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Nritya Geeta Mala (In 2 Volumes)

Rajee Narayan (Author)

While the urge to compose is keenly felt by many musicians and musicologists today, only a very few possess the requisite qualifications, specified by Sarangadeva in his "Sangita Ratnakara" - that a genuine "Vaggeya-kara" is one who happily fuses the sahitya and sangeetha in a spontaneous creation. I can personally testify to this experience having witnessed Mysore.Vasudevacharya and Sri Papanasam Sivan in the process of creation of some of their masterpieces.

The present volume "Nritya Geeta Mala", by Smt. Rajee Narayan, an accomplished musician and an able dance teacher of Bombay, amply fulfils this formula. The book, first of its kind in this genre by a woman composer, is a definitive contribution to the growing volume of dance literature in India and abroad, with this difference: that it is a practical guide, rather than a rehash of theory dished out in many books in a new format.

From the Alarippu to the Tillana, it covers compositions for a complete recital including Jatiswaram, Sabdam, Varnam and miscellaneous pieces for Abhinaya. The language of the lyrics whether Tamil, Sanskrit or Hindi, is simple, easy-flowing and elegant. The Varnam in Kalyani, Adi Tala, "Gokulabala", dealing with the leelas of Lord Krishna is an excellent example of the composer's skill in fusing the lyrics, the raga and the tala culminating in a melodic cluster of swaras. The notation and the guide lines of symbols used are clear and simple and could be easily followed by the learner.

Apart from the accustomed rakthi ragas like Kalyani, Todi, Karaharapriya, Shankarabharanam, Saveri and Mohanam, the composer has fine pieces in Nadanamakriya and Kurinji with intense melodic customs. Three Hindustani rangas, Puriya Dhanasri, Ahir Bhairav and Brindavana Sarang are employed in three compositions. The lilting Tillanas with swaras and sollukattus are couched in Hindolam, Vachaspathi and Brindavana Saranga. The talas comprise a wide variety like Adi, Rupakam, Chapu, Jampa, Misra Chapu and a Varnam in Sankarabharanam in Chatusra Mattiyam.

Having witnessed the practical exposition of some of these pieces by a talented dancer in a recital in Madras, I recommend this book without reserve to nattuvanars, dance teachers, students and dancers. I wish the author success in her dedicated endeavour.

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Bibliographic information

Title Nritya Geeta Mala (In 2 Volumes)
Author Rajee Narayan
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.07.2001
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Rajee Narayan
Language: English, Hindi, Tamil
length 638p.