-Season mode as Mudhra got an event going this evening at the Ramakrishna Mission school off North Usman Road.

Celebrations of 11 years of its magazine for the arts, Samudhra and 52 weeks of webcasting concerts.

This was also a time to honour musician and musicologist Sriram Parasuram with a title. Honoured by the maestro Prof T N Krishnan.

Husband-wife duo Bhaskar and Radha do all the things they can in tandem to plan and host a show and their calling. This evening, their son came along - singing the prayer song.

Also on the stage was the man who is the biggest patron around - Nalli Kuppuswamy Chetti, just back from a trip abroad.

Radha says the webcast of weekly concerts, Sunday evenings under the Paalam brand has helped rasikas tune in for live recitals. She said their 24 hour schedule for Deepavali was a big hit.

With brands like Nalli and Pothys backing them, the project, which completed 52 webcasts has run on smoothly.

Saturday 23 November 2013

Lec-dems on Carnatic music next week

Looking for good lectures this November? On Carnatic music. Take a look at this.

Hosted by ARTery and Shabda in Chennai as part of the Voices of Tomorrow music fest at Sastri Hall, Luz.

Tue., Nov. 26th 2013
17:30 - Lecture - Mahavidwan Prof. T. N. Krishnan ("Structuring a Raga Alapana")

Wed., Nov. 27th 2013
17:30 - Lecture - Vidwan Shri. K. S. Kalidas ("Evolution of Tala Vadyams")

Thu., Nov. 28th 2013
17:30 - Lecture - Vidushi Dr. S. Sowmya ("Ragas as envisioned in Padams & Javalis")

Fri., Nov. 29th 2013
17:30 - Lecture - Vidushi Smt. Suguna Varadachari ("Role of gamakas in establishing raga character")

Friday 22 November 2013

G. Ravi Kiran in concert

G. Ravi Kiran in concert at the music festival hosted by Shanmughapriya at Swamy's Hall in Mandaveli on Friday evening. One of the few, small music fests which set the tone for the 'season'.

Work at BVB auditorium yet to be over

We expected a brand new auditorium at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan this evening as we walked in for its music fest launch in Mylapore. Yes, the lobby was smart but inside, there was a lot of work yet to be done.

It was a packed hall alright, every seat occupied. But the chairs were hired ones, the floor work awaited the finishing job and the rough edges showed.

The auditorium lighting was good but the stage awaited the real lights, the air-conditioning was good and the seating on the first floor was new and comfortable.

Bhavan's hands-on executive Ramaswamy knew he had worked on a tough deadline. "But we will work through the mornings and the hall will be ready soon,"he said.

The hired staff though worked smart, arranging chairs in front of the TV screens that relayed the inauguration and Sudha Ragunathan's concert that followed. Rasikas did not mind sitting down on light carpets in the entrance lobby, happy to catch Sudha 'live'.

Kalakshetra's fest from Dec 21 to 31

Kalakshetra's schedule is out. The Art Fest, its 61st edition we are told will roll from Dec.21 and end on 31st.

There are five dance productions of Kalakshetra that will be staged as is the tradition, all planned and choreographed by Rukmini Devi.

Concerts are by Vikku Vinayakram and group and by Mandolin Shrinivas besides Hindustani vocal by M Venkatesh Kumar and Carnatic vocal by sisters Ranjani-Gayathri besides other recitals.

All shows are ticketed. Box office opens on Dec.11. Call 2452 1169.

Deadlines can be cruel!

Deadlines can be cruel to those who have to meet them!

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan is to launch its music fest at 5 p.m. and people are still working at the renovated auditorium through this morning. The new seats were being fixed and the place was being cleaned.

Bhavan's Ramaswamy, the man for all seasons was personally supervising the work and hoped that the place will be ready at 4 p.m. to guests and VIPs.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Docu-films on music, dance to be screened

Small bodies create fringe events at December 'season' time. Which is good and more are welcome as they broaden the festival and offer variety to rasikas.

A bookshop in South Chennai is curating a screening of films and docu-films based on music and dance.

Panuval Book Shop in Thiruvanmiyur will screen films from Dec.1 to 8, launching with the feature film ' Hamsa Geethe' made by the late G V Iyer. The a/c hall can seat about 50 people. Admission is free and open to all.

More info on the fest will follow. Contact - 93828 53646.

When Carnatic music artistes rival Tamil film stars!

It is that time of the year when Tamil film stars are challenged by Carnatic music artistes. At least as far as public posters go.

In recent times, event organisers have taken off differently while tapping into the December Season by hosting concerts in bigger spaces and targeting a larger community of people who love music.

