Rasoham’s Unity Concert Series 2013

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RUCS 2013

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November 24, 2013 witnessed a cultural extravaganza in PALLAKI SEVA PRABANDHAM, a splendid opera composed by Shahaji Maharaja (1684 – 1712 A.D), the Maratha Ruler who ruled over Thanjavur. The opera sings of the enchanting story of Goddess Parvathy pining away for her Lord Thyagaraja, who is in court. She requests her friends to approach the Lord and pass on her message of love. Her friends, who find the Lord in session, try to approach Him in different ways. They consider the deer as a messenger, the two tongued snake around his neck and even the Ganges who resides within his matted locks. After all efforts fail, they gather the courage to approach him directly and pass on Goddess Parvathy’s message. The Lord is then taken to unite with His consort with great pomp and festivity in an exquisitely decorated palanquin or pallaki. Written in chaste Telugu, replete with mellifluous music and delightful sequences set by the very talented musician, nattuvanar, mridangist and dancer Gurus Narasimhachari and Vasanthalakshmi, this opera offers great audio-visual pleasure to art-lovers.

Approached by the great musicologist Prof.P.Sambamurthy, who revived this magnificent opera, the Narasimhacharis had the rare honour of being the first to choreograph this musical opera in a dance format and perform it in front of an elite audience forty two years ago! This year, through the untiring efforts of Team Rasoham, this opera was presented yet again during Chennai’s dance and music season. This mega production, a part of Rasoham’s Unity Concert Series, was held at the prestigious Narada Gana Sabha. It featured over fifty dancers, musicians and technicians from varied schools of art. With a running time of 120 minutes, this production was an enthralling blend of two classical styles of dancing – bharathanatyam and kuchipudi showcasing the talents of the daughters who are also disciples of top performing gurus of Bharathanatyam & Kuchipudi. Keeping with Rasoham’s spirit of blending classical and folk genres, parts of the narrative was aesthetically enhanced with the help of the folk art- Tholu Bommalaata (Shadow Puppetry) of Andhra Pradesh.

The production PALLAKI SEVA PRABANDHAMU was a part of RASOHAM’S Unity Concert Series (2013). The series included shadow puppetry workshops & the shooting of a documentary on the making of the series with rare interviews of the guru shishya -  parent child disciple combination and their experience of working together in the unity concert series.

The day before the public performance, on November 23, 2013, Pallaki Seva Prabandhamu had a special preview show for 150 orphans and senior citizens from Sevalaya, Chennai.

With a jam packed auditorium and a live audience of 1500, the show was a grand success. The entire show was on live streaming and available on the world wide web with an additional audience of over 900 views from across the globe.

RUCS 2013 supported the works of Indian Mouth & Foot Painting Artists (IMFPA). Mouth Painted Jesfer Pullikathody recreated the NATARAJA idol present in RASOHAM’s Art Room. Multiple copies of the painting were distributed as mementos by the children and disciples to their respective parents and Gurus.

PALLAKI SEVA PRABANDHAMU, the dance production was  supported by Ministry of Culture, Government of India through the PRODUCTION GRANT. The Title Sponsor for Rasoham’s annual event Rasoham’s Unity Concert Series 2013 was LITTLE NATHELLA, Associate Sponsors: DEEPAM LAMP OIL and Greenn Tree.

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