We will announce any upcoming workshops here.
Art of the Tawaif Workshop
The Kathak Ensemble & Friends / CARAVAN, Inc. in association with Sangeet Millennium
presented a participatory workshop for vocalists & dancers taught by
Padmashri Rita Ganguly
assisted by Meghna Kothari with Narendra Budhkar, tabla Amir Khan, sarangi
Sunday, November 9, 2014 @ 440 Studios, 440 Lafayette Street, NYC
Padmashri Dr. Rita Ganguly’s trip to the United States coincided with the 30th anniversary of a ground-breaking, five-day conference she organized in India in September 1984. Entitled WOMEN MUSIC MAKERS OF INDIA, it featured performances by seventy-five surviving Tawaifs. Celebrating Dr. Ganguly’s extensive research and documentation of the art of the tawaif, the Society of Ethnomusicology invited her to read a paper at their 2014 conference in Pittsburgh.
Dr. Ganguly taught workshop participants Tum aao to sahi, a ghazal written by the modern female poet Padmashri Mumtaz Mirza. Using the literal and figurative meanings of the words as springboards for gesture, Dr. Ganguly coached workshop participants to interpret poetry from the mushaira and mehfil.
I’ll place you in my heart – come; I’ll hide you from the world – come
The road is dark and the destination far – come.
You’re unfaithful, you’re cruel, your job is inflicting pain – I’ll make you god – just come.
Differences will be sorted out slowly – whatever may be the way, we’ll work it out
you just come.
Tum to aao sahi by Padmashri Mumtaz Mirza
Kathak Master classes
Taught by Padmabhushan Smt. Kumudini Lakhia
Assisted by Prashant Shah with Pt. Ramesh Misra, sarangi and Narendra Budhkar, tabla
Friday-Saturday-Sunday, March 1-2-3 @ 440 Studios, 440 Lafayette Street, NYC
Each day featured two sessions, in which Ms. Lakhia taught examples of her innovative choreography based on classical Kathak technique. In the first session a song by the medieval female poet Mira Bai – Bansiwala / The Flute Player – was taught as an example of refined abhinaya within a rhythmic framework. In the second session Kathak compositions from the standard nritta / pure-dance repertoire (thaat & aamad) were re-framed and re-staged with non-standard music by Atul Desai, creating a dance of off-center modernism entitled Vilambit.
Kumudini Lakhia’s workshops were presented by The Kathak Ensemble courtesy of the Swarthmore College Dance Department, whose Associate Professor Dr. Pallabi Chakravorty applied for and facilitated Ms.Lakhia’s residency under the Cornell Visiting Professorship for the 2012-13 academic year.
I told him to come, but he went away – Counting the days (on my fingers) the rubbing erased the lines.
I searched in each and every grove – I searched the entire country.
Because of him, I will become a yogi, wearing god’s clothes.
He sports a peacock crown, a golden dhoti and curly hair
Mira’s lord is the lifter of mountains – Krishna.
Bansiwala by Mira Bai