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A primary-hand account of how artistes report performances for the digital viewers

Sitting in a big auditorium stuffed with empty seats and watching an eminent artiste carry out is an exceptionally unusual expertise for a rasika. In a way, it’s a technique to know what it takes to problem the outdated and create anew.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 essential at this time when the classical arts are battling a deep isolation and viewers disconnect.

December Season is right here, however not with its ordinary pleasure. Concerts are being streamed just about for audiences. They are, nevertheless, being carried out and recorded within the numerous sabha halls. We visited one such recording to offer you a sneak peek into the temper and setting of those ‘remote’ Margazhi performances.

On December 7, when the town was in the midst of torrential rainfall, contained in the Narada Gana Sabha Hall, Bharatanatyam dancer Shobana was busy live-recording a efficiency that might be streamed as a part of the Yours Truly Margazhi competition, introduced by a consortium of 13 sabhas .

As we enter the corridor, recorded music echoes by the empty stands. It is switched off when the artiste and technicians pause to make some changes. Even although the length of the ultimate efficiency can be round 70 minutes, the recording stretches to some hours.

CHENNAI: 08/12/2020---- Barathanatyam Dancer Shobana performence video recording at Narada Gana Sabha. Due to Covid 19 pandemic all the music programmes are set to be telecast online during the Dercember Muisc Season 2020. Photo: Srinivasan KV / The Hindu

CHENNAI: 08/12/2020—- Barathanatyam Dancer Shobana performence video recording at Narada Gana Sabha. Due to Covid 19 pandemic all of the music programmes are set to be telecast on-line through the Dercember Muisc Season 2020. Photo: Srinivasan KV / The Hindu
 
| Photo Credit: Srinivasan KV

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 either side of the stage, one in row one, and one on the far finish of the auditorium. “All cameras are capturing the action as you can see on the monitor,” says R. Sundar, treasurer, Federation of City Sabhas.

Shobana abruptly stops in the midst of the efficiency. “I have to do that over again,” she says aloud. The cameras cease too. The shoot resumes and the dancer goes again to portraying Purandaradasa’s ecstatic reward of Krishna. Once the piece is efficiently recorded, the crew applauds. Shobana gestures that she goes backstage to prepare for the subsequent piece. “It’s a padam,” she says.

A number of seconds later, she is again on stage in a good looking inexperienced and maroon costume, trying 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.

CHENNAI: 08/12/2020---- Jayanthi Kumaresh veena performence video recording at Narada Gana Sabha. Due to Covid 19 pandemic all the music programmes are set to be telecast online during the Dercember Muisc Season 2020. Photo: Srinivasan KV / The Hindu

CHENNAI: 08/12/2020—- Jayanthi Kumaresh veena performence video recording at Narada Gana Sabha. Due to Covid 19 pandemic all of the music programmes are set to be telecast on-line through the Dercember Muisc Season 2020. Photo: Srinivasan KV / The Hindu
 
| Photo Credit: Srinivasan KV

Visual enchantment

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 glorious pakkavadyam — Bangalore Arjunkumar on mridangam and Pramath Kiran on morsing/tabla — and you already know an fulfilling concert is at hand.

Jayanthi begins with the Kalyani raga kriti ‘Ganapate’. Softly addressing the (unseen) viewers, she says, “It’s a different kind of season.” She then strikes on to play the alapana of Kanada, for the kriti, ‘Sukhi Evvaro’.

Her veena frets shine brightly on the digital camera monitor. As the concert 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 just a few 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.

Jayanthi Kumaresh at the live recording of her performance in Narada Gana Sabha

Jayanthi Kumaresh on the reside recording of her efficiency in Narada Gana Sabha  
| Photo Credit: Srinivasan KV

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 try to supply the very best digital expertise. For the rasikas, although, what’s lacking is the enjoyment of sitting in a sabha and holding the beat, and nodding their heads with many others.

The author is a skilled classical musician

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