Doling out unpredictable and beautiful phrases in Raag Dhanashri, Dr. Jyotsna Srikanth gives a stunning rendition of this thillana. A composition of Swathi Tirunal (1813 – 1846), the king of the Travancore who was also a great connoisseur of music, there is an eclectic element to this thillana owing to its richness of notation. Tirunal was a brilliant composer who has more than 400 compositions in Carnatic and Hindustani styles to his credit.
Dr. Srikanth performs a brief introduction and energetically launches the thillana, demonstrating intricate and crisp movement with the rhythms. Neyveli Venkatesh (mridangam) and RN Prakash (ghatam and khanjira) provide invaluable support to the recital, matching up the flow of syllables to the poetry of the composition.
Venkatesh was born in a remote and non-descript, industrial town in southern India called Neyveli. But it was music that brought him out of its confines and made him a globe-trotting performer in all the five continents. He has learned mridangam from his father, A.S. Balaraman and then took advanced training from Ramanathapuram M.N. Kandaswamy and has gone on to become one of the finest mridangam players of India.
Born and trained in India, Prakash is one of the leading UK-based Carnatic percussionists who also holds an important position as faculty in the London School of Carnatic Music.
Dhanashree is an Indian classical raga that also appears in the Sikh tradition from northern India and is part of the Guru Granth Sahib.
Raga Dhanashri appears in the Ragmala as a ragini of Malkauns and is a member of the Kafi thaat. It closely resembles the Hindustani raga Bhimpalasi with a difference in the emphatic notes and emotions between the two. Dhanashree is an early afternoon raga and presents a happy and cheerful emotion. The ascending and descending notes of Dhanashri are as follows:
ni Sa ga Ma Pa ni Sa
Sa ni Dha Pa Ma Pa ga Re Sa
The vadi swara is Sa and the samvadi is Pa. It is an audava-sampurna raga, that is, it has five notes in its ascent and all seven notes in its descent.
Jyotsna Srikanth (violin)
Neyveli Venkatesh (mridangam)
RN Prakash (ghatam and khanjira)
Raag Dhanashri, Thillana in Adi talam, composed by Swathi Thirunal (1813 – 1846)