Posts filed under ‘Indian music’
Experience the Vision of Beauty and Drama that is Classical Indian Dance at Its Very Best with Priyadarshini Govind: April 22nd, Sunday (4:00 – 6:00 p.m.)
Priyadarshini Govind (video)
Priyadarshini Govind is considered to be among the best if not the best in the world at her craft. Performing since the age of 16, she has pushed the art form of Bharatnatyam, one of the oldest styles of classical Indian dance, forward with her progressive approach to both technique and expression. The genre began as a part of the religious rites performed for deities worshiped in Hindu temples over 2000 years ago. Built around an artistic vision of seemless unity between dance movements, often precisely rhythmic in character, and highly expressive drama, this particular style of movement presents itself as a true challenge to even the most accomplished dancer. It is the their job to achieve an exact balance between whats refered to as the “nritta” or manner of movement that emphasizes purely technique and the “nrithya” which is focused upon the dramatic aspects of dancing. The latter is achieved through employment of a specified series of techniques associated with abhinaya, an Indian form of artistic expression. These include mudras (sacred gestures), mime, facial expressions, and body movements.
As a true master of Bharatnatyam, Govind sums up her artistic role thusly, “Dance is such a complete line with visuals, poetry, drama, music … You use your whole body to communicate all of this”. She considers her connection with the audience of utmost importance, aiming to virtually transport them into her world with her as she performs, wherever she happens to be artistically at any given moment. Although Govind considers the dramatic aspects of her dancing as more personally fulfilling, her technique is most impressive nonetheless. One can truly appreciate her sharpness of body line, intriguing footwork sequences, and overall flexibility, physical extension, and control. Her sense of expression is very precise, intense, and down to earth. No phoniness here. She can change character seamlessly at the drop of a hat and no emotion, idea, or concept seems too abstract for her to handle, dramatically speaking. In keeping with her artistically progressive outlook, she often chooses to portray modern up-to-date concepts, which are unique to her own personal dance repertoire. Govind manages to effectively communicate a vast array of varying emotions within in a variety of differing dramatic scenarios, all during a single performance, literally mesmerizing audiences with her theatrical skill in the process. Her visit to Boston presents a rare opportunity indeed for all of us in the area to experience the ultimate in classical Indian dance.
Priyadarshini Govind began dancing in the Bharatnatyam style as a young child. In fact by the age of nine she had begun training with the great masters of her native India. Exceptionally talented, she continues to enjoy an international career of the highest order earning herself the most coveted title of “Kalaimamani” in honor of her artistic achievements. You can read more about her many accomplishments here.
When: April 29th, Sunday (4:00 – 6:00 p.m.)
Where: MIT (Kresge Auditorium)
Tickets: $30.00 (General Admission) / $15.00 (MITHAS Members) / Free (MIT Students)
More Info: firstname.lastname@example.org / 617-258-7971
Follow Along with Vocal Sensation Kiran Ahluwalia as She Takes Ancient Indian Musical Traditions to a Whole New Level: November 20th, Sunday @ 9:00 p.m.
With her exquisitely lyrical, yet emotionally charged vocal style, international singing star Kiran Ahluwalia has been intriguing and captivating audiences worldwide with her own originally composed versions of traditional ghazals and Punjabi folk songs. Her compositions have been known to possess a distinct unearthly quality, making them all the more compelling. Coming to Canada from India, as a child, Ahluwalia was naturally drawn to more “serious” music normally thought to be far to sophisticated for someone her age. In fact by the age of 7 she was actually capable of singing ghazals, despite their characteristically poetic lyrics of advanced literary quality centered around the most passionate of subjects. Naturally following her destiny to become a classical musician, she studied diligently for 10 years under the tutelage of her Indian mentor and soon was on the rise to fame. In addition to her popularity as a performer on the international stage, she has also achieved monumental success as a composer, eventually becoming a key factor in the developement of the ghazal as an evolving art form. Ahluwalia loves to embrace the challenge of effectively blending diverse musical elements together that would otherwise appear to be totally incompatible. Her compositional style thus lends itself naturally to that of world fusion and she incorporates a wide range of styles and elements from various cultures into her finished products including: Portuguese fado guitara, sub Saharan percussion, Celtic fiddle, Pakistani qawwali vocals, the rhubab of Afghanistan, and African blues, to name a few. Although she definitely brings a contemporary flair to her own originally composed ghazals and Punjabi folk songs, it is her intention to create music that is progressive yet still somewhat characteristic of its old original style and therefore appealing to various generations of listeners both young and old, and thanks to its globally diverse nature, from various regions of the globe as well.
