S.Rajam’s (Music Appreciation notes)

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Bharat Sangeet Utsav 2016

A colourful series off to a bright start

By Lavanya Narayanan
2nd November 2016

Bharat Sangeet Utsav – a festival celebrating pan-Indian music has the Carnatica Brothers partnering with Sri Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha to bring unique concepts and collaborations to the stage at Narada Gana Sabha. It celebrated its 12th edition this year, with most concerts being dedicated to the martyrs from the Indian army and global peace.

Multiple Carnatic jams and Harikatha sessions by rising star Dushyant Sridhar and veteran Vishaka Hari were some of the much awaited events this year. The confluence of music with dance was also highly celebrated with a joint performance by the Priya Sisters and dance exponents Bragha Bressell (Bharatanatyam), Gopika Verma (Mohini Attam), and Sailaja (Kuchipudi), as well as a film-based dance performance featuring vocalists Madhu Iyer, Deepika Varadarajan, and Girija Shankar with young dancers Bhavajan Kumar, Shrutipriya Ravi, and Sudharma Vaidyanathan.

Bharat Sangeet Utsav also showcased senior musicians, and this year was no different with the presence of Sanjay Subrahmanyan and Aruna Sairam in the ten-day line-up. The festival also brought to the stage many laya features with two productions helmed by mridangam vidwan Umayalpuram Sivaraman and a laya jam of young percussionists, something that has been seen more frequently on stages around Chennai this year.

The inaugural event was a sankeertanam recital by child artist Sooryagayatri, with Kuldeep Pai accompanying her on the harmonium, followed by a thematic concert presented by Sudha Ragunathan, M.R. Gopinath, K.V. Prasad, and Krishna Kishore celebrating female stalwarts in the field of music. The team was joined briefly by Anil Srinivasan and culminated in a partnership with Sudha Raja’s Rhapsody choir, concluding day one with a resounding rendition of Chandrasekharendra Saraswati’s Maitreem bhajata, Raghupati raghava rajaram and Amaar janma bhoomi. With the hard work of the Carnatica Brothers and their team, Bharat Sangeet Utsav is all set for another colourful series.

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