Thursday, September 10, 2009

THE DHONUK DIARIES: Bengaluru International Arts Festival '09 - DAY 1

Attended the first day of the Bengaluru International Arts Festival'09 yesterday at The Sheesh Mahal, Palace Grounds. The violin recital seemed insipid at first perhaps because I had just gone into the BIAF zone after office and its tensions. And then the violin jugalbandi entered a high frequency stage with L Subramaniam and his son - it reached a crescendo of sorts with short bursts and mesmerizing strains. A befitting ending worth all the cheer.

This was followed by the energetic and full throated Raghu Dixit of the Raghu Dixit Project fame. He started with a Kannada folk song and then went on to the 'Hey Bhagwaan' number. Apparently he got frustrated that the folks were all seated and not standing, cheering and dancing - he threatened to not continue in his jovial-furious manner and guess what the people just stood up and that's when the 'Mysore Se Aayi' track was belted out by the members of the Raghu Dixit Project. The violinist, two guitarists and the drummer... Amazing flow of energy and the high pitch at which Raghu sings just enthralled the whole audience as they jeered and cheered to no end. Then he played a lilting Kannada number and ended it with a track from a not yet released Kannada film. Fans were disappointed that he didnt sing more. The most charged up phase of the day!

The next item was absolutely breathtaking in my view as I haven't seen anything like it before - a Kathak dance recital with diverse improvisations. Thai dance formats + background music, chanting etc fused into a performance led by Nirupama and Rajendra duo. 4-5 separate dances with a group of 20 young artistes and themes ranging from The Bhagavad Gita to The Passion and confidence of an Artist (Vir Bhaav) with the underlying theme of harmony were the highlights. The duo switched their dresses often from Bright Red to Colourful blue/green/yellow peacock combo to serene white in the end; all throughout the svelte duo performed with great verve and dedication accompanied by their group whose members ended up giving a splendid performance.

After the event I was speaking with Suma Sudhindra (she also leads the Chowdiah Memorial) and Veena Murthy Vijay who heads the Artists’ Introspective Movement (AIM), a federation of artists with a progressive look towards arts, who have organized BIAF 09. DHONUK we decided will be associated with this Festival as online partner.

Also I think Atul Chitinis was sitting a few seats away from me although I decided not to disturb him!

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