By Sukanya Sankar
The five-day Pallavi Darbar festival, organised by Carnatica in association with Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha was inaugurated on 29 June 2016 at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai. The festival this year is dedicated to the centenary celebrations of Alathur Brothers. The programme commenced with a listening session of rare pallavis of the duo. Following this was an insightful lecture demonstration by Dr T.S. Sathyavathi on the 'Art of tanam singing'.
It was heart-warming to see a packed hall for an award ceremony. This shows the respect and admiration the students and well wishers have for Chitravina N. Narasimhan, recipient of the Pallavi Chakravarthy title this year. It is indeed a fitting recognition for the Gottuvadyam guru, who also turns 75 next month. Sangita Kalanidhi Umayalpuram K Sivaraman, chief guest for the evening, honoured Narasimhan and presented the award. N. Gopalaswami, (Chairman, Kalakshetra Foundation), Tadepalli Dr. Lokanadha Sarma (musician and scholar), T.K. Ramachandran (IAS, principal secretary, Information Technology Department), were the other guests of honour.
Chitravina Ravikiran had specially composed a kriti for the occasion – Narasimham Upasmahe – in Darbar highlighting his father's achievements. The kriti was ably sung by his students Anahita and Apoorva and supported by baby Akshara (daughter of Kiranavali).
Credit must be given to K.N. Shashikiran for successfully conceptualising and partnering many events like the Pallavi Darbar. This year’s festival has a promising line up for the next four days (30 June to 3 July), which also includes a guided listening session of pallavis from the Carnatica archives, a pallavi competition and a pallavi jam session with young musicians.