The Capital will host talent from across the country as the Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA) commences their annual Festival of Music, Dance and Theatre at several venues around Delhi and the National Capital Region.
The SNA award—known earlier as the President’s Award and first given in 1952— is the highest recognition in the field of performing arts and is given by the President of India. “Even since its inception, it has been customary for the Akademi awardees to present a programme,” says Jayant Kastuar, secretary, SNA. This year, 25 artistes from different parts of the country, representing varied forms of classical and folk music, dance and theatre styles have been awarded the prestigious Akademi Award. All the artistes will now perform during the week-long festival.
Arundhati Nag will perform ‘Bikharey Bimb’ on 20 July.
Some of the prominent names include Bharatnatyam dancer, guru and choreographer Saroja Vaidyanathan, whose contribution to the field of classical dance has been widely acclaimed. Thespian Arundhati Nag is another household name who will be performing her renowned soliloquy Bikharey Bimb (written and directed by Girish Karnad) at the Kamani Auditorium on 20 July. Nag’s goose bump-evoking performance is a brilliant rendition of a narrative that is both personal and public at the same time. Renowned singer Ulhas Kashalkar will also perform in the festival, accompanied by the legendary tabla player Suresh Talwalkar.
Highlighting the Akademi’s “policy of not differentiating between classical and traditional forms of art”, Kastuar mentions the Thang-Ta performances by L. Heramot Meiti and disciples as something that one does not get a chance to see very often. Thang-Ta is a weapon-based martial dance which has been created by the Meiteis in Manipur. Other performances include Lepcha music from Sikkim (Hilda Mit Lepcha), and Rajasthani folk music (Lakha Khan Mangniyar).
Danseuse Saroja Vaidyanathan will perform on 16 and 18 July.
The SNA Festival of Music, Dance and Theatre will start today and continue till 23 July. Performances will be held at several venues, including Meghdoot Theatre, Kamani Auditorium, Ayyappa Temple and the CCRT Auditorium in Delhi and Kribhco Auditorium (Noida) and Epicenter (Gurgaon). Entry to the performances is free.
To view the full schedule, log on to http://www.sangeetnatak.org/sna/curr-sna-awards-2008-programmes.htm