A primary-hand account of how artistes document 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 In a way, it’s a method to know what it takes to problem the outdated and create anew.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 particularly necessary immediately when the classical arts are battling a deep isolation and viewers disconnect.
December Season is right here, however not with its common pleasure. Concerts are being streamed just about for audiences. They are, nonetheless, being carried out and recorded within the numerous sabha halls. We visited one such recording to present you a sneak peek into the temper and setting of those ‘remote’ Margazhi performances.
On December 7, when the town was in the course 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, offered by a consortium of 13 sabhas .
As we enter the corridor, recorded music echoes by way of the empty stands. It is switched off when the artiste and technicians pause to make some changes. Even although the period of the ultimate efficiency will probably be round 70 minutes, the recording stretches to some 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 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 all of a sudden stops in the course 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 following piece. “It’s a padam,” she says.
A couple of seconds later, she is again on stage in a wonderful 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 good friend about her lover who has been neglecting her for one more lady. The track 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 good audio and glorious pakkavadyam — Bangalore Arjunkumar on mridangam and Pramath Kiran on morsing/tabla — and 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 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 digicam monitor. As 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 number 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 most effective digital expertise. For the rasikas, although, what’s lacking is the enjoyment of sitting in a sabha and maintaining the beat, and nodding their heads with many others.