A primary-hand account of how artistes report performances for the digital viewers
Sitting in a big auditorium filled with empty seats and watching an eminent artiste carry out is an exceptionally unusual expertise for a rasika. In a way, it’s a solution to know what it takes to problem the outdated and create anew. Understanding how artistes and organisers are grappling with the brand new regular is very necessary right now when the classical arts are battling a deep isolation and viewers disconnect.
December Season is right here, however not with its regular pleasure. Concert events are being streamed just about for audiences. They’re, nonetheless, being carried out and recorded within the varied sabha halls. We visited one such recording to provide you a sneak peek into the temper and setting of those ‘distant’ Margazhi performances.
On December 7, when the town was in the midst of torrential rainfall, contained in the Narada Gana Sabha Corridor, Bharatanatyam dancer Shobana was busy live-recording a efficiency that may be streamed as a part of the Yours Actually Margazhi pageant, introduced by a consortium of 13 sabhas .
As we enter the corridor, recorded music echoes via the empty stands. It’s switched off when the artiste and technicians pause to make some changes. Despite the fact that the period of the ultimate efficiency might be round 70 minutes, the recording stretches to a couple hours.
Canvas of feelings
“Are cameras rolling?”calls out Shobana from the stage into the melting darkness of the auditorium. The cameramen sign assent, and the corridor as soon as once more fills with music because the dancer performs the favored Purandaradasa piece, ‘Jagadodharana’, her face turning right into a canvas of feelings.
There are 4 cameras — two on each side of the stage, one in row one, and one on the far finish of the auditorium. “All cameras are capturing the motion as you possibly can see on the monitor,” says R. Sundar, treasurer, Federation of Metropolis Sabhas.
Shobana all of a sudden stops in the midst of the efficiency. “I’ve to do this over once more,” she says aloud. The cameras cease too. The shoot resumes and the dancer goes again to portraying Purandaradasa’s ecstatic reward of Krishna. As soon as the piece is efficiently recorded, the crew applauds. Shobana gestures that she goes backstage to prepare for the following piece. “It’s a padam,” she says.
Just a few seconds later, she is again on stage in a ravishing inexperienced and maroon costume, wanting contemporary.
“All cameras rolling?” she asks once more, then taking a stance, she hums, ‘Sakhi prana…’, the primary few phrases of the padam. Shobana then transforms right into a nayika, complaining to her pal about her lover who has been neglecting her for one more lady. The tune culminates in one other spherical of applause. The dancer takes one other two-minute break earlier than the final merchandise after which, it’s pack up.
The subsequent day, Jayanthi Kumaresh is sitting on the Narada Gana Sabha stage, veena in hand, ready for recording to start. The backdrop with golden pillars and lamps, resembling a temple entrance, is a visible deal with. Add to that excellent audio and wonderful pakkavadyam — Bangalore Arjunkumar on mridangam and Pramath Kiran on morsing/tabla — and you realize an satisfying live performance is at hand.
Jayanthi begins with the Kalyani raga kriti ‘Ganapate’. Softly addressing the (unseen) viewers, she says, “It’s a unique form of season.” She then strikes on to play the alapana of Kanada, for the kriti, ‘Sukhi Evvaro’.
Her veena frets shine brightly on the digicam monitor. Because the live performance progresses with extra items, bringing out Jayanthi’s artistry to the fullest, the eerily silent auditorium resounds with the soothing notes from her strings. With a couple of pauses right here and there, the shoot continues uninterrupted because the artistes get deeply entrenched of their music; an RTP in Behag follows after which a ragamalika swaraprasthara and tani.
As you stroll out of the corridor, you realise that the artistes are pretty unflustered by the change, giving full expression to their artwork even within the empty halls. The organisers too are attempting to supply the perfect digital expertise. For the rasikas, although, what’s lacking is the enjoyment of sitting in a sabha and conserving the beat, and nodding their heads with many others.
The author is a educated classical musician