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A singing, dancing nation!

art-and-culture Updated: Aug 29, 2008 17:09 IST
Renuka Narayanan
Renuka Narayanan
Hindustan Times
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If you have two passport size photos, Rs 1,200 and a yen to learn the garba, as hordes of delighted Delhiites have been doing for the past three years, roll up at the booking office at Dilli Haat, dial 65554428/9 or mail lok.utsav@gmail.com. The classes will be held at the community centre in Aliganj (off Lodhi Road) and at the NDMC hall in Panchkuian Road, between September 3 and October 2.

It’s a month-long Dandiya Ras and Garba training workshop by the Rangmilan Group of Ahmedabad, so get there and garba! All ages and genders welcome, so long as you want to dance. Boys are most welcome: do come and dance yourself, escorting your sisters. Couples, here’s a great thing to do — dance together!

Saaz-awaz from ‘there’
On September 1 and 2 at the India Habitat Centre at 7 pm, do go hear performers from Pakistan chhedo ragas. On Day One, it’s an all-evening vocal recital of Hindustani classical by Nasiruddin Saami, a singer in the lineage of the Dilli gharana (who lives in Karachi).

Day Two has instrumental music and first off, you can hear Noor Zehra Qazim of Lahore who will play the sagar veena. She is a disciple of Ustad Sharief Khan Poonchwale. Noor Zehra will be followed by Naseer Ahmed Khan on the sitar, a disciple of Ustad Fateh Ali Khan of Karachi.

Lavni Nritya
Ever seen the Lavni Nritya of Maharashtra? It’s incredibly sexy and wiggly but then it was meant to please the mooch-twirling Male Gaze, in this particular case, the generals and soldiers of the Maratha armies. But Lavni’s energetic charm remains irresistible and will be interesting for visitors to Delhi to see: that there’s a whole culture away from Delhi-Agra-Jaipur that’s emphatically NOT a purdah culture.

It has a free-swinging body language of its own that cannot but unleash million kilovolts of good energy in the atmosphere! Four dancers, Gauri Jadhav, Akanksha Kadam, Vidya Waghmare and Rashmi Thakur of Mumbai will dance Lavni, at the IHC on September 3 at 7 pm, to mark Maharashtra Mahotsav and Ganesh Chaturthi.

Hello, why now?
Then, on September 4 and 5 at 7 pm, is a strangely-named programme at IHC called ‘National integration through music’. As far as I can tell, it’s a sweet line-up of some of Delhi’s elder musicians: vocalist Shanno Khurana, sitarist Debu Chowdhury, rudraveena vidwan Asad Ali Khan and vocalist Sumitra Guha.

But why are they labelling it ‘national integration’ with forceps? Our classical musicians have always been a mixed bag of H and M, they have always ‘behaved’ and that’s why so many of us holler that the arts of India are one slice of national life that embody so many Constitutional ideals without being told.

Just like cricket and Bollywood. Don’t nuke them! On September 5 at 7 pm, at IHC, hear three musicians of the Austrian Ensemble, Salzburger Tenklang Trio, a synthesis of medieval and modern instruments playing folk, Mozart and modern instrumental.