Performances were set to take place in front of the Linga Bhairavi Temple, which was wondrously lit by 1008 lamps and decorated with flowers and garlands. Due to surprise rains, however, a few performances were quickly relocated to Spanda Hall. But by mid-Yaksha, Devi had her way! The rains halted and the remaining artists performed in the presence of Devi, dazzling in Her abundant grace.
The first day of Yaksha offered people a sitar performance by Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan, who is undoubtedly one of the most talented sitar players. At times his music wafted gently and at times it was on rapid-fire. His unearthly Hindustani sitar music enchanted the crowd and kick-started Yaksha into high gear.
The second days’ performance was by Dr. Sonal Mansingh. The renowned Odissi and Bharatanatyam dancer is a recipient of the prestigious Padma Vibhushan, and her performance on the 25th showed us that she is more than worthy of the award. She performed several captivating Odissi dances that day, but the most striking of these was surely the one she had created herself about the nine faces of Shiva. The great dancer’s clear portrayal of emotions allowed even the common viewer to understand the dance.
The third day of Yaksha featured Shri T.V.Sankaranarayanan, a great Carnatic vocalist and recipient of the Padma Bhushan. Shri Sankaranarayanan, accompanied by his son and daughter, cast a spell of Carnatic music over all present for two full hours. The deafening applause following his performance was proof enough of how amazing it was.
Parveen Sultana, one of the foremost classical vocalists in India, was center stage for Day Four. A child prodigy, she gave her first recital at the tender age of twelve. Audience members soaked in her generous performance, which was both playful and mesmerizing.
and Sikkil Gurucharan
Day Five brought the eclectic duo of Anil Srinivasan and Sikkil Gurucharan. Anil is a classically trained pianist in both Carnatic and western styles, and Sikkil is a Carnatic vocalist. The result was a beautiful hybrid of East and West that was especially touching to our overseas meditators, who emotionally connected with the resonance of Western melodies intertwined with Eastern tradition.
The exquisite classical flute of Ronu Majumdar was an absolute delight. At times soothing and other times exuberant, audience members found themselves enraptured by the music, and humbled by the artist’s graciousness. As it has been said, “If the flute is likened to a temple, Pt. Ronu Majumdar would be its foremost worshipper.”
And what to say about Pandit Jasraj – the foremost exponent of the Mewati Gharana of Hindustani classical music? All were graced by the presence of this living legend. And with his divine voice and magical presence, it was only appropriate that he conclude this year’s celestial feast of music and dance.
from Yaksha 2011