By Geetha Patil
Special to INDIA New England News
CAMBRIDGE, MA– MIT Heritage Arts of South Asia, known as MITHAS, organized a captivating and enthralling Carnatic Vocal and Bharathnatyam by T.M.Krishna and Priyadarsini Govind respectively on Saturday at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium. Hundreds of audiences in their customary Indian outfits gathered for this exciting evening.
MITHAS has been bringing eminent South Asian music, musicians and arts from across the globe to Boston since 1993 by presenting two concert series annually: namely Spring Concert Series, which usually runs from April through June and Fall Concert Series, which usually runs from August through November.
Each concert series includes around six concerts and special events. MITHAS brings the unique and ancient classical Indian music by inviting high quality musicians from across the globe to communities of MIT and the Greater Boston area.
George Ruckert, the Artistic Director of MITHAS, welcomed the audiences to the melodious evening function. Hari Arthanari, President of the Executive Committee of MITHAS, introduced Priyadarsini Govind, a foremost Bharatanatyam dancer, who is also the Director of Kalakshetra Foundation.
Arthanari said that Govind blends very artistically the new choreography with the traditional and extends the boundaries of Bharatanatyam repertoire. She is well-known for her excellent performances given in the prestigious venues all over Indian and across the globe, he added.
Arthanari also gave a big thank you to the huge crowd of audiences, members, patrons, mentors, volunteers, artists, local teachers, local artists and each and everyone who have been associated with MITHAS over all these years.
Before the concert commenced, Govind introduced each artist to the audiences with a brief summary of their specialization. She also provided a short wonderful description in the beginning of each episode of the program to the audience to understand what the composition and dance are going to depict.
S. Balakrishnan, an experienced Nattuvanar – Conductor of the program– exhibited his brilliance and talent to the audiences. He was accompanied by Vedakrishnan Venkatesan on Mridangam, who used a refined technique laden with bhava and delighted the audiences.
The Carnatic vocalist, T. M. Krishna, who is described as a rare phenomenon in the Carnatic music world today, presented a consummate and supreme performance. He sang with full heart by immersing himself in the depth of joy and took his audience to the world of divinity.
He and Govind presented their recent composition on the theme ‘Philadelphia’s history of the spirit of freedom and independence’ with the songs and thoughts of Tagore, Meera Bai, Ambedkar, Gandhi, and others. This new work focused on liberation and evolution beyond our ‘self’ to the larger collective planes of meaning and existence. The combination of two powerful and classical art forms of Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam dance offered a mesmerizing concept of the human experience, longing and flying of human soul into the new heights of liberation.
Govind and Krishna have been transforming the shape and progression of their two classical art forms for more than a decade by introducing contemporary themes that look beyond the physical and personal being to collective and whole humanity.
Krishna says his idea is rooted in the spirit of creating new things and sharing them with music lovers, and honestly responding and respecting their thoughts.
Shriramkumar on Violin and K. Arun Prakash on Mridangam added a unique dimension to the whole program. At the end of the concert, many of their fans went on the stage to greet, obtain autographs and take their pictures with them for their memory of these eminent artists which authenticated their popularity among the audiences.