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Scintillating Concert of Vasudha Ravi at Nadasurabhi

7.Vasudha Ravi concertHarini Raghavan
Vidushi Vasudha Ravi’s concert is something not to be missed.  She performed at Indian Heritage Academy, Koramangala, for Nadasurabhi on July 17, as part of the monthly concert.  As she opened the concert with an Adi tala varnam in ‘Kedaragoula’ raga, her mature, bold voice filled the auditorium.
Quickly moving over to Purandaradasa’s ‘Vandisuvudadiyali in ‘Natta’ raga, she embellished lord Gananatha with beautiful swaraprasthara. Then came the bhava laden ‘Mukhari’ ragalapana in all its fineness. What a change of mood full of pathos, immediately after fire works of swaras for Natta!! This was followed by a neat presentation of Muthuswamy Dikshitar’s ‘Pahimam Rathanchala’, a rarely heard song. As the rasikas were still soaked in the mukhari-experience, the tear jerker was over shadowed by her breezy ‘Kudure bandide’, in ‘Valaji’, a kannada composition of Vadhiraja, shaking up everyone.  She literally was galloping with a care free laugh on her face, bringing cheer to the accompanying artists and the entire audience. After the horse ride she calmed down to present the ‘Rishabhapriya’ kriti – ‘Mahima dakkinchu’ and ‘Evarikai avataramu’ in ‘Devamanohari’ both by St.Thaygaraja.  The main item came then in ‘Mohana’ raga, another kriti of Thyagaraja – ‘Mohanarama’.  With her uninhibited, yet cultured voice, she treated ‘Mohana’ delicately, but in detail.  She sculpted it with mesmerising sancharas, as if it was a prelude to the presentation of the charming image of Lord Rama in the kriti. She enhanced the raga with required ‘gamakas’ and  adequate ‘vishranti’ in the raga alapana making it appealing.  The swara prasthara which followed the composition was technical, with multiple combination of swara patterns, varying speeds and ‘gathis’. RTP in ‘Pantuvarali’ had ‘ Kailasa trinetra, gangadhara, shiva shambo’ for the Pallavi line, in Chaturasra Triputa tala, 2 kalai, a simple one, so to say, as she is better known for presenting complicated ‘Dwi nadai’ pallavis often. With an ‘Abhang’ and a thillana in ‘Pahadi’ raga she concluded the concert.  On the whole it was a very good concert.  Her ragas rendering is crisp, swaras come with ease and her voice range is good.  There is no faltering at any point. Absolute control over breath and talam were the plus points. She is one of the most cheerful artists, both on and off stage! Aditi Krishnaprakash was on Violin and her support was admirable.  Despite a challenging job, looking at her great improvement over past few years, it was evident that she did nurture her music also quite well. Adamya Ramanand on Mridangam, as usual was good.  His best came for the Mohana kriti  with the following Tani avartanam, and for the RTP.
Sunaad Anoor was vibrant and excited and provided excellent support.
The full house audience only wished that the musical treat could have continued for some more time.  They were full of praise for young Vasudha. An interesting thing about Vasudha Ravi is that in her 20+ years of musical training she has had only one Guru –Dr. Manjula Sriram- who has shaped her up into such a fine artist with her own unique style!!!  A wonderful two-way dedication indeed!

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