Kiran Ahluwalia has enjoyed success as an award-winning recording artist for the past decade. Starting in 2001, her cd entitled “Kashish Attraction” was nominated for the prestigious JUNO award and just two years later her release “Beyond Boundaries” was a winner. Yet again in 2005, she received another JUNO nomination for her cd “Wanderlust”. In 2009 she won top honors in the highly prestigious Songlines Music Awards contest in the newcomer category. As a result of her world fusion interests Ahluwalia has formed successful performance partnerships with some of the leading names in the music industry representing a wide range of genres including classical, jazz, indigenous folk, and electronica. Her latest collaborative effort, featuring flavorings of African blues, is a new cd release entitled “Aam Zameen” on which she performs with Malian superstars Tinnariwen and another international success, the band Terakraft. Ahluwalia’s audience at Johnny D’s will be both intrigued and inspired, to be sure, as she shares her latest groundbreaking interpretations of Indian folk song genres.
Where: Johnny D’s Uptown (Somerville)
Tickets: $12.00 (Online purchase highly recommended – $3.00 fee)
More Info: 617-776-2004 OR 617-800-9720
Spend a Very Special Evening with India’s Highly Revered Sitarist Master Sri Shujaat Khan: November 13th, Sunday @ 4:00 p.m.
Sri. Sujaat Khan is quite possibly northern India’s most highly regarded classical musician of this era. And it should come as no surprise as he comes from a long rich ancestry of India’s most highly-prized musicians, going back as far as 400 years or so. The Khan family established the most prestigious Imdadkhani gharana sitar school which has thus far produced seven generations of players, each of whom has made a monumental developmental impact upon the art of southeastern Asian classical music. Sujaat’s father, the late Ustad Vilayat Khan, is heralded as an absolute musical icon to this day. The younger Khan, also a virtuoso vocalist of great renown, is most known for his ability to bring a distinctive “singing-like” quality to the sound of his instrument, a style referred to as gayaki ang. His instinctive sense of rhythm allows him to improvise in a most intriguing manner, astonishing the crowd every time. He has most definitely firmly established his very own original trademark classical style.
Already performing his own concerts at the tender age of six, Sri. Sujaat Khan has gone on to share both his singing and playing talents on stages of all of the major entertainment venues throughout his native India to many of those located abroad including Carnegie Hall (NYC), Royce Hall (Los Angeles), Royal Albert Hall (London), and Congress Hall (Berlin). One of the high points of his touring career thus far was his participation in 50th year celebration of India’s independence. He travled the US as a featured artist, eventually being honored as the repesentative performer from India in a special United Nations concert held at Geneva’s renowned Assembly Hall. He is a multi-award winner on both a national and international scale and was nominated for a Grammy as a participant in the 2004 world fusion recording “Rain” by the Ghazal Ensemble. He has demonstrated his musical versitility in collaborative performances with the world most renown musicians from New Age star Karsh Kale to classical virtuoso Usted Rashid Khan. As a recording artist, Sri. Sujaat Khan’s output has reached over 60 cds, one of which made Amazon.com’s “100 Greatest World Music Albums of All Time” list.
This world class virtuoso has already taken local audiences by storm. In the year 2000 his performance was named by the Boston Herald as one of the “top 25 up-comming cultural events for the year”. Now he returns to the area for what promises to be a hugely successful repeat performance.
This concert is a part of the South Asian MITHAS series.
When: November 13th, Sunday @ 4:00 p.m.
Where: MIT (Wong Auditorium)
Tickets may be purchased online
MITHAS members / MIT students (Free)
General admission / Non-members ($30.00)
Non-MIT students ($10.00)
See What Transpires When Carnatic Indian Music Traditions Meet Jazz in an Evening with World Fusion Artists Garuda: September 19th, Monday @ 7:30 p.m.
