Ganesh Chaturthi was performed on a massive scale within our community recently. Perhaps all festivals are mounted as lavishly - I wouldn't know since the festive season has just kicked off. The good thing was that all children (and adults) were given the opportunity to perform on stage in front of a large audience, something that doesn't always happen in school where auditions and such tend to push out the not-so-talented children out of the game. The bad thing, of course, is that there were plenty of sub-par performances that one had to endure. No matter - these were kids, they all looked sweet on stage, and so many of them had admirable confidence and poise that made up for.....err.......lack of ability or preparation :) Y was in a group dance that was well-choreographed and she managed to put up a decent show even though she clearly forgot half the steps and was copying the girl right in front of her :)
Ads' vocal group recital was a bit of a fiasco for unexpected reasons. The six children had sung extremely well at rehearsals. The organizers provided the kind of mikes you have to hold in your hand and that threw all of them completely. Each pair of kids that was sharing a mike ended up having a tussle on stage as to who would hold the mike with the result that they were completely unfocused on the task at hand i.e. singing! It sounded like three separate kutcheris on stage. Even the teacher was smiling and I was under the stage dissolved in fits of laughter at how comical they sounded :)
What they lacked in coordination, they made up in enthusiasm (most of them were shouting into the mike) and cuteness :)
Oh well. Next time, maybe.
In order to inspire Ads to continue with Carnatic music, we took him to a Carnatic vocal choir performing at Jagriti in Whitefield. I love this space, they have awesome things going on all the time and it's wonderful not to feel cut-off from the cultural events happening in the city. The children were outstanding. Such confidence, such talent, such enthusiasm! Every one of them seemed to be enjoying themselves thoroughly. Ads and Y watched and listened enraptured even though it was way past their bedtime. They particularly liked the innovative rendering of Anandamruthavarishini, where the kids used their mouths, hands, fingers and feet to recreate the sounds of raindrops, thunder, gushing water etc. More power to folks like Bombay Jayashri who are doing their bit to keep classical music relevant and interesting for the next generation.