Category Archives: Performances

Carnatic Mini Concert

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After many years, I performed a Mini Carnatic Vocal Concert as a part of Saveca’s Diwali festival. For the past five years, most of my musical performing has been singing for dance – something that is slowly becoming second nature to me. Considering I only had a real week of practicing after my trip to Colombia, and I didn’t have time to get any feedback from my teachers or my musical seniors prior to the concert, I was pretty happy with the way it turned out. Over the past 5 years I have come a long way, but I still have a long way to go. I’m looking forward to the journey.

Note: I wasn’t able to download all the pieces, including my main raagam, but I hope you enjoy this excerpt.

Ninnukori- Agni Nachathiram

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One of our close family friends Kumar uncle is a great pianist, so his 60th birthday party would not have been complete without a family jam session! Here is Kumar uncles rendition of “Ninnukori Varnam”, with me doing the vocals.

Sivagamiyin Sabadham

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On July 5, 2013, I have been presented the amazing opportunity to perform at the Sony Center Toronto for Madurai Muralidharan’s dance drama “Sivagamiyin Sabadham”. It’s one of those venues I didn’t think I would EVER get to perform at, so though my role is small, I’m REALLY looking forward to it.

In addition to a short dancing stint on TVI Canada, featured in the image above, I was also interviewed by Mississauga News.

Mississauga News Article & Excerpt

http://www.mississauga.com/whatson-story/3849698-thousands-gather-to-celebrate-tamil-heritage/

“…Like Manoharan, Raghavan, 24, has been dancing for nearly 15 years. She’s currently one of the senior dancers at Sri Sanskriti, a large academy in Mississauga.

“Though I was brought up in Canada and did all my schooling here, Bharatanatyam is one of the ways I can connect to my rich traditions. There’s an emotional aspect to Bharathanatyam. More than the rhythmic steps and geometric movements, there’s an acting element which brings life to historical stories and mythology,” she said.

Raghavan is thrilled to be working with Muralidharan and associate choreographer Uma Murali.

“Classes with them have been an amazing experience. Their passion for dance is contagious, and we feel blessed to be a part of something like this so far from the place our parents call home,” she said.” – Joe Chin @ Mississauga News

Highland Dancing & Bharathanatyam Fusion

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Nearly four years ago, I was the president of the “Math Society” at my University. As one of our final events that year, we had our very first charity talent night, where I had also sung “Hallelujah“.

One of the VP’s happened to be a professional Highland Dancer, so we decided to put together a last minute fusion performance. It was pretty fun choreographing in the Hallways outside our Society Office, and it makes me miss campus life.

Chaliye – Radha & Krishna Dance – With Bhavajan Kumar

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It was a blessing and honour to dance with Bhavajan Kumar at the “Radha Kalyanam” event at our local temple.

In this song, titled Chaliye, Radha & Krishna suggest going to the gardens by the Jamuna river. When Radha hears the birds chirping, she thinks “What are they saying”? Krishna confirms that even the birds are speaking of their love.

Video Link:

Radha Krishna Dance – Canadian Radha Kalyanam_- Bhavajan & Srinithi

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A recipient of the Vazhuvoor Ramiah Pillai Endowment Award from the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana, Bhavajan is a Canadian born male dancer who has been learning Bharatanatyam for the past 15 years, and now resides in Chennai.

We only had about 30 interrupted minutes to choreograph & practice before performing, which made the experience fun, and a little stressful!

Bharathanatyam Arangetram Singing

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This past summer I sang for a Bharathanatyam Arangetram, a ‘graduation’ solo performance of a classical Indian dancer who has been training for many years. What originally was a daunting task has now become a summer staple. I have been learning Carnatic music for nearly 15 years, and Bharathanatyam for over 10, so singing for dance was a natural next step.

The first clip is a Ganesh Song that I sang to kick off the performance. The song Sri Mahaganapathim Bhaje Hum is in raagam Ataana.

The second song is a Bengali Song Nrityero Tale Tale, which was chosen specifically for the Bengali Student. This is a beautiful Rabindra Sangeet, which was definitely my pride and joy of the concert. It was my first Rabindra Sangeet, my first song in Bengali, and my ‘source’ was a YouTube Video. I had to listen to each word very carefully, and enlist some Bengali family friends to help me with my diction.

The next is an excerpt of two other songs that I sang.

I have already signed up for an Arangetram next summer, so there will be more to come :)

Maa

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As mentioned in this post about our Annual Charity Talent night, I not only performed one song along with Stephen and Nick, but I performed two! Our second song called “Maa” from the Hindi Movie Taare Zameen Par. This song was originally composed by Shankar-Ehsan-Loy and sung by Shankar Mahadevan himself (Who was introduced in this post), so though I could never even compare to that kindof amazingness, here is my own humble attempt.

The tempo did start a little slow, but I personally thing the song still turned out great. Stephen and Nick provided some amazingly soulful music, which really fit well with the song.

