Indian heritage will be on stage at this two-day music festival

26 November,2022 08:36 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Suprita Mitter

A two-day musical event will celebrate eclectic living traditions from across India along with collaborations with international artistes

The line-up of the two-day festival includes chants by Buddhist monks

Have you heard of Gondhal, a traditional Maharashtrian folk form? "Eighty-one-year-old Narayan Ji Dhongade will be performing this art form at a Mumbai venue as part of the festival. He has dedicated his life to this form. His 13-year-old granddaughter, Vaishali Dhongade, plays the sambal, a musical instrument that is usually played only by men. There*s also Bhiklya Ladkya Dhinda, one of the last surviving tarpa players from Walvanda in Jawhar, Maharashtra. The tarpa - a haunting wind instrument - isn*t used for solo performances but is very powerful. It*s a bit like the nad from Rajasthan," explains Nandini Mahesh, director, Banyan Tree Events that is organising Ruhaniyat, a two-day musical event that will feature such unique performances.

"When artists who live in remote parts of India find appreciation in metros like Mumbai, it fills them with so much pride for their respective instruments. Our heritage is powerful, and it needs to be brought to the forefront," she adds.

Qawwali by Lakhwinder Wadali

In its 22nd edition, the festival endeavours to preserve the existence of such rarely chronicled performing art forms. The star-studded line-up includes Buddhist chants by Tibetan monks, sounds from Kerala by Suchithra Balasubramanian, Sufi renditions from veteran artists such as Kachra Khan and Mir Mukhtiyar Ali, Khasi music by Elisheba, and qawwali performances by Chand Nizami group and Lakhwinder Wadali. "In 1995, we presented the Wadali Brothers in Mumbai for the first time. It*s been such a long association and it*s a great feeling to see the second generation also excel in the craft," shares Mahesh. The festival will include performances by international artistes like Nathalie Schaap from The Netherlands and Dawda Jobarteh from Gambia, too.

"One of our most interesting curations is Rumi-Emre Meet Khusrau Kabir - an Indo-Turkish production with Latif Bolat, Madan Gopal Singh and Chaar Yaar. We have presented this for a couple of years and have also taken it to Istanbul, Norway and The Netherlands. It has always received great appreciation," reveals Mahesh.

Kachra Khan

Beginning in Mumbai, Ruhaniyat will also travel to Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Pune in the coming months. The festival is presented at unique venues across these cities. In Mumbai, it will be held on CSMVS* sprawling lawns. Chennai has rustic stables surrounding an open-air arena while in Hyderabad, the festival unfolds at the Taramati Baradari, an amphitheatre with the ancient monument as the backdrop. The finale in Pune takes place at the botanical garden where the audience and performers are surrounded by 17 ancient banyan trees.

On: November 26 and 27; 6.15 pm onwards
At: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, 159-161, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Fort
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Cost: Rs 750

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