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ALLURING EVENINGS OF QUIET GRACE

Jhinjhoti and Rageshree. These two ragas have originated from the same Thaat Khamaaj, where komal nishaad is the dominating factor. So it was a tough task to glide from Jhinjhoti to Rageshree while presenting their individual characteristic features one after the other. But Amaan Ali Khan (picture) had overcome the difficulty with his spontaneous expertise.

Recently, in a programme held at Calcutta Club, Amaan played the two jovial evening ragas, Jhinjhoti and Rageshree. He commenced with alaap and jor jhaala in Jhinjhoti. Initially, it took time to reach the full bloom as the rendition seemed confined within a conventional structure.

But soon Amaan broke through the way of rendition, and the inner charm of the raga started flourishing. Especially, the transition part of alaap and jor was excellent. Also, his vistaars and taans while playing gat in nine-and-a-half beats were sparkling.

The artist is inclined to choose complicated taals rather than the regular teentaal and to demonstrate the rhythms and shades of a composition along with the intricacies of the beats. After an aochhar, Amaan played a gat of Rageshree in adachowtaal. It was enchanting for its beautiful vistaars. Amaan is prone to use forceful taans always which hampers the natural flow of a particular raga at times.

His forceful taans and paltaas in Jhinjhoti made the raga attractive and gorgeous, but the same tendency somehow disturbed the mood of Rageshree. However, his effort to express the traits and grandeur of Raga Kaushi Kanada in a brief gat presentation in jhamptaal was commendable. Amaan concluded with a dhun including the Tagore song, Ekla chalo re. He was perfectly accompanied by Shubhankar Banerjee in tabla.

Hindustani vocalist and a sincere follower of the Jaipur Gharana, Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande graced the occasion on the second day of this two-day programme. She started with an evening raga, Maru Bihag. Her vistaars of vilambit kheyal, especially in the lower octave, were a little ordinary.

But, after a while, she picked up energy and the sweetness of her voice was manifested in the vistaars in the middle and upper octaves. Her drut kheyal in teentaal became interesting for the way of presenting complicated and various types of taans. She also sang a thumri in pahari and a bhajan to the perfect accompaniment of Samar Saha in tabla.

The Kuchipudi dance of Yamini Reddy, the able descendant of the renowned Kuchipudi dancers, Rajaram and Radha Reddy, was an attraction of the programme as well. She showed her excellence in both tandava and lasya the two distinct parts of Kuchipudi dance. Her expressions and footwork were beautiful.

She portrayed the bhakti bhava in Saraswativandana, the anger, angst and tandava of Nataraj, and the love and lasya in Rasasaptama and Krishnavandana like a true versatile artist. The audience was overwhelmed with her alluring performance in thalanritya as well as with her spontaneous body movements.