Friday 28 November 2014

Jaya TV charts its own music fest

The cosy cohabitation between Maximum Media and Jaya TV channel which presented a series of great concerts on TV at this time of the year has come to an end.

Producer Subashree Thanikachalam took the lead to curate the concerts which were shot, canned and then had Jaya TV telecast them, giving many seniors and rasikas outside Chennai a great window to watch a long series of concerts by top class artistes.

A few days ago, Maximum Media made public its new music concerts series but at a new venue - Youth Hostel campus in Adyar, away from the Chettinad Vidyashram auditorium in south Chennai. It is not yet clear if these will be telecast later.

This morning, Jaya TV said it was hosting a concert series at the Chettinad Vidyashram hall from Dec.1 and that the concerts would be telecast later.

TV channels now give time for concerts because there is a nice community that looks for them on the telly.

Going ga-ga over Amma

People like to listen to senior artistes when they talk. Talk extempore. For they may have stories to tell, anecdotes to share.

But when veena artiste E Gayathri spoke after she was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan the other day, she sounded more like a AIADMK politician!

On more than four occasions she raised the name of Puratchi Thalaivi Amma and all that she has done for the arts.

Gayathri is currently vice chancellor of the TN Music University, appointed by Jayalalithaa, former chief minister who was disqualified as a legislator recently after a court found her guilty of corruption charges.

Many people felt that the Bhavan event was not the occasion to keep taking of the varsity and offering praises to Amma.

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 -

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.