Song of Surrender

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Bharat Sangeet Utsav- Day 9

By Lavanya Narayanan

                                                                                                                                                      10 November 2016


The ninth day of the festival was all about visual arts, including collaborations between Bharatanatyam artists and musicians. The two surrounded another presentation by Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman titled ‘Samanvayam.’

‘Ellam Inba Mayam,’ conceptualized by Shashikiran, brought classical-based film melodies to life with young Bharatanatyam talents Bhavajan Kumar, Sudharma Vaidyanathan, and Shruthipriya Ravi essaying select pieces on stage. During the rest of the event, vocalists Girija Shankar, Deepika Varadarajan, and Madhu Iyer sang pieces from both regional and national cinema. Evergreen melodies like Lag ja Gale and Bole Re Papihara were well-appreciated, though many of these pieces require a certain weightage and maturity in approach that were lacking during the presentation. While Girija Shankar’s fine voice complemented many pieces he presented, Ullathil Nalla Ullam required more depth to do justice to the original masterpiece. Yet, dance-inclusive pieces shone and flawless coordination in choreography, notably in Aadaadha Manamum Undo. A dance performance of Nityashree’s Ellam Inba Mayam, as per the program’s namesake, was captivating.

The program was followed by Umayalpuram Sivaraman’s second offering of the festival, ‘Samanvayam.’ Translated as ‘Synthesis,’ Sivaraman described the program in the following line:

“In Unity, there is Diversity. From this Diversity, comes Unity.”

There is no time in history that needs this message more than now, and the presentation that followed by Saketharaman and Praveen Godkhinde represented this message quite well. Segments produced by Praveen’s flute were sublime, with the performance reaching its height during his presentation of Sant Tulsidas’ Shri Ramachandra Kripalu Bhajamana.


The evening concluded with a recital on padams and javalis by Priyadarshini Govind. In such an enactment, ability to convey the humanistic emotions that are described lyrically is key, as many padams and javalis rely heavily on abhinaya and expression rather than physicality and the use of jathis. Priyadarshini was a more than suitable-choice, captivating the audience. The use of Tiruvarur Girish’s vocals was even more apt as the Brindamma lineage is known for the vast repertoire of padams and javalis that Brindamma held great command over. While his vocalizations complemented the dancer’s understanding of the compositions, the recital was filled with slow-paced pieces that gradually began to weave together unconsciously. Implementing items of varying kala pramanams and embracing silences in the pieces would have served the performance well. 

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