Bringing spring delight to the ears

Bringing spring delight to the ears

Mellifluous evening

The spring season received a befitting welcome in the Capital as All India Radio (AIR) put together some of its finest artistes to render songs specific to the season at India Habitat Centre recently. In an event aptly titled ‘Basant Utsav’ AIR folk singers from all over the country brought the flavour of spring celebrations from their regions to Delhi.

The musical evening was initiated by Manganiyar singers of Rajasthan. Samundar Khan and his troupe recreated the beauty of the Thar desert at the event. They started with the magnificent Kesariya Balam Aavoni. The singers brought alive the majesty inherent in the song, and the audience was left spellbound.

The troupe then rendered two songs called Rani Kutchi Bai and Amrit Bol. Here they were accompanied by Kathak dancer Anurag Sharma, and it turned out to be an unparalleled duet between the Manganiyar maand style of singing and the Jaipur gharana’s Kathak dance. With their inimitable style of singing and unique playing of the dholak, khamaycha and khartaal, they literally created magic.

The next to perform was Shobhana Rao, a graded artiste with the AIR, who rendered Hindustani classical songs based on the spring season. She brought forth the various aspects of the season--the pleasant change in the weather, the blooming of flowers, reawakening of love and even the celebrations of Holi. The audience was completely engrossed with her lively performance of Aayi Basant Bahar and Khelat Mose Holi Nand Lala.

Her performance was followed by that of Dr Shailesh Srivastava, another senior artiste with AIR, Mumbai. Her Dhoop ki Odhe Dushala and Sakhi re Hori ko Din Chaar were greeted with great applause. Her rustic voice and interactive performance really brought out the folk flavour of the evening. Then came Tapsi Nagraj, another artiste with AIR and a specialist in Jabalpur folk music.

She is also a professor of music at a college in Jabalpur. With her Mitwa Na Jala Tu she evoked the emotions of loneliness in those away from their soulmates in this season of love. Tapsi was joined by Shiv Ratan Yadav, an AIR veteran  and a master of Bundelkhandi folk music. The two first sang a duet on romance in the spring season, after which Shiv Ratan continued to regale the audience with Bundeli lokgeet. The most colourful performer of the evening was Madhuri Sharma who performed with her troupe. She sang devotional Krishna songs as her troupe danced on Barsana’s lathmar Holi and Mathura’s special phoolon wali Holi.

Assistant director, AIR, Anwar Ahmed Khan, says, “These days our youngsters associate the spring season with Valentine’s Day, but this season has an association with the Indian culture much older than Valentine’s Day. We hope that through such events, people will be awakened to the pleasures of the spring season and also appreciate Indian culture.”

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