Round up, part 2

A musical crossover – All the way from classic to pop

Bangalore Habba (Bangalore Arts Festival)

Has it happened? Wasn’t it scheduled for February 2003? No, it was postponed to May. Is it happening? There’s just been Koshish… Oh, Koshish kar rahen hain, they’re still trying? Well, Koshish is a performance by Shubha Mudgal and group – a curtain raiser for Bangalore Habba. Oh, then when will it happen? May, June, July…..? While we wait for the date, lets all wish for success of Bangalore Habba, the festival being organized by the Artistes’ Foundation For the Arts (AFFA) set up by dancers. Padmini Ravi and Nandini Alva, with the objective of promoting art and nurturing creativity.

Shubha Mudgal, the versatile classic/pop diva whose range knows no end, began the evening of contemporary music with a vibrant and melodious tarana in Raag Madukauns, enthralling and moving the audience. Then followed by a poem by a well-known poet, Dharani Das.

Is waqt to yun lagatha hai – singing softly and melodiously, Shubha reached out to the audience with this ghazal dedicated to the peace of our country (written by a famous Urdu poet Fiaz Ahmed for Pakistan; music by Aneesh Pradhan). She followed this up with Hum ke tehare, another ghazal written by Fiaz Ahmed.

The diva switched from Urdu to Brij Bhasha in her next song – an interesting seventeen-century composition with aalap and jod being significant.

‘One needs no introduction to love, one need not know how to fall in love but one learns it all by oneself’ – such dreary prose in English but beautifully put in a lovely poem Na socha na samjha na sikha na jana and sung with the right feeling by shubha that evening, February 13 being Valentine Day’s eve. Kal ki rath girthi shabnam (written by Gulzar) was the next, another number (with an influence of jazz and blues) just right for Valentine Day’s eve – lovely and sensuous, with Shubha caressing the words as she sang, Shubha Mudgal and her team concluded the concert with a composition written by famous poet, Kabir.

Artistes who accompanied Shubha Mudgal for Koshish were Aneesh Pradhan on the tabla, Merlin de Souza on the piano, Sudheer Nayak on the harmonium and Murad Ali on the sarangi.

There was a demand for Ab Ke Sawan – Shubha Mudgal’s popular number with strains of Rajashthani folk mix with mainstream pop melodies. A disappointed audience was informed that Shubha was not prepared for the song. All in all, Koshish went off well.

Chahe Lakh Koshish Kare, Shubha Mudgalji Sirf Ek Hain

A contemporary dance choreography

Alliance Francaise of Bangalore and the Embassy of France in India presented ‘Charmes’, a contemporary dance choreography by the well-known French dance company, “Karine Saporta”, on 27 February 2003 at the J. N. Tata Auditorium.

Karine Saporta who has choreographed ‘Charmes’ is the head of the Centre Choreographique National in Caen/Bassse-Normandie and is considered one of the greatest European choreographers.

In her production ‘Charmes’, Karine Saporta uses mythology, tragedy and history to explore the major female characters in Mediterranean culture. It is a piece of choreography to explore the major female characters in Mediterranean culture. It is a piece of choreography about the blue sea, a color profound, tragic and gay, like the Mediterranean culture. The dance flowed on the text narrated by Marie Belle and Maria Casares, to a lyrical diction. Rising from the depths, the artists of ‘Charmes’ play and converse on the surface of the blue sea, a mirror of the past which lives in our memories.

“Charmes is also homage to the Greek theatre whose word is pure poetry as much as drama,” said Karine Saporta.

Karine Saporta was here in Bangalore, one of her stops on a tour of India to also audition Indian dancers for her next production, based on the theme ‘rhythms’. The production is slated to be presented in early 2004 in France and late 2004 in India.

A Visual Buffet for Film Buffs
For Your Eyes Only – 7 days! 61 Films! Bleary Eyes!

Suchitra Film Society conducted the Suchitra International Film Festival from 14 March 2003 to 20 March 2003 at Lido theatre, Bangalore. There were screenings also at Badami house and Suchitra auditorium.

