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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Natyasruti’s unique effort

Natyasruti, an organization promoting classical music and dance in Bangalore under the guidance of Smt. Sumitra Nitin has been conducting a variety of programmes over the last few years.

One of their pioneering efforts, has been a special workshop on the Magnum Opus of Carnatic Music namely the 72 Mela ragamalika composed by Sri. Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan. It started during last year when veteran vocalist from Chennai, Sangita Kalanidhi Smt.R.Vedavalli was invited to Bangalore to teach a select group of students, the 72 Mela ragamalika of Sri.Sivan. The teaching itself was carried out in two halves.

Participants in the group rendering of the Melaragamalika on Jul,9 2011(from L-to-R):Sri. Sudarshan Chakravarthy (Mridangam), Sri.Kiran (Kanjira), Sri.R.Vasudevan, Master Vikram, Smt. Harini Raghavan, Smt. Sumitra Nitin, Kumari. Sriranjani, Smt. Chitra Srikanth, Smt. Ramya Narasimhan and Smt. Annapoorni Subramanian (Violin)

On completion of the course, the first half consisting of 36 Suddhamadhyama ragas were rendered by Smt.Vedavalli’s students on 27th June 2010. Speaking on the occasion, Smt.Vedavalli described about the intricacies of the ragamalika. Each raga consists of the lyrics which has the name of the raga embedded in it, followed by a brief chittaswara in that raga. This is linked to the chittaswara of the second raga followed by the sahitya of the second raga and so on.

On 9th July 2011, Natyasruti had arranged a lecture by eminent musical historian Sri.V.Sriram from Chennai who talked for more than an hour about the greatness of the author of the musical piece, Sri.Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan. It was a biographical presentation covering his family, musical career and achievements. This was followed by the presentation of second half of the Mela ragamalika consisting of 36 pratimadhyama ragas from students of Smt.Vedavalli

Such unique efforts to promote and popularize difficult and rare carnatic music pieces, by organizations like Natyasruti and specifically Smt.Sumitra Nitin needs the appreciation and support of all music lovers. The entire event was a treat to the Bangalore rasikas of carnatic music.