AN EVENING of melody and rhythm, high on aural and visual presentations marked the end of the monsoon rhapsody ‘Badal Raag’ at Bharat Bhawan on Sunday.
The third and closing day of the musical festival began with noted folk singer Urmila Srivastava presenting her melodious ‘kajris’, which are `songs of the Indian monsoon’.
Although most of the ‘kajris’ she sang were from the Mirzapur region of Uttar Pradesh, her renderings enveloped an entire range of human emotions - joy, grief, separation, togetherness- that stands universally true for all beings.
Starting off with Devi Vandana, Urmila cast a spell on the audience till the last minute of her presentation leaving them wanting for more.
While the Mirzapur kajris were from folk traditions, the other ones had a tilt to semi-classical forms. Some of the numbers were ‘Maiya Jhoole Chanan Jhulanwa’, and ‘Soona Soona mor Bhavanwa’.
The ‘kajri’, ‘Hamke Sawan Me Jhulni’ was quite a liltingly sung song of a female protagonist demanding a traditional nose ring from her partner as mark of his love for her during the showers, that often is characterised as a time for romantic confluence.
Urmila was overwhelming with her melodious renderings and displayed good lungpower along with neat elocution of lyrical contents.
She had a plethora of proficient accompanists Bhanu Pratap Singh (harmonium), Pancham Ram (tabla), Pappu (dholak), Babloo Srivastava (banjo) and Mustiqim (side effects).
Students of Nritya Kala Academy, Pune pitched in the last recital for the festival. Disciples who have trained under Kathak doyenne Rohini Bhate displayed exquisite rhythmic flair and body precision to impress viewers in the auditorium with their Kathak based on a ‘Nritya Rupak’ called ‘Pavas Ek Saundaryanubhav’.
The dance collage included five or six presentations that were intertwined with each other to bring out the different moods of the rainy season step by step in a sequential manner.
For example, the first staging emphasised on prayers to the rain god, the second one concentrated on the celebration of the rainfall and the third one on the prosperity that the monsoon brings with itself; for instance the greenery and splendour of overflowing rivers. Remarkable for the sheer classicism of the music, Bhatte’s choreography and compositions retain an austere purity, but then with some improvisations on her traditional ‘bandish’ her students won hands down and stole the show. Artistes included Sherviri, Manisha, Aditi, Rejuta and Rajshri.
Earlier, Commissioner Culture, Pankaj Rag greeted all the artistes. Art critic Vinay Upadhya was the backstage compere. Over all, Badal Raag demonstrated an excellent rhythmic flair this year and etched an indelible mark on the minds of art lovers.