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Chinese whispers

An orchestra from China teams up with Indian artistes to perform popular Hindi tunes as part of Bollywood centenary celebrations

music Updated: Nov 23, 2012 17:17 IST
Nirmika Singh

India and China may not have the friendliest of histories, but it’s never too late to mend fences. Tonight, in a novel show of camaraderie, the China Broadcasting Chinese Orchestra will team up with Indian artistes to present an array of popular Hindi tunes, to celebrate 100 years of Hindi cinema. The 100-member strong group will back singers Kavita Krishnamurthy and her husband, violinist L Subramanium and son Ambi, as they perform a mix of retro melodies like ‘Awaara hoon’ (Awaara, 1952), ‘Babuji dheere chalna’ (Aar Par, 1954), ‘Aage bhi jaane na tu’ (Waqt, 1965) and ’90s hits like ‘Tu hi re’ (Bombay, 1995) and ‘Hum dil de chuke sanam’ (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, 1999).

ViolinThe act promises to be a fusion music delight as the orchestra, which is known for featuring traditional Chinese instruments like the laruan and dalaruan (similar to the cello and double bass respectively) will recreate the Hindi songs.

"I have enjoyed collaborating with musicians from China in the past and find their traditional instruments fascinating. They will be playing a composition which I wrote for a western orchestra which we’re now adapting for the Chinese orchestra," says L Subramanium. Adds Kavita, "I have great regard for China and really enjoyed travelling and performing there. The fact that they are playing a tribute to Indian cinema music makes it all the more special for me."

The performance will also mark the stage debut of their son Ambi as a violinist. "I will be playing Flight of the Humble Bee, which is my father’s composition. This is the first time I’m playing with an orchestra of Chinese instruments and I’m really looking forward to it," Ambi says.

Since the current year has been declared the ‘Year of Friendship’, between India and China, the event is a part of the cultural exchange between the two nations.

After their Mumbai concert, the artistes will also perform in Delhi on November 27. The performance will be aired on UTV Stars on December 15 at 10.30pm.

Catch the concert tonight at Ravindra Natya Mandir, Prabhadevi, at 7 pm.

Call 91674 93006 for invites.