General

Live concerts begin in Chennai: after shutdown year

VIJAY-SIVA-CONCERTLive classical music and dance concerts are slowly but surely pepping up the cultural scene in Chennai - all of which had to be suspended early last year due to the pandemic.

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Mylapore hosted its annual Thyagaraja aradhana, though on a small scale on Feb.2.

Raga Sudha hall, a popular venue in the Luz area of the city has been abuzz with a few concerts, with rasikas given the option of watching concerts online.

One of the music concerts held recently, featured vocalist Vijay Siva on stage and it was almost full-house at this venue ( first photo).

Vijay Siva was keen that the hosts should not webstream the concert but encourage people to attend the live concert.

Varalakshmi Anandkumar and Durgga Venkatesh, the trustees of the Ramapriya Arts Foundation, Chennai who hosted Vijay Siva’s concert said they decided to host an ‘offline’ concert because “there was a yearning among rasikas to listen to a concert live.”

DANCER-JAYANTHIOf course, all SOPs mandated by the state were followed. Names of guests were registered too. But many seniors are still staying away from small spaces.

Later, at the same venue, on Feb.5 evening cty-based Bharatanatyam dancer Jayanthi Srivatsan (sishya of Roja Kannan and Bragha Bessel) performed at this hall, excitedly saying ‘while the recital is being webcast, this is a live concert to which rasikas are invited.” (second photo)

Every 1st of the month, leading sabhas advertise their monthly concerts / events in The Hindu newspaper. On Feb.1, Narada Gana Sabha in Alwarpet made public a few events for the month.

Concerts, web-streamed the past few months at another popular venue, Arkay Centre in Luz are now open to rasikas.

"We are allowing 50 people to attend," said Ramakrishnan of Arkay the evening he hosted Vasudha Ravi under the Madhuradhwani banner here.

And Bhavan’s head of the Chennai kendra, K N Ramaswamy says he is curating a music fest for early summer, featuring young artistes who have made a mark because these artistes did not get the stage in December.