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Individual Issues

Gana - Tapasvini Mogubai Kurdikar
Issue : 205
Published on : October, 2001



3 Sruti Box

5 News & Notes

13 Obituary

21 Main Feature

35 Opinion Column

39 The Book Shelf

43 The Record Rack

45 Brief Notes

47 The Whispering Gallery

48 Editor's Note

Front Cover: Mogubai Kurdikar
Photo Courtesy: Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi

News & Notes
Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra's Birthday Celebrations

In the field of dance the year 2001 definitely belongs to Odissi Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. In the course of the last six months four different celebrations were held in his honour in different parts of India. It all started with the book release function at the India International Centre in Delhi on 29 April coinciding with the International Dance Day. On this occasion a book on his life and times, titled The Making of a Guru (see Sruti 204), was released by Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan in the presence of the guru himself and the Italian Ambassador to India, Bennedetto Amari. The book release was followed by a dance recital by Ileana Citaristi who performed the item Ekalavya as a fitting tribute to the master. Kelucharan Mohapatra then performed his favourite item Kuru Yadunandana from the Geeta Gouinda.

The other three functions were in celebration of his 75th birth anniversary which falls sometime during the year although the exact date is not known. The first function, called Pradakshina, was held on Guru Poornima day, on 5 and 6 July at Kamani Hall in New Delhi, organised jointly by all his students from all over India and co-ordinated by the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya (see Sruti 204).

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Main Feature
Gana-Tapasvini Mogubai Kurdikar

The gayaki of the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana occupies a distinguished place in the annals of Hindustani music. Its distinctive features are the use of rare raga-s, or raga-s rarely rendered, and complex taan patterns. One of the foremost female exponents of this gayaki was Mogubai Kurdikar. She shared this honour with Kesarbai Kerkar. Her daughter Kishori Amonkar is another jewel in the Jaipur-Atrauli diadem.

Born on 15 July 1904 in Kurdi, an obscure Goan village, Mogubai who came to be recognised as a Gana-Tapasvini, died on 10 February this year in Mumbai.

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Main Feature
Voleti Venkateswarlu

Voleti Venkateswarlu (1928-89) was a disciple of Dr. Sripada Pinakapani. In the course of an interview he gave me in February 1993, Dr. Pinakapani referred to Voleti more than once, always complimentarily.

Dr. Pani said: "During the years when Voleti was learning from me he [Voleti] was very good in raga alapana. Kriti-s he would render in whatever way he was taught, but with creative capacity. He would do short and sweet swara kalpana, but tanam he did not know how to sing."

It seems Voleti once asked him: "How is tanam sung? Please teach me." Apparently the response that formed in Dr. Pani's mind was: "Me teach you how to sing tanam!"

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Opinion Column
What's Behind The Northern Bias Against C-Music?

Having stayed in Baroda for 18 years, I have had some degree of interaction with Hindustani musicians and music lovers, and as any lover of Carnatic music living in the north would probably say, it hurts to find that what is one of the best systems of music should find so little appreciation away from home.

When much younger, I thought northerners were biased against Carnatic music. But now I firmly believe that our own musicians are largely responsible for presenting a distorted portrait of a Carnatic music concert: as one being little more than a rendition of precomposed devotional songs—and more of them, the merrier. Let me recount a few comments that I have heard from Hindustani musicians and connoisseurs.

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