- This event is over. However, time travel possible through our Audio & Video!
Day 1 | February 25 | Saturday
11am – 1pm | Carnatic Duet
In this concert, Brindha Manickavasagan and Aishwarya Vidhya Raghunath explore the confluence of two different banis, namely, the Musiri Bani and the Semmangudi-Dhanammal Banis. Drawing inspiration from the sprawling landscape of Nagaland where their concert for the Blue Planet was originally performed, they will present compositions that resonate with the environment and nature. Making music along with them, are consummate musicians Charulatha Ramanujam on the violin, Delhi Sairam on the mridangam and Chandrasekhara Sharma on the ghatam.
4pm – 5pm | Kathakali Lec-dem by V Kaladharan
This lecture explores the evolution of Kathakali, its audio-visual components, text and performance-culture. It is followed by a demonstration touching upon the major aspects of its physical training. It begins with Namaskarapanchakam or the five different forms of salutation, leg-exercises in Chembada tala with four different tempo-transitions, and the 24 basic hand-gestures which are developed to facilitate primary communication characters. The performers will also explore the words that are frequently used in the Kathakali Play, Kalyanasaugandhikam.
7pm – 9pm | Nava, a Bharatanatyam and Carnatic Music Collaboration
Nava meaning ‘fresh’ in Tamil and ‘new or celebration’ in Sanskrit is derived from the Tree of the Kurunji lands (Navamaram /Navapazham) that greatly inspired this collaboration, it is the brainchild of both Vignesh Ishwar and Christopher Gurusamy who with their team of performers, Sayee Rakshit, Akshay Anantapadmanabhan and Sudharshani have created the work as an attempt to narrate a story that celebrates the forest while exploring new fronts within the Karnatik music and Bharatanatyam worlds.
Day 2 | February 26
11am – 1pm | Hindustani Vocal Concert
A Hindustani concert by Delhi based Hindustani vocalist Shashwati Mandal of the Gwalior gharana. Shaswati will be accompanied by Mausam on harmonium and Udayraj Karpur on tabla. The artists will present a set of compositions and raagas from the late morning to early afternoon spectrum.
2pm – 3.30pm | Acapella by Waves
Waves is an acapella group based in Bangalore, made up of 7 talented vocalists, namely: Reah, Keerthan, Saniya, Akanksha, Zuan, Siddharth, Callista and Ron. The set list for the afternoon comprises of acapella renditions of pop tunes such as “Classic” and “Happy”, a solo beatboxing piece and a beautiful prayer song in Swahili.
5pm – 7pm | Earth Untitled, a Bharatanatyam and Carnatic Music Collaboration
‘Earth Untitled’ with Shweta Prachande (Bharatanatyam) and Rithvik Raja (Vocals) is not only conversation between dance and music, but also art and rhythm in fresh interpretations of poetic verses. The performers’ never-ending pursuit of beauty comes through in this performance, drawing from ideas of lyric, rhythm, melody and movement. The production aims to explore the dynamic relationship between the artist and nature, through art. Accompanying the dancer and vocalist, we have Praveen Sparsh and Sivaprasad on the mridangam, Sayee Rakshit on the violin and Aadith on Nattuvangam.
7:30pm – 9pm | Kalyanasaugandhikam, a Kathakali performance
This play composed by Kottayath Thampuran of north Kerala from the Epic, Mahabharata and choreographed by Vellatt Chathupanickar forms the grammatical grace and the aesthetic profundity of Kathakali, the classical dance-theatre evolved in the late 17th century. The excerpt presented here has three characters, Panchali, Bheemasena and Hanuman. The story takes place when the Pandavas are living in the forest.
Scene I – Panchali & Bheemasena
Panchali invites the attention of her husband, Bheemasena, to a distinctively fragrant flower called Saugandhika wafted through the wind. She tells him that she would be able to get more of these flowers if he is empathetic towards her. In beauty, she says, this flower is unequalled on Earth. Panchali adds that there is none other than her husband whom a young lady can disclose her desire. Listening to the endearing words of Panchali, Bheemasena addresses her. “Oh! Deer-eyed! I will soon bring the beautiful Saugandhika flowers which you very much desire to have. You, the jewel of beautiful ladies! Even if the flowers are on top of the mountain or in the heaven effortless it is for me to fulfil your desire valorously.”
