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Revving up the raas leela

This evening, celebrate the eternal romance of Radha and Krishna through a dance, music and poetry spectacle

What's common between a Kathak dancer, a Hindustani vocalist and the music composer of the cult comedy, Andaz Apna Apna? This evening, the three artistes will collaborate to celebrate the eternal story of Radha-Krishna in a concert titled Gaur Baran Radhika (that translates as fair-skinned Radha). Presented by Swardhara Events, the narrative of the two-hour-long concert features solo and group performances on roughly 12 poems in musical forms like Dhrupad, Khayal, Thumri, Tarana, Sargam, Bhajan and Kajri.

Kathak dancer Shambhavi Dandekar (left) with her troupe
Kathak dancer Shambhavi Dandekar (left) with her troupe

Writer, sitarist and music composer Tushar Bhatia has created the soundtrack, and he will perform with a live ensemble comprising tabla, flute, harmonium and keyboards. Bhatia has also penned the lyrics of some of the poems. Vocalist Aditi Kaikini Upadhya, who received music training from her father Pandit Dinkar Kaikini (Agra Gharana) and Shobha Gurtu, known for her mastery of Dadra, Thumri and Hori, will croon the poems.

Music composer Tushar Bhatia
Music composer Tushar Bhatia

Click here to read the review of Tushar Bhatia's album East Blends West: Greatest Oldies

"Tushar (my cousin) and Aditi had performed the poetry as a musical concert some years ago. Since the verses celebrate romance and are emotional, we decided to incorporate the element of dance as well. Plus, we wanted to introduce the younger generation to our rich culture and heritage in an appealing format, hence a combination of dance, music and poetry," shares Brinda Shankar of Swardhara Events, who roped in Kathak dancer Shambhavi Dandekar, the daughter of the acclaimed Kathak danseuse Maneesha Sathe, for the concert.

Along with her solos, Dandekar has also choreographed group pieces that will be showcased by students of her Kathak academy. "Each piece has been specifically choreographed for the show, so you won't find traditional or set movements that are often seen when a dancer performs her guru's pieces," shares Shankar, who sought to a crowdfunding campaign on Ketto.org to meet the expenses of the song-and-dance spectacle.

On: Today, 7 pm to 9.30 pm
At: Sophia Bhabha Auditorium, Breach Candy. 
Log on to: www.bookmyshow.com

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