The best of Assam in Mumbai

May 15, 2014, 11:00 IST | Soma Das

Get a sneak peek into Assamese culture at the third edition of the Sankaradeva Movement, which will feature dance, music and discussions 

The third edition of the Sankaradeva Movement promises to be a celebration of Assam, and will also highlight the culture of the North East along with other parts of the country. The Sankaradeva Movement was conceptualised in 2012, post the ethnic violence in Kokrajhar, Assam. “Assam was getting negative press about its communal scenario.

The Sattriya dance of Assam performed by dancers Dr Mallika Kandali and Dr Mirnanda Barthakur

This event aims at highlighting Sankaradeva who established the fundamentals of Assamese society, i.e. tolerance and humaneness. We wanted to showcase Assamese culture in the right way and connect with the rest of the country,” shares organiser Shyamkanu Mahanta.

Regional flavours
The day-long event will include a discussion on the relevance of Sankaradeva in modern India featuring Vaishnav scholars like Dr Sunil Kothari, Governor of Assam JB Patnaik, police officer Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta and actor Adil Hussain. Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and actor Victor Banerjee have been chosen as brand ambassadors of the event.

(Above and below) A Sattriya performance where dancers enact a tale of Lord Krishna and Yashoda

In the evening, a cultural programme will showcase the best of Assam. Watch the dance drama, Chordhora Jhumura by top Assamese actresses Barasharani Bishaya, Tanvi Sarma and Madhurima Choudhury under Dr Nirupoma Mahanta’s direction. This will be the first time that this form will be staged in Mumbai.

“It is a unique creation by Sankaradeva’s disciple Madhabdeva and was created in the 16th century. It is akin to Broadway theatre wherein the Sutradhar narrates the story of Lord Krishna stealing butter from the Gopi’s house. It will be enacted by the performers through dance and dialogue,” adds Mahanta.

North Eastern vibe
Later, Naga Folk singer Guru Reuban Masangva will perform Fusion music with Kalpana Patowary. The event will also see Marathi singer Ashwini Bhide Deshpande and Bhajan singer Anup Jalota perform Borgeet, which will be hosted by TV presenter Siddharth Kak. Ustad Amjad Ali Khan will give a sarod tribute to Sankaradeva followed by Bihu melodies in violin by Sunita Khaund Bhuyan, and a performance by Zubin Garg. Assamese singer Khagen Mahanta will also be felicitated for his contribution towards Assamese culture.

Mahanta sums up the message behind the festival: “In the 16th century, Sankaradeva created the fundamentals of Assamese society where Bharatbarsha (united India) was mentioned first. Keeping in mind the region’s strategic importance to India (98% of India’s boundaries with foreign countries like China, Myanmar and Bangladesh, are in the region), Sankaradeva’s contribution to nation-building is immense and we want to highlight that.”

On May 18, 11 am onwards
At Little Theatre and Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point.
Call 22824567

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