“Nava Anubhava” : 2nd Annual Fall Festival by Youth Committee – Classical Arts Society of Houston


By Chitra Dharmarajan

HOUSTON: The second annual Youth festival of the Classical Arts Society, Houston was held at the Sri Meenakshi Temple Kalyana Mantapam on Sunday, November 10. The lighting of the lamp by Board member Nalinakshi Rangala followed by shloka chants by Vedic Heritage students of MTS. Viji Viswanath was the enlightening MC for the event.

 The program began with a pleasant rendition of ‘Navaragamalika’ varnam on the violins. Maya Iyer led the group of students from the Pranavam school of music. They were supported by Vishnu Sadagopan on the mridangam. Krishna Gana Sudha school of music students led by Kruthi Bhat followed to sing Suryamurte, a ‘Navagraha’ kriti of Dikshitar. Harikatha on ‘Nava Vida bhakthi’ as presented by Muktha Nair with vocal support from Uma Ranganathan was divine. Shambu Natanam a dance number was executed gracefully by Layaa Raja in celebration of Lord Shiva of ‘Nava Kailasam’. Vikram Murali followed this with a presentation on the violin of a ‘Navarathri’ kriti Devi Pavane by Swati Thirunal. He was well supported on the Mridangam by Karun Salvady. Shilpa Sadagopan presented a soulful Natajana Kalpavalli from the Kamakshi ‘Navavaranam’ of Oothukadu Venkata Kavi.

Harsha Nagarajan, president of SPICMACAY Texas A&M, was the invited guest presenter. His lec dem on Dikshitar’s Kamalamba ‘Navavaranam’ was well delivered. He concluded his presentation with the ninth Avarana kriti in Ahiri ragam. He was ably supported by Deepa Ramachandran on the violin and Dr. N. Sivakumar on the Mridangam. ‘Navathirupathi’ the nine abodes of Lord Vishnu in South India were  celebrated next through a sloka on the Navathirupathi “ThiruPulingudi” followed by a composition “Venkataramana” by Papanasam Sivan in Ragam Lathangi by Shilpa Sadagopan. Nilothpala Gowlandhya kritis is another group of Nine songs by the genius composer Muthuswamy Dikshitar. Kruthi Bhat’s presentation of the gem in Nari Reethigowlai, was excellent and so were her swaraprastharas.

Surabhi Veeraraghavan concluded the program displaying the ‘Navarasas’ or nine emotions through her Bharatanatyam to the padam ‘Navarasa Nilaye’ by Sri Dandayudapani Pillai – a song on episodes from Sri Rama’s life. She had live music support from Uma Ranganathan, Viram Murali and Karun Salvady who handled the transition to different ragas effortlessly.

 Chairman of MTS, Tupil Narasiman, in his speech accoladed the effort by the Youth Committee and Board member Ranjana Narasiman distributed the trophies to the participants.  Behind this energetic team of youngsters, giving great support, encouragement and advice was the board representative, Dr. Nalini Sadagopan. A superb show on the’ Nava’ (nine) theme indeed was a Nava (new) anubhava (experience) for all of us in the audience.