and lows of Chennai December season
Compiled by Lalitha Venkat
Dec 30, 2006
The calendar year for artistes is from season to season. And every year you grow as an artiste and learn to know the pulse of the audience better. When I look back, I realize how much I have matured as a performer, particularly in conceiving and executing a recital. A lot of thought goes into every aspect - choreography, music, costume and jewellery - to make the recitals reflect your artistic sensibilities.
(Priyadarshini Govind in 'My festival,' Music Season, The Hindu, Dec 19, 2006)
(The Dhananjayans, in 'My festival,' The Hindu, Music Season, Dec 20, 2006)
The present day dancers have an advantage over senior dancers because they get more concert opportunities, the media coverage is more, and they can also update their knowledge by the lec-dems that are given by senior dancers. These days, they are also encouraged by awards and titles. Personally, I don't attach too much importance to awards. I am happy if I get it, but it is OK even if I don't. There is a greater joy in dance than in getting awards. For me, dance is spiritual.
To attract larger audience, I feel we must explain our gestures, so that the layman understands what we are doing. Where is the time? We are allotted a specific time and we have to finish our performance within that slot.
(Jayanthi Subramanian in 'Dance is a spiritual journey,' City Express, Dec 27, 2006)
I feel the entire sabha thing is a racket and I've had enough.
(G Narendra in 'Dancing Duo,' City Express, Dec 26, 2006)
Solo Bharatanatyam performances used to be 'packed' and 'full house' till a few years ago. Even today, the main stream of professional dancers, perform to excellent packed houses. They take extra effort to prepare thematic presentations and compile together some very novel ideas. Since some of the famous dancers of the country perform only during the December season in Chennai, tickets are sold out. Yet there is a drop in audience for some solo performances. It is a problem that has to be addressed by the senior dancers themselves and they have to look into the pros and cons of the 'whys.'
(Sudha Raghunathan in 'Sudha replies,' City Express, Dec 15, 2006)
(Aniruddha Knight in 'Dance is nothing but visual music,' City Express, Dec 20, 2006)
(Rupa Srikanth in 'Brilliant synchronization,' The Hindu, Music Season, Dec 20, 2006)
"I realized I didn't have to be a Western drummer, or a guitarist hamming away. All I had to be was just myself, a tabla player, and that's the specialty I brought to the table. I was fortunate to be at the right place at the right time. There are musicians in India, who are as good as I am, or probably better. As a tabla player I'm just as good as I was 20 years ago. The difference is that I learnt the language the West understood. It gave me opportunities and also allowed me the kind of exposure hailed by young musicians today. Therefore, even though there have been musicians of equal caliber, I've enjoyed that iconic status," he says modestly.
"When your audience realizes you too went to college like them, you too wear western clothes and go to Pizza Hut, it instills in them a sense of familiarity. With all these commonalities, they recognize a specialty in you that makes you different. And that's what has given me the identity of a global musician."
('The making of the Ustad' by Deepa Ganesh, The Hindu Metro Plus, Dec 20, 2006)
(N Ramani in 'My festival,' Music Season, The Hindu, Dec 26, 2006)
You can't blame the audience for that. If you really want to promote young talents, give them prime time slots rather than make them perform in the morning or afternoon when it's office time, when hardly anybody would turn up.
(Durga Jasraj in 'Art, artistes and an academy,' City Express, Dec 28, 2006)
The number of concerts has increased to such an extent that there is ample scope for mediocrity. The remedy for this would be to reduce the number of concerts, thereby bringing quality control.
(T R Subramanian in 'Young musicians have sprung surprises,' City Express, Dec 23, 2006)
(P Unnikrishnan in 'My festival,' The Hindu, Music Season, Dec 27, 2006)
Today, not only the top artistes but also youngsters give 8 to 10 performances. Are they equipped to do justice to their art? Besides, how can they listen to others if they are constantly performing? And if they don't make use of the season to listen to seniors, how are they going to improve their own music?
(Ranjani and Gayatri in 'My festival,' The Hindu, Music Season, Dec 29, 2006)
Veenai E Gayatri in 'My festival,' The Hindu, Music Season, Dec 22, 2006)
(Tiruchi Sankaran in 'As the mridangam played jazz' by Lalithaa Krishnan, The Hindu, Music Season, Dec 22, 2006)
(Biswanath Ghosh, 'Music for years or ears?' City Express, Dec 22, 2006)
The Hindu's music tabloid should carry do's and don'ts section with respect to mobile phones, with special emphasis on 'how to set your mobile in the silent mode.' Leave alone the audience, a young vocalist was seen talking on the cell during her performance.
- Shyamala Radhakrishnan ('Listener's post,' The Hindu, Music Season, Dec 26, 2006)
This singer on stage faced too many hurdles. First, the connecting chord of the sruti box was playing truant. Later, it was the paper on which the lyrics of the kriti was written, which flew away at the crucial moment and the singer could not recall the words in spite of the fact that it is a popular number. So it was the responsibility of the percussion artistes to fill the void with rhythm till the paper was retrieved and the singer could catch up with the rest of the song.
- G Swaminathan ('Music Matters,' The Hindu, Music Season, Dec 20, 2006)
It is considered auspicious to start programs with an invocation. And generally it is a short verse or a sloka. But not these days. The so-called prayer song is stretched with swaram, sangati and so on, the performer turning it into a mini-kutcheri, showcasing his/her talent. To cap it all, the confused audience ends up applauding the prayer song!
- G Swaminathan & V Balasubramanian ('Music Matters,' The Hindu, Music Season, Dec 15, 2006)
Gone are the days of pretension, the days of keeping papers under the electronic sruti box. During the concert of the Hyderabad Brothers, Seshachari actually raised the paper to eye level and sang. However, he did so as if the song was well practiced.
- SVK in 'Aesthetics takes the back seat' (The Hindu, Music Season, Dec 15, 2006)