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Legends from Agra Gharana to teach varsity students the ropes of tradition

In a first of its kind event, the University of Pune’s (UoP) Lalit Kala Kendra is initiating a departmental-level research project exclusively on Agra Gharana, which is a tradition of Hindustani classical vocal music descended from the Nauhar Bani. The department will be organising a series of workshops and performances starting from February 11, and many veteran singers and musicians from Agra Gharana will be participating in the event.


Deep reasearch: The Lalit Kala Kendra building in the University of Pune. (Inset) HOD Dr  Shubhangi Bahulikar

In order to promote the research in performing arts, UoP Vice-Chancellor Dr W N Gade has sanctioned a grant of Rs 10 lakh.  “It is a general misconception that there is no scope for research in performing arts. However, before becoming a performer, one should have a strong academic base. The proposed project is an attempt in this direction and will open many avenues of research,” Dr Shubhangi Bahulikar, HoD of Lalit Kala Kendra said.

The first day will feature a special singing and tabla concert by Ustad Nisarhusen Khan of Jaypur Gharana, who is well versed in Agra Gharana. On February 12, Pandit Vikas Kashalkar, an accomplished vocalist of Gwalior Gharana, will guide students. Distinguished vocalist Pandit Arun Kashalkar will be interacting with students on the Agra Gharana during a special workshop organised on February 13 and accomplished Agra Gharana singer Pandit Satyashil Deshpande — recipient of Homi Bhabha Scholarship for his work — will be conducting a workshop on February 14.

Pandit Babanrao Haldankar, a senior Agra Gharana vocalists, will conduct an interactive session with students on February 15.  Two students pursuing MAs in music from Lalit Kala Kendra have started their dissertation work on the history and various forms of Agra Gharana. “All these artists are coming in from all over the country to perform during the workshops. We will be documenting everything, which will later be published in a special research magazine,” Bahulikar said.     

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