Scene II – Bheemasena
Bheemasena sets out in search of the Saugandika flowers with his mighty cudgel. He marvels at the sight of the dense forest through which he has to tread. Once inside the deep forest, he feels that the tall trees with sprawling branches prevent the sun-rays from falling on the Earth. He clears the path by breaking the trees and by preparing himself to face any unexpected developments during his journey. At some point Bheemasena comes across a huge Python crawling towards an elephant and starts swallowing its leg. The elephant tries to free his leg but in vain. At a distance a lion watches this push and pull and the right moment jumps over the elephant, breaks its forehead and drinks the blood. The elephant falls down dead and the python retreats. The lion too, takes leave.
Scene III – Hanuman
Hanuman, is seen seated in deep meditation. Moments pass by. His meditation is slightly disturbed by a sound that comes from a distance. Hanuman opens his eyes, looks around and returns to meditation. A sound is heard again interfering with his penance. A disturbed Hanuman looks around once again and does naadeebandhanam (fastening the nerves from three positions). He continues his meditation. Moments later a big sound is heard unsettling Hanuman. He stands up and watches his immediate surroundings. He feels that a colossal figure is becoming vaguely visible. Trees are falling down on the Earth. Elephant-herds, giving up their pride, are running away anxiously. The petrified lions are back in their caves and grunt uninterruptedly. Hanuman thereupon feels a growing affection towards the one who is approaching. Slowly he recognizes the other as Bheemasena, his younger brother. He then decides to assess the strength of his brother and to let him know his own identity. Hanuman then transforms himself into an old and disabled monkey. He lies down across the path to block his brother’s journey.
Scene IV – Hanuman & Bheemasena
Bheemasena is on his way. He is surprised to find that an old monkey has blocked his adventurous journey by lying down on his path. With anger and contempt, Bheemasena orders the monkey to keep off his way. The monkey replies that he is unable to move and tells Bheemasena to make way by himself to continue the journey. An enraged Bheemasena tries to move the monkey using his cudgel, but fails miserably and is ashamed. Hanuman slowly wakes up and makes fun of Bheemasena. A shocked Bheemasena asks the ‘monkey’ who he is. Hanuman reveals his identity before his brother who falls at his feet. Bheemasena then requests his brother, Hanuman, to show his full figure with which he had crossed the ocean and reached Lanka. Hanuman is hesitant. But Bheemasena insists. Hanuman then grows in size. Unable to bear the sight, Bheemasena almost loses his conciousness. Hanuman helps him back to his real self. He promises his brother that he would come to the Kurukshetra-battle and will be present on the flag of Arjuna. Hanuman guides Bheemasena to the lake from where he can pluck the Saugandhika flowers. Bheemasena bids farewell to his brother.
In collaboration with:
Aishwarya Vidhya Raghunath
Aishwarya Vidhya Raghunath is one of the leading Carnatic vocalists of her generation known for her rigour and artistry. Aishwarya’s performances have found expression in lecture demonstrations, creative collaborations and public concerts at venues of global repute both in India and around the world. She is a highly awarded artist having received the “Outstanding Lady Vocalist” award from the Madras Music Academy for three consecutive years. She is also the recipient of significant awards like the Kalki Krishnamurthy Award, MS Subbulakshmi Award, DK Pattamal Award and the prestigious Govt of India Scholarship from the Ministry of Culture.
Brindha Manickavasakan is among the foremost, popular young performing Carnatic musicians in India, known for her rich voice and the bhava, sensitivity, variety and creativity in her music. A recipient of the V Subrahmaniam Young Talent Award from Sri Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer Golden Jubilee Foundation, the title “Ilam Rasika Kala Bharathi” from Rasika Fine Arts, she has won many awards and accolades from various organizations. She has released several music albums, such as ‘Tyagaraja Vandanam’ for Giri Trading. Brindha is an ‘A’ graded vocal artist of All India Radio. She is a constant feature in all the major sabhas in Chennai, and performs regularly in other places within the country and abroad.
