Saturday 25 November 2017

Why are not sabhas offering online tickets booking?

We received this e-mail from the Thavasodys from England. And the note reflects the frustration that rasikas, even those who reside in Chennai express on the issue of booking tickets for concerts.
Here is a section of the e-mail -
Every year, when we arrive in Chennai for the music festival, we get disappointed as most of the best tickets for top artistes are sold out.
Please advise as to whether it would be possible to buy the tickets on line from abroad (England) . . .

In our conversation with sabha managers we have not been able to fathom the reluctance to sign up well known ticket booking sites to get the job done.

For all those who must get tickets to the Music Academy concerts, it calls for spending a few hours at the Academy on the morning the box-office opens for season tickets.

<< You have a suggestion to make on this issue? Post it here!

Intimate settings for concerts

If the sabhas mostly stick to their five-concerts-a-day in the auditoria, there are a few creative ideas that pop up during the 'season'
Arts promoter Ramanathan Iyer has just put out on social media a concert promo that his 'The ARTery' organization hosts from time to time in the city - a series of music concerts held without any amplification and in an intimate setting, often lit up by candles.
Ramanathan now has a 1940s Madras house in the heart of Royapettah as the venue for concerts and this Sunday, ( Nov.26 evening) legendary violinist 'mahavidwan' Prof. T. N. Krishnan is scheduled to mesmerise guests with Carnatic music.

The guests must sign up in advance because seating is limited; perhaps 25 or 30.

Sunday 19 November 2017

Kalakshetra fest: is it on? Nothing official yet.

Will Kalakshetra host a fest this season?
There is no clear answer. Officially.

This famed performing arts campus draws a steady stream of people - well-wishers, alumni, artistes and rasikas.Kalakshetra's legendary dance drama series based on the Ramayana gets a full house: one season, tickets were sold out in the week the booking opened.

On campus, the second auditorium, Rukmini Arangham was affected by Cyclone Vardah late last year. This place is still being repaired, we hear.Nobody picks up calls to the office. Nor has Kalakshetra issued a public statement.

Hopefully, there will be some definite info from Kalakshetra we will be able to share with you in the days ahead.

Get your fix of pop dramas!

If you are visiting Chennai and must get your fix of popular Tamil theatre, then look out for a festival to be held at R. R. Sabha. Mylapore. 

Sabhas do include a few dramas during the 'season'; those of Crazy Mohan and S. V. Shekher and Y. G. Mahendra top this list.  Yes, there are a few '100-laughs-in-100 minutes' plays too.

Plays got into the season schedule to make the best of a captive stream of rasikas at the auditoria. Over the recent past, Harikatha / musical discourses have also become a part of some sabha schedules.

Welcome to Season 2017

It is good to be back for yet another December Season. Season 2017.

The season of music and dance here in Chennai we once called Madras!

This season begins on the cusp of this city being given the tag of Creative Cities by UNESCO and included in a long list of such cities around the world.

There have been some light debates on social media and a few opinion pieces in the city's dailies on whether the city deserves the new crown.

What convinced UNESCO to give this recognition to Chennai?
Some voices say much must be attributed to the throbbing, year-round Carnatic music and classical dance world here. There is no other city like this which has such a live classical concerts calendar, they say.
Other voices say that Carnatic music defines a small world of the city and there is more on the creative front that needs greater space in the public.
And still other voices want to recognise film, gaana and kuthu music which say much more about this metro. Add these to Carnatic music, they opine.

The debate is welcome. And necessary. 
Hopefully, it will extend into the December Season. Perhaps on a platform at a sabha.

Meanwhile, what is the weather going to be this December?
The first season of the monsoon is done: more rains are expected.  The season of cyclonic systems has also begun but Chennai has not been affected.
But do expect the city to be chill - sub-22 / 21 degrees at night.

So rasikas who love to stay on till the end of the final concerts of the day may want to bring along their warm clothes!