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Pandit Bhimsen Joshi National Festival is bringing in artistes  to do the honours

hen it comes to Khayal form of singing, there is only one name that rushes into your mind – Pt. Bhimsen Joshi. The legendary vocalist from Karnataka was awarded the Bharat Ratna for his contributions in the field of music. Paying a tribute to the maestro Suranjali Foundation, a non-profit organisation working towards promoting Indian classical music, is organising the 5th season of its annual Pandit Bhimsen Joshi National Festival of Music & Dance 2016 in association with Telangana Tourism from May 13 to May 15 at Taramati Baradari, near the Golconda Fort.
The festival is organised in aid of children with autism at Autism Ashram, Shamirpet in association with Simplygive Foundation. The three-day carnival will witness 14 artistes across India performing under one roof. Mahalakshmi Iyer (Bollywood singer), B S Arun Kumar (drummer), Shama Bhate (artistic director), Hridaynath Mangeshkar (music composer), Satyajit Talwalkar (tabla), Bharat Mohan Balvali (vocalist), Purbayan Chatterjee (sitarist), Rajpura Chowdhury (sarod), Shinjini Kulkarni (Kathak) and Pt. M Venkatesh Kumar (Vocal) are among the favourites who will set the tone for the event.
New feather
It would be the first time that the festival would mark its presence in Hyderabad. Bollywood singer Mahalakshmi Iyer who is known for her vocals in Ae Ajnabee (Dil Se…), would also be making her debut performance in Hyderabad. “This is a very different event for me. I generally go for commercial music events but this is something I am going to do for the first time in Hyderabad.”
The singer who debuted with Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy says that she would be performing a fusion of Indian classical music with western elements. “Fusion music is an amalgamation of a lot of elements and I would be performing on Raag Jog, Yaman and will also have a form of thumri,” she added. The singer would also be performing a bhajan which she says would be a different melody.
The singer who would be in the city on May 15 is prepping up for her debut performance in the city of Nizams. “It is going to be a new feather in my cap and it makes it moreover special because it is in Hyderabad a city which has been carrying the cultural values and traditions for generations now. The crowd there are open to all genres of music and I hope they accept the alternative music like other cities,” she smiles.
Hailing from a musical family, the singer feels that commercial music is now inhibiting a lot of western elements. “Commercial music has always been open to changes and it has changed over these years. It allows itself to adapt to different types of risky lyrics which at times are too embarrassing. I believe that we are bringing too many western elements which I feel can be avoided,” she explains.
With an experience spanning over 19 years, Iyer has proved her skills in Marathi, Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Assamese and Bengali. When asked about her favourite music directors in Bollywood she said, “I have worked with a lot of music directors and I like everyone for their style. However, I loved working with A R Rahman sir and I share a really good rapport with Sbankar, Ehsaan, Loy.”
Her performance is at at Taramati Baradari .
Legacy continues
Leading the forefront of the ninth generation of Kalka Bindadin lineage, Shinjini Kulkarni, granddaughter of Kathak maestro Pt. Birju Maharaj, would also be seen performing for the first time in Hyderabad. Kulkarni, who began her training at the age of five, enthralled the crowd for the first time when she performed at the age of eight.
Dancing her way to glory, the 23-year-old dancer would be in the city on May 14. “I would be performing specific highlights like Thaat from the Lucknow Gharana. Besides this I would also be presenting Kathak on teen taal, Jhap taal and a few other songs for Abhinay,” she added.
A graduate in history honours from St. Stephen’s College in Delhi, she is all excited for her debut performance in the city. “Lucknow and Hyderabad both have the Nizami culture. In Hyderabad even the layman is extremely knowledgeable about the cultures and traditions. I am looking forward for a good performance in Hyderabad,” says the artiste.
Apart from the performance, she is looking forward for some fun shopping adventures across the streets of Hyderabad.
“I would do anything and find sometime to buy some pearls from the city of Nizams,”says the dancer who would be performing at Taramati Baradari on May 14 from 7.30 pm on wards. Tickets available at bookmyshow
Details 9885018725

— Nishad Neelambaran

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