Playing the woman with élan
FLUID MOVEMENTSMantapa Prabhakara Upadhyaya is extremely conversant with female roles
The solo Yakshagna performance by Mantapa Prabhakara Upadhyaya with the commentary by Prof. Shatahavadhani Ganesh at the Navagaraha Temple Complex, Vijayanagara, Mysore, was an impeccable artistry of traditional Yakshagana from the coastal Karnataka. Her talent came to fore in her delineation of the mythological character of Sita (Ramayana) in the play Janaki Jeevana beginning from her marriage (Seetha Kalyana), were well-established in the rasabhinaya of different episodes of her life. Particular episodes like Sita's immense desire to possess the golden deer, her response to Lakshmana, who did not respond to the call of the demon Mareecha were the set of landmarks of the performance.
The sanchari was in coherence with the rhythmical chanda and mridanga. It was fascinating to hear the traditional Yakashanaga style of music tuned in the Carnatic style with ragas like Shudda Dhanyasi, Begada, Desh, Behag, Bhairavi, Atana, Mohanakalyani, Ramapriya and Madhyamavati (in the style of the late Kota Shivaram Karanth). The distinct narration by Shatahavadahani Ganesh gave tremendous impetus to the performance. During his weeklong performances in several parts of Mysore, the artiste presented different episodes like Bhamini,Krisharpana, and Venu Visarjana (an adaptation of Gokula Nirgamana of the late poet P.T. Narasimachar ) with an aim to educate lovers of Yakshagana. Prabhakar Upadhyaya played the female characters with great élan.
Yuva Dhwani, a culture outfit that aims to preserve classical music among the younger generation celebrated its second anniversary in three different parts of the city. More than 80 young performing artistes and learned musicians participated in the events. The morning sessions had lec-dem on mridanga (H.S. Sudheendra), development of veena (Jayanti Kumaresh), music quiz (Vidwan R.S. Nandakumar), uniqueness of ghata (Vidwan Suresh, Chennai), manodharma sangeetha (Dr. R.N. Srilatha) and young artistes music ensemble (instrumental music) were some of the salient features that were experimented for the guidance of younger generation. However, the participation of senior and learned musician needs freshness instead of constant stagnation by the organisers. Some of the hour-long concerts by the young artiste were fairly well received. Nagaranjini's concert was a bitter experience and disappointment. The artiste could never touch the threshold of classical music in her rendition. Several young talents got the much-desired break.
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