The Krishna Gana Sabha’s Pongal Nadaswara Isai Vizha, an annual week-long Nadaswaram Festival that began in Jan 1987, gives pride of place to this great traditional instrument of South India, SKGS is the first and only Sabha to offer such a concert platform to the Nadaswaram and Tavil artist and popular is this instrument, otherwise restricted mainly to temples and marriage halls.
Double-mridangam accompaniment was first featured at the Krishna Gana Sabha and was a resounding success. In 1958, Sri Palghat Mani Iyer and his son, Palaghat Rjamani, provided the first double-mridangam accompaniment to the Alathoor Brothers with Lalgudi Jyaraman on the violin. Krishna Gana Sabha, over the years, has featured many such concerts involving different mridangam artist of eminence.
The All India Natya Kala Conference at the Krishna Gana Sabha, remind unprecedented and unparalleled as a single forum show casing the varied classical dance forms of India through annual lecture demonstrations, research paper presentations and live performances. The nucleus of the concept was derived from a discussion with the Bharatanatyam Virtuoso, Dr. Padma Subramanyam who expressed the need for presenting the diverse Indian classical dance forms to posterity. The Natya Kala Conference celebrates its solver jubilee this year.
First Sabha to deviate from the prevailing practice of other Madras Sabha’s that of concentrating all their programs during the December - January time frame alone SKGS pioneered the August - September Gokulashtami Festivals in 1955. The first Gokulashtami season was a concerts strong (namely trial of MS Subbalakshamni, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Chiiti Babu, Sheik Chinna Moulena Sehiba, Flute Mali, K. B. Sundarambai with MS Gopalakrishnaan as violin accompaniment). The Sabha is proud to note that the Gokulashtami festival has grown steadily over the year to offer a inch variety of over 60 concerts in 2005.
The Kalakshetra Dance troupe for the first ever time (outside their own premises) in Madras city at Krishna Gana Sabha. In 1960, the Sabha’s newly inaugurated “Gana Vihar” featured Kalashetra’s Geeta Govindam as its first event. The much acclaimed dance programs of Kalashetra have been featured regularly at the Sabha since.
Religious discourses were first featured in a Sabha platform at The Sri Krishna Gana Sabha in 1956 Greta Vedic scholars and Upanyasakaars such as Sengalipuram Anantharama Dikshithar, Narayana Dikshithar and Manjakudi Rjagopala Sastri, Kripananda Variyaar and others gave the first discourses on themes such as the Ramayanam, Skaandam to large audience at the Sabha. The Sabha maintains its commitment to promoting religious and literary discourses till date.
Sri Krishna Gana Sabha has played a decisive role in furthering the haloed Hari Nama Sankeerthanam tradition. In 1986, SKGS featured HH Swami Haridoss Giri, fir the first time in sabha platform in the annual Art and Dance festival during the month of Margazhi, to a veritable sea of rasikas and bhaktas. This series provided the impetus in reviving interest and re-establishing gradually declining Bhajans Sampradhayam amongst the public, SKGS has also established a school with classes conducted by Sri Udayalur Kalyanaram Bhagavathar, to teach Hari Nama Sankeerthanam to aspiring individuals of any age.
61st Art ans Dance Festival
Conferment of Nritya and Acharya Choodamani Awards