Kabir unplugged

Jan 08, 2014, 07:57 IST | Ruchika Kher

In its fourth year, The Kabir Festival will bring forth the poetry of 15th century mystic Kabir as well as of other Indian Sufi and Bhakti saints through mystic songs, classical dance, storytelling and films. With 26 events panning 18 venues, it hopes to spread the message of love across the city

“The voices of Kabir and other poet-saints from the Sufi and Bhakti traditions call us to listen to our inner voice, to recognise the manifestation of the divine in all mankind and to reach out joyously to all, in the spirit of universal brotherhood,” states Falguni Desai, organiser of The Kabir Festival while throwing light on this unique event.

Baul singer from West Bangal, Parvathy Baul

The festival that starts today, is organised with Shabdam, an NGO dedicated towards promoting Indian culture through music, art, literature and other related art forms. Also, it seeks to erase the boundaries of faith, geographical origins, wealth and power through the message of Kabir and other saint poets.

Kabir singer Mooralala Marwada 

“Kabir has only taught to spread love, which is an important facet that our children need to learn. Such festivals help in this pursuit, and also spread awareness about our art and culture,” maintains Kiran Bajaj, president, Shabdam.

Kathak dancer Sanjukta Wagh 

What’s new?
» A segment on Hazrat Amir Khusrau, which includes a musical narrative, the result of a collaboration between storyteller and Dastango Ankit Chadha of New Delhi and Classically-trained vocalists, Bindhu Malini of Bengaluru and Chennai’s Vedanth Bharadwaj; A talk on the worldly and Sufi wisdom in the poetry of Amir Khusrau by Dr Sunil Sharma, associate professor, Persianate and Comparative Literature, Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature at Boston University, and screening of documentary, The Heritage of Amir Khusrau, directed by Yousuf Saeed and Iffat Fatima. 

Kabir singer Padmashri Prahlad Singh Tipaniya 

» The Mystics through Classical Dance, Rama Vaidyananathan will bring alive the poetry of Janabai and Lal Ded through Bharatanatyam, Mad and Divine. Sanjukta Wagh with Hindustani Vocalist Makrand Deshpande and percussionist Satish Krishnamurthy will present “Ubha Vitewari”, exploring voices from the Varkari Sampradayaa.

Vedanth Bharadwaj will be in performance

» Documentary films on mystic poets and traditions, Mann Faqueeri directed by MK Raina on Sufi Music in Kashmir (a film on Sufism / Sufi Music in Kashmir), Achin Pakhi by Bangladeshi director, Tanvir Mokkamel (A film about Lalon Fakir and Bauls), Do Din Ka Mela Directed by Anjali Monteiro and KP Jayasankar (A film about Mooralala Marwada, a Kutchi folk singer of Kabir, Meera and Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai).

» Padmashri Prahlad Singh Tipaniya (Kabir singer of the Malwi Folk tradition)

» Mooralala Marwada (Kabir singer of the Kutch Folk tradition)

» Bhanwri Devi (Folk singer from Churu, Rajasthan presenting Kabir and Meerabai’s poetry) Parvathy Baul and Lakshman Das Baul (Baul singers from West Bengal)

» Ankit Chadha (Storyteller, Dastangoi presenting a narrative on Hazrat Amir Khusrau)

» Bindhu Malini and Vedanth Bharadwaj (Carnatic and Hindustani Classical vocalists) Sanjukta Wagh (Kathak dancer showcasing the works of the Warkari poets, Maharashtra)

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