On Saturday, I played mrudangam for my first dance performance. Details can be found here: http://lacma.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/devadasi-the-eternal-dancer/
Credit for the success of the program is due entirely to Viji Prakash – her hard work, crystal clear vision, passion for the art, and ability to juggle multiple things at once are all critical traits that in the end lead to a standing ovation at the LA county museum of art. This program required a lot of hard work; there were lots of late-night rehearsals and missed dinners, sleepless nights, and agonizing over learning individual parts. What most people do not know is that being a mrudangist for dance is a lot different from being a regular concert mrudangist; they require very different skillsets. Most dance mrudangists will admit that they are not good at playing for concerts, and most concert mrudangists (including my guru) do not play for dance. I decided to do so this time not just because Viji aunty asked me, but because in the grand scheme of things, it is good to have this experience and knowledge. UKS sir sometimes employs dance phrases to great effect in his thaniavarthanams, and I have learned (and use) a few of them myself.
In other news, my previous post on Lalgudi Jayaraman got a flood of views earlier this month. Thanks to all my friends and carnatic rasikas for sharing, and many thanks to Viji madam (Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi) for sharing the page on facebook!