A festival where legends of music and dance come together on one stage
There are certain events that define the Capital’s cultural calendar so well that aficionados wait for them throughout the year. One such celebration of Indian classical arts is Swami Haridas Tansen Sangeet Nritya Mahotsav. This year will mark the 18th edition of this festival that is known for the performances of veterans of classical arts and dance.
This festival certainly has a connection with the popular singer Tansen. The classical style of presenting music was prevalent in the Mughal era, where two music geniuses of India gained immense popularity — Swami Haridas (saint-musician, poet and composer of Brindavan) and his illustrious disciple Mian Tansen. This festival was initiated to keep alive that musical heritage.
“The event encourages the younger generation to listen and absorb the purity of Indian classical music and dance. A traditional atmosphere will be created in a mehfil andaaz to represent the old musical style of our country. I want them to hear what their forefathers listened to,” says organiser Uma Sharma, a Padma Bhushan Kathak danseuse, who will perform on the first day.
The event had had many legends perform in its previous editions. This year, too, will have performance by some renowned names such as Parveen Sultana (Vocal), Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash (Sarod), Pt Chhannulal Mishra (Vocal), Gundecha Brothers (Vocal), Ustad Aashish Khan (Sarod), Bickram Ghosh (Tabla), Pt Vishwamohan Bhatt (Mohan Veena), Pt Salil Bhatt (Satvik Veena), Ashwini Bhide Deshpande (Vocal), Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma (Santoor), Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia (Flute), Ustad Shujaat Khan (Sitar), Ustad Amjad Ali Khan (Sarod), and Dr Uma Sharma (Kathak).
Parveen Sultana, who will be performing for the first time at this festival, says, “Since three years the organizing team has been inviting me but I couldn’t make it due to other commitments. So this year I’m happy that I’ll be part of the festival. I was born and brought up in Patiala, but later shifted to Kirana Gharana (one of the most prolific Indian classical khyal gharanas). My father, who was from Patiala Gharana used to teach me and then I started following Ustad Dilshad Khan who masters in Kirana Gharana. But, I feel that when it comes to performing, I take good flowers from all the gardens and make my own bouquet keeping intact my style.”
Some of the veterans cherish their association with this festival. Pt Chhannulal Mishra, who will perform on the second day of the festival is hopeful that his soulful renditions will make people go in a trans. “Delhi audience bahut samajhdar hai. Sab log aate hain. It has been 7-8 years since I have been performing regularly in Delhi, and admire the grand level at which such classical festivals are organised here,” he says.
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