Janmashtami - a celebration through classical music, dance

New Delhi: When classical art forms embrace compositions by saints and poets of diverse faiths, aesthetic appeal of art transforms into a medium to deliver the message of unity, friendship and social harmony.

A confluence of artistic talents gave way to celebrating the plurality of Indian society, reflected in its various religions, faiths, ethnicities and thoughts, at the Janmashtami celebration by the social-service organization, the Guild for Service, at the Indian International Centre here late last evening.

The performance tilted "Religious Harmony through Friendship" to represent the true meaning of friendship in various religions was a musical synergy of heartfelt rendition by classical singer Rene Singh and dance performance by Kathak dancer Shivani Salhotra.

The chapter of Sudama from Krishna's life was put forth as the focal point on the occasion of Janmashtami to epitomize the values of friendship and harmony, in synchronization with the theme of the gathering.

Performance of lyrical compositions of Kabir, Bullah Shah,Smir Khusrau, Meerabai and Nanak, each hailing from different belief systems, in the soul-stirring voice of Rene Singh left the audience enthralled.

The song composed centuries ago by these poets and mystics exploring the theme of devotion, love, longing and desire blended with the theme of friendship being celebrated at the gathering.

The Kathak performance opened with a choreography based on "Sudama Charit" bringing forth the message of friendship. The dancer than performed on Persian compositions during which there was dance movements symbolising the use of flute, touching on the theme of friendship that Krishna has with his favourite musical instrument.

The vivid dance sequence concluded wit the performance in a Amir Khusrau song which was written in mixture of Persian and Braj Bhasa signifying a bond again. The song 'zehaal-e-muskin makunta' sings about the yearning of the devotee for friendship with the cosmic force.

The evening was graced by notable artists and art connoisseurs including Gurcharan Kaur, Shobhana Narayan and Saroja Vaidyanathan among others.

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