At the forefront of the film society movement in Bangalore for several decades now, Suchitra Film Society has been persisting in bringing the best in world cinema to Bangaloreans, even when the advent of cable television saw the film society movement itself losing ground. For its members, Suchitra has all along been organising festivals of films (more than a 100 so far) of various countries and has screened more than 3000 films from all over the world. Intending to expand its viewership amongst the general public and film buffs of Bangalore, Suchitra organised this 7-day International Film Festival at a public theatre.

The Festival had five sections: World Classics (14 films), Contemporary World Cinema (20 films) from major film-making countries like France, China, Italy, Brazil and Hungary. Contemporary Indian Cinema which included 11 of the best in Indian art films made in the past two years, an Indian Retrospective (9 films) devoted to the films of Amol Palekar (as Director) and K.K. Mahajan (Cinematographer) and a Homage to the great music composer C Ramachandra, with 7 films.

The World Classics included works from Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Andrei Tarkovsky, Luis Bunuel, Abbas Kiarostami, Styajit Ray, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Robert Bresson, Hiroshi Teshigara, Masaki Kobayashi, Orson Welles, John Ford and Kryzszlof Zanussi — varied vintage stuff for film buffs.

A unique first for Suchitra! It organised the Retrospective of a technician (K.K. Mahajan, cinematographer), something never done in any other film festival.

Suchitra International Film Festival was supported by the Department of Information and Publicity, Govt of Karnataka and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt of India.

Our take: Kudos to Suchitra Film Society for the effort. One small issue: One had to buy a season’s pass to watch all the movies. If one just wanted to watch a couple of them, no tickets were available. Hope something will be done next time for folks who have the time/inclination to watch only a few of the films!

Dance and Mridanga

Role of Mridanga in Bharatanatya, a seminar organised by Percussive Arts Centre and MES Kalavedi, was held on 15 and 16 March at the New Conference Hall, MES College, Malleswaram, Bangalore. Inaugurated by senior dance Guru U.S. Krishna Rao, it was presided over by dancer Leela Ramanathan, President, Karnataka Nrithya Kala Parishat.

In her welcome address, Smt. Vimala Rangachar, who heads MES Kalavedi, pointed out the objectives of the seminar. She said the purpose of this seminar was to highlight the fact that mridanga playing for dance is very important and at the same time different as generally mridangists prefer to play for music concerts and they don’t wish to play for dance recitals considering it secondary.

B.M. Sundaram, a musicologist from Piondicherry, delivered the keynote address. He pointed out that themridanga should elevate a concert. He also read out a long list of mridangists from ‘Appla’ to Pandanallur Srinivasan and Nellai Kannan who accompany at dance recitals – and the list spanned a few centuries of mridanga artists.

The first lec-dem was presented by young dancer Archana Narayanmurthy who performed three compositions of the of the Bharatanatyam repertoire, accompanied by senior mridangist Pandanallur Srinivasa Pillai.

Following this, Bangalore-based dancer Padmini Ravi pointed out the various aspects of what a mridanga should not be doling in a Bharatanatyam recital. She felt that the mridanga should not overshadow the dance performance. Mridangist N.G. Ravi provided the accompaniment.

Following this, Bangalore-based dancer Padmini Ravi pointed out the various aspects of what a mridanga should not be doing in a Bharatanatyam recital. She felt that the mridanga should not overshadow the dance performance. Mridangist N.G. Ravi provided the accompaniment.

Day-two of the seminar commenced with a presentation by Nandini Ramani. Here, the dancer-critic played some of the vintage audio recordings of the performances of the late Balasaraswathi. Kanchipuram G. Ekambaram accompanied her on the mridanga.

Then young mridangist K.S.R. Anirudha, of Shree Bharatalaya, Chennai, in his demonstration,’Thattu-mettu; the Dancing Mridanga’, highlited the various ways in which the mridanga can embellish a dance performance. Through 13 examples in form of dance segments, he pointed out the differences in mridanga playing for rhythmic movements and abhinaya with different flavours. Two dancers, Priya Murle and Aruna Subbiah, both disciples of Prof.Sudharani Raghupathy, assisted him.