One such show that seems to have a niche of its own is called Chennaiyil Thiruvaiyaru which not only hosts concerts by the best and the popular but also re creates the Thyagaraja aradhana on stage!

An event of Lakshman Sruthi which is based in the heart of Chennai's film world and a lead seller of music instruments and accessories, the marketing is big and wide.

This week, the first of a series of posters hit the walls of the city and will compete for attention with the posters of films like Selvaraghavan's 'Irandam Ulagam' and the second in the Pizza thriller series called ' Villa' which has not received ho-hos like Pizza did but is still doing well at the theatres.

Arya on one side, Sudha Ragunathan on the other.

The photo of one such poster featured here was 'snapped' in Vadapalani.

Monday 18 November 2013

The Academy on the eve of Season 2013

The Hindu's Friday Review November Festival is a more recent creation. And it attempts to set the mood for the December season though its line up of music is a nice mix of classical, Indian and world music.

This Fest is currently on at The Music Academy and on Monday evening, the Trichur Brothers and Mandolin Rajesh performed alongside a team of Hindustani artistes.

This photo shows the illuminated Academy on the eve of Season 2013.

Narada Gana Sabha puts out its schedule

Narada Gana Sabha has put out its December Season schedule.

There are pre-fest concerts from Dec.1 to 13. There are also a series of Harinama Sankirthanam from Dec.25 to Jan.1, 2014 at 7 a.m. daily.

The min hall here will also host Thevaram and Pallavi series concerts., held in association with Saraswathi.

The main fest opens on Dec.14 and vidwan-flutist Dr N Ramani will be decorated with the sabha's top award and an award is also to be given to senior musician Jayalakshmi Santhanam.

Friday 15 November 2013

Required: halls for practice by outstation dancers

If you are looking for places to rehearse, a few people are offering them in the city. For, there is a demand for these.

Dancers from outside the city seek spaces to prime up before a recital. Spaces of dance academies are an option if they have friends here. Large drawing rooms of well wishers are also sought.

A couple of people offer their places on East Coast Road (ECR). A space in R A Puram which offers its halls for parties and meetings, also provides the hall for dance rehearsals.

Adyar Lakshman's sishyas from abroad find it convenient to use the ground floor hall in Gandhi Nagar, Adyar well fitted for practice.

Obviously, fringe facilities are on demand when this hugely spread 'season' is on in this city.

If you know of places that suit dance practice, do share the info here!

Zee Thamizh into the 'season'

One more TV channel gets on the Season bandwagon. Zee Thamizh, in association with Giri Trading Agency of Mylapore.

Over three evenings from today, a package of concerts  with the best like S. Sowmya and the popular make the festival to be held at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha in T Nagar.

The concerts will be televised later.

Tuesday 12 November 2013

December Season slots can make or mar career of artistes

Where and when you perform during the December Season is key to a rising and established artiste's career.

So when The Music Academy invites a artiste to perform for the season but does not promote him or her to the next slot despite having performed for over a decade, the artiste calls for time to rethink.

Now artistes have begun to say ' no thank you' to the festival managers.

Artistes say that their movement is watched closely by festival hosts here and abroad and any cold treatment during the Season by leading sabhas can mar their performing career and impact on their professional fees.

Artistes would rather say 'no thank you' than keep getting slotted too much too long.

The Academy's calendar has to be read between the lines to get a sense of who is moving up and who is stuck and who is now a veteran vidwan! And who is out too.

BVB's renovated auditorium work is on schedule

One auditorium where the buzz is on round the clock it is at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore. BVB is presenting its all new auditorium this season, giving the old one a brand new smart look.

BVB's music fest is on Nov.22 and this evening as we checked in with BVB's Director Ramaswamy he was his cool self.

We should be done on Nov.21, he says matter of fact as people stream out from the top floor where a Tuesday discourse is just over.

Rasikas and artistes are in for a very nice surprise. Hopefully, BVB's team can ensure rasikas don't stroll in and out of the hall when the concerts are on.

Subashree Thanikachalam cues in for her TV series

Subashree Thanikachalam flits in and out of the green room of Narada Gana Sabha auditorium in Alwarpet. Gayathri Venkataraghavan is in concert at the Bharat Utsav fest that Carnatica promotes at this time of the year.

Subashree is tying the loose ends to her own show - the concerts fest that she curates and hosts for Jaya TV.

In its 14th year and the first of its kind, the concept has caught on; today many other TV channels run similar series in December to give senior rasikas the pleasure of enjoying concerts in their drawing rooms.

