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Past Reviews


Past GLAC Thyagaraja Aradhana Celebrations Review



bulletA thematic thyagaraja aradhana program for 2010 - a brainchild of Shri. Shashikiran.
bulletEach of the Detroit Area Music Teacher had chosen to participate in this has selected 1 theme from the list of themes and prepare students of their school to present songs from that theme. Each theme is restricted to 20 minutes and can include any number of students performing as a group within that theme.

Pictures from the 2010 Flint event : http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=8970&id=100000898341583&l=007f041bcc

Vocal : Carnatica Brothers – Sri Shashikiran and Sri Ganesh
Violin : Sri. V.V. Ravi
Mridangam: Sri. Mannargudi Eswaran


Shashikiran and Ganesh Concert

Review by Lalitha Baskar

The prodigious duo of K.N. Shashikiran and P. Ganesh mesmerized the knowledgeable rasikas of Detroit with an impeccable four hours of excellent carnatic music.

Commencing the recital with a classy ada tala varnam in thodi, the brothers continued with vinatha suta in jayantha sena followed by varuvayo in sama. If the exposition of Etula Brovu Theliya in chakravaham of thyagaraja was very melodious, the rendering of padavini in salaga bhairavi was enjoyable.The elaborate begada alapanai was lovely. There were a lot of sancarams in which every svaram could show the complete form of begada.

The Subbaraya Shastri's masterpiece "shankari neeve" was rendered beautifully with a structured neraval and svarams. A brisk paced amba para devathe in rudrapriya of krishnaswami was welcoming .
Brief intros to the kritis helped the audience to appreciate better. Sasikiran, with a voluble sariram, sang in the lower stayi with Ganesh in the higher stayi. Their voices complement each other.

The main item of the concert by the duo was the Ragam, Tanam, Pallavi in varali set to chaturasra triputa in 2 kalai. The alapana by Shashikiran was quite impressive , thanam in ghanapanchaka i.e. nata,gowla,varali,arabhi and sri was neat and crisp. The pallavi in varali followed by ragamalika swarams in kundalavarali, pantuvarali and punnagavarali were rendered with plenty of verve.

The recital extended a little over time due to requests for songs like Bho Shambho (Revati) kanda naal (madhuvanthi) and vishweshwara in sindubhairavi. The artists concluded the concert with maithreem bhajata to symbolize world peace and Purandhara Dasar's Dasavatar mangalam.

Nagai Shriram in violin accompanied the singers like a shadow and showed his brilliance many a time. Especially he expounded the intricacies of Begada in his alapana and pantuvarali in RTP swara prasthara.
Murugabhoopati in mridangam enhanced the performance of the concert by his deft and silken touch. His tani was really enjoyable. His accompaniment to the Bho Shamboo is memorable.

In short it was a very fulfilling concert, with a traditional touch, exhibiting quite a few rare kritis.

Flute: B.K. Anantha Ram, Amith A. Nadig
Mridangam: Mr.Renuka Prasad
Violin: Keerthana Sankar

Review by Raghu Rao

1. Viriboni varnam in Bharavi
2. Siddhi Vinayakam in Raaga Shanmukhapriya (Dikshitar)
3. Niravadhi Sukhada in Ravichandrika (Thyagaraja)
4. Ma Janaki in Kambhoji (Thyagaraja)
5. Theeraada vilayattu pillai in Raagamalika (Gopalakrishna Bharathi)
6. Jagadoddharane in Kapi (Purandara Dasa)

The concert started in an established manner with a varnam followed by invoking Lord Ganesha. Then came the ever popular Niravadhi sukhada which was rendered superbly. This was followed by an excellent Kambhoji piece which also had a lovely tani avartanam by the violoinist. The audience went into raptures when they heard Theerada vilayattu pillai. The ‘mini’ concert ended with a Purandara dasa krithi.

The leading artists of this concert were the father-son duo of B.K.Anantha Ram and Amith Nadig. This was their maiden tour to USA and their performance was simply wonderful. Not much was known about these two fine gentlemen, and at the end of the mini-concert one was left wondering if  they are the ideal example of a ‘best kept secret’ in the world of Karnatik flute. Anantha Ram has had several gurus including the renowned Dr. Ramani.
Amith is a junior year Engineering student in Bangalore and besides his father as his guru, he has also the guidance of Dr. Ramani and Shri R.K. Srikantan. Though the concert duration was just over an hour, their pristine melodies lingered on in the rasikas’ ears well after the concert was over. Renuka Prasad kept a perfect accompaniment and the synchronization between the flautists and mridangist was very evident. Keertana Sankar, our own violinist performed extremely well and it is obvious to see that she is growing from strength to strength.

Dance program Review by Nurani C. Shivram

As a part of the 20th Annual Thyagaraja Aradhana celebrations organized by the Great Lake Aradhana Committee, MI on Saturday May 19th at the Paschim Kasi Viswanatha Temple, Flint, a Nritya Aradhana honoring the Saint was conducted at the Carman-Ainsworth High School (about 2 miles from the Temple).

At first, I thought of returning home after the completion of the individual singing Session of the children. But, I changed my mind and went to the school to see the dance program. Indeed, I was lucky not to have missed the fantastic program. I have heard Thyagaraja Ramayanam of Shri Balakrishna Sastry, the great exponent of Harikatha, narrating the story of Sri Rama intermingled with the compositions of Tyagabrahmam. But, the concept of presenting his compositions in classical dance form was unique and innovative. The way the three gifted dancers combined and inter acted to put forth this event is laudable.Back home in Bombay, I had attended a number of dance programs of Sudha (then Sudha Doariswamy) in the 50s. Seeing her
dance in this event, I had a feeling that I was watching her again in her teens. This lady has amazing talent.

Roopa Shyamasundar’s Kalyanaraman set to the Divya Nama Keerthans of Thyagaraja depicting the episodes from the birth of Sri Rama to the Seetha Kalyanam was brilliant, and I recollected the days we used to sing those songs in the Dolotsavam Segment of the Deepa Pradakkshinam conducted during Sri Ramanavami celebrations.  Sandhya Sri excelled in the dance set to the Mukari song Enta Ninne Varnimpa sung by the legendary Dr Balamurali Krishna. Her movements and bhava (facial expressions) synchronized with each and every word (Sahitya) of the song. She did full justice to this Krithi. To put it in a nut shell, watching the
three ladies dance, the audience were in a trance.  All the young and budding dancers did a marvelous job, and gave admirable support to their Gurus.
The way the Gurus and thrir students took turns to dance to the different stanzas to the song Entaro Mahanubavulu was nice to watch.  The school auditorium and the stage were excellent. Asha Sundar’s emcee was top class and a few Americans who were in the audience were able to understand the episodes well. Lighting of KKP was extremely good.

All in all, it was an evening well spent, and we look forward to witness more of such programs, and with more people attending and encouraging the talents. Kudos to GLAC for coming up with a nice program befitting the greatness of St. Thyagaraja. I wish them well in their future endeavors.

Before I conclude, a word about the individual singing of the kids. Over the years the standard of singing has vastly improved. The song Haridasulu (Yaman Kalyani) by two boys, and Manasu swadshinamai (Sankarabharanam) by a little girl in the concluding stage was brilliant, and they fully
deserved the standing ovation from the knowledgeable audience.


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