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Golly, what a week!

What you had to go to the other end of our country for — hardcore Carnatic classical music — has been flooding Delhi this year like never before in living or documented memory, writes Renuka Narayanan.

art and culture Updated: Aug 22, 2008 18:53 IST
Renuka Narayanan

I am almost too thrilled to write this: what you had to go to the other end of our country for — hardcore Carnatic classical music — has been flooding Delhi this year like never before in living or documented memory. The latest influx is a three-day class act at the India Habitat Centre, free, you lucky Dilli billis.

NRIs fly in from the US, Canada, Europe and Southeast Asia, rent apartments in Chennai for a month and buy their season tickets just to expose their young to the Carnatic Season. My favourite person at the Music Academy is the Kansas City sardar, Yadavindra Singh, who’s been doing this for decades; he’s a diehard Carnatic fan and it’s the sweetest thing to see his turbaned head nodding at a brilliant passage.

Okay, so Ganjam (the chain of jewelers) presents the music fest Flights of Fantasy at IHC between August 25 and 27 , daily at 7 pm. Day One has the brilliant violin duo, Ganesh-Kumaresh; Day Two has Carnatic vocal by the solidly classical Sanjay Subrahmanyam; Day Three has the charming ‘Priya Sisters’ (Shanumukhapriya and Haripriya, named after Carnatic ragas) singing Carnatic vocal.

Sarvam Krishnamayam Geeta Chandran dances for Krishna on Janmashtami at the Chinmaya Mission, Lodi Road, this evening at 6.30 pm. Called Sarvam Krishnamayam (It’s all Krishna’s magic), the programme is a straight margam (neoclassical suite) but with new pieces in each category, be it Varnam, Padam or Thillana. The Ragamalika (garland of ragas) piece from the medieval Vaishnava poet Vallabhacharya’s verse (Nandakumara Ashtakam) sounds particularly beautiful. Entry free.

The other lovely Delhi tradition is the annual Shri Ram Bhartiya Kala Kendra Janmashtami Ballet. If you’re new to Delhi, you must go, even though Kamani Auditorium is now such a dump. On August 22, 23 and 24 at 6.30 pm. Additional matinee shows on August 23 and 24 at 3.00 pm at Copernicus Marg. Tickets: Rs 500,300,200,100, at SRBKK/ Kamani. Enquiries: 23386428/29. Ah well, maybe you’d rather watch gloomy old Anhouilh’s Antigone with Naseeruddin Shah instead?