Delhi S Sairam
Delhi Sri Sairam is a disciple of Mridangam Maestro Kalaimamani Dr. Thiruvarur Sri Bakthavatsalam. He is a postgraduate First Rank holder in Rhythmology from the University of Madras. He has also won several awards like the ‘Kalaimamani’ by the government of TamilNadu, ‘Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar’ from the Sangeet Natak Akademi, ‘Yuva Kala Bharathi’ from Bharat Kalachar, ‘Best senior mridangist’ award from The Music Academy, Chennai, ‘Laya Lavanya Trust Award’ from Padmabhushan Umayalapuram Sri Sivaraman to name a few. His energetic yet sensitive style of accompanying vocalists and instrumentalist alike has won him critical acclaim all over India and abroad.
Charulatha is one of the leading violinists from Bangalore and her popularity can be gauged from the fact that she is one of the most sought-after accompanists for a wide range of established musicians. Charulatha has won many accolades like the ‘Best Accompanist’ at the Spirit of Youth concerts. the ‘Best Violin Accompanist Award in the Senior concerts’ of Indian Fine Arts, Chennai, ‘Ananya Yuva Puraskara’ from Ananya, ‘Swaralayarathna’ by Suswaralaya College of Music and the prestigious ‘Kalki Krishnamurthy Award’, instituted by Kalki Krishnamurthy Foundation, Chennai, to name a few. She has rich experience in teaching Carnatic Classical Music to varied age groups. She has been freelancing as a teacher for several individuals as well as groups in India and USA.
Chandrasekara Sharma is one of the most sought after Ghatam artistes in the Carnatic Music circuit today. Hailing from an illustrious musical lineage, he grew up in a household that always had music in the air. Known for his clear fingering techniques and all-round knowledge of music accompaniment and mathematics, he has established himself as one of the foremost artistes in the field of percussion today. He has also experimented with other genres and fusion, and won many awards and accolades. Critically acclaimed, Chandrasekara Sharma is a wonderful artiste in the making.
Former Deputy Registrar of Kerala Kalamandalam, V Kaladharan is also a renowned writer and art critic. He was associated with Kerala Kalamandalam in various capacities for over three decades from 1982. Kaladharan has published hundreds of articles on the classical dance and theatre traditions of south India especially Kutiyattam, Kathakali and Mohiniyattam. As a bilingual writer he has won critical acclaim for his writings on Kerala Arts and Culture. His academic articles include, “From Meditative Learning to Impersonal Pedagogy”, an anthology published in “Qui Parley” – University of California, Berkeley, and “Text and Performance: A Cultural Symbiosis” published by the Cambridge University Press in “Quest of a Discipline: New Academic Directions for Comparative Literature” (February 2012).
Adithyan is the proud product of Kerala Kalamandalam from where he completed his Post-graduate Degree in Kathakali under a series of maestros. He received advanced training in Kathakali from the legendary actor, Kalamandalam Gopi. He is precise to a fault both in Angika and Satwikaabhinayas. A winner of several awards, he is the youngest actor in the field chosen for the Ustad Bismillah Khan Puraskar by the Sangeet Natak Akademy.
Praveen is a gifted actor trained at the Kalamandalam by veteran teachers. His female-roles have won tremendous appreciation within India and outside. The movements and expressions of Praveen while enacting the many different roles in Kathakali have both clarity and profundity.
As the disciple of great masters of Kathakali at the Kalamandalam, Sibi has proven talent in presenting heroic and anti-heroic characters. His presentation of Hanuman, a distinctive character in Kathakali, has won the appreciation of informed spectators. He is a much sought after young actor in Kathakali.
Vishnu is one of the leading young vocalists in Kathakali. A product of Kerala Kalamandalam, his singing of the slokams and the padams carries melody and vitality. As one who does the vachikabhinaya (verbal acting) in Kathakali, Vishnu’s visual sense is notable.
