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One for the soul

Updated on: 05 November,2021 09:15 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Nasrin Modak Siddiqi |

Surrender to a range of emotions and ideas at this multi-lingual musical performance

One for the soul

(From left) Avantika Ganguly, Ketaki Thatte and Jahnvi Shrimankar

What happens when Mumbai theatre’s finest actor-singers come together for a contemporary presentation of music inspired by the bhakti and sufi traditions — it leads to a melodious jugalbandi. Joyous and poignant, the live performance in Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Hindi, Odiya and Punjabi, will feature musical forms such as lok geet, baul sangeet, abhang, ghazal, qawwali, bharud, sugam and thumri. This contemporary rendering of music from the bhakti and sufi traditions not only challenges the mind but also provokes and elevates the soul.

Director Sunil Shanbag tells us that this show was created before the lockdown. He adds, “There were two motivations behind the show. Over the last several years, we have seen many theatre makers use live music on stage, and consequently we have some wonderful actor-singers among us. Many of them work with us at Tamaasha Theatre and we felt we should do an evening of music — with theatre actors singing live. It was as simple as that. The reason we looked at the bhakti tradition in particular was to explore a very powerful social force that has had a deep impact on our society and culture over many hundred years. The bhakti movement was reformist — it was inclusive, strongly opposed to the caste system and rituals, and believed in a personal god who was not to be feared, but rather to be loved. Unfortunately, what we see as Hinduism today is a narrow, two-dimensional imagination, and it is important for us to know the other traditions that exist within the religion.” 

The performers include Jahnvi Shrimankar, Ketaki Thatte, Avantika Ganguly, and Kailash Waghmare while the musicians are Rohit Das, Tushar Kadam, and Yashashree Ucchil. Shanbag says, “Anyone who enjoys the energy and joyousness of live music sung with verve, expression, and passion must come.”

On November 6, 6 pm and 8 pm
At Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu 
Cost Rs 400
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