Friday, February 12, 2010

Events at S.R.S.G.

AHYMSIN has been having a bit of a reunion, a "gathering of the Sangha" at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama for the past couple of weeks. It is a bit difficult to keep up with everything, so I am going to just give a brief summary of three notable entertainment programs.

First item: Barun Kumar Pal. He has made his mark with an instrument of his own creation, named by his teacher Ravi Shankar, the "hamsa-veena." He is very highly acclaimed, and deservedly so. Has played for the Queen and Prince Charles, etc., etc.

He played both in the classical style and a more modern composition, which he played with the accompaniment of two of his students, who played the flute.

The next night, we had the pleasure of hearing a violin recital by Alexander Jablokov, a Russian living in Slovakia at present. He spoke in German, with translations from his wife. He played several short pieces by Telemann, Bach and Paganini. His explanations were humorous and very enlightening.

The only picture comes off the internet I am afraid.

The final night was the best of all, in my opinion. The daughter-in-law of one ashram resident, Prakash Dixit, Astha Dixit, came with her guru and a group of live musicians to give a very professional recital of kathak dance. Her guru's name is Harish Gangani, who comes from a long line of kathak dancers. The musicians also included a couple of his nephews, who were very, very good.

Gangani began the recital, then Astha Dixit followed. He followed a set pattern of pieces. I have to say I found it quite exciting. I like kathak the best of all Indian dances styles. Gangani made it all look so easy and graceful. There seems to be less artificiality in the expressions and the mudras.

Astha did a dance in which she played the role of Radha telling Krishna to stop flirting with her. I really got into it.

She also did the set pieces, reciting the bols and then dancing the steps that imitated the sounds.

They concluded with a duet. Unfortunately I am not competent to comment with anything more than to say I thoroughly enjoyed the performance. Radhe Radhe.

Photos by Giancarlo Colombo.

1 comment:

  1. i have always wondered why iskcon patronizes bharatnatyam more than odissi or even kathak .

    for these are the two dance forms that has more connection with gaudiya vaishnavism than bharatnatyam which hails from south .

    mahaprabhu spent his life in orissa and odissi is the dance for jagannath .
    and the dresses and expressions of kathak reflect the radha krishna pastimes in a more satisfying way than bharatnatyam .