Bengaluru International Arts Festival 2012
- Meghna Venkat
Photos courtesy: BIAF

September 5, 2012

Bengaluru International Arts Festival organized by AIM commenced on 31st August 2012, with the sounds of chande and maddalam echoing in the corridors of Chowdiah Memorial Hall. The chief guests for the evening, Dr. CN Ashwathnarayan, MLA, Mr. Shiva Ganapathy, COO, Idea Cellular and Sarala Unnikrishnan inaugurated the fifth year of BIAF by lighting the traditional lamp.

Saxophone genius Kadri Gopalnath captivated the audience with his scintillating performance beginning with “Brova barama” in Bahudharini ragam. He also played the popular number “Raghu vamsa sudha” and all time favourites like “Krishna nee begane,” “Tamboori meetidava.” The evening continued with Odissi dance recital by Ranjana Gauhar.  The dance narrated the story of Chitrangada, the famous dance-drama of Rabindranath Tagore. The presentation featuring about 10 dancers was brilliantly choreographed with deft movements and kept the audience engrossed.

Kadri Gopalnath

Ranjana Gauhar’s group

Deepti Sudhindra

Aruna Sairam

The second day of the festival at Chowdiah Memorial Hall commenced with Guru Sri M lighting the lamp. Deepti Sudhindra started the day's performance with ‘Tanmayee - Becoming one with the Absolute’ with a concept that brought a stirring correlation between drama and dance. The beautifully choreographed theme began with Meerabai bhajan "Paga ghunguru" and the main piece being Dandayudhapani Pillai's varnam "Moham aaginen indha velai" in Karahara priya ragam, which was rendered artistically and skillfully by the multi talented Deepti. She was ably accompanied by her guru Padmini Ravi on nattuvangam, Suchethan Rangaswamy on vocal supported by Aishwarya Rangarajan, Lingaraj on mridangam, Sindhu Suchethan on violin, Srilatha on veena, Bharat on flute and Prassana Kumar on rhythm pads.

The next performance began with Aruna Sairam singing "Kanchadhalaya Dakshi Kamakshi". The entire hall reverberated with her brilliant voice. "Saranga Nayane" in Ranjani ragam put the audience in a trance and left them hanging there with other songs like "Ranga Baro," "Oh Rama nee namam." She rendered "Kamalamba" in Ananda Bhairavi ragam paying tribute to her guru T Brinda, "Chakkani raja margamu" in remembrance of Madurai Mani Iyer, "Brindavani Venu" like the style of Ustad Amir Khan on their centenary year. She concluded the blissful one and half hour of music with her famous Kalinga Narthana Thillana. She was accompanied by HN Bhaskar on violin, Patri Satish Kumar on mridangam and SV Ramani on ghatam.

Malavika Sarukkai

Zowe Madrigal

On Sept 2, Bengaluru International Arts Festival saw many art lovers, artistes waiting to witness two beautiful shows at Chowdiah Memorial Hall. The chief guest for the evening was Ila Chandrasekhar, President IMAS and it was good to see many eminent personalities like Kiran Mazumdar Shah, VC Bangalore, Dr. Prabhu Dev, Guru Maya Rao, Ashish Khokar present amongst the audience.

‘Sakthi Sakthiman - Energies Auspicious and Fearsome,’ a thematic presentation by Malavika Sarukkai commenced with Nattai ragam, in a dance depicting the vigorous Shakti. The second piece portrayed the graceful lasya in pleasant Kalyani ragam in the song "Sringara lahari." The third item was an interesting piece in ragamalika, first depicting the majestic Shakti with chanting of "Om Namah Shivaya," moving on to Kuravanji music with subtle dance, finally ending with Hindustani music with majestic movements. The final item portrayed the story of "Mahishasura Mardini" in Revathi ragam, ending with “Aigiri Nandini” followed by sloka "Ya devi sarva bhutheshu" and one could see the Mother blessing all her children. Her dance carried amazing energy and Malavika's adroit and skilful rendition made it an unforgettable journey of Shakti. 

The following program was a different genre from the former, a neo-classical chorus music from Nagaland’s Zowe Madrigal. A piano and four vocalists were just enough to transport the Bengaluru audience to wonderland. Songs like “Oh, baby,” “I believe I can fly,” a Nagaland folk music were rendered with charming expertise. The song “Amigos parsis” was an immediate hit. They ended the concert with additional songs from requests by the fans!

Astad Deboo

Astad Deboo Dance Company

The end of the first week of BIAF came to a conclusion with the performance of Astad Deboo Dance Company.  The show titled ‘Interpreting Tagore’ began with 4 spot lights on 3 artistes and Astad Deboo in a beautiful posture. The music vibrated softly through the hall and filled every space. The first piece out of the four pieces was ‘Surrender,’ a beautiful poem by Rabindranath Tagore. Following this was ‘Your Grace’ where one suddenly found four 20 feet tall puppets emerging from the audience and walking to the stage, calling out for their children just like a mother. The spellbound audience watched the performance with awe. The third piece was ‘Walking Tall,’ the poem was very neatly portrayed and choreography was self explanatory. The fourth and the final piece was ‘Awakening,’ a soulful recital by Astad Deboo. 'Interpreting Tagore' was truly a spectacular performance.