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Monsoon with maestros

Tarishi Verma, Aug 2, 2012, DHNS : 21:01 IST

Culture

Inimitable: Sharon Lowen strikes a picture-perfect pose.
No monsoon can be complete if it does not celebrate a culture or tradition associated with it. It was with this thought in mind that Spandan Communication held a two-day festival ‘Monsoon Magic’ at Kamani Auditorium.

On the first day, Lakshay Mohan Gupta, Aayush Mohan Gupta and Shovana Narayan performed their respective pieces to welcome the rains.

Day two saw the grace and fluidity of danseuse Sharon Lowen’s performance of Odissi coupled with a performance of Hindustani classical by Ojesh Pratap Singh.

The event began on day one with Lakshay on sitar and Aayush on sarod. They opened with raag Miya Malhar, delivering a mesmerising performance and followed it with another variation.

This was followed by a marvellous Kathak performance by Dr Shovana Narayan, a Padmashri recipient. She started with a stuti to God of rain, Lord Indra and then followed it up by the various moods of the monsoon, singing the taals in between.

Lakshay has been playing the sitar since the age of eight. He and his younger brother Aayush belong to the Maihar gharana.

Said Lakshay after the concert: “These festivals are necessary so that people can hear some monsoon specific music which has originated in our culture,” he says.

Aayush, who plays the sarod along with him says, “We used to learn tabla in the initial years so we had an idea of rhythm and taal. We even learned vocals and still sing,” he informs.

Celebrated Kathak artist Shovana Narayan dedicated her piece to monsoon. “It comes with a lot of moods, this season. At first we are waiting for it eagerly but when it comes, it brings other problems with it as well. So this season is nature’s way of showing equilibrium,” she smiles.

Monsoon has been associated with saawan ke jhule and festivals like teej but the younger generation is missing out on it.

Shovana agrees. “But the catch here is that the times are changing. The kind of lifestyle that requires these things is non-existent now.

With the agricultural land getting scarce by the day, it is possible that the coming generations would not even know how rice grows! And that potatoes don’t fall from tress,” she laughs.

She adds, “But it is a cyclical process. A few years later we might be back to where we started.”

Her driving force is her notion. “I am very impulsive. I do what I feel. Some of my students call me a silent rebel for doing what I did in an era when dance was not considered a career. But I never saw it as a rebellion. I did it because I believed in it,” she says.

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