Indian Prince Rama Varma mesmerised the music fans in London
Aswathi Thirunal Rama Varma also known as Prince Rama Varma is the Prince of Travancore (Kerala, South India) was in London on Friday to perform “South Indian Carnatic Classical Music” event held at Southbank Centre. Southbank Centre is the most popular artistic venues in London, England on the South Bank of the River Thames. Prince Rama Varma is a Singer, Veena player, Writer and also a music teacher.
The event was produced by Dr. Jyotsna Srikanth who is a leading violinist & composer and also the artistic director of Dhruv Arts. Dhruv Arts is a cultural organisation based in East London that has presented over 45 well attended and thematic music concerts. Dhruv also conducts London International Arts Festival www.liaf.co.uk every year since 2004.
The “South Indian Carnatic Classical Music” evening event was very well received by the public as the hall was packed by British, South Indian, Srilankan Tamil community people and we could see a very long queue to get to the venue on Friday 25th Apr 2014.
The event started exactly at 7:45PM by an introduction of Dhruv Arts and about Prince Varma given by Director of Dhruv Arts Mr. Srikanth Sharma. Before Prince Varma started his first song which was Gajavadana, he gave a brief talk about South Indian Classical Music / Carnatic Music. Gajavadana was composed by M.D. Ramanathan which is about God Ganesha. The Raga for Gajavadana was Hamsadhwani and the Tala was Rupaka. It was very well enjoyed by the audience.
Prince Rama Varma is very humble and humorous, many wondered about his humble appearance. We could hear children asking where the crown of the Prince is and “where is the Princess”? Prince is a disciple of Mangalampalli Dr. Balamuralikrishna, who is is an Indian Carnatic vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, playback singer, composer and actor. Prince also explained the audience about the difference between South Indian and North Indian Classical Musics and how the South Indian Classical or the Carnatic Music is so unique and different from the rest of the musics.
Prince demonstrated his vocal skills on the next few items Sarasaksha and Chanda Mananu which was the best amongst the rest of the items. Audience thoroughly enjoyed the event not only Prince’s Vocal but also the rest. Everyone of them on the stage were absolutely fantastic and they were all the best of the South Indian Classical musicals.
The Fusion was enjoyed by every audience, though for some of audience it was the first time to South Indian Classical Music but we could see them enjoying the music thoroughly. Especially Dr. Jyotsna Srikanth the violinist, M. Balachandar’s Mridangam, RR Prathap’s Ghatam and RN Prakash’s Khanjira. Normally we have witnessed RN Prakash on Ghatam but on Friday we have seen Prakash on Khanjia. Konokol was fantastically done by RR Prathap. Having checked with the audience many did not know about Konokol and it was the first time they have witnessed Konnakol by someone on the stage in London. Konnakol is the art of performing percussion syllables vocally in South Indian music, the Carnatic music – South Indian classical – performance art of vocal percussion.
At the end of the show Peter Culshaw had a Q&A session with Prince Varma and Dr. Jyotsna Srikanth where Peter was sitting in Indian style.
Over all it was the best Classical Music show held in London this year so far. All the 5 of them are amazingly talented! BritishSouthIndians (BSI) would like to witness many more events like this in the near future. Prior to the event there was a “Meet & Greet – Prince Rama Varma” event that was arranged on behalf of Dhruv Arts, where prominent journalist, news reporters and media personalities had the opportunity to speak to the Prince and ask him few questions including issues about Padmanabhaswamy Temple.