at the Kartik Poornima Festival, Udaipur
December 7, 2006
A cultural and heritage tourism initiative of the MMCF, the annual festival of Kartik Poornima is celebrated with great splendor and some of the world's most renowned artistes have performed here over the years. The festival this year, was based on the theme of Sufism, celebrating universal love, beyond caste, creed and religion. Ziya Lambrau from Mumbai introduced the theme while the performing arts segment belonged to Manjari Chaturvedi who 'connected the thread of the creator, creation and creativity' with her Sufi Kathak.
Jag-Mandir, a testimony of architectural heritage revitalized for the 21st century with its natural beauty, provided perfect ambience for the mysticism of Sufi Kathak. The enchanting evening opened with 'Man kunto Maula...' the traditional Qaul (invocation) composed by Hazarat Amir Khusro, with Manjari emerging from the aesthetically adorned Jharokha of Jag-Mandir, the fabulous backdrop of the performance space, decorated with fragrant flowers. The Tarana in raga Malkauns, set to Teentaal that was just played as a lehera (musical refrain) from the wings with only the Sher (Persian couplets) sung by Amjad Ali, created a good contrast with the traditional items of Kathak and the crisp footwork.
The Sufi and
the Kathak elements in fact went hand in hand with items based on the Sufi
poetry and the Malkauns Tarana alternately, reaching the crescendo with
the famous 'Rang' 'Aaj rang hai ri Maan...' depicting the merging of the
soul with its eternal source, where the Quawwals from Awadh went virtually
in a state of 'Haal' (trance), with Manjari dancing to it like a moving
meditation, and the audience literally spellbound.
Sinha has an MA in Sanskrit from Allahabad University, MA in Music from
Vikram University, Ujjain; B.Ed. from Lucknow University; Sangeet Prabhakar
in vocal, tabla, sitar and Kathak dance from Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad;
and further training in sitar from guru Arvind Parikh in the lineage of
Ustad Vilayat Khan. She contributes articles in English and Hindi on Music
(Hindustani & Carnatic), Dance, Art & Culture for various leading
music journals and periodicals. She gives lec-dems on Indian classical
music and dance in India and abroad, interviews many musicians and dancers,
and is an auditioned artist of All India Radio, broadcasting programs such
as talks, interviews, Sanskrit programs and travelogue on overseas broadcasting.