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Dizzy with Odissi…

art and culture Updated: Aug 20, 2008 15:31 IST
Renuka Narayanan
Renuka Narayanan
Hindustan Times
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…Is that possible, unless you’re one of Ramli Ibrahim’s dancers-on-turbo? Just a thought! Anyhow, time to hoist our tricolours and pay homage to a Big Brick in national identity: culture! Seat of pants on seat of chair, if you please, at the India Habitat Centre, 7 pm sharp on Saturday and Sunday evening (take your pick), to take part in the second year of Sare Jahan Se Achha, August 16 and 17.

Organised by Delhi-based Odissi dancer Ranjana Gauhar, there’s new work and north-southing to stir the patriotic sprit. Day One has Ranjana Gauhar and Ashok Ghoshal from Bhubaneshwar dancing an Odissi duet from the medieval Krishna classic, the Gita Govind, followed by Hindustani vocal by Shubha Muddgal, who’s now based in Mumbai.

Rama Vaidyanathan and Rajendra Gangani will dance a Bharata-Natyam-Kathak duet on day two, philosophically titled Becoming One, followed by santoor-flute Hindustani classical duet by Abhay Sopori and Rajendra Prasanna. Professor Ramhari Das, music scholar, singer and head of the music department, Utkal University, will begin both evenings with patriotic songs in the Oriya spoken a 150 years ago (less folk, more Sanskritised)…ah well, I rather like Natho Debo Narahari, it’s…cosier.

Spic and span Advance notice, so you can plan to catch this special event! In its 31st year now, SPIC MACAY will begin its Virasat 2008 series in Delhi and in 300 Indian towns. The series will start in September and go on up to December 2008. This year it is a celebration of the 80th birthday of the Benarasi thumri queen, Girija Devi and the 70th of Hindustani classical flautist Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia. The Delhi Virasat kicks off on September 2 with a concert by these two senior artistes at the old (and restored last year) Viceregal Lodge, Delhi University, at 6 p.m.

Other biggies billed in this music and dance concert series: Kathak by Pt. Birju Maharaj, santoor by Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, Carnatic vocal by TN Seshagopalan, Bharata Natyam by Allarmel Valli, mohanveena by Pt. Vishwamohan Bhatt, Kathak by Shovana Narayan, Hindustani vocal (dhrupad) by Pt. Rajan and Sajan Mishra, Pandavani by Smt. Teejan Bai and lots more!