Berklee professor Bruno Raberg has been an accomplished scholar in the area of South Indian Classical, or Carnatic, music traditions for over a decade. As as both a talented performer and composer, he has concentrated his efforts as of late towards the expression of this most ancient genre in a jazz setting, which is then further enhanced with African and other world music embellishments. Raberg showcases this unique brand of world fusion jazz through his own original compositions as well as re-arrangments of traditional Carnatic works which feature the mridangam, a drum widely used in South Indian music repertoire. His overall compositional style is largely improvisational, a characteristic which he firmly believes lies at the very center of musical development in all its various forms.
Such sets the musical stage for Raberg’s latest musical venture, world fusion ensemble Garuda. The group stands as an explicit expression of his latest compositional developments as they relate to this new and rather intriguing version of jazz. This highly accomplished acoustic and electric bassist has earned himself international notoriety both as a performer and a composer since arriving in America from Sweden 30 years ago. Performing or recording with such well-known names as Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Sam Rivers, and Mick Goodrick, to name a few, Raberg has, in the process, participated in the making of no less than 36 cds, often as a featured artist. His highly valued contributions to the evolvement of contemporary jazz have been duly noted in such well-regarded publications as Jazz USA, Double Bassist, Jazz Matazz, and All About Jazz. He has also expanded his horizons as an educator, sharing his knowledge in classroom settings overseas in Europe, Mexico, and Central America. In addition to leading Garuda, he acts as director to the ensembles the Lifeline Quartet, the Bruno Raberg Nonet, and Ascensio, as well. Joining him as Garuda are collegues Fugan Dineen (mridangam, drums, and composition), Noriko Terada (percussion), Andrew Halchak (soprano/alto saxophone), Jussi Reijonen (guitar, fretless guitar, and oud), and Duncan Wickel (violin). (Additional Bios) So whether you view Garuda’s output as Carnatic Indian music in a new light or as modern jazz with a new twist, these world fusion jazz pioneers are guaranteed to provide you with a totally unique and enlightening musical experience.
When: September 19th, Monday @ 7:30 p.m.
Where: David Friend Recital Hall (Back Bay)
More Info: 617-266-1400
Enter into the Exotic and Enchanting Cultural World of the Rajasthani People of India: January 21st, Friday @ 8:00 p.m.
Enjoy an excerpt from “The Rhythm of Rajasthan.”
Come revel in the exotic music, dance and poetry of the Thar Desert region of Northern India at the Boston debut of “The Rhythm of Rajasthan“. These cultural treasures are presented to us through the efforts of Rajasthani scholar Nitin Nath Harsh, who is the mastermind behind a massive project to promote the native performing arts of this area on stages not only across India, but internationally as well. The performance company for this particular show consists of 6 musicians (instrumental and vocal) and the dancer Suva Devi who was a subject of the highly successful documentary “Latcho Drom”.
The musicians are from the Langa and Manganiar artists’ communities of Rajasthan. These highly revered professionals generally perform for more well-to-do patrons of the region while maintaining a huge presence there. As Rajasthan is the mother county’s largest state, the traditional music of the Langas and Manganiars continues to be a major part of India’s overall cultural picture, thus making it, in of itself, a rather prominent world music genre. It is best known for its emotionally memorizing qualities which have allowed it to become very popular worldwide. While shaped by both Hindu and Muslim influences, this folk genre is very closely tied to all aspects of Rajastani daily life, which helps to give it its rather distinctive cultural identity. This identity is further characterized by the employment of ethnic instruments such as the Sindhi Sarangi, Khamaycha, and Dholak.
Devi will be performing a genre of dance called Kalbeliya, native to a nomadic group of professional snake dealers. That’s right, I did say snakes- Yikes!!! Performed by the women of the group, it is characterized by the lilting motion of the colorfully beaded homemade hoop-style skirts they wear. Amazingly, this art form is never actually taught to the “younger generation” but learned rather by mere observation on their part. In addition, classical Rajasthani poetry will be recited in Dingal. This ancient language is associated with a technique involving the special use of phonetic sounds in order to evoke specific emotions within those who hear them being recited. In fact, this literary device is so effective that one can actually feel these emotions without understanding the actual meaning of a single word! In many regions of the world this powerful form of poetry is banned from public consumption. Luckily though, that is not the case here in the good ole US of A. So, come on over to the First Congregational Church in Cambridge and treat yourself to what promises to be an intriguing evening of cultural exotica from Rajasthan, India.
