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A rare fusion of Kathak and Jazz

Nad-Roop, a city-based institution founded by noted Kathak exponent Shama Bhate that gave a modern consciousness to the dance form of Kathak, has completed 25 years. To mark this occasion, Nad-Roop is hosting a year-long celebration under which several programmes related to dance will be showcased.


Dancer Shama Bhate

As part of that, there will be a programme on Kasturba Gandhi. Titled Confluence — Peed Parayee Jane Re, the event will delve into the life of Kasturba Gandhi, and her virtues of integrity, courage, wisdom and humanity through Kathak performed to the sounds of Jazz music by Austrian orchestra Unlimited Fields.

Shama Bhate, founder of Nad- Roop said that the dance form of Kathak has evolved with the times. “Classical dance showcases how people feel. For the last two years, we were planning to do this. Towards this end, I read a lot on Kasturba Gandhi. It took a lot of time to understand her and then I collected a lot of important moments from her life and clubbed them into this format.”

She adds that the choreography for the piece has a lot of spontaneity and the sound of Jazz integrated with classical Kathak makes for an interesting combination. “After Gandhiji left for South Africa, his life became global and this transition is interpreted through the space, time and music in this piece,”
she observes.



Music Composer Manfred Weinberger says that working on this project was a challenge: “It gave us an opportunity to work in the interdisciplinary field of music and dance from different cultural backgrounds. Due to previous associations with Shama Bhate, it became possible for us to understand the concept at an artistic level.

He adds that for the event they transcribed the composition of Narendra Bhide and worked on new arrangement for the orchestra. “We have combined highly complex rhythmic structures of Indian music with the harmonic and tonal sensibilities of Western European music. For most of the musicians from the Austrian orchestra it is their first contact with Indian culture. Such collaborations will definitely change our understanding of music and dance, which is a universal expression of art.”

On November 23, 9.30 pm at Balgandharva Rang Mandir. Entry is free but you must collect free passes from Balgandharva on November 22 and 23; November 25, 6:30pm at Amanora Park Town, Hadapsar.  

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