Shri Ganesh Vandana at Pune Festival 2006 
- Pandithar Sivakumar Perumal, Pune 
Photos: Suresh Narayanan 

September 12, 2006 

In the heart of the city of Pune, Shree Ganesh Kala Krida Rang Manch wore a festive look, bustling with dance and music. Welcome to the 18th edition of the Pune Festival
The guests were welcomed with the beats of drums, the taal vadya's, a rhythmic beat that invites you to the festival of Lord Ganesha. Inside the Rang Manch, the setting was filled with celebratory beats of "Sanai - Chowghada." 
Pune Festival has always presented the very best in the field of dance and music. Ganesha Kala Krida Rang Manch was filled to capacity. Pune Festival paid its homage to the "Sehnai Samrat" Ustad Bismillah Khan and ace filmmaker Hrishikesh Mukherjee who passed away recently. A huge screen unrolled for a brief film on Khan sahib. The 2nd edition of Pune Festival had featured the maestro. 

With "Shree Ganesha Sthapana" the lord arrived on the stage. "Shri Ganesh Vandana" by Meenakshi Seshadri and troupe was a lyrical presentation of Asha Bhonsle's "Ganesh Asha" (a Times Music presentation) for which the music has been composed by Kedar Pandit. For Meenakshi Seshadri, the well known classical dancer / actress, performing at this festival is like a homecoming experience, having dazzled with her classic presentations in the earlier editions of the festival. Well known dancer /choreographer Parimal Phadke's visualisation created moving images of Ganesh Vandana. Meenakshi in an all red costume livened up the stage with her scintillating dance. The shishyas of Parimal Phadke were in golden costume. The dancer and choreographer have worked well on costumes for the performance and together they evoked visually arresting images on stage. 

Meenakshi brought to life the images of the lord Ganesha in the forms of "Suvaradam," "Sidhidam," "Moreshvaram," "Balallam," "Murdham," "Chinatamani Sthevaram," "Vinayakam," "Girijatmakam," "Vighneshvaram" and "Gananayaka."  The good use of the huge stage space was another bright spot in the choreography of the young composer. 

Ganesh Vandana by Meenakshi Seshadri and her troupe was the perfect offering to Lord Ganesha at the inauguration of the Pune Festival on September 1, 2006.

Sivakumar has a passion for the arts and is a freelance writer. He is a collector of dance related news clippings.