Thursday, January 14, 2010

Happy Pongal!

Happy Pongal everybody!

A few things of note:

Tonight is the opening of an exhibition of Natesh's drawings, when this key sketch gets real tongue is fork hen is cock, at the Madras Terrace House at 7 pm. Besides the awesome art there will be gun-shaped cookies (Natesh says, "If you can't solve a problem, eat it") and koothu music. Address and more info here.

SANGAMAM: If you're in Chennai and you haven't been to a Chennai Sangamam show yet, you're missing out.  Last night in Kodambakkam there was an amazing string of performances by two phenomenal Thappattam groups... I am not sure of most names, as the Sangamam program seems to bear little relation to what actually goes on stage, but one was P. Raja's group from Panayur, and another was from Andhra... man were they good.  Full acrobatics and human pyramids while dancing and pounding beats.  There was also Dollu Kunitha from Karnataka (loud and wild with heavy bass drums), a very interesting Thavil - Nadhaswaram - Urumi - Bembi group from Thirunelveli (mighty strange grooves), a fabulous Villu Pattu performance, a 5-year-old Silambattam expert, fire-eaters, and finally--live and direct from Thanjavur--"கிராமிய இசைப்புயல்" (the village-music cyclone) Chinnaponnu Kumar, who was in full voice and awesomeness.

 P. Raja Panayur Thappattam Troupe
at Corporation Ground, Kodambakkam, Chennai

On FRIDAY a lot of the same people are (according to the schedule--I hope it's reliable this time) performing in Perumbur at the Corporation School Play Ground, Thiru-Vi-Ka Nagar. After Chinnaponnu, Grace Karunas will be singing.  Terrific line-up and not to be missed.

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