Sunday 6 June, 1pm & 3pm at Royal Spa
EVENT OVER. A vibrant fusion of poetry, Indian Classical music and Kathak dance
Sanju Sahai tabla
Jaymini Sahai Kathak dance
Tofail Ahmed voice
Debipriya Sircar voice, sitar
Indrani Datta narrator
Music composed by Pandit Vishwa Prakash
Join Aradhana Arts, who featured in last year’s BREMF@home: The Four Faces of Gaia, for a magical family-friendly journey through time and space. The great poet Rabindranath Tagore’s mesmerising poem Bhrama, Vishnu, Shiva is brought to life in a vibrant fusion of poetry, Indian Classical music and Kathak dance
Kathak is the major classical dance form from the northern part of India. The word Kathak stems from the Sanskrit word Katha meaning story. This dance form traces its origins to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathakars, or story tellers. These bards, performing in village squares and temple courtyards, specialised in recounting mythological and moral tales from the scriptures, and embellished their recitals with hand gestures and facial expressions. It was quintessential theatre, using instrumental and vocal music along with stylised gestures, to enliven the stories. With the advent of Mughal culture, Kathak became a sophisticated chamber art. Patronised by art-loving rulers, the practitioners of Kathak worked at refining its dramatic and rhythmic aspects, delighting elite audiences with their mastery over rhythm and the stylised mime.
When the patronage shifted from the temples to the royal court, there was a change in the overall emphasis, from the telling of religious stories to one of entertainment. It was a profession which demanded the highest standards of training, intelligence, and most importantly, civility.
Indian Classical music
Indian Classical music is categorised under two genres: Hindustani and Carnatic. Broadly speaking, Carnatic music developed in the south of the country, while Hindustani is indigenous to the north.
Hindustani music is based on the raga system. A raga is a melodic scale, consisting of notes from the basic seven known as sa, re, ga, ma pa, dha, and ni. Apart from sa and pa which are constant, the other notes may be in major or minor tone, and this gives rise to innumerable combinations. Ten basic scales or thaats are recognised, and other ragas are considered to have evolved from these. A raga must contain a minimum of five notes.
Depending on the notes included in it, each raga acquires a distinct character. The form of the raga is also determined by the particular pattern of ascent and descent of the notes, which may not be strictly linear. Melody is built up by improvising and elaborating within the given scale. The improvisation is at times rhythm bound and at other times free from any overt rhythm.
Formal compositions (songs or instrumental compositions in a fixed metre) are juxtaposed with the improvised portion. Khyal and Dhrupad are two major types of compositions within the Hindustani genre. Of the two, Dhrupad is an older form and requires rigorous training in rhythm control as well as voice culture. Khyal developed as a more popular alternative as it contains both slow and lively compositions, though it retains its totally classical character.