Friday 25 November 2016

Where to catch the big artistes early in December

If you wish to catch all your favourite artistes performing early in the 'season', then one option is to attend the concerts curated by Kartik Fine Arts.
This sabha's concerts from December 1 to 13 are held in the main auditorium of Narada Gana Sabha in Alwarpet.The artistes featured at the evening concerts include Aruna Sairam, Sudha Ragunathan, Gayatri Venkataraghvan, Nityashree Mahadevan, Sanjay Subrahmanyan, Abhishek Raguram.
The sabha says limited donor passes are available for these concerts but seating is on a first come first served basis.

Call 98403-58805 to get more information on this.

Monday 21 November 2016

First fest of 'season 2016' draws big audience

If The Music Academy is seen as the 'sabha' for the VIPs, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan is considered to be the sabha of the common man.
The Bhavans' halls are more for Mylaporeans, since it is located in the neighborhood's backyard.
Rasikas are promised at least one programme daily.

So when the Bhavan's annual cultural festival got going on Sunday, launching in many ways the 2016 edition of the December Season, rasikas flooded the Bhavan's premises.

Not only was the main auditorium packed to the aisles, the lobby and the walkway to the main hall had to be packed with chairs and closed-circuit TVs. 
(Photo here shows Vishaka Hari at her Harikatha concert, the first at the Bhavan's fest )

The Bhavan does not ticket its programmes and since its festival features many popular, top-end artistes, a full house is guaranteed.

But the serious rasika dislikes a bad habit of the Mylaporean - walking in and out as he or she wishes, during a concert. Or chattering in the back rows, with neighborhood friends.

Friday 18 November 2016

Kerchief reservation. In auditoria.

Kerchief reservation.
You may have heard of it. Or been witness to it.
Of rasikas who 'reserve' a seat in the auditorium for a friend or a relative who will turn up after a concert has begun.

On Friday evening, as K. N. Ramaswamy, who heads the operations of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai kendra in the city prepared to get the auditorium ready for the Bhavan's festival for the 'season', he could not but talk about one habit of rasikas that irritates him.

Kerchief reservation.

As he surveyed the main auditorium where the Akkarai Sisters were in concert for a fest that celebrated artiste O V Subramanian's centenary, he sighted a few seats with kerchiefs on them - reserved for friends for the next concert - of Abhishek Raguram.

"I just wish people came on time for a concert they want to be at," Ramaswamy said.

Banks are not keen about sponsorships . . .

Only The Music Academy puts out its December Season schedule of concerts/lec-dems early. By late October.

The other sabhas always buy time to 'make changes' - which simply means they are struggling to fix those uncertain artistes who accompany the main.

This season, even the few sabhas who make public their festival calendars in early November held them back.

Reason? They were buying time to shore up their sponsorship figures. 

This whole thing about demonetisation by the Indian government has soured the sabha-bank-as-sponsors relationship.

Banks are still struggling to meet the demands of their clients who are ridding the dud currency notes and looking for ATMs that are calibrated in order to deliver money. They just are not in the mood to talk about sponsorship. 

Last year, severe monsoon. This year, rains delayed . . .

This time, last year the monsoon had broken over the city of Chennai. It got to rain strong. And steady. And the city flooded.

But rasikas looking forward to the December season did not mind. This is monsoon time; November is.
But after a break, it rained again. And on the night of December 1, the night when the city sabha, Kartik Fine Arts raises the curtains to launch its music and dance festival, the rain did not stop.

The waters rose and rose and when people of Chennai woke up the next morning, they found the city was sinking in water. The deluge was on us. The rest is history.

Sabhas debated whether it was wise to go ahead with the 'season'; many decided to go ahead though some artistes nodded the other way.

Let the music play, most said. And though it was a very damp 'season', it got through on a low key.

This year, we have not even sighted dark clouds post-Deepavali. And this week, the forecast did not hold hope for rains. Which means this water-starved city will have to suffer early next year. If the rainfall is not average.

Meanwhile, the pre-Season atmosphere is just surfacing. And on Friday, November 18, the weatherman said the monsoon has hit south Tamil Nadu and will advance northwards, and hopefully bathe Chennai.