Song of Surrender

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Antarkatha--a novel approach to story telling

By S. Sivaramakrishnan


It could well be christened 'Oliyum Oviyamum' (Pitch and Picture would be a rough translation). The story or glory of Krishna titled 'Muddukrishna'  through select songs was rendered by Sriram Parasuram, Nisha Rajagopalan and K. Gayatri to the majestic strokes on a canvas by the genius-artist Keshav, famous for his political cartoons in The Hindu. The venue was the refurbished R.R. Sabha in Mylapore, Chennai, a potential hotspot during the December Season.

By the time the trio completed their rendition of a nice collection of kritis on Lord Krishna, Keshav  completed his painting--a  magnificent maroon-hued portrait of his 'ishtadevata' Gopalakrishna. The focus of the audience was perhaps more on the renowned artist working with his pencils and brushes on the canvas. A Tiruppavai, some famous kritis of Dikshitar and Tyagaraja, and a thumri, provided quite a different aural canvas. This was the second episode of a novel three-day series featuring music and visual art organised by Charsur Foundation 20-22 October 2017.


The first day was a celebration of Purandaradasa (Purandara gurum vande) anchored by R.K. Shriramkumar telling the story, with vocal support by Amritha Murali and Ramakrishnan Murthy. Illustration of the saint on canvas was by Subhiksha Rangarajan who is also a Carnatic viocalist.

The final day had Jayanthi Kumaresh (veena) presenting a Story in Concert--mystery of the missing veena--with K.U. Jayachandra Rao and Pramath Kiran and Vidhya Anand. The artist working on the canvas was Neernalli Ganapathy. As bad luck would have it I could not attend the last day's event.

It was indeed entertainment of a different kind . On the whole, the concept was received well by the rasikas.

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