Kutcheri Season

Marghazhi Kutcheri Season 2004 takes off

sanjay subramaniam.jpg
[Sanjay Subramaniam in a kutcheri. Pic: hindu]

From Aalapanaas to Thukadas to silk sarees, canteen bajjis, sabhas, raskias and season tickets, everything is on for this December Carnatic Music Season 2004 in Chennai.

One of the biggest joys of being in Chennai, the cultural head of South India is this December kutcheri season also known as the Marghazhi Music Festival. With more 20 sabhas and an array of kutcheris(musical performances) happening all around the day, one would have to be lucky to glimpse the best of performers and the best of fine-arts. This Kutcheri season doesn’t carry just carnatic music, it also embeds the best of dance, drama and other artistic expressions.

Come december and Chennai is already in the festive mood. Be it the Isphani Plaza which is decorated with jingle bells, welcoming teenagers and the new year or be it Narada Gana Sabha welcoming the music performers with the huge garlands. It is a pleasure to be in Chennai, especially during the Marghazhi month.

Kutcheri Buzz, an online kutcheri site which chronicles the musical performances during the season is all set for the music season 2004. Carnatic singers Sowmya and Shashikiran’s Carnatica is already rolling commentaries on this season’s performances.

Music Academy of Chennai, the most happening place of music kutcheris is unfortunately not conducting the music season this time.

Going by the schedules, Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha has some of the best performances lined up. Ofcourse, there are other nice sabhas which showcase the best of carnatic musical talent. Some kutcheris that I am looking forward will have Mandolin U. Srinivas‘s fusion show, performances of Sanjay Subramaniam, Aruna Sayeeram and Sikkil Gurucharan.

We are going to have a huge crowd of people coming down from the USA to sing, enjoy and watch the Kutcheris. It’s going to be a month of celebrations and they have already begun.

12 thoughts on “Marghazhi Kutcheri Season 2004 takes off

  1. This post makes me all envious of all chennai Carnatic music lovers now. There are lots of stuff happening in Mumbai too. I am eaferly waiting for Thyagaraja utsavam which I think would be held in various sabhas all over Mumbai in the month of January.


  2. Unfortunately most of these sabhas dont have a website. Even though ppl like me living abroad miss out on this great season, it denies us the pleasure of gifting our parents tickets to some of these shows. Also its real sad that Music Academy wont be hosting any concerts this year. Wondering where the annual Lakshminarayana Global music frst by Dr L.Su wd be held this year in chennai?


  3. Just a note on what I heard about these Kutcheries.. Because the timeframe (about a month??) is very limited the queue for booking established artists is huge, hence the budding artists either go quite unnoticed or manage to get booked in very small (converted sabas / halls just for the season) gathering… quite frustrating for them, as this could be one of their BEST launching pads !!! Also, the emphasis on food / miscellaneous commercial activies to pull crowd is also increasing rather than the actual quality of the performance..(crowed queued near ARUSUVAI Natty’s canteen rather than being attentive to alapanas, etc..) Anyways, I would term this as a COMMERCIAL CARNATIC (CULTURAL) episode !


  4. Shobha, As the Chennai festival concludes by december, the mumbai one starts. Interesting. I’m thinking about the strain on the vocal chords of performers.


  5. Venkat, you could be partly right. Because Arusuvai Arasar has restaurants open in couple of places of chennai. hopefully, I believe people would no more come to kutcheris just to eat.

    they probably could make a good joke in ananda vikatan but not essentially true. as the concert tickets are sky rocketing, who wants to pay a hefty 100 bucks to eat a couple of bajjis and onion rava.


  6. Check out Sujatha’s article about Maragazhi Kutcheri season in Chennai in this week’s edition of Aa.Vi. He laments about the lack of crowds these days for the kutcheris and his ideas that might help solve this.


  7. Maverick, I did read it. Though many of them will only be implemented in the distant future, given the speed of our sabhas, they are certainly good ways of crowd pulling.


  8. Bangalore too has got its own cultural fest season in December which started last year. Called as ‘Bangalore Habba’, this cultural extravganza’s lineup for this year looks pretty exciting.
    Keeping in line with the city’s cosmopolitan nature, the cultural fest lines up country’s top artists from Carnatic, Hindustani, classical dancing to Rock and World fusion. And they have got the popular Pakistani group ‘Strings’ too performing this year.


  9. artists from Carnatic, Hindustani, classical dancing to Rock and World fusion.
    ew… Keep Rock and Carnatic seperate. And fusion stinks. “Mutton in Avial” is bad taste.


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