Tridevi Samarpanam - A Artistic Offering To Devi
Click here to view the photo gallery - Courtesy Praveena Naduthota
“What can 25 cents do for you every day? At best a soda and that too if you buy it in bulk. But that 25 cents can transform the lives of the needy dramatically” says Rajesh Vaidheeswarran who spearheaded the fundraiser to support the Oncology unit of the Hindu Mission Hospital in Trichy, India.
The fundraiser, titled “Tridevi Samarpanam” was a splendorous display of live music and dance that focused on the three Devis, Lakshmi , Saraswathi and Parvathy. It was quite an extravaganza that involved three dance teachers, three senior musicians and over forty young and talented musicians and dancers who succeeded in creating a divine ambience with their performances. A unique feature of this concert was that, under the musical direction of Smt Aparna Balaji a live orchestra including students of music provided support for the dance performance.
The music segment was designed to fit the theme-Tridevi samarpanam- Saraswathi, Durga and Lakshmi. The music segment started with a varnam in ragam Kamalamanohari on goddess Saraswathi , a composition of Namakal Narasimha Iyerngar. It was followed by "Shri Varalakshmi" in ragam Shri, very famous composition of Dikshitar . " Omkaaraakarini" in ragam Lavangi,a composition of Dr. M.Bamamurali Krishna was the most appreciated piece as it started with interesting swaras that were composed by Aparna Balaji . To keep it short and crist, the music segment ended with a piece on Adi Shankara in ragam Shankarabharanam, composed by Papanasam Sivan. Though there were a few hiccups in the audio, the co-ordination among the eight singers on stage was much appreciated. Excellent support was given by Gaurishankar Chandrashekar, on the mridangam, which was much appreciated. On the violin we had Dr. Rajalakshmi Krishnan who flew all the way from NY.
The dance section followed. Neha Parikh and Ranjani Saigal worked with Aparna Balaji to present several interesting pieces that was set to music by Aparna Balaji. “The compositions of Adi Shankara are absolutely amazing. So it truly was my honor to work with Neha and Ranjani to bring to life many great compositions. I really enjoyed setting to music great compositions like Kanakadhara Stotram and Sharada Bhujangam “ said Aparna Balaji.
The live orchestra included Prayuth Naduthota on the flute, Ranjani Saigal on the Nattuvangam, Amrita Mangalat on the Veena, Dr. Rajalakshmi on the Violin and Gaurishankar Chandrashekar on the Mridangam.
The dance segment opened with a Todaya Mangalam by students of Neha Parikh. Ganesha Pancharatinam, performed by students of Ranjani Saigal, followed. The next piece was an innovative take on Sharadha Bhujangam. The story goes that the Shringeri Peetam was established when Adi Shankara saw the unusual scene where a snake was found sheltering a pregnant frog from the sun in Shringeri. Ranjani Saigal’s innovative choreography to the accompaniment of wonderful music by Aparna Balaji and the orchestra touched the audience.
Sridevi Thirumalai and her students then followed with a brilliant rendition of the Daru Varnam “Mate”. This was done to the accompaniment of a pre-recorded CD. The crisp Jathis were executed precisely by all the dancers and the presentation was a visual delight,
Neha Parikh and her students followed with Kanakadara Stotram and Bhagyadalakshmi Baramma. Again the brilliant music by the live orchestra supported a dazzling choreography by Neha for the story of Ksheera Sagara Manthanam. Neha's use of a screen for the emergence of Mahalakshmi added a unique touch to the presentation. Thillana in Tilang by students of Ranjani Saigal followed. A jugalbandi in the thillana to the brilliant Mridangam accompaniment by Gaurishankar was quite a highlight of the presentation. Maithreem Bhajata brought the teachers and students together and was a fitting finale to the grand event.
“I had a lot of trepidation considering dancing to a live orchestra for we had only two rehearsals. But it was amazing to see that we pulled it off with such ease. It was so much fun to do this. Hats off to Aparna Balaji, who took on the role of artistic director and coordinator and pulled it off with aplomb. It was an honor for me to do the Mangalam with two other amazing dancers, Sridevi Thirumalai and Neha Parikh“ said Ranjani Saigal.
It was not an easy task for Aparna to be the artist director. "It started out with a lot of issues with co-ordinating people and bringing them together under one roof to rehearse, but,I thoroughly enjoyed doing this as I was amply supported by Ranjani and Neha. This being my first time ever in working with dancers, it was so much fun at the same time really satisfying as we did it for a great cause" said Aparna Balaji
“It was an honour for me to be a part of 'Tridevi Samarpanam' where Myself, Ranjaniji and Srideviji, and Aparna Balaji, all came together to make this show a great success. Moreover, I am very happy that Myself and my students did our bit to promote such a noble cause" said Neha Parikh.
Dr. Anuradha Annaswamy and other youngsters did a wonderful job as MCEE.
For all the participants the thought of using their art to serve a noble cause was quite an honor.
While the complicated nature of the program caused a few glitches under the magical touch of Jawed Wahid, the audio came together beautifully. The audience felt a sense of elation with the pieces and the funds raised made the event most special.
To learn more about KKSF please check out their website at http://kksfusa.org
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