Release of CD
Veeneya Bedagu-2, compositions of Veena Seshanna, was released by Ganakalabhushana Rajalakshmi Tirunarayanan, at a function held in Bangalore on 24-09-06, at Bangalore Gayana Samaja, K. R. Road, Bangalore. Price: Rs 70. For copies of the CD, contact: Mr. Rangarajan of Vara Enterprises, 9844478762.
The Splendour of Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana. Author: Sakuntala Narasimhan. Publisher: Veenapani Centre for Arts, Bangalore.
Distinguished stalwarts like Ustad Mushtaq Hussain Khan and Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan put the Rampur Sahaswan gharana on the musical map of north India, with their colossal reputations as khayal tarana and tappa exponents. Today only Rashid Khan of this gharana performs the difficult tarana the way it should be sung, with rhythmic improvisations. This book describes the special features of the gharana and traces the history of the royal nawabs of Rampur who not only nurtured classical music but also were artists and composers themselves. The book also includes notations for 40 rare khayal, tarana and thumri compositions of this gharana. There are very few books on individual gharanas and this book has been hailed as a “very valuable contribution to Hindustani music”.
Dance DVDs: Madura Margam and Navasindhi Kauthuvam
Two interesting Bharatanatyam DVDs/VCDs and their audio CDs have been released by Super Audio recently. Madhura Margam and Navasindhi Kauthuvam have been directed by senior dance guru Prof. Sudharani Raghupathy and feature her sishyas.
Madura Margam features a margam (the traditional format of dance numbers) in a Bharatanatyam recital and comprises compositions of the late Vidwan Madurai N. Krishnan. It includes nine compositions – ‘Ranganjali’ (in Ragamalika) ‘Jatiswaram’ (in Rasali, a rare raga), Shabdham in praise of goddess Devi (in Ragamalika), Kauthuvam in praise of Lord Shiva Nataraja (Mohanam), ‘Varnam’ – ‘Aadharam neeye….’ in praise of Krishna (Kraharapriya), two keerthanams (in Sumanesa Ranjani and Revathi), a thillana (SImendramadhyaman) and Mangalam. The DVD features a 20-minute introduction by Sudharani Raghupathy, where she explains the significance of the Margam in Bharatanatyam, the unique features of each dance number, its origin in the temples, and an insight into the compositions of Vidwan Madurai N. Krishnan which were composed exclusively for the Bharatanatyam repertoire.
Navasandhi Kauthuvams are traditional compositions, composed about 200 years ago by the ancestors of the Tanjore Quartet. They comprise nine short dance numbers, each for about a duration of three to four minutes, and set in eight directions – Indra, Agni, Yama, Nirruthi, Varuna, Vaayu, Kubera and Eshanna with Brahma in the centre. The kauthuvams were part of the ritualistic offering and were flag-hoisting ceremony. Each kauthuvam describes the various facets of presiding deity of each direction, like his domain, consort, mount (vahana), weapon, his favourite raga, tala, dance and his hand gesture (hastha).
The DVD features an introduction and info on the Navasandhi Kauthuvam, presented by Sudharani, followed by each kauthuvam performed as a solo by her disciples and a 15-minute clipping from an archival documentary made by the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training, New Delhi, on guru K. P. Kittappa. The videos were shot at AVM Studios, Chennai and co-ordinated by S. Muthukumar and his team. The DVDs are priced at Rs. 350 each; the VCDs at Rs.250.
Sangeet Natak, Vol XL, No.1, 2006 – The Performing Arts: A Mantra for Healing
This is a special issue on Healing through the Arts published by the Sangeet Natak Akademi. For the first time in the history of any government body dedicated to the performing arts, this issue talks exclusively about healing through dance, music, theatre, sound, puppetry, etc. The 104-page journal is 40 pages more than a normal SNA Journal with some rare photographs capturing the range of work, in cities like Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi and also for the first time, Andaman and Nicobar islands. It looks at the work being done in Nias, Indonesia and in Singapore, in an attempt to underscore the link that defines the collective vision of Asian tradition of healing.
Edited by the young guest editor, Lada Guruden Singh, the issue has articles by SHanta Serbjeet Singh, Shruti, Kanaka Sudhakar, Ambika Kameshwar, Tripura Kashyap, Anurupa Roy, Sangeeta Isvaran; interviews with Syed Sallaudin Pasha and Alvin Tan.
Price: Rs.15 (for individuals), Rs.25 (for institutions/libraries), single issue $5. Annual subscription: Rs.50 for individuals, Rs.75 for institutions/libraries (Rs. 30 extra for registered mail). Annual overseas subscription: $ 15 (10$ extra for airmail). Cheques/drafts/postal orders covering subscription should be payable to: Secretary Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi. Published by Sangeet Natak Akademi, Rabindra Bhavan, Feroz Shah Rd, New Delhi 110001 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A DVD of Bharatanatyam Adavus
An audio-visual aid for day-to-day practice of adavus with music by Jayanthi Subramaniam, was released on July 10, 2006 at Bharatiya VIdya Bhavan, Chennai. Jayanthi’s guru Adyar K Lakshman released the DVD and the first copy was received by guru S. K. Kameswaran. For details contact: 4424994145 Email: email@example.com.
Audio CD Natyollasah
Produced by Padmaja Suresh, the CD has traditional and thematic Bharatanataym repertoire. It features Todayam, Ganesha Kavutvam, Jatiswaram, Swarajati, Varnam, Javali, Navarasa, Navagraha, Tillana (Spring), of 80 minutes duration, the CD costs Rs.360 in India and Rs.460 outside India including postage. It is available only at Kalpataru Kalavihar, Bangalore. Contact Padmaja SUresh: firstname.lastname@example.org. Ph: (91,80)23343393. The proceeds from the audio CDs goes towards project Kalachaitanya – the charitable wing of Kalpataru Kalavihar – for propagating arts for underprivileged children.
Edited, compiled and published by well-known dance critic, Ashish Mohan Khokar, attendance is India’s only year-book on dance. It covers in perspective a year (1 Jan- 31 Dec) of issues, events, exhibitions, shows, seminars, books, biographies and obits.
attendance 2005/06 focuses on three important cities for dance: mythologically, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack; historically, Bangalore; and practically, Mumbai. Many dancers, gurus and institutions are profiled plus unique fact-sheets (where to perform and whom to contact in each of the three cities) are given.
Diva Ritha Devi is the guest editor while Anuradha Vikranth, creative director of Drishti magazine from Bangalore, has helped compile the information on Bangalore.
To get a copy – contact Drishti office at 080-23377233.
Anuradha VIkranth’s Note: Having been given the opportunity to provide information about a few eminent gurus and performing artists of Bangalore, it was a privilege to be part of attendance. But the gurus and the performing artists featured were specified by the editor and were not based on my personal choice.