Lexington Hosts “Strings N Beats” Kathak Dance and Sitar Program on November 19 at Cary Hall

LEXINGTON, MA– Lexington Symphony Orchestra, Lexington Community Education, the Indian Association of Lexington and the Cary Memorial Library have joined hands with Shadaj to bring “Strings N Beats” dance and sitar program on Nov. 19 in Lexington, MA.

Strings N Beats is getting together an exotic interplay of Indian Kathak dance and sitar music, featuring renowned Kathak danseuse Shambhavi Dandekar along with Shakir Khan on the sitar and Harshad Kanetkar on the tabla. The event will be held at the Cary Hall, located at 1605 Massachusetts Avenue in Lexington, MA on Sunday from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

INDIA New England News spoke with Rajesh Godbole, one of the organizers of the event and founder of Shadaj, about the event. Tickets for the main concert on November 19 are available at http://www.shadaj.org.

INDIA New England News:  What is Strings N Beats program and what type of dances audience should expect?

Rajesh Godbole: Strings N Beats is a unique dialogue between dance and music. Three brilliant artists of the present generation: Shambhavi Dandekar (Kathak dance), Shakir Khan (Sitar) and Harshad Kanetkar (Tabla) present this concert.

Sparkling Duets between Dance, Sitar and Tabla, soothing instrumental classical music, exhilarating rhythmic patterns and impactful storytelling thru body language (“abhinaya”) are some of the highlights of Strings n Beats.

INE: Which organizations are involved in hosting this program?

RG: Shadaj ( www.shadaj.org ) is collaborating with Lexington Community Education along with Cary Library, Lexington Symphony Orchestra and Indian Americans of Lexington (IAL) in organizing this community outreach concert “Strings N Beats”.

INE: Anyone special attending the event from the historic town of Lexington?

RG: Among the prominent personalities attending this event include Jonathan McPhee, an eminent Music Director Emeritus for the Boston Ballet and Conductor for Lexington Symphony Orchestra .

INE: Who are the performing artists and what are they known for?

RG: Shakir Khan (Sitar) is a leading disciple of his father Ustad Shahid Parvez.  Shambhavi Dandekar is a disciple of her mother Pandita Maneesha Sathe. Shambhavi also has had extensive training in Laykari and aesthetics of Tala from Taalyogi Pandit Suresh Talwalkar, whose disciple Harshad Kanetkar is performing on Tabla.

INE:  Where is Shambhavi Dandekar based and how did you get her to perform in Lexington?

RG: Shambhavi is originally from Pune, India and has recently moved to the bay area.  In the past, she has toured US as a professional artist multiple times and has emerged as one of the leading exponents of Kathak.  Her performance in Boston a few years ago is still etched in people memories.  Shakir Khan is based in India and is on a concert tour of the US.

INE: Are you doing any workshop before the actual event?

RG: Both Shambhavi and Shakir Khan are giving workshops in Kathak and Sitar on Friday and Saturday before the actual concert on Sunday. On Saturday November 18th 1.30 pm there is a free music appreciation session at the Cary Library where people get to interact with the artists and learn about their art form.  Well known Sarod player Dr. George Ruckert (Founder of MITHAS at MIT) will interview the artists and conduct the music appreciation session.

INE:   How old is Shadaj? What are its mission and activities?

RG:  Shadaj Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2015 and is operated by a dedicated team of volunteers. Shadaj is proud to have eminent musicians such as Padmabhushan Dr Prabha Atre, Padmshree Ustad Shahid Parvez and Dr George Ruckert on its advisory board.

Shadaj’s mission is to cultivate, nurture and promote Indian Classical Music in its most authentic form. A unique feature of a great Hindustani classical music concert is that the overall experience depends not only upon the virtuosity of the artist but also upon the quality of the appreciative audience. The objective of Shadaj is to host memorable “Baithak” style (Chamber music style) Indian classical music concerts of the highest quality in its authentic form and to cultivate a community of good active listeners through its series of music appreciation sessions.

 INE: Tell us about some of the events you have organized?

RG: Shadaj events have hosted some of the world’s most revered and celebrated Indian classical virtuosos such as Ustad Shahid Parvez, Arti Ankalikar, Jayateerth Mevundi, Raghunandan Panshikar, Ronu Majumdar, Bhuvanesh Komkali, Dr Ram Deshpande etc. In 2018, Shadaj will host eminent musicians such as Pandit Rajan-Sajan Mishra, Sanjeev Abhyankar and Manjiri Asanare among others.

Shadaj aspires to preserve and nurture a rich classical music heritage that, over centuries, has drawn together people of diverse traditions by community outreach and cultural integration.

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