One good thing my friends and I did this weekend was to attend “Antarang”, a Kathak presentation by the “Taraana Academy of Kathak”, Chennai. Ms Shrita Baskar, the Artistic Director of Taraana, should be acclaimed for her tremendous effort in pulling off a successful show for the fifth consecutive year. The moment the registration was over, a program Line-up was provided to us. The card in itself was beautifully designed and provided us a detailed explanation of the songs, the meaning, the performers and the genre. I loved how the performances had been segregated into two parts.
The first part concentrated on blending different genres into Kathak, as their tagline goes “Celebrating the Music of India”. Of the six performances, that included Carnatic, Filmi, Folk, Hindustani, Sufi and Electronic music, their take on the Indian Electronic music stood out. As the audiences screamed ‘once more’, they had the kids perform again.
After part one, was the intermission, where they engaged the audiences by presenting the students’ practice sessions in the studio. They also played a video where in they asked what people think about the Indian music.
The second part focused on Shuddh Kathak which constituted of 8 performances. These were performed with a live orchestra with Shri Chandrajit on Tabla, Shri Kishore on Sitar and Ms Shrita Baskar on Vocals. The level of difficulty increased with each performance, as her students from Beginners to the Senior most advanced batch performed the Teen Taal in different Ragas and Layas. This showed the amount of dedication and practice required to learn an art form. The finale was presented by Shrita Baskar wherein she took care of the singing part and danced all by herself.
From the choice of costumes to the wide variety of colours and to the makeup, everything was top-notch. The lighting deserves a special mention as it completely elevated the performances. The host of the evening, Ms Shruthi Vijay’s voice uplifted the show. The students performed with at most grace and perfection. Their passion and commitment towards the dance form had to be appreciated. Not to forget the audience who had been so cheerful and patient till the end. After all, all that an artist needs is an applause and I believe these students received it in immense. I bet most of the people would have left the auditorium with the sound of ghungroos buzzing in their ears and humming Ek, do, teen, char in various tempos. Ideally, this was the success of the show.
We are waiting to watch the next season of Taraana as they come up with different concepts every year 🙂