The concluding part of the series on raag Kafi includes renditions of the dadra form. Closely allied to the thumri genre, dadras are usually set to the Dadra taal, a cycle of six time-units or matras, or to the eight-matra Kaherva. The rhythmic canvas for dadras is thus smaller than that of thumris, although one does find thumris that are composed in the same taals too. The latter is particularly so in the case of Kaherva.
The melodic elaboration of dadras requires the vocalist to have shorter excursions from the sthayi or the first line of the composition to maintain the lilt of the composition and the rhythmic canvas. Like the thumri, the elaboration of a dadra moves beyond the strict confines of raag structure, although this does not imply an anarchic movement from one to another raag.
As is the case with thumri presentation, the dadra also includes a laggi section that involves different rhythmic patterns played on the tabla. However, the laggi section can be played after each verse of the dadra.
Textually, the dadra differs from the thumri in many cases, as it often has more verses that take the narrative forward.
Here is a dadra based on the raag Kafi set to Kaherva, rendered in the captivating voice of Begum Akhtar.
The second track features a rendition of Zila Kafi, a close cousin of the text-book Kafi. Sitar maestro Nikhil Banerjee plays the composition in Dadra. He begins in the lyrical thumri-dadra gayaki or vocal style, but later explores the instrumental style through taans or swift melodic passages and layakari or rhythmic interplay that are not characteristically heard in thumri-dadra renditions.
The second composition is set to the 16-matra Teentaal ending with a jhala involving repetitive percussive right-hand strokes.
Well-known tabla player Anindo Chatterjee provides rhythmic accompaniment.
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