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Maestro remembered
Sri Maharajapuram Santhanam Rasikas Trust had its 22nd annual event in memory of Sri Maharajapuram Santhanam on 23rd June 2014. Guru Karaikkudi Mani presided and paid tributes to Santhanam. On the occasion, senior musicians B.Krishnamoorthy and Namasankeertanam Vidhwan V.Kasirama Bhagavatar were honoured with the Maharajapuram Santhanam Award. P.Suresh, Managing Director of Arun Excello and Nandinin Ramani offered felicitations.
Dr.Ganesh, Founder Trustee welcomed the gathering and said that Santhanam Sir broke the myth that Carnatic music is only for the scholarly audience and he reached our music to thousands of rasikas through his inimitable style. His voice was so captivating and captured the hearts of rasikas.
P.Suresh recalled his years of association with Santhanam and said that his wife Shanthi had the golden opportunity to learn from him. Nandini Ramani shared her experiences with B.Krishnamoorthy who happened to be her Guru as well. Karaikkudi Mani spoke about his concert experiences with Maharajapuram Santhanam.

Fete de la musique
Rhapsody in association with Goethe Institute, Inko Centre, KM Conservatory and Musee Musicals conducted a week of concerts and workshops from 16th to 21st June. One of the events was an inter-school group singing competition on 20th June at Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan in which children from several schools participated and showcased their talent. Some Corporation schools were also given an opportunity to perform and this was indeed a great exposure to these children. The evening began with a wonderful performance by the children from the KM Conservatory who displayed great expertise. Veena E.Gayathri, Vice Chancellor of The Tamil Nadu Music and Fine Arts University presided over the valedictory function an distributed prizes to the children. The Akshayam group led by Sudha Raja also performed and sung in perfect unison.

Conclave on Music
Ideas Conclave 2014 was hosted jointly by The ArtsforLife Foundation (TAF) and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (BVB), Dr K M Munshi Institute of Art & Culture on May 11th, 2014 . The theme of the Conclave was "Karnatak Music - Towards a Mass Appeal"
Justice A J Sadashiva inaugurated the Conclave with the traditional lighting of the lamp and in his address hailed the concept of an Ideas Conclave to create a mass appeal of Karnatak Music. Giving a balanced view, he urged TAF and BVB to continue such efforts and also encouraged the panelists, moderators and participants to stay on this theme and to be part of the change. He also mentioned about the need to expand the horizon from just Karnatak music to all forms of music.
The formal inauguration was followed by a meditative veena recital by Bagyalakshmi Chandrasekaran accompanied by C Cheluvaraju on the mridanga.
There were 5 panel discussions during the day on -1. Educators : Maximising exposure at schools2. Patrons : Enhanced philanthrophy / patronage expectations 3. Media : Beyond reporting 4. Practitioners : Those untested dimensions 5. Sabhas : Beyond concerts
It was a refreshing day when all the panelists shared several innovative ideas. There was so much of passion and the genuine intent to contribute to and be part of the change.

Pammal Sambandha Mudaliyar's contribution hailed
“Tamil Valartha Saandrorgal” is a regular monthly programme organized by Prof.VV Subramaniam (Va Ve Su)under the auspices of Sri Krishna Gana Sabha. In this, Va Ve Su takes up one personality a month and analyses their contribution towards the growth of Tamil. The June edition of the programme featured “Pammal K.Sambandha Mudaliyar.”
Va Ve Su gave an analytical introduction to the scenario prevalent during the time of Sambandha Mudaliar and said that Mudaliar was influenced by his father, who had a large library and instilled in his son a love of books. Even as a child, Mudaliar developed an interest in drama. His father also encouraged him to see theatrical productions at a time when the theatre was considered to be a disreputable environment. Influenced in particular by his childhood reading of works written by William Shakespeare, Mudaliar wrote his own plays from an early age.
ARS observed that talking about the role of Sambandha Mudaliar, it should be mentioned how through dramas, he was instrumental in making people understand the beauty of Tamil language. He said that in this context, a mention of the doyen Shivaji Ganesan should also be made as a particular generation literally grew up listening to his crystal clear Tamil for about 10-15 years. For example, in the cinema Kattabomman, the dialogues are simply so beautiful, so rhythmic.
ARS also mentioned about the special Natakam that was so distinct of Tamilnadu. He said that he had not seen this concept in any other country. In this, artists from different places assemble at one place and enact the drama without any rehearsal. These dramas predominantly had songs in it. Maybe, this was also there in Telugu theatre.
Va Ve Su said that coming back to Mudaliar, he lived for 91 years. He was born on 1st February in 1873. Mudaliar was influenced and motivated by seeing Telugu dramas. Thus, dramas from other states also seem to have been instrumental in guiding our artists.
Giving details about Mudaliar's dramas, ARS said that the first drama staged by Mudaliar was Pushpavalli. He would do meticulous rehearsals for months together and would give wide publicity to his dramas by circulating handbills. A band would be playing before the shows. Manohara was the drama which changed his whole life.
Va Ve Su further elaborated and said that Manohara was originally published by Mudaliar as an adaptation of Hamlet Entitled Amaladhithan, it was not well received because it followed too closely the values of Western theatre; its rewriting as Manohara, which reflected more closely the values of Indian society, changed its fortunes. The original adaptation of Hamlet, published as Amaladhithan in 1906, took Mudaliar six years to complete and he studied many references in an attempt to do justice to the original Shakespeare work. It was one of five Shakespearean adaptations that he translated, directed and then acted.
Many such interesting information about Sambanda Mudaliar and the Tamil drama scenario was exchanged by VaVe Su and ARS who made the presentation engaging and interesting. They maintained a good rapport and their adapting of a conversation mode to share ideas was lively and kept the audience involved.
Many dignitaries including Dr.Nalli Kuppuswamy Chetttiar graced the occasion.

