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A call from Delhi Gharana

A call from Delhi Gharana
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The current generation is kicked about about Electronic Dance Music, Rock and Roll, Pop or Trance, they know artistes, bands, DJs. They even know a lot about beats, bass, electronic progressions and instrments that we can imagine. But it’s seldom that one will find a young person talking about ragas, swaras, gharanas, mohan veena or sarod.

In order to revive interest in our traditional art forms, both in music and performing arts and to spread and rekindle its eminence among the younger generation who are more attracted to western and fusion music, Sri Ram Centre For Performing Arts and Bharatiya Sangeet Sadan are organising a three day classical music festival titled, Swami Haridas Tansen Sangeet Nritya Mahotsav.

The festival is being organised in the Capital for the last 15 years and the main idea is to bring senior classical musicians, dancers, musical genres and artistes - mainly for the younger generation. This festival was originally started at Vrindavan with Swami Gopalji of Vrindavan and well known Kathak dancer Uma Sharma, later on it shifted to Delhi.

The festival is not only only focussing on youth but also commemorate the legendary guru-shishya parampara that was prevalent during the Moghul period between two of the greatest musical geniuses of India Swami Haridas and his disciple Mian Tansen.

With the festival’s name dedicated to the venerable saint-musician, poet and composer of Brindavan Swami Haridas and his illustrious disciple Mian Tansen who was among the Navratans of Moughal emperor Akbar. The festival is keeping alive and spreading their heritage towards a cultural ‘renaissance’ and resuscitation of the musical ethos.

Uma Sharma, Bharatiya Sangeet Sadan explains, ‘We keep the musical heritage alive by holding a festival of music, dance and vocal recitals in Delhi every year.  We woefully observe that classical music and traditional Indian Performing Arts are losing their Patrons in the true sense of the word.’

Swami Haridas–Tansen Sangeet-Nritya Mahotsav has been enchanting not only the connoisseurs, music lovers in Delhi for the past 11 years but also invited audiences who are enthusiastic about the tradition of classical music and performing arts. ‘We have witnessed the response growing every year adding new ‘converts’ from the younger generation,’ adds Sharma.

The Programme this year is a three day festival of music and dance to be held between 16-18 January. Artiste featured this year includes a long list of classical vetrans and some folk musicians from the countryside.

Some of the performing aristes includes, vetran sarod player Ustad Aashish Khan who belongs to Senia Gharana who is a performer, composer, and conductor. He is also an adjunct professor of Indian classical music at the University of California. The founder of this Senia Gharana or Senia School is believed to be Mian Tansen. Son of legendary tabla player Alla Rakha sahabh, Ustad Zakir Hussain will also perform during the three days. He belongs to Punjab Gharana of music and is an internationally acclaimed artist.

Iqbal Ahmed Khan was born and brought up in the musical environs of Delhi Gharana of music. He is also an active promoter of Amir Khusro’s musical works. He will share the stage with other artistes on vocals.

For the lovers of  Indian Pop music Shubha Mudgal is a well-known name. She is also Indian singer of Hindustani classical music, Khayal, Thumri, Dadra and will be spreadig her musical notes at the festival. The national capital will also be listening to magical voices of award winning classical singers and brothers Rajan and Sajan Mishra who are known for the Khyal style of Indian classical music.

Grammy award winner Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt will also present his set of Mohan Veena along with other artistes. Uma Sharma who is also one of the founder of this festival will perform Kathak. What is to be noted is that she is most known for reviving the old classical dance form of Natwari Nritya or the Raslila of Brindavan, which later evolved into the Kathak.

What more? Well this year Mangiyars of Rajasthan will also be present at the festival. The origin of Manganiar are Muslim communities in the desert of Rajastha in the districts of Barmer and Jaisalmer, along the border with Pakistan. They are famous for their classical folk music.

They are the groups of hereditary professional musicians, whose music has been supported by wealthy landlords and aristocrats for generations.

During the three days Delhi will also echo with Haveli Sangeet presented by Prakash
Chandra and group. Essentially, a tribute to Krishna, Haveli sangeet’s form includes, devotional renditions like, kirtans, bhajans and bhava nritya. Also it’s a mix of classical and folk music, the style is inherently borrowed from the Dhrupad and Dhamar music.

So many musical forms, different genres, and but ofcourse all these renowned artistes coming from various gharans, we see Delhi dwelling in musical notes from all the directions.
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