Monday, December 13, 2004

A grand finale to the Bengaluru Habba

Had a fantastic evening at Palace Grounds with the curtains coming down on the habba in glorious fashion. Only a week ago, mbk, his sister deepa, his mother and I had visited the stalls on the boulevard on M.G.Road on the inaugural day on the habba. And we had to bid a heavy-hearted adieu to this magnificent festival. Last evening at Palace grounds, the concerts that truly deserved a mention were the folk percussion ensemble (led by a flautist) arranged by Anoor Anantahkrishna Sharma and the breath taking performance (though below par) by Ganesh-Kumaresh. The latter duo have SOME talent. Probably the most talented musicians i've ever watched/ listened to. Beyond words. It was as if the violin was an extension of their very beings. Brilliant.What coordination they had ! It was worth weathering the bone chilling icy winds (on an empty stomach) at palace grounds. I almost had a frost bite. mbk & his sister found my plight very funny, though X-( Sadists!!!
Yes, mbk, his sister and I had been there.A fantastic time, all in all. Of course, it took some effort to ignore the mischief mongers and the philistines at the venue and concentrate on the music. Worth all the troubles in the end. You know why. ;-)

Deccan herald's article follows...

Spirited performances draw Habba to close - Deccan Herald


If Prince Edward, standing on his lonely vigil in Cubbon Park, was seen looking wistfully in the direction of the Palace Grounds on Sunday night, he really couldn’t be blamed. The rock shows that had been held at his feet till a few days ago weren’t too bad (he had even headbanged a bit on the last of the shows), but they hardly came close in spirit to what was seen on the last day of the Bangalore Habba.

And spirit, Kathak danseuse Nirupama explained to Deccan Herald, is one of the four pillars of classical Indian dance. (Body movements, sound and costumes are the other three). Nirupama, her partner Rajendra and their team put up an enthralling show that aimed to bridge the gap between the classical an d the modern, the Indian, European, Caribbean and African. Spirit, however, wasn’t confined to dance alone. It was evident in the show put up by Anoor Anantha Krishna Sharma and his team.

Percussion instruments of almost every kind were on stage, as were artists who knew what exactly they were for. They just jammed up on stage, with the dozen instruments or so that came alive singly and together, to the near constant accompaniment of a flute. There was a breathtaking array of instruments of all shapes and sizes, of which the tablas and mrudangams were only a part.
These musicians, sadly, were somewhat disappointed at the lack of spirit in the response from the audience. Violin duo Kumaresh and Ganesh also performed, as did Shankar Mahadevan, who played with ‘Silk’. (Their show, it might be mentioned, recieved a more spirited applause.)

Then there were the other, rather more alarming, sort of spirits all over the venue. The only obvious traces they left were sweaters, handkerchiefs and jackets left on apparently empty seats.

These apparitions were real enough for those in adjacent seats too, with the latter presenting convincing arguments as to why those chairs should not be occupied by the passing onlooker, desperately looking for a place to park himself.

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