A couple of years ago, I recorded this song along with a Karaoke I found online and sent it to my mom for mothers day. She was so happy!

 

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

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In March of 2011, back when I was on the Math Society at my University, we raised over $650 for the local women shelter. And we did it all in ONE evening thanks to the Annual Charity Talent Night. The Charity Talent night was not only for a great cause, but it was also very entertaining!

Myself, Stephen and Nick banded together for the first time after “Hallelujah” in 2010. We performed two songs, and the first one was Boulevard of Broken dreams. In all honestly, my role in this song was practically non-existent, and the full credit goes to Steve and Nick. I did enjoy singing the Harmony on the chorus though. Steve taught it to me, and it sounded great! Though Steve, Nick and myself are in three different cities doing three different things, we had a great time when we were all at University together and I hope that it’s not the last time we can all jam :)

So the video was a little bit off sync, and it looks like we’re awkwardly talking for the entire video. I promise it was us!

I will be posting the second song shortly. I know this is already a huge delay, but there was a problem with the video format and I had to do some converting and editing. Which is why the video got a little messed up and my posting got delayed. As soon as the second part is done I will post it :)

Enjoy!

Singing with Shankar Mahadevan- IIFA 2011

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If you are visiting my blog after a while, make sure you read the prelude to this post. It will give you a little bit of a background.

The last time I left you, there were no videos posted of the entire music workshop, and definitely nothing of me singing with Shankar Mahadevan. I did finally find a video for you :). (Edit: I originally had the RawalTV video here, along with my singing and the MC Siddharth Kannan mentioning it in an interview afterwards,  but unfortunately it no longer exists). My singing starts at approximately 1:01:30

It sounds like my voice was shaking along with my body :P It’s either nervousness, or the fact that I was singing at “C”, which is quite a few notches higher than my regular “G#”.

[Edit 03/11/2012]

The above clip is a shortened version of the entire IIFA Workshop, with just my part. The sound is terrible, as it got sped up, but if you don’t feel like searching through the entire video, this will give you a glimpse. It has been over 8 months since this experience and thinking about it still gets me excited. How I wish I could go to India and get the opportunity to really sing with such stalwarts.

A Bollywood Weekend- IIFA 2011

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This past weekend was definitely an epic time in the life of an average Torontonian. With IIFA being hosted at the Rogers Center, all our lives just became a little bit more Bollywood. In my case, they became a lot more Bollywood!

It all started on Thursday. I decided to check out the Royal York Hotel during my lunch and was interviewed by “City TV”.

On Friday night, when I attended the IIFA Rocks Green Carpet, was when it started to get interesting. I got to shake hands and/or take pictures with Shahrukh, Madhavan, Genelia D’Souza, Rakesh Roshan, Gulshan Grover, Anupam Kher, Arshad Warsi, Sonakshi, Sonu Sood, Anil Kapoor, Omi Vaidhya, Lisa Ray, Ritesh Deshmukh, Sonu Nigam, Neha Dhupia, Vivek Oberoi, and more! Not only were my screams and excitement all over “OMNI TV” the next day, but I was also featured in the National Post, in this picture alongside Dia Mirza.

If you think that is as Bollywood as it gets, well, what happened next would prove you wrong. I attended the IIFA Music Workshop on June 25th. The IIFA music workshop was a free workshop hosted by Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsan, Loy, Javed Akhter, Vishal Bhardwaj, and Salim. I was first in line, and we got fourth row seats, also the first row open to visitors. Before I got into the auditorium, I was interviewed by “Special Report- Rogers“. In the front row were special guests including Shabana Azmi and Javed Jaffrey. We were literally 15 feet away from the stage! Near the end of the workshop, I had the most amazing celebrity encounter of my life! Shankar Ehsan Loy composed a song to Javed Akhters lyrics on the spot, and I had the extreme honour of learning two lines on stage of the song from Shankar Mahadevan himself. I believe that art is something that you never stop learning, and to even learn two lines from undoubtedly one of the best musicians in India, was the most phenomenal experience ever. The cheering audience was like the icing on the cake. My picture was featured on several websites including SantaBanta (This was funny, because in the thumbnails they accidentally focused on my face instead of Shankar Mahadevan’s, so my face really was one among the stars), BollySpice, and Filmi Cafe. Unfortunately, my camera ran out of memory space at that exact moment! I have contacted two media companies that were there, and as soon as I can find a video I will post it here. Rawal TV was a media company that I contacted at the venue itself, and they did say that they would soon be posting the entire workshop within a couple of days! I have been checking their website every couple of hours!! :P

Here are a few pictures from several websites. I promise I’ll get that video to you as soon as I can. The last picture is the funny printscreen from santabanta, and my image now has nearly 3500 views! The only thing that really was too bad, is that my name was never mentioned on stage, and I didn’t think to introduce myself (In the shock and excitement I am happy I was atleast able to get SOMETHING out of my mouth). So that picture has thousands of views but nobody really knows who I am. Yet ;)!

(The picture above is the one on several IIFA workshop articles)