A melange of Indian classical dance and music in Delhi

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By Siddhi Jain

New Delhi– In a welcome but cautious reopening of the capital’s cultural scene, young and experienced Indian classical dancers, musicians and instrumentalists converged in New Delhi’s Triveni Kala Sangam for the second edition of a music and dance festival organised with the support of the Ministry of Culture.

The ‘Aavartan’ Festival 2021 — ‘Taalatmika’ by Devi Durga Kathak Sansthan (DDKS) founded in 2002 by Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Kathak guru Geetanjali Lal, took place last week on a larger scale in the aspect of artistes and performances, say the organisers. They dedicated this festival in the memory of noted Indian dance historian and Padma Shri recipient Sunil Kothari.

The event entailed an insightful conversation on classical intricacies like laya, taal and chhand, between tabla exponent, writer and musicologist Pandit Vijay Shanker Mishra, and Geetanjali Lal. A rhythmic treat with Indian ‘Taal Vadya Kacheri’, an ensemble of different traditional Indian percussion instruments was led by tabla player Pranshu Chatur Lal. Interestingly, the concept of ‘Taal Vadya Kacheri’ was introduced by Oscar nominee and BAFTA award winner Tabla Stalwart Pandit Chatur Lal in the 1950s in collaboration with Mridangam scholar Ramanada Eswaran.

“It felt very good to see dance and music on the stage again. All the artists performed beautifully. My son Aryan Lal also played the Tabla today in Taal Vadya Kacheri. I am elated to see my mother and Guru Geetanjali Lal to never stop but keep producing art. She is a huge inspiration to me and everyone else in the field of classical dance and music, and we are happy to always contribute with her,” Kathak Exponent Abhimanyu Lal told IANSlife.

The event also saw a ‘Shiv Stuti’ choreographed by Geetanjali Lal presented by her disciples. The final performance of this year’s festival was a Kathak solo by the world-renowned Kathak exponent of Jaipur Gharana — guru Abhimanyu Lal. This performance was filled with rhythmic patterns in the language of the ghunghroos and the tabla.

“It felt good to be back on stage after a long time myself, that too with Ustad Akram Khan,” added Abhimanyu.

The organisation has also been active online during the Covid-19 lockdown, platforming young talent in the field of classical music and dance. (IANS)


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