Bangalore-based dance guru Padmini Ramachandran in her lec-dem focused on the different nadais and jathis. Vidwan Harsha Samaga played the mridanga and the dancers were mithun, Shyam and Deepika David.

The other participants at the seminar were dance guru B. Bhanumathi of Nrithya Kala Mandiram (mridanga by Palghat N. Narayanaswamy), Lalitha srinivasan of Nupura (mridanga by V.R. CHandrasekhar), Padmini Rao of Ponniah Lalitha Kala Academy of Performing Arts (mridanga by Bhavani Shankar) and senior dance guru Narmada who was assisted by her disciples, P. Praveen and Soundarya Srivatsa, with mridanga by G Gurumurthy.

The valedictory address was delivered by art critic S.N. Chandrasekhar and H.R. Keshavamurthy presided. The audience at this seminar comprised senior artistes — dancers and mridangists, art connoisseurs and young dancers.

Bharata’s Natyasastra classifies musical instruments into four categories:

  • Tata vadya (Stringed instruments)
  • Avanaddha vadya (Covered instruments)
  • Ghana vadya (Solid instruments)
  • Susira vadya (Hollow instruments)


Shruthy Ramamurthy

Shruthy disciple of Gurus Kiran Subramanyam and Sandhya Kiran presented her Bharatanatyam Rangapravesham on 2 March, 2003 at ADA Rangamandira, Bangalore.

“With her, music becomes dance and dance flows like music”.

Born on 2nd February 1984, Shruthy hails from a family of Carnatic musicians. She is the only daughter of Smt. Jayashree Ramamurthy and Sri R. Ramamurthy. Shruthy was just three years age, when she was initiated into this classical art form Bharatanatyam, by her parents.

From the age of three, Shruthy has been groomed in dance by the inimitable “KIRANS” the founders of Rasika Academy of Performing Arts. Shruthy, as radiant as the break of dawn, breathes, thinks and walks the dance, since her childhood. A vivacious young girl with cute dimples, Shruthy is dedication personfied when it comes to Bharatanatyam. She is raring ot make her own mark on stage and a promising star is waiting to be born.

Shruthy has also participated in various dance competitions put up by Aryabhatta Cultural Organisation and Brahmins Finance and Welfare Trust and has bagged several prizes. Apart from this, she has also accompanied her Gurus on stage for many dance creations of Rasika. She also had the opportunity for her presentations in Udaya T.V. for the dance show “Natyanjali” under the able guidance of her Gurus.

In academics too, Shruthy has been a brilliant student who has won many prizes in school. A voracious reader who is extremely witty and affable, she is presently pursuing her Engineering Degree at Bangalore Institute of Technology.

Shruthy feels that dance is her first love, she dreams of making dance her career. With her single minded devotion and perseverance, this budding artist is all set to explore the ideal of dance as visual music to express the sublte distinction between the literal.

Apoorva K. Keshav

Kum. Apoorva.K.Keshav, daughter of Smt. Suvarna and Sri. Keshava Murthy. K.A. is a 9th standard student of Sri. Kumaran Children’s Home (CBSE), Bangalore

She was initiated to this divine art form at the tender age of six. She has her initial training in Bharanatyam under Guru Kum. Lekha.

Her talent blossomed when she came under the able tutelage of Guru Smt. Soundarya Srivathsa, Director, Nartana Keertana Center for performing arts. She has also been learning Carnatic Vocal Music under Vid.D.V.Nagaraj.

She has completed her junior Examination in both Bharathanatyam & Carnatic Music with First class. She is the recipient of the Central Govt. Scholarship (CCRT, New Delhi). She has given solo performances at various places like Belur, Dharmasthala, Hassan, Bellary etc., and also in T.V channels like DD9, ETV, UDAYATV & JAYA TV.

She is recipient of ‘ARYABHATA YOUNG TALENT AWARD 2002’. Apoorva is dedicated to Bharathanatyam & looks forward to scaling greater heights with the support, encouragement & blessings from her Guru, Parents & welll wishers in all her future endeavors. Ph: 6661734