Veteran Bharatanatyam exponents and gurus Shanta and V.P. Dhananjayan were honoured with the title "Bharatakalashreshta" by Saradhi (a cultural organisation celebrating its 15th anniversary). The award was presented to the Dhananjayans by former Governor of West Bengal M.K.Narayanan on 8th November 2015 in Chennai. Kala Sasikumar is the founder of Saradhi.
Veteran Bhimachar honoured
Veteran morsing vidwan L. Bhimachar was honoured with the prestigious T. Chowdiah National Award on 14 September at the Ravindra Kalakshetra, Bengaluru. The 85-year old instrumentalist is among the seniormost morsing exponents in the country.
The award instituted by the Government of Karnataka, consists of a cash prize of rupees five lakhs. It was presented to Bhimachar by Siddaramiah, Chief Minister of Karnataka, and Umashree, Minister for Culture, Karnataka.
MS Centenary celebrations in Mangalore
M.S. Subbulakshmi's birth centenary was celebrated on 16 September by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mangalore and the Mani Krishnaswami Academy, at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Mangalore. Capt. Ganesh Karnik, honorary president of the working committee of the Mani Academy, inaugurated the programme by lighting the lamp.
P. Nityananda Rao, Secretary of the Mani Academy, welcomed and proposed the vote of thanks. Prof. G.R. Rai, Nagaveni S. Shetty, Harikrishna Punarooru, Pradip Kumar Kalkura, Nagesh A. Bappanadu, Geetha Saralaya, Chandrashekhar K. Shetty, P. Anand Rao, and Trichy K.R. Kumar, were present on the occasion.
Priyanka K.P., Shreya Kolathaya, Gowrish and Gowtham, Sreshtalakshmi, Ananya, Sushamendra, Shrisha, Deeksha, Krithi Kamath, Sadgun Ithal, Dhanashree, and Muralidhar G. Shenoy were the musicians who performed during the event.
Bharatham Mali honoured
Bharatham R. Mahalingam, Director of the Melattur Bhagavata Mela Natya Vidya Sangam, was honoured with the KVS Excellence Award by YMHA, Eluru and KVS Trust, Eluru on 26 September 2015. The award was presented to Mali by Kuchipudi artist K.V. Sathyanarayana, for his service over five decades to the rare art form of Bhagavata Mela. Dignitaries who felicitated him included Mandali Buddha Prasad - Deputy Speaker of Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Parakkala Prabhakar, Advisor - Communications, Government of Andhra Pradesh, and Dr. Yaralagadda Lakshmi Prasad - Member, Kendriya Hindi Samiti.
A pleasing vocal concert by Vyjayanthimala
Famous Bharatanatyam exponent and former star of the silver screen, Vyjayanthimala Bali, sprang a pleasant surprise on art lovers of North Bangalore, when she presented a Carnatic vocal concert on 20 June 2015 under the auspices of M.E.S. Kalavedi. The well attended performance -- Ammanni Iyengar Memorial Endowment concert -- was held in the renovated auditorium of M.E.S. College, Malleswaram.
Vyjayanthimala called it Nadanubhavam – a tryst with music – as the performance with mridangam, flute and male vocal support did not include elaborate raga alapana, niraval and swaraprastara. The concert comprising compositions of the Trinity, Swati Tirunal, Narayana Teertha, Subramania Bharati and Tanjavur Sankara Iyer, laid emphasis on the emotional content of the lyrics. Vyjayanthimala being a sensitive artist and exponent of Bharatanatyam, was able to infuse bhava into the sahitya, especially in the Devagandhari (Enneramum un sannidhiyil), and Bagesree (Govindamiha gopikananda) compositions. Popular Kannada poet Pu.Ti. Narasimhachar's Ako Shyama avale Radhe, rendered in Poorvikalyani was another gem.
The concert which commenced with Dikshitar's Sree Parthasarathey, included Sujana jeevana of Tyagaraja, Swati Tirunal's Kapi varnam Sumasayaka, Syama Sastry's Kanakasaila viharini, a bhajan, tillana, a Divya Prabandham, and concluded with a Tiruppavai verse. Vyjayanthimala's intuitive feel for raga bhava, voice production in the lower octaves, perfect diction in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and Kannada, and her zest and enthusiasm, deserved the long ovation she received at the end of the concert. The presentation was marked by elegance and aesthetics in music and attire.
Vyjayanthimala had the good support of talented youngsters Girija Shankar (vocal), Shruti Sagar (flute) and Srivanchiam Sriram (mridangam). It was interesting to note that Vyjayanthimala's voice, while she sang, resembled that of her guru, D.K. Pattammal. It was not a usual kutcheri but an offering. True to its title, it was an enjoyable musical experience.