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Paavai Festival celebrated
For the 59th year in succession, the Paavai Festival was celebrated, marked by glory and grandeur at Sri. Venugopalaswamy temple, Thippirajapuram, near Kumbakonam on 10th and 11th January. Thiruppalliezhutchi pooja and Mangala Harathi with the rendition of the hymn 'Koodaarai vellum seer Govintha' in the wee hours were done. The Namasankeerthanam by Kudanthai 'Annai Bhajan Mandali' troupe kept the audience spell bound by their rapturous performance. They sang naamaavalis and abhangs in perfect unison. Sindhujaa Chandramouli gave an exquisite exposition of "Pandu Rangan Mahimai" coupled with soulful music. Her portrayal of characters like 'Pundareegan, Koraa kumber and Thukkaram while extolling the glory of Pandu Rangan was arresting and emotionally moving.
- (Reported by R.Pichumani, Thippirajapuram)

Award conferred
Sri Pathasarathy Swami Sabha's 114th dance festival was inaugurated by Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Chairman, Kalakshetra Foundation.Bharatanatyam dancer and teacher Meenakshi Chitharanjan was conferred the 'Natya Kalasarathy' title by the Sabha in the presence of Vyjayanthimala Bali, Umayalpuram K Sivaraman. Dr. Nalli Kuppusamy Chetty presided. The function was followed by Anitha Guha's 'Bhakthi Nakshatra Malai.'

Coveted title for nagaswara vidhwan
The title the 'Sangeetha Choodamani' was conferred on noted Nagaswaram artiste Injikudi E.M. Subramaniam by Sri Krishna Gana Sabha on 13th January during its 26th Pongal Nadaswara Vizha. Madras High Court judge
V. Ramasubramanian inaugurated the festival. Musicologist B.M. Sundaram, who presented the award said Krishna Gana Sabha was a pioneer in conducting the fest to encourage Nagaswaram artists. He lauded Subramaniam for his exceptional talent. Dr.Nalli Kuppuswamy Chetty, President of the sabha participated. The function was followed by a concert of Injikudi Subramaniam.

CD released
The family of noted composer and musician
D.Pattammal recently launched the audio CD 'Arul Keerthanaigal' containing songs on Sri Ramakrishna Trinity. The CD was released by Pujya Sri Rama Prana Mataji in the presence of Swami Padmasthananadaji, Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Chennai and
N V Subramaniam of Saraswathi Vaggeyakara Trust. In his address, D Chandrasekar, son of D Pattammal said, “We are happy and profoundly privileged to present one of the earliest compositions of our mother “Arul Keerthanaigal” songs on Sri Ramakrishna Trinity. She got her initiation from Pravarajika Bharati Prana, who was a direct disciple and a personal attendant of Sri Sarada Devi.”
D.Pattammal was a musician, musicologist and vaggeyakara. She has composed over 650 songs in Tamil and her compilation of over 5000 ragas is classified in Ragapravaham. She won many prizes in the competitions which includes two gold medals from Music Academy and the silver shield from Indian Fine Arts in the 1950s. She was conferred the title “Kalaimamani” in 1994 by the Government of Tamil Nadu.
The songs have been sung by Sushma Somasekharan and Adithya Prakash. The music CD is available across India in select Ramakrishna Math outlets and at Thejus, Chennai for free distribution with a booklet containing the text of these songs transliterated in English and Hindi. For more information, please visit www.dpattammal.com.

Mrudangam maestro honoured
Kalasagaram, Secunderabad honoured mrudangam maestro Mannargudi Easwaran with the title “Sangeetha Kalasagara” during the inauguration of its 46th annual cultural festival recently. S.Gopalakrishnan, Vice Chairman of Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan, Hyderabad Kendra and E.Selvasekharan, Zonal Manager of Indian Bank, Hyderabad were the chief guest and conferred the award.

Enchanting performance
Advaita's Bharathnatyam performance for Karthik Fine Arts recently, was a perfect blend of grace, poise and beauty and there was excellence in technique and presentation. Advaita is endowed with a fine stage presence and whatever she performed was marked by an undercurrent of mature understanding of the lyrical import of the compositions. Thus, every movement had profound meaning and substance.
The main piece of the concert was Lalgudi Jayaraman's varnam “ Innum en manam” in Charukesi. This composition is by itself very serene, yet majestic too. It lends itself to unbound creativity in dance expressions and this was well explored by Advaita. The nritta and abhinaya complemented each other well. Especially, her varied interpretations to the sahithya part gave a vivid and beautiful picture of the many facets of Lord Krishna's manifestations.
The presentation of Padams and Javalis effectively through dance is challenging and requires a lot of feel as otherwise, they will seem lack - luster and insipid. Their presentation also commands a lot of maturity on the part of the dancer as she has to imagine the situation and get into the shoes of the character she is portraying. The Padam “Aduvum solluvar” on Lord Muruga in Saurashtram raga was performed by Advaita with the right Bhava and the lyrical content was unfolded beautifully. A crisp Tillana brought the concert to a fitting end.
The live orchestra is the backbone of a dance concert and when it consists of highly seasoned artists, the music and dance complement each other beautifully, so much so that many a time, we get an illusion that the musician is dancing and the dancer is singing ! This is because the words dance in the mind of the singer and the dancer sings through her body. Advaita's concert had this rare element in it. Hariprasad who is endowed with this unique talent took the performance to great heights through his soulful singing.
A.Lakshman who has been training Advaita, is an accomplished Guru and through his institution Nrithyalakshana, has groomed many noteworthy shishyas. On a last note, the costume and make up was very aesthetic and suited the mood of the performance aptly. Advaita shows signs of great promise and is an artist to be watched in future.

