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Nadasurabhi presents Youth Festival with aplomb

Carnatic vocal by Aishwarya Vidya Raghunath

Nadasurabhi, the cultural service organisation located in Koramangala is slowly emerging as one of the leading sabhas in the whole of Bangalore. Time and time again they bring top quality programmes free of charge to all lovers of Indian classical music and dance through their monthly programmes, different annual festivals and other activities.

The latest in their line up of shows was the Annual Youth Festival 2012 held recently at the Indian Heritage Academy Hall, Koramangala. The festival showcased the twin idea of giving a stage opportunity to talented youngsters and simultaneously presenting star performances of young artists. On 17th February there were two events - first a group rendering of carnatic vocal songs by students of Guru Vidwan Vasudevan consisting of popular compositions of Saint composer Thyagaraja and later a full vocal concert of young upcoming artist from Bangalore Kumari Aishwarya Vidya Raghunath. Aishwarya was well supported by Aditi on violin, Adamya on mridangam and Sunaad on Khanjira. It was a regular two and a half hour concert which was well received by the audience.

Carnatic vocal by Sriranjani Santhanagopalan

The next day similarly saw the highly synchronised well trained group rendering of carnatic songs by students of Guru Vidushi Usha Srinivasan followed by a full concert by chennai's young artist Kumari Sriranjani Santhanagopalan. Sriranjani is daughter and disciple of leading carnatic vocalist Sri.Neyveli Santhanagopalan. She was accompanied by Vittala rangan on violin, Akshay Anand on mridangam and Sunaad on Khanjira. It was a very mature presentation which can be compared to that of any seasoned artist on the carnatic stage. Akshay looked too young for the task but did a decent job.

The grand finale consisted of a Bharatanatyam presentation by students of Guru Sumitra Nitin's troupe consisting of dancers, Lakshmi Ramesh, Sruthi Vasudevan, Sreegowri Bhat and Priya Radhakrishnan. Sumitra Nitin herself led the orchestra as its lead singer and nattuvanar. She was supported by her mother Vidushi Sujatha Vijayaraghavan, Subha Sampath, Janardhan and Meera Rajkumar were on mridangam and violin respectively. Choosing the title of "Paalaya Jatadhara" the recital was on Lord Shiva to fit the Mahashivarathri festival which fell on the following day. The programme opened with the invocatory number Todaya Mangalam (Interestingly the name mangalam is used for the final song in a traditional carnatic concert format!). The traditional Pushpanjali followed, after which there was the beautiful dance presentation for Thyagaraja's Pantuvarali kriti Shiva Shiva Shiva enaraada.

The main piece of the evening was the dance interpretation of Oothukkadu Venkata kavi's "Jatadhara Shankara" . The elaboration in bharatanatyam of this grand thodi song was brilliant and mesmerising. Myriad moods, nuances , and stories were brought out through abhinaya. It is mindboggling for a lay admirer of our art forms, how so many parameters can be controlled at the same time- vocal and instruments presenting exactly same number of sangathis each time, such that the dancers have a different expression for each sangathi, sychronisation of dancers, aligning to the different taalams and also to convey the bhava intended by the composer to be brought out by the face and body language of the dancers. Sumitra sums it up just by saying "This is the complete art form". Very true indeed.The programme concluded with a devarname and thillana.

The three day extravaganza had a serene and pleasant ending with the Thyagaraja and Purandaradasa aradhana function wherein Thyagaraja Pancharathna kritis and pillari geethas were presented.