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An elegant presentation
It was a full house. And, she justified it in full measure. Sudha Ragunathan was outstanding. Her concert for Kartik Fine Arts at Narada Gana Sabha on December 11, 2011 revealed the classy artiste in her. Sudha’s Hemavathy alapana shone like a ruby embedded in an ornament. She handled it with felicity and explored the raga brilliantly. Elegance marked the way she brought out the raga swaroopa. It isn’t easy to showcase a not-so-popular raga like this one. The veteran vocalist did it fabulously. There are but a few kritis composed in the 58th mela raga Hemavathy. Violinist Embar Kannan measured up equally. He wasn’t the one to let go any opportunity to squeeze in his talent. Dikshitar’s “Sri Kanthimathim” held one under a riveting spell. There was an interesting taniavarthanam during this kriti. Raman on Morsing and Mannargudi Eswaran on Mridangam were full of creativity, adding gloss to the kriti.

A striking feature of this interplay was their accommodating spirit. “Dinamani Vamsha” (Harikambhoji) is a grand number. She made it grander by interspersing with lovely swaras. Saveri alapana was admirable. She stayed at the tara sthayai for quite a while. Her alapana was expressive. She sang “Muruga” of Periasamy Thooran. The neraval was done at “Ariyadu Naan Seiyda Pizhayal ni Veruthayo”. And, she decorated with swaras.

A prominent disciple of late M.L.Vasanthakumari, Sudha has developed a style of her own now. Thyagaraja’s “Ilalo Pranatartti” in Atana was good to listen. Bharatiyar’s “Ethanai Kodi” and Purandaradasa’s “Ennudaya Barathe” (Kalyana Vasantham) were simply enjoyable. “Mannupugazh Kosalai” came as bonus. She recited traditional Divya Prabanda pasurams tuned to ragas such as Hindolam, Neelambari et al. The concert had indeed a lasting impression on the audience.

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