Dr.Radha Bhaskar conferred Kala Sevabharathi award
As part of the 27th Margazhi Mahotsav, Bharat Kalachar’s 27th Margazhi Mahotsav was inaugurated on 1st December and on the occasion, eminent personalities were honoured for their contribution to fine arts. The festival was inaugurated by Doha Bank Group chief executive officer R. Seetharaman and Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi presided.
Madurai T.N. Seshagopalan was conferred the title of Gnana Kala Bharathi, A. Kanyakumari, Rajesh Vaidhya and dancer Anita Ratnam received the titles of Viswa Kala Bharathi, film director S.P. Muthuraman was presented the Natya Kaladhar title. Dr.Radha Bhaskar and Sunil Kothari received the title of Kala Seva Bharathi and drama artist K.S.N. Sundar received the title Nadaga Kala Bharathi.

ARS felicitated
A function was hosted recently by Sri Krishna Gana Sabha to honour A.R. Srinivasan (A.R.S) for having received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Theatre. The award also coincided with the actor's 50th year of theatrical journey. A galaxy of eminent personalities - Dr.Nalli Kuppuswamy Chetti, AVM Saravanan, K.Balachander and Kumari Sachu felicitated ARS .
Saravanan said, “I am happy to see a quality audience today. ARS has got an inherent talent to fit into any role that is given to him. Be it lawyer, judge, police - every role suites him so well. I wish him all the best.”
As usual, Director K. Balachander made a very thought- provoking and heart-warming speech and said, “When I was asked to be a guest for today's function, I jumped at it without any reservations. I have been credited fortunately enough with discovering lot of artists who have become very big names in Tamil cinema. So, I cannot come to terms with the fact that I have missed a talent like AR Srinivasan whom I have known right through his career. I look at him - he is tall, handsome, stylish, sophisticated, educated but the most important of all is that he is a very enthusiastic and talented theatre personality. I am surprised at my oversight. But there is a flip side to this. If ARS had become a star in films, the corporate world would have lost a bureaucrat, the theatre would have lost an enthusiastic actor, the music circle would have lost a connoisseur, social circles would have lost his presence, drama lovers would have lost a friend, philosopher, Guru and society in general would have missed his charm, charisma, class and impeccable taste of intelligence. So maybe, destiny and divinity had always other plans for him and my oversight was ordained by the Almighty! Well mannered and well known, ARS is a role model for all theatre enthusiasts who wish to create a right balance between their passion and profession; between their hobby and their jobs. My wishes to ARS on the award and also reaching eighty years."
PS Sachu, Member Secretary, Tamilnadu Iyal Isai Nataka Mandram and film actor Kanchana, recalled their association with ARS.

Raga Anubhavam
Rasika Ranjana Sabha, Trichi organized Raga Vaibavam a journey into exploring the beauty of ragas by Dr.Radha Bhaskar. She had vocal support by Dikshita and Bhavya Hari. Melakkaveri Thyagrajan and Mudhra Bhaskar provided accompaniment. Dr.Radha explained the structure and salient features of the Indian raga system. She then took specific examples and with the help of alapana, suitable compositions and kalpana swras, highlighted the characteristics of each. Ragas representing various categories - Begada, Kalyani, Rasikapriya, Saveri, Karaharapriya and its janyas, Sindhubhairavi were taken for exposition. The audience found the session very interesting and illuminating and expressed that more such programmes should be held frequently for the benefit of rasikas.

Suguna Anubhavam
On 20th October, a special function was organized by the disciples of the versatile musician and composer Suguna Purushothaman to showcase some of the beautiful compositions composed by her. Suguna has composed in virtually every format including varnam, kriti, tillana, ragamalika in three languages. She has translated into Tamil, the melodic beauty of the Javali and Padam and set to music, her own lyrics for dances like Ramayana and Mahabharata.Her compositions cover a wide range of genres and truly reveal her artistic genius.
Suguna's compositions were celebrated through dance as well as music through a programme "Suguna Anubhavam" dedicated to her works over the years.
The programe began with “Suguna Margam” - a Bharatanatyam dance recital by Manasvini Ramachandran accompanied on the vocal by Suguna's disciples, K. Gayatri and Kumudha S. The highlight was the Priya Ragamalika varnam rendered so soul-stirringly by Gayathri. The dance and music complemented each other so well that one could see the music and hear the dance ! A javali “Parulanna mata” translated into Tamil “verum vambu varthai nambalamo” sung by Kumudha was also good. The recital concluded with a beautiful Ragamalika Tillana in Vasanti, Madhuvanti and Hansanandi. The orchestra by Vedhakrishnan (mrudangam), Mudikondan Ramesh (violin) and Sruti Sagar (flute) was commendable.
Later, music concerts by Nandini Sharma and Sharanya Krishnan were also presented. The sishyas took this opportunity to honour the Guru and express their gratitude.

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