Monday, November 1, 2010

Baithak 21 - A fitting start for Diwali

Five classical vocalists performed this October evening - two Carnatic and three Hindustani, representing three gurus, showcasing ten ragas, with compositions in four languages, and in praise of seven gods! The packed Dheemtana audience thoroughly enjoyed the rich musical feast.

Apurva Chakravorty opened the proceedings for Baithak 21, accompanied by Rama Garimella on the tabla, and Shishir Neelakant on the harmonium. Apurva sang raga Kedar - the beautiful "Painjani Baaje" describing Krishna as a toddler, by Pt. Ramashreya Jha in teental, followed by "Sharan Aayo" penned by Guru Nanak, also in teental. In her third Dheemtana appearance Apurva sang confidently, executing reference versions of the compositions, interspersed with well delivered alaaps and taans - both in sargam and aakaar. Apurva concluded with a Basavanna vachana "Yennaginta Kiriyara illayya" in raga Gara. Rama was crisp and competent on the tabla, with Shishir being likewise supportive on the harmonium while accompanying Apurva.

Sravya Rallapalli was up next, in her maiden concert, accompanied by Vinay Raghuram on the violin and Gopal Ravindhran on mridangam. Sravya opened with Muthuswamy Dikshitar's "Maha Ganapathim" in raga Nattai, Eka taala, followed by "Mangambuthi" on Lord Hanuman in raga Dharmavathi, Adi taala, penned by Annamacharya, concluding with her guru Smt. Jayashree Varadarajan's composition in raga Abhogi "Jaya Jaya Jayashree Varamahalakshmi"
in Adi taala. Sravya sang with maturity and was melodious throughout, bringing out well the mood of each raga and the bhava of each composition. Vinay accompanied beautifully on the violin, with Gopal enhancing the performance with his lively mridangam playing.

Gayatri Sabne was the next singer, accompanied by Vishnu Nair on tabla, and Shishir Neelakant on harmonium. Gayatri sang raga Durga - the traditional "Ata hi Ghanghor" in vilambit Rupak, followed by a tarana in drut teental. In her 4th Dheemtana appearance, Gayatri sang with authority and flourish, wowing the Dheemtana audience. Her full-throated rendition brought the graceful raga Durga to life, with beautiful alaaps and strong taans. Vishnu was steady with his theka on the tabla, and Shishir in perfect step with his harmonium accompaniment to Gayatri.

NavyaMaithri Konda sang next, in her first concert, with Vinay Raghuram on violin, and Gopal Ravindhran on violin. Navya opened with Sripadaraya's somber composition in Bhowli, Adi taala, "Parvathi varasutha", followed by "Rara Rajeeva Lochana" in Mohana, Adi taala, and concluding with her guru Smt. Jayashree Varadarajan's composition in raga Yaman, "Govinda Namo", Adi taala. Navya was spirited and energetic in her singing, and her swara kalpana in
Mohana with Vinay's excellent violin accompaniment was pleasing. Gopal shone in his mridangam playing and his short tani avartanam left the audience wanting to hear more.

Pramod Korwar brought the curtain down on the evening of multi-hued music, singing the melodious raga Chhaya Nat. Accompanying Pramod on tabla was Rama Garimella, with Medha Korwar on the harmonium. Pramod sang the traditional madhyalaya composition "Eri Maalaniya" in Addha Teentaal. Pramod sang unhurriedly and with relish, bringing out the gentle beauty of the raga. Rama was steady on the tabla with her addha, and Medha in sync with
her father on the harmonium.

The Dheemtana website has already been updated with pics, audio, and video from Baithak 21 - please enjoy!

Baithak 22 is next - on Saturday, December 18th, again in Los Altos Library.There is just one performance spot still open, so if you'd like to perform, please send in requests to, or

Till then, GO DHEEMTANA!

And, wishing all Dheemtana-ites a very Happy Deepavali!

Thank you,
Dheemtana Baithaks

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