Of classical sonnet, engaging acts

As she ascended the stage for the concluding performance to a packed hall at the Triveni Kala Sangam, Kathak dancer Shailja Nalwade, a recognised artiste from the Sangeet Natak Akademi showed an interpretation of the changing moods of the monsoon.

Titled Sab Rang, Saawan Ke, the composition rivetingly captured the essence of the various interpretations associated with the monsoon and the person experiencing it. Depicting the joy, restlessness, anticipation and separation in the monsoon, Nalwade managed to evoke reactions associated with a rainy day. The eyes, the movements and the facial expressions attuned to the sounds of the weather and the lyrical notes reminded one of a typical monsoon day. The almost half hour performance saw Nalawade and her team Yogeshwar Thakur on tabla, Mohd.

Ayub on sarangi and Mahavir Gangwani on pakhawaj among others, receive
thundering claps. Dance and music being an integral part of the cultural hub of Delhi, the Lalit Arpan Festival 2015 saw performance by several artistes over the three days of the festival. Organised by danseuse and Kathak guru Padma Shri Shovana Narayan, the annual carnival of classical masterpieces presented the audience with new compositions and old favourites.

In collaboration with FICCI president Jyotsna Suri, the festival began at Kamani Auditorium with Narayan and her Asavari repertory’s piece titled Chiragh-e-Dair, based on Mirza Ghalib’s ode to the holy city of Benaras.

Narayan said on her performance, “I was introduced to this by the eminent Urdu poet, late Ali Sardar Jafri, in 1996. In a discussion with Jafri, he mentioned that with the demolition of the Babri Masjid, an uncertain mood prevailed in the country just like Ghalib’s time when colonial rule had been imposed, and that in Banaras, Ghalib saw a city totally untouched by what was happening all around, which compelled him to write this piece. This masnavi (poem) serves as a reminder for the need for harmony in a time when reason seems to take a backseat and fundamentalism seems to have raised its head all over the world.”

In addition, some of the others who performed included Pt Satish Vyas from Mumbai on santoor, vocal recital by Saniya Patankar from Pune, sattvik veena by Pt Salil Bhatt from Jaipur and vocal recital by Pt Omkar Nath Havaldar from Bengaluru.

‘Lalit Arpan Samman’ awards to honour legends in the field was given to prominent literary figure Prof Namwar Singh, painter Krishen Khanna, photographer Raghu Rai and Yamini Krishnamurthy, the eminent Bharatanatyam dancer and guru.

Former External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid spoke about Narayan’s exceptional zeal and contribution to the art and congratulated her team for the show. He presented each of the artistes with a memento and emphasised the need to understand the arts for inclusive growth. About the event he said, “Such mesmerising performances that I didn’t want them to end. She (Narayan) has been my oldest friend and I am very happy for her hardwork and her team’s wonderful feat.”

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