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Metro cultural round-up



Mangalagiri Sridhar

Of all forms of literature, such as essay, critique and story (long or short), novel, drama and so on, whatever be the language, the play stands universally acclaimed not only the most splendid but also a powerful pattern of creative writing.

It is a medium that could be exploited to the hilt for bringing out a bright mirror image of the ongoing processes in society, good or bad, progressive or otherwise, besides achieving the difficult but delightful task of making men and matters involved in them come alive on the stage.

The tint and the technique with which it is accomplished humorously, satarically, sarcastically or in a straight forward manner depends on the individuality coupled with the attitude, penchant and talent of the particular playwright.

Not only that, even all mythological, including the epical and historical, besides the folk events, could stand effectively visualised on the stage through a play that in turn stands noted for materialising the events by way of picturesque script and sculpturesque layout of episodes and sequences. So much so, the theatre without exception all over the globe has assumed an ever extant source of soulful entertainment, enlightenment, reformation, revolution and most gratifyingly delightful upliftment of mind and heart.

No wonder, it is but for the birth, growth, development and sustained existence of the theatre, the feature film industry, both the cine and the tele categories which evolved as its sprouts, would not have become so popular and continue to be so in future. The theatre has been a treasure house of not only new talented faces for the two screens, but also the story, script, song and dialogue writers on one hand and directors and dance choreographers on the other. No doubt, the trend would continue forever whatsoever be the circumstances.

It is not just a casual observation but an assertively considered opinion of most of the celebrated and prominently dedicated personlities like the late Ganapathiraju Atchutarama Raju and Attili Krishna Rao, Kotturthi Bhaskara Rao, BVA Naidu, Rowjee, L. Satyanand, S.K. Misro, P.T. Madhav, Meegada Ramalingaswami, K.V.N.D. Prasad and his collegues in the Andhra University Department of Theatre Arts, C.S.N. Raju and Sunkari Prabhakara Rao, who are incharge of the project of featuring a play every first Friday in Kalabharathi, and many more of the likes including the noted playwrights, dance teachers and scenic designers of Visakhapatnam.

The conspicuous absence of any function worth its name in commemoration of the World Theatre Day on March 27, however, did not augur well for the port city which time and again has been hailed as the cultural capital of the state by all dignitaries and hence assumed the measure of a moot point.

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Celebrating Sri Lakshmi Jayanthi and Madanapournima on Sunday last, the management committee of Sri Sadguru Sri Ramadootha Mandiram, headed by its founder-member Ganti Narasimha Murty, in association with Sangeetha Kalaa Samithi, organised a music recital by vocalist Manda Sudharani of wide repute in the mandiram premises. She was expertly accompanied on the violin by her guru, Ivaturi Vijayeswara Rao, on the mridangam by the Akashvani staffer, Vankayala Venkata Ramana Murty and on the kanjira by the young Mandapaka Ravi

Thanks to her strict adherence to the very chaste tradition of exposition established by the likes of the legendary vocalist D.K. Pattammal, Sudharani rendered an absorbing recital with devout fervour. Going erudite in the expression of manodharma, alapana, neravu and swaraprastharam she as well seemed to have provided sumptuous food for thought to the initiated and connoisseurs of orthodox style of traditional music among the audience.

The exquisite elaboration of 'Raghuvara' of Tyagaraja (Pantuvarali), well punctuated rendering of 'Pasyathi Pasyathi', a tarangam of Narayana Theertha in Bhairavi and expatiation of 'Ninnenamminanu' of Syama Sastry (Todi) constituted the first half. The very knowledgeable rendering of a ragam tanam pallavi, 'Bhajare Manasa Gopalam Nandabaalam Bhajare' set by herself in Jayajayavanthi (Dwijavanthi) constituted the second half. #Vijayeswara Rao's responses of alapana and swaram on one hand and the scintillating thani by Ramana Murthy well fortified on kanjira by Ravi enhanced the splendour over all.

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Mangalagiri Sridhar is a name to recknon with among young percussionists who did the port city proud by virtue of their being not only amicable accompanists lending commendable support even to senior and reputed exponents of Carnatic music but also individually winning laurels all over the South.

Thanks to the much needed non-interference by his very large-hearted and open- minded parents Vasudeva Rao and Padmavathi, Sridhar with his penchant imbibed expertise in playing on the mridangam as a student of M.R. Government College of Music and Dance, Vizianagaram, and passed the diploma examination in first class with distinction in 1996. He started honing his skill further under the expert tutelage of renowned Maarangika V. Kamalakara Rao of Rajahmundry and easily got through the audition test to get listed as a `B' grade artiste of Akashvani in 2000.

Recently he appeared for another test to get into the next higher grade, `B High' and achieved `A' grade direct, none too an unexpected bonanza for an artiste who appeared to have made it a habit of winning the gold invariably at various competitions conducted at national level like those of the jointly organised events by Nehru Yuva Kendra and Human Resources Development Ministry in 1993, competitions conducted by South Zone Cultural wing at Mysore in 1997 to quote a few.

At present, he is considered a great source of inspiration to the teachers and solace to the inmates of the Lebenshilfe Institute for mentally challenged children by being a percussion teacher on its rolls.

A. Ramalinga Sastry

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