Melodious music concerts, well embellished dance ballets and dramas mark the 33rd
annual celebrations of Kala Sagaram at Keyes High School. The weeklong festival
has such heavy bookings that many are turning back disappointed at not getting
A grandiose beginning saw vocalist R K Srikanthan from Bangalore singing for an audience spread across the open venue at the school grounds and spilling onto the roads! Srikanthan, who was felicitated on the occasion with the title of "Sangeeta Kalaa Saagaraa", recited a serenade adorned by deep harmonic streams. Each of the chosen numbers had a special treatment that drew the listener into the depths of music as though with a mesmeric effect - like the Pantuvarali Adi Tala Varnam and later a Bhakti-ful "Bhajare Manasa" in Kannada raga, which made a profound beginning.
The Navagraha compositions of Muthuswamy Dikshitar are considered to have a powerful impact when heard and practiced in a ritual manner, and so many singers are careful in rendering verses on the Navagrahas (the nine planets). In the present recital, Srikanthan chose to sing "Surya Murthy" in the melody of Saurastra, attributed to the Sun god. "Ekadantam Bhajeham" in praise of Ganesha and set to Bilahari was an interesting extension of Saurastra.
The melody focused on, though, was Keeravani, in a composition of Thyagaraja, "Kaligi Unte". This was well weaved with fine 'ragaalaapana' (melody elaboration), 'swara kalpana' (fluent netting of notes) and 'nervals' (improvisation of melodies).
The recital also included some more brief Purandhara Dasa songs, and was supported by R S Ramakanth, the
supporting vocalist, violinist Peri Srirama Murthy, percussionist V Raja Rao and ghatam artist Nemani
For the entire schedule, please click