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dollmommy is not online. Last active: 10/30/2007 8:18:24 AM dollmommy
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Joined: 04 Apr 2005
Total Posts: 175
A lovely afternoon of youngsters entertaining
Posted: 11 Apr 2005 08:29 AM
I wanted to share a link with you all on a lovely afternoon of cultural entertainment. Yesterday a group of youngsters from the NY/NJ/CT area entertained the adults at the Samaj Temple in a competition of classical Indian music. These kids were great.
If you can't access the link, here is the printer version.

Festival presents traditional Indian music
By Nik Bonopartis
Poughkeepsie Journal

WAPPINGERS FALLS -- Singers and musicians from the tri-state area converged on the Hindu Samaj temple Sunday to celebrate the songs of one of India's greatest composers.

The performance was the second annual Tyagaraja Aradhana Festival, held in honor of Sri Tyagaraja, a composer born in the late 1700s who wrote thousands of devotional songs to the Hindu deity Rama.

The pieces ranged from compositions where singers held long, powerful notes, to others were punctuated by rapidly fluctuating melodies. Some had backing elements, such as a veena, a guitar-like instrument.

For many members of the Hindu Samaj temple, the festival was about reconnecting with their roots. Performers, some as young as 6, were born in the U.S. and use the music as a means to familiarize themselves with their heritage.

''I feel a connection to my culture,'' said Laya Rajan, 12, who performed a short devotional called a kriti. ''It's uplifting.''

Noting the youngsters are just as likely to be familiar with hip-hop as they are with classical Indian music, Sivaram Tadepalli of Wappingers Falls said hours of practice are required for them to master the emotion and cadence of the traditional songs.

''It's important that the feeling of devotion comes through,'' Tadepalli said. ''It's a real challenge for them.''

The songs are based on raagas, a ''permutation and combination of notes'' similar to scales in Western music. However, Carnatic raagas are far more numerous and can include fewer notes. One, called "Sankarabharanam," is the equivalent of the major scale in Western music. But the other 71 raagas can produce wildly different sounds, and there are hundreds more, called janya raagas, derived from the 72 main scales.

Styles are unchanged

Meena Malladi of Danbury, Conn., performed a composition called ''Pancharatna'' kriti, which translates literally as ''Five Gems.'' It was written by Tyagaraja in the 18th century and its performance remains unaltered since then, Malladi said.

''These are such great songs in their meaning and their music that they've been passed down for generations, and we still sing them in the same way,'' she said.

Some 250 people attended Sunday's festival. Organizer Uma Satyendra said the yearly event fosters creative growth and encourages local talent, creating what she called ''positive competition.'' Similar festivals are held elsewhere, but members of the Hindu Samaj temple saw a need for a local festival because of the growing Hindu community in Dutchess County.

''I wanted to bring the artists,'' she said, ''to our community.''

Nik Bonopartis can be reached at

Evergreesony is not online. Last active: 10/18/2006 4:27:31 PM Evergreesony
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Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Total Posts: 192
Re: A lovely afternoon of youngsters entertaining
Posted: 11 Apr 2005 12:36 PM
thanks dee.
the article and info is very good.
in india we teach all the clasical dance from childhood .
all the reginol dance.
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