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Enthralling ‘Chitrakala Avadhanam’

If ‘Avadhanam’ is an exclusive literary form for Telugus who enjoy the beauty of literature, ‘Chitrakala Avadhanam’ is a form that quenches the thirst of an artiste who can create wonders with his brush. In ‘Ashtavadhanam,’ ‘Satavadhanam’ or ‘Sahasravadhanam,’ the avadhani has to answer tricky questions in the form of poems. When it comes to ‘Chitrakala Avadhanam,’ the answer should be in the form of a painting. Even as the questioner is giving finer details of his poser, the artiste has to start his work on the canvas — first with pencil strokes and subsequently with myriad colours and shades. Singampalli Satyanarayana (72), a veteran artiste, performed the magic on the canvases in response to the challenges posed by a classical musician, a classical dancer, a Veena player, a guitarist, a fellow artiste and scholars of Sanskrit and Telugu literature. In a three-hour show, Mr. Satyanarayana brought out nine master pieces of water colours in response to the scholarly questions, besides providing outlines for the ‘Navarasas’ in the form of nine sketches. The occasion was the 53rd anniversary of ‘Navarasa,’ a city-based theatre organisation at Suryakala Mandiram on Sunday. Renowned Carnatic singer Peddada Suryakumari began the show by reciting ‘Bantureethi..’ a composition of saint composer Sri Thyagaraja. By the time she finished her recital, Mr. Satyanarayana created the image of Sri Thyagaraja playing his Tambura in front of the idols of Lord Sitarama. The next challenge came in the form of classical dancer S. Krishna Kumar, who performed for Sadasiva Brahmendra’s ‘Manasa Sancharare.’ Mr. Satyanarayana captured one movement and recreated it on the canvas. Veena player Akondi Madhusudan played ‘Sarasa Samadaana,’ while guitarist and prince of Pithapuram Rajah Rao Mahipathi Rama Ratnakara Rau performed his own composition on the foreign instrument. After the scholars — Gottimukkala Venkata Laskhmi Narasimha Sastry, Koruprolu Gowri Naidu, Kakaraparthi Durga Prasad and Garikapati Suryanarayana — posed their questions in the form of poems. The auditorium gave a thumping applause to Mr. Satyanarayana, besides a grand felicitation by founder secretary of the organisation S.S.R.K. Guru Prasad. “Though I have 12 such performances so far, this is close to my heart, as I got an opportunity to perform in Kakinada, which is close to my home town Peddapuram,” said Mr. Satyanarayana, who settled down in Tirupati after retiring as artiste from the Agriculture University there at the end of a 36-year service. “My brother Chandra Rao was my first inspiration in art. B.K.S. Varma and Yugandhar inspired me to take this type of challenges,” he said. Station director of All India Radio, Vijayawada, A. Malleswara Rao compered the show, while Akondi Venkata Suryanarayana Murthy entertained the audience with his funny one-liners.

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