Drama wins accolades abroad
The Tamil play of United Visuals “Idhu Namma Naadu' by TV Varadarajan, staged at the Jewish Community Centre in Houston on 8th June 2014 under the auspices of Bharathi Kalai Mandram, evoked an unending stream of appreciation from the audience, thus bearing testimony to its tremendous success. Equally astonishing was the stellar performance by the local artists under the banner of Minakshi Theatres, Houston who brought to life the topsy-turvy culture of current politics in India.

A galaxy of awardees
Sri Tyagaraja Vidwath Samajam, Chennai had a function to honour a galaxy of eminent musicians. R. Nataraj, former DGP and Chairman TNPSC, inaugurated and honoured the awardees. Dr. N. Ramani, president of the Samajam, presided. Chief guest T. N. Seshagopalan conferred the 'Sangeetha Seva Nirata' title on D.Pasupathi, Kadri Gopalnath, Srimushnam Raja Rao, Suguna Varadhachari and M. A. Sundareswaran.

Drama awards distributed
Kartik Fine Arts in association with Nalli celebrates the Award Distribution Function of their 25th Kodai Nataka Vizha 2014 at Narada Cana Sabha Main Hall on 1st June.Dr. Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti was the Chief Guest, L.Sabaretnam Chairman, Kartik Fine Arts Presided and K. N. Ramaswamy Director, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai Kendra was the guest of honour. America' Anantha received the 'Kartik Ramanujam Award of Excellence' (Best Drama Artiste) and felicitated the 25th Kodai Nataka Vizha award winners.

Award for senior critic
Mysore Subramanya, senior critic and musicologist was presented the Central Sangeet Natak Akademy award by President Sri Pranab Mukherjee recently at Rashtrapathi Bhavan, Delhi.

Excellent presentation
Muthuswami Dikshitar composed kritis on deities in various temples all over India. He also composed groups of kritis on specific deities, using the 'vibhakthis' (the various cases that occur in the declination of a noun) of Sanskrit.
The shrine of Goddess Nilotpalamba is situated in the temple complex at Tiruvarur. Dikshitar composed his famous Gaulanta kriti-s on this Goddess. This is a series of eight kriti-s, all rendered in raga-s ending with the phrase "Gaula". These are: nilotpalamba jayati (narayanagaula, mishra chapu), nilotpalambam bhajare (nari ritigaula, mishra chapu), nilotpalambikaya (kannadagaula, adi),nilotpalambikayai (kedaragaula, adi), nilotpalambikayah param (gaula, rupakam), nilotpalambikayastava (mayamalavagaula, mishra chapu), nilotpalambikayam (purvagaula, rupakam), nilotpalambike (chayagaula, rupakam). All of them are based on Sudhdha Madhyama Melas. The Neelotpalamba kritis are in the seven vibhakthis and the last two are sambodhana kritis.
To commemorate the 80th birthday of renowned senior musician Neela Ramgopal , Brahma Gana Sabha organized a group rendering of the Neelothpalamba kritis of Muthuswamy Dikshitar on 29th May at Arkay Convention Centre, Mylapore. Neela along with youngsters Anahita, Apoorva and JB Keerthana to the accompaniment of Jayalakshmi Sekhar (veena), Patri Sathishkumar (mrudangam) made a spectacular presentation of these rarely heard group kritis. The Patantharam was well structured and there was good coordination in presentation. Brief alapanas and kalpana swaras to some kritis helped to understand the distinct movements of the ragas. Neela's smooth but energetic voice traversed over all the octaves with astounding expertise and kept the audience spell-bound right through. Jayalakshmi's veena play was a beautiful melodic undercurrent and Patri Satish embellished every piece with utmost sensitivity, keeping the mood and bhava of the kritis in the forefront.

25 and going strong
Siva Sambo, a comedy Tamil play by Maham Enterprises staged its 25th show during Mudhra's drama festival recently. Produced by theatre artiste Madhuvanthi Arun, this drama is an out and out comedy which deals with today's youth who put up a fight against traditional notions and mindsets. The play opens with the hero heading to New York city where he finds accommodation with his friends who, unfortunately for him, turn out to be women. And when the heroine's father comes to visit them, all hell breaks loose and how they manage the situation is what the drama is all about. Adding to the comic tone of the play is actor Bosskey, who has provided the narrative voice over.
The play was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience and Bombay Gnanam, ARS and Mahanadhi Shobana graced the occasion and appreciated the great effort of Madhuvanthi in bringing out such a wonderful and thought-provoking drama.

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