Wednesday, 30 June 2021



“There is a time and place for everything, you just have to wait for the right moment. Once it comes it will be the most beautiful and perfect thing possible!” said Gloria Tesch. For several years we have been wanting to put together a feature on Madurai Somu. Every time we tried, there would be a   roadblock on the way! We launched our efforts in right earnest again during the vidwan’s centenary year in 2019, but what with the Covid scare and lockdown restrictions, it has  taken us a little more time to pay homage to the heavy-weight singer and composer, who cast a spell on the masses with his  emotion laced music.  Our diligent correspondent C. Ramakrishnan has come forward to put together an interesting account of the musician and his music for Sruti readers.

The National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) is an iconic cultural symbol in the financial capital of India. By spearheading well conceived and executed projects and programmes with a futuristic vision,  its leadership  has brought name and fame to the institution on the national and international level. Mumbai-based senior freelance writer Bhanu Kumar has written a comprehensive article about NCPA, but it is sad that she passed away before she could submit an update on NCPA’s digital activities during the pandemic. We offer this feature as a tribute to her memory.

Carnatic musician and teacher, Padma Narayanaswamy turned 80 this April, and we are happy to publish a small feature on her by a disciple. We wish her good health to carry on the good work. Another article with the personal touch is a recall by natyacharya V.P. Dhananjayan, telling us how he came to compose the Ganesa sabdam.

Have you ever wondered about the science of Siva’s dance? Well, we bring to you a profound article penned by none other than Sudha Seshayyan who effortlessly bridges arts and science. It’s got lot’s for the mind and grey matter to ponder!

The Covid 19 pandemic continues to claim lives, and the arts field is no exception. This summer, during the second wave, not a day passed without messages informing us about the death of some performing artist, organiser, writer or patron succumbing to the  cruel illness. It was shocking to hear that veteran sitar  maestro Debu Chaudhuri and his son Prateek had both fought a losing battle with Covid in Delhi. So too the news about vainika P. Vasanth Kumar in Chennai. Sruti pays tribute to them and offers condolences to the family members. Vasanth Kumar was a good friend and ardent fan of Sruti magazine, right from its inception. His mother, Sulochana Pattabhiraman was associated with the magazine in various capacities. Vasanth, discerning and very knowledgeable, would be among the first to read the magazine and quick to point out any errors. He could not tolerate mannerisms and casual behaviour on stage on the part of artists and organisers. He used to write reviews for the Record Rack section from time to time. We will miss his insightful comments.

In the News & Notes section, there is an interesting variety of music and dance events. The first year of the pandemic saw artists indiscriminately posting their activities online in search of visibility in the absence of live programmes. Having come to terms with the situation, many renowned artists are now curating and presenting interesting and aesthetically produced programmes online. It is indeed a welcome change!

Equally welcome is the selection of versatile Bharatanatyam dancer and teacher Tirunangai Narthaki Nataraj to be a part of the State Development and Policy Council (SDPC) constituted by the Tamil Nadu state government. We congratulate  Narthaki
and  hope she will be able to make a difference in the field of health and welfare of artists wherein she is presently involved.



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