By Kedar Mishra
Measuring time is a difficult art and for that creating the whole Taal pattern in Indian music is a history of great complexities. Creation, improvisation and systemization of rhythm goes from Desi way to Margi repertory crossing millions of hurdles. The rich and energizing rhythm tradition of India was the ceremonial focus on the second evening of the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival. Magical and musical, that was the thrill one can experience from the festival. It was also a confounding point to create a confluence of northern and southern traditions of Indian art. Srjan, the host institute has been creating this platform to showcase best of Indian classical talents and in this festival, we witness awesome mix of tradition and innovations. While Manju Bhargavi, the celebrated Kuchipudi exponent glued to traditional format, the rhythm master of south Karraikkudi R. Mani came up with fresh style and synchronization. Here one can feel varieties of artistic expressions.
Flavor of the South
Three consecutive acting pieces for a dance recital, looks challenging. Manju Bhargavi, renowned actor and dancer set the challenge for herself and began her performance with an Astapadi from Sri Gita Govinda depicting Birahotkanthita Nayika. Lekha, the very famous composition in Kuchipudi style where Satyabhama, the wife of Krishna is writing a letter to his divine husband, was a choreography that contained sense of surrender, romantic anxieties and a seamless flow of love. Satyabhama as Swakiya Nayika looks for her rights, but at the same time she is aware that her husband is not of her absolutely. A masterly work, presented in a hurry. Manju concluded her recital with Marakat Mani chelam…, again in praise of lord Sri Krishna. Her Mudras were very sharp, firm and fitting, but somehow she missed the usual aura, that makes Manju Bhargavi unique.
Meeting North And South
There was a sharp contrast; also there was a point of harmonious union. Concluding part of the evening was a terrific Jugalbandi between Carnatic Mridangam maestro Karraikkudi R. Mani and Tabla exponent Anindyo Chaterjee. Both are highly respectable names in their own field. On stage their personality created a sharp contrast. Mani, a typical bearded Tamil and Anindyo, a clean-shaven sophisticated Bengali. Together they started their rhythmic journey with a very fast 8 beats bit. Soon they came back to their individual styles and created their own magic. Mani, a very powerful percussionist displayed his aesthetic energy. He also presented varieties of style within Carnatic repertory. Anindyo as a cool, very intelligent Tabla player, knew how to touch the real rhythmic space on Dubi and Tabla to create a magic. His touches on tabla were super cool. Never showing extra power or displaying inappropriate energy, Anindyo was cleanly the show stealer. Rhythmic dialogue between the two maestros created a magical atmosphere where everyone in the audience was in the captive of delightful stillness. Ably supported by Bangalore Amrit in Kanjira, both the masters made it a great show.