Krishna Kumar is the best known vocalist in Kathakali amongst the youngsters in the field. He is endowed with a gifted voice and an excellent diction. His emotive singing furthers the prowess of actors who do characters having a deep emotional strain.
Chenda, the high-sounding percussion-instrument in Kathakali invigorates the male characters. Sreevin is a young percussionist who is technically proficient and well-aware of the varying temperaments of characters.
Maddalam, the heavy percussion-instrument, is played in Kathakali for male and female characters. The dexterity of Vineeth’s fingers and his powerful strokes enrich the musical segment of Kathakali considerably.
Trained in Kathakali chutty (facial make-up) at the Kalamandalam, Sreejith is adept at fixing up the chutty (thick white paper affixed around the face of the actor) that augments the facial make-up of the actors.
A trained Kathakali make-up artiste at the Gandhisevasadanam, Peroor, Vivek is equally skilled in dressing up the actors in the dressing-room.
Vignesh Ishwar is one of the leading young musicians of Karnatik music. Endowed with a sonorous voice and unforgettable presence on stage, his music is fresh, energetic, sensitive and impactful. Vignesh has numerous awards to his credit, a few notable ones among many are the MS Subbulakshmi award by Narada Gana Sabha 2022, ML Vasantakumari Award by Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, Outstanding Concert Prize (Senior) 2022 by the Music Academy Madras, Shanmukha Sangeetha Shiromani Award by the Shanmukhananda Fine Arts and Sangeetha Sabha, Mumbai, 2019. Vignesh has been widely reviewed and is highly appreciated by critics and connoisseurs of the art. Featured in various prestigious festivals, Vignesh has toured extensively within India and abroad.
Christopher is a full-time professional Bharatanatyam performer based in Chennai, India. he is regarded as one of the front liners of his generation having performed extensively within India and globally. He has received widespread critical acclaim including Best Dance of 2017 (New York Times), HCL Best Performer (Madras Music Academy, 2015) and Kalavahini Fellowship for Choreography (Malavika Sarrukai 2018). While adhering to the grammar of the form, his aesthetics and contemporary choreographic sensibility reflect fresh perspectives that both revisit and deconstruct the traditional repertoire, drawing from lived experiences in Australia and India.
Sudarshini is a Nattuvannar, born to a family of art-admirers in Madurai. She has accompanied several dancers as a Nattuvanar in the field of Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Mohiniattam. She has received the Dhandayudhapani Pillai award for the best Nattuvanar From Krishna Gana Sabha. Sudarsini founded ‘Sri Vidhyalam’, a learning centre for Indian Dance, Music and Shuddananda yoga Samajam, which is located in the district of Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu. She is part of the guest faculty at Rukmini Devi College of fine arts, Kalakshetra Foundation.
Akshay Anantapadmanabhan is a reputed and leading mridangam artist known for his sensitivity, tonality and innovative approach of spreading Indian rhythm through the world. Akshay has performed with the past and present leading names of Carnatic music, including Sri RK Srikantan, Smt Sudha Raghunathan, Smt Aruna Sairam, Sri Unnikrishnan, Sri TM Krishna and Smt Ranjani and Smt Gayatri to name a few. He has also given collaborative performances with Hindustani, Latin jazz, American jazz and rock musicians in unique showcases of South Indian percussion. His latest solo production: ‘Re-imagining Indian Rhythms’ pushes the boundaries of Indian rhythms in an avant-garde approach.
Having started his journey as a performer at the age of 10, Sayee Rakshith has performed as a violinist with various leading Carnatic Artistes. He was part of the “Dharti Ma” initiative by Earth day network which featured leading musicians across India including Smt Bombay Jayashree, Shri Shankar Mahadevan, Smt Kaushiki Chakraborty, Shri Hans Raj and Shri Abhishek Raghuram. He has also been playing in the film industry for various music directors including M.M. Keeravani, G.V. Prakash, Leon James, Girishh Gopalakrishnan and Vishal Chandrashekhar. He has been a part of the band ‘Staccato’ since 2018 and continues to venture and collaborate with leading musicians across various genres.
