The Benaras gharana has always been considered as one of the most prominent cultural heritages of Indian classical music for its distinct features and repertoire. The Alka Jalan Foundation tried to recreate the freshness of a dawn in Benaras in its programme featuring morning ragas rendered in the style of the Benaras gharana.
The evening commenced with a vocal recital of Raga Ahir Bhairon by Anurag Poddar, who was at his best while bringing out the essence of the raga in the Benarasi style through his presentation of the vilambit kheyal. Although stylistically smooth, his voice lacked power. The movement of vistaars and taans flowed melodiously, but they did not leave a mark. Poddar ended the drut kheyal abruptly and shifted to a composition in ektaal, which was more energetic. The tarana was arresting as well.
Next came Raga Jaunpuri, another morning raga, and Poddar's performance this time was compact. The kheyals were pleasing to the ears and he presented the tarana beautifully. He was ably accompanied by Sayan Chatterjee on the harmonium and Shubham Mishra on the tabla. But a more thorough the exploration of the morning ragas was expected from a programme called Subah Benaras.
At the annual programme organized by Geetika, the focus was on agomoni gaan and Rabindrasangeet. Deepavali Dutta, through her generous voice and charming style, managed to perfectly evoke the mood of songs like "Bhavani dayani" and " Bhubanmohini bondi tomare".
Chandrabali Rudra Dutta enchanted the audience with her skillful voice and presented popular songs like " Giri Gouri amar", "Ebar tomar Uma ele" and " Trinayani Durga". Pradip Dutta's rendition of Rabindrasangeet like "Alor Amal Kamalkhani" and " Ogo Shephaliboner Moner Kamona" left a mark on the mind of the audience. The audience also had the pleasure of hearing compositions by the young music composer, Deepavali.