The concerts, free to all and featuring the best artistes run from Dec.1 to the middle of this month and soon, then are telecast on the channel.
Chettinad Vidyashram's auditorium provides space for grand sets and easy seating and pace for many cameras to keep rolling.

Spicing the concert package for TV with quips from rasikas and the artiste, the shows make good viewing and seem to get good sponsors too.

Yet another dimension of the 'season'.

Monday 11 November 2013

MFAC sabha releases its 'season' schedule; honours for Guruvayur Dorai, Alarmel Valli

The Mylapore Fine Arts Club has put out its December Season schedule and it looks impressive.

The fest opens on December 18 and ends with K J Yesudoss' concert on Jan.1, 2014 evening.

Dr Preetha Reddy, Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals is the chief guest at the sabha's opening evening of the fest when two senior artistes - Guruvayur Dorai and Alarmel Valli will be honoured with titles.

That evening, dance guru Jayanthi Subramaniam's disciples present a recent dance production 'Jothir Gamaya'.

Tickets - season / daily - will be sold soon at the sabha office in Mylapore.

 Phone - 91-44-24997755

Christmas special by students of the Dhananjayans

The Dhananjayans are playing Santa Claus to dance rasikas this season.

Their students are presenting  a Medley of Folk and Classical Dances on Christmas evening at the Narada Gana Sabha hall in Alwarpet.

The event features over 30 dancers and the medley will present the dances of India.

The show is held in association with the sabha.

A small music fest in Luz; in late Nov.

A more recently-launched arts organisation called Madhuradhwani based in Luz, Chennai is hosting its own 'season' fest but it is in November.
It features some top notch artistes - Neyveli Santhanagopalan, T N Seshagopalan, Pattabhirama Pandit and Mudikondan Ramesh.

On from Nov 23 to 28, evenings. Admission is free to the shows.

This organisation is promoter by Ramakrishnan who owns and manages the smart, well fitted and compact hall called Arkay Centre in Luz, opposite the Vivek's store and next to Bombay Halwa House.
Phone: 24661130/9381007317

Thursday 7 November 2013

Honours for Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Prof. C V Chandrasekar

Brahma Gana Sabha will be conducting its annual December Season Art Festival from 3rd December 2013 to 1st Feb 2014.

The festival will be inaugurated by Dr M. Balamuralikrishna who will confer titles on awardees.

This year the title Naadha Padhmam will be given to Sanjay Subrahmanyam. Naatya Padhmam will be conferred on Prof C. V. Chandrasekar and Naataka Padhmam will be conferred on Kovai Paddhu.

A new award Vaadhya Padhmam has been instituted this year and the award will be presented to Trichy R.Thayumanavan, a senior mridangam, kanjira and konnakol exponent.

The sabha will be conducting the music festival from Dec.3  to Dec.31 2013, the dance festival from Jan.1  to Jan.22, 2014, and the Nadaswaram festival from Jan.23 to Feb.1, 2014.

For any info, call S.Ravichandran and N.Balasubramanian, secretaries of this sabha at - 9444444767 / 98410 70390

'Param' is new dance production by Sheela Unnikrishnan

Sridevi Nrithyalaya will present this 'season' its new production PARAM in the Bharatanatyam margam format.

Sheela Unnikrishnan, guru and director says this theme seeks to establish that lord Siva symbolizes the masculine principle - the consciousness and Sakthi the feminine principle - the activating power and energy. The ultimate truth, that only when Siva and Sakthi unite action, movement and creation arise, will be the point of focus in this production.

The depiction of PARAM in the thematic form will showcase the union of the primal couple, the birth and growth of Devi Meenakshi in Madurai, the Ardhanaareeswara thathva, various episodes from the lives of Thirugnaana Sambandhar, Siru Thondar and Sundharar (the 3 great devotees from the famous 63 Nayanmaars), the sequence of Siva capturing the river Ganges in His matted locks, yearning of jeevatma to unite with the Paramatma, the Apocalypse and the re-emerging creation.

The theme is conceived by the panel of Sridevi Nrithyalaya, lyrics are adapted from the works of famous composers as well as some penned by Padmadevan, music by Kuldeep M Pai and choreography by Sheela Unnikrishnan.

Mudhra's 'season' schedule is out

Mudhra has made public its December Season music festival calendar.

It runs from December 6, 2013 to January 5 in 2014 at the Infosys Hall in T. Nagar, the campus where its festival is usually held.

Mudhra had made a promise - there is no repetition of accompanying artistes in all its main concerts, at least in 98% of the eoncerts. It has also curated the fest in such a manner that it has given space for a variety of accompanying artistes - from the mridangam to the kanjira.

Concerts are ticketed and a few have been reserved for the best young talent.

More at