Saturday, 29 February 2020


In the March issue we bring to you some more reviews of music concerts—of established musicians, of those moving up the ladder, as well as youngsters who are making a mark in the field of Carnatic music. One of our readers has pointed out that such an issue, unlike the others published during the year, does not seem like a collector’s item. Here, I must say that Sruti is probably the only periodical that carries such detailed reviews of both music and dance, especially in the two or three months following the season. Artists too look forward to reading reviews of their concerts. We therefore offer another sumptuous slice of the season in this issue, which also includes interesting overviews of three dance conferences by three dancers.

Dance concerts are now catching up in the race for time and space with music recitals. While it is somewhat easier to listen to five music kutcheris through the day (hectic indeed!) it is well nigh impossible to watch classical dance performances from morning to night as the logistics are different. The Music Academy introduced an afternoon slot this season (a total of five performances per day) to accommodate more deserving artists in its dance festival. This slot unfortunately coincided with lunch time and siesta! A senior critic jocularly remarked that the organisation will soon have to make available lunch, bed-roll and a media-room for writers to put down their thoughts from time to time without getting into a muddle!

The conceptualisation of day-long dance conferences too calls for a re-look. A multitude of talks, lecdems, discussions, and performances were all squeezed into each day. Every conference had six to seven sessions between morning and afternoon, besides the performances in the evening. You needed some stamina and fortitude to attend all the sessions on all the days and still feel fresh—quite a herculean task! In some, as the allotted time was short, the presenter could only skim the surface during the session. In others, there was hardly any discussion among the panellists as there were too many of them and there was only time for each one of them to make a studied statement! There was no time for fruitful interaction among themselves or with the curious audience. An attempt to bind at least the proceedings of each day in a common thread and journey deeper, could make such symposia more impactful.

Moving away from the season, there is an article in this edition, on vainika vidushi R.S. Jayalakshmi which attempts to throw some light on this unassuming scholar quietly working behind the scenes. We bring to you reports of the celebrations of two centenarians in Bengaluru. You can also browse through the books in the Bookshelf this time.

Good tidings for the Kalakshetra Foundation as S. Ramadorai (former vice-chairperson of TCS) has been appointed Chairperson of the governing board for a five-year term, by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. He has earlier served as the Prime Minister’s advisor in the National Skill Development Council and as chief of the National Skill Development Agency. He can certainly draw upon his multifarious skills to draw up a vision for the institution’s future. The government has also appointed three artists—Sudha Ragunathan, Neyveli Santhanagopalan, and Anupama Hoskere to fill vacancies on the board. All the best to the board and the institution to play a fruitful role in the preservation and propagation of culture and heritage in the years to come.


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