When: January 21st, Friday @ 8:00 p.m.
Where: First Church in Cambridge
More Info: 617-876-4275
Spend a New Year’s Eve Dancing the Night Away to the Sounds of Bollywood: December 31st, Friday (8:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.)
Dhoom Machale is, without a doubt, one of New England’s premier Desi New Year’s Eve dance parties. This popular event, sponsored by the United India and Sindhi Associations of New England, has been a sellout for no less than 3 consecutive years, so buy your tickets early. Music for the evening will be provided by the DJs at Magic Mike Group, who have earned a national reputation for their expertise in the area of Desi events.They’ll be presenting not only Bollywood selections, but also Bhangra, Hip-hop, and Top 40 hits as well. Toast the “big event” at midnight with a complimentary glass of champagne while a live broadcast from New York’s Time Square flashes before you on the big-screen.
As for the party extras, appetizers and dinner will be served compliments of the Bombay Club and the Masala Art Restaurant. Soft drinks are included and a full cash bar will be provided. Some fabulous raffle prizes will be awarded to a few lucky people including a 22 carat gold coin, an ipod, one complimentary night’s stay at the Sheraton, and gift certificates for local restaurants. And of course, let’s not forget those all important New Year’s Eve party favors to enhance the mood of the occasion. There’s even a special area set-up just for kids, where they will be able to enjoy age appropriate entertainment and pizza for dinner. Babysitters will be provided.
Please dress in formal attire for the occasion, which means ladies, your best party attire (Western or Indian style), and gentlemen, a full suit. As an added extra, the Sheraton will be offering rooms at a discount. So, if you’re in the mood for a little taste of Bollywood, Bhangra, and beyond this New Year’s Eve, Dhoom Machale is definitely the party for you!
When: December 31st, Friday (8:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.)
Where: Sheraton Frammingham
Tickets: $60.00 (Adults) / Children (5-12 yrs. old) ($30.00)
Purchase online Or At the door
Purchase 10 or more tickets and a table will be reserved for your party
More Info: 508-875-8759 (Dolly Raja) OR 617-734-3617 (Eileen Mehta) OR 617-926-8778 / 617-909-9998 (Suresh Gidwani) OR 781-229-9170 (Kay Pee Jewelers-Burlington)
Enjoy Some of the Best Southasian Performing Arts Entertainment Happening in the Boston Area: Compliments of MIT-Based Cultural Organization MITHAS
Thanks to the efforts of MITHAS (Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Heritage of the Arts of Southasia), audiences around the Boston area can continue to enjoy fine performances of Hindustani and Carnatic classical music on a regular basis. This dedicated cultural organization, founded in 1993, centers its activities around the promotion of the classical performing arts primarily from India, including music, dance and theater, thus connecting performers of these genres with the enthusiastic audiences they seek. To date, they have produced over 100 concerts and other events, meanwhile bringing to the Boston area premier artists not only from India but other regions from around the world as well. In addition to individual performances, MITHAS also sponsors lecture demonstrations, classes, symposium, and more. All events take place either at MIT or various other venues around the local area.
The regular entertainment season consists of 2 concert series, one in the fall ( generally, August -November) and the other in the spring (generally, April – June). There are usually 4 t0 6 concerts or special events in each series. Check out the fall schedule now, including additional special events … and it gets better yet! MITHAS is associated with other partner organizations and, as a result, maintains a listing of additional cultural events on their web site. In order to gain free access to MITHAS’s select “exclusive concerts”, you can become a member of the organization. There are many categories of membership to choose from, each with its own set of benefits. Keep abreast of all the latest entertainment happenings by joining their mailing list. For additional info contact 617-258-7971 OR visit their web site. MITHAS provides access to a literal treasure trove of premier southasian world music entertainment which is sure to please even the most discriminating listener!