December Season: handful of rasikas at some sabha concerts

The Calcutta Sisters were on stage. Presenting their vocal concert.

At the small auditorium of Narada Gana Sabha campus in Alwarpet.

The air-conditioning was just right. The music floated around gently. And there were some 20 people seated. When the concert got over, a shade before 7 p.m., almost all the rasikas got up and made their way out.

The next concert, all part of Narada Gana Sabha’s pre-December Season festival¬† schedule, began a bit late as the artistes took time to negotiate with the audio system staff.

Shantala Subrahmanyam was presenting her concert – on the flute.

When the concert began, there were just 15 people in the hall. The place can accommodate about 100 people.

In the main auditorium, Kartik Fine Arts sabha was hosting its first set of evening concerts – these feature the big artistes. But the 4.30pm concerts have not been having even appreciable number of rasikas. At one concert, just 25 odd people in that large auditorium.

Both scenarios give an indication of what the early part of the December Season actually is, in some ways.

“The season is hyped up,” admits a senior member of a sabha. And yet, all sabhas hold festivals that feature over 100 artistes and run for weeks.