As everyone knows, the Delhi culture season is at its most active between Janmashtami and Holi. And the two most consistent post-Independence culture traditions of the Capital have been the Krishnalila and Ramlila ballets staged faithfully by the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra. Shows may come and shows may go, but they, like the grand old epics, go on forever, thank God.
It’s really worth taking your children or going yourself if you’re new to town, because these ballets are done so charmingly, with nice costumes and music (though Indian sound levels are always WAY too high from Dwaraka to Puri, from Srinagar to Trivandrum, dunno why). The productions get more hi-tech each year but nicely so. The lasers in the Krishnalila when God reveals Himself to Arjuna were really dramatic. The dancing is always pleasant without being heavily ‘classical’ and overall it’s very good entertainment. I’ve noticed lots of people getting really moved in bits, even those who know the stories backwards — and kids just seem to love it. And having moaned about sound levels, it’s only fair to say that the choice of music is impeccably lovely each year.
Ram, conceived, directed and produced by Shobha Deepak Singh, September 30 to October 26, daily at 6.30 pm, Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra lawns, 1, Copernicus Marg, ND-1. Tickets, Rs 500, 300, 200 and 100, at the Kendra. Or call 43503333, 23386428/29
A grand line-up of classical performing artistes begun this month by this tireless group is on until December 15: check out their website www.spicmacay.com for a programme near you or one that you don’t mind a schlep across town for.
A promising recital of Bharata Natyam this Monday, September 29, at 7 pm at the India Habitat Centre, by Delhi-trained, US-returned Priya Venkataraman. This Gurgaon girl and mom of two is slim, supple and so prettily sincere that you can watch her make big-big eyes at the gods without getting bored. Venkataraman has good taste in music and has just spent some time ‘in retreat’ in Chennai, studying with Braha Brasel, currently the Big Kahuna of the expressive arts in the world of Bharata Natyam. Braha (Brihannayaki in private life) is a chubby little lady with a quick step and flashing eye. I saw her dance in Chennai during a lec-dem this January and golly, the life of her! So it will be interesting to see a Braha-polished Venkataraman now in her first performance after learning all that new stuff.
Did you go to Mathieu Gaudet’s piano recital last Friday? I couldn’t, it was the deadline for the Faith Page in Saturday HT and I’d love to hear your reaction (renukanarayanan @hindustantimes.com) and perhaps share it with other readers. Anyhow, there’s a performance of western classical guitar coming up at the India Habitat Centre on Saturday, September 27, at 7 pm, by Theophilus Benjamin, part of the Delhi School of Music faculty and a known performer and singer on this beat. Do tune in.