With Chidambaram as the theme for concert

The team of four young musicians proved that a one-hour concert, bereft of manodharma aspects, can still be fulfilling

The team of four young musicians proved that a one-hour concert, bereft of manodharma aspects, can still be fulfilling

The Carnatic repertoire has several compositions on Chidambaram, the popular Nataraja temple, with composers such as Muthuswami Dikshitar, Manickavachagar, Papanasam Sivan, and Gopalakrishna Bharati describing various aspects of the lord of dance, especially his magnificent Ananda Tandavam. During the rule of Raja Raja Chola, the precious works of Nayanmars, the Saivite saints, were recovered from a chamber in the temple. He instructed musicians to perform and popularise them.

Recently, four young artistes, Anugrah Lakshmanan, Navaneetha Krishnan, Bhuvanashree Bhavani, and Gopika Rajendran, students of veena artiste Jayashree Aravind (disciple of K.S. Narayanaswamy, T. Brinda, K.V. Narayanaswamy, and Bombay Ramachandran), sang Tamil songs on Chidambaram. The one-hour concert was organised by Rukmini Arts and Music Trust.

The concert focused totally on the songs, making no space for alapana, niraval, kalpanaswaras, and tani avartanam.

The thorough training of the youngsters by their guru came to the fore. They were accompanied by senior artistes, Mannarkoil Balaji, on the mridangam, and Trichy Murali, on the ghatam.

Rich repertoire

They began their concert with ‘Anname’, the Arabhi varnam by Tiger Varadachariar, followed by Ramaswami Sivan’s Nattakurinji composition, ‘Ekkalathilum maravene’ (Rupakam – 2 kalai). This was a favourite of both DKP and DKJ. The song describes Shiva’s valour.

After a very brief Thodi sketch by Anugrah, the young team rendered ‘Ananda Natesa’, yet another Ramaswami Sivan kriti, set to Rupakam. Marimutha Pillai’s Yadukula Kamboji kriti, ‘Kalai thookki ninru’ felt like cool breeze on a warm summer evening.

The jewel on the crown was Neelakanta Sivan’s ‘Ananda natam aduvar thillai’ (Rupakam) in Purvikalyani, after a brief sketch of the raga by Navaneetha Krishnan. The team followed this up with Papanasam Sivan’s evergreen piece, ‘Kaana vendaamo’ in Sriranjani, which was an apt choice for this concert. Their rendering of Muthu Thandavar’s ‘Aarar asaippadar’ (Nadanamakriya) was gentle and soothing. The quartet wound up the concert with Gopalakrishna Bharati’s ‘Varugalamo’ in Manji, and ‘Vaanaagi mannaagi’ (Thiruvachagam).

Perfect choice of kritis and synchronisation made the concert enjoyable. The two senior accompanying artistes embellished the performance as well.

The Chennai-based writer specialises in Carnatic music.

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