Shashwati Mandal is an acclaimed Hindustani vocalist, a recipient of several awards and accolades, including the prestigious Manimann fellowship from Sanskriti Pratishthan. She has also received CCRT’s senior fellowship for her research work titled, ‘Contribution of Women composers to North Indian Classical Music.’ She teaches students under various scholarships, and conducts workshops, and lecture-demonstrations around the world by Habitat Centre Delhi, Spic-Macay, Raga Mala Seattle, Komal Rishabh Detroit and SFA Singapore.
Mausam is a born rasika of music and plays both harmonium and tabla with great feeling. He has also studied vocal music from the late Dr Sharad Gadre of Gwalior gharana. He has accompanied several notable musicians such as Pt Vidhyadhar Vyas, Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khan, Smt Neela Bhagwat, Smt Sunanda Patnaik and Smt Shashwati Mandal. He is currently a faculty member in Computer Science at IIT Delhi.
Dr Udayaraj Karpur is a versatile and internationally renowned tabla player who earned fame through his mastery in playing the instrument to all forms of music with ease and comfort. He has trained many young students in the art of tabla playing, who are now very successful in their music profession. He founded Shree Krishna Pushkar Music Foundation to promote music. He has created a unique musical percussion ensemble by children’s known as “Pushakar” Tanda. He is among those artists who is equally good in accompanying vocalists, instrumentalists, kathak dancers, light music, western music and solo playing. He is an “A” graded artist in both Doordarshan and Akashavani.
An acapella group based in Bangalore, Waves is made up of 7 talented vocalists, namely: Reah, Keerthan, Saniya, Akanksha, Zuan, Siddharth, Callista and Ron, a phenomenal beatboxer, who come together to create a unique sound that blends soulful singing with a modern twist. While they come from different backgrounds, they all share a deep appreciation for the art of acapella and push the boundaries of what acapella can be.
Shweta Prachande is a renowned dancer with a distinct style that is thoughtfully nurtured through assimilating diverse movement profiles and sculpting visual narratives. Her unabated passion for dance has driven her to do a Diploma in Dance Studies at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London, UK. This combined with her Masters in Fine Arts in Bharatanatyam, all-round training and understanding of Nattuvangam, Music and Text with special focus on dance, and movement training in the martial art for of Kalaripayattu, has given rise to an aesthetic combination of Bharatanatyam techniques and styles with a unique movement vocabulary, making her dance an enthralling visual treat.
Defined by artistic intensity and musical sensitivity, Rithvik Raja is distinct in approach among a new generation of musicians. Rooted in the Karnatic Music genre, he is one of the most celebrated and respected artistes of his era. His reverence for traditional values coupled with an imaginative approach makes his music a lovely blend of aesthetics and emotion. Blessed with a pleasant voice that effectively communicates the myriad nuances of his music, his renditions are punctuated with abundant creativity. With constant introspection and hard work, his music is constantly evolving while preserving the integrity of classicism.
Aadith is a sensitive and nuanced Nattuvangam artiste and dancer. Trained under Gurus Vasanthalakshmi, Narasimhachari and Madurai T. Srinivasan, Aadith possesses a holistic understanding of rhythm, patterns, and its execution in Nattuvangam. His uniqueness as an artist comes through in the way he handles his cymbals while bringing out the complexity of the percussion syllables with crystal clear clarity.
Halling from an illustrious musical lineage, Praveen Sparsh began performing at a very young age, he is presently under the tutelage of Guruvayur Shri Dorai. He has performed all around the globe and is a versatile and multi-faceted artiste across genres. With innovative ideas and a unique approach, Praveen constantly pushes boundaries and redefines the art through his own narrative.
P K Sivaprasad
Sivaprasad was initiated into the basics of mridangam by his father at the age of six. Following this, he received advanced training form Sri Pudukode Krishna Iyer and subsequently went on to pursue Bachelor of Arts in Mridangam and graduated from the Kerala Kalamandalam. He is currently under the guidance of Sri Trichur C. Narendran. He has accompanied many of India’s leading artistes and has extensively travelled all over India and abroad. Sivaprasad’s deep understanding of dance and his intrinsic flow of rhythm makes him distinct in the world of Bharatanatyam.