These female percussionists are the first women to play their instrument in India

Updated: Dec 15, 2016, 09:57 IST | Dipanjan Sinha |

Watch women pioneers create magic with their percussion instrument of choice

Rimpa Shiva
Rimpa Shiva

"If you Google the best percussionists in India, you will not even find one woman in the whole list. However, there are many percussionists all over the world who are women, and some of them have really made it big," says Aditya Prabhu, curator of the concert series, Women Of Rhythm, whose Mumbai chapter will be presented today.

Shiksha Bali
Shiksha Bali

Prabhu continues that globally, there are many women who are picking up the drum kit but unfortunately in India, the progress has been very slow. "In India, we have greater classical orientation. And in our classical music, most of the rhythm players were male for a very long time because the Indian percussion instruments are very robust. The gurus perceived women’s fingers to be nimble and didn’t encourage them to take up percussion instruments," he says.

Sukkanya Ramagopal
Sukkanya Ramagopal

But the scenario is changing which, he says, the event will be a testimony to. One of the pioneers of this change, Anuradha Pal, who started the first Indian classical all-women band in 1996, will be performing today. Pal says that to have an event like this is to come full circle. "This initiative drives home the point that the country has brilliant women percussionists. We are still far from claiming equal space, which is evident if you look at any musical festival in India" she says.

Anuradha Pal
Anuradha Pal 

Apart from Pal on the tabla, other artistes performing today include Dandamudi Summathi Rammohan Rao (mridamgam), Sukkanya Ramgopal (ghatam), Chitrangana Agle Reshwal (pakhawaj), Rimpa Siva (tabla) and Shiksha Bali (drums). Four of these artistes, Rao, Ramgopal, Reshwal and Pal, are the first women to play their instrument in the country. Pal says that though they though have all performed together, she looks forward to their coming together each time.

ON: Today, 7.30 pm
AT: YB Chavan Auditorium, Nariman Point. COST Rs 300 
LOG ON TO: meraevents.com

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