IIC Winter Festival: SaptGuitar recital and Ramayana tales through Bharatanatyam
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IIC Winter Festival: SaptGuitar recital and Ramayana tales through Bharatanatyam

IIC Winter Festival of Dance and Music was organized by IIC on December 16 and 17

IIC Winter Festival: SaptGuitar recital and Ramayana tales through Bharatanatyam

The India International Centre recently organized its Festival of Dance and Music. The festival was a unique insight into Hindustani classical music and dance. It was an opportunity for lovers and connoisseurs of Hindustani classical music to revel in the best of this form.

Two performances took place on the second day, 17th December 2021 at Deshmukh Auditorium, IIC. Saptguitar recital by Satish Sharma from Gurugram accompanied by Athar Hussain Khan on the tabla. The two-day fetsival concluded with a Bharatnatyam recital by Lakshmi Parthasarathy Athreya from Chennai.

Credit: Supplied

When it comes to Hindustani classical, one simply does not expect to see a guitar. Yet, the results were astounding. The saptguitar was Satish Sharma's innovation to pursue his love for guitar and Hindustani classical. It is the world's first 7-string fretless guitar, made with nylon strings to recreate the Indian ragas. It has a brass fingerboard to create resonance. He developed it with the help of Mr Daniel Zukali, a well-known Luthier from Austria.

Also read | Dastkar - Dive into the art pool of ethnic India

Satish Sharma is a veteran musician based in Gurugram. In his long career, he has composed music for several TV serials and jingles. Satish started to play from a young age and considers his acoustic guitar as his true companion. Singers like Shubha Mudgal, Sunidhi Chauhan, Sonu Nigam, Palash Sen, and KK have featured regularly in his albums. Among his most popular albums are ‘Nachoon Sari-Sari Raat’ with Shubha Mudgal and ‘Sukoon’ with sitar Maestro Shujaat Khan. Currently, he has been performing nationally and internationally with his new creation The Saptguitar.

Credit: Supplied

One could feel the difference between the traditional guitar and the Saptguitar whose sound felt more earthly and raw. Satish Sharma and Athar Hussain Khan performed Indian ragas and melodies. The music of the saptguitar along with the tabla was at once lively and soothing. There was a sense of chemistry between the two musicians who were enjoying themselves. They designed the performance through low and high tempos creating infectious energy. Despite knowing little about Hindustani classical, one could enjoy the music and admire their expertise.

Well-known flutist, Ajay Prasanna was also present at the gathering. The two musicians shared candid moments and memories.

Next, we saw a Bharatnatyam recital by Lakshmi Parthasarathy Athreya from Chennai. Lakshmi, who is a professional dancer, teacher, and scholar of Bharatnatyam performed two stories from the Ramayana, both choreographed by her Guru Chitra Vishweswaram. The first performance was a recital about Anjini’s devotion towards Lord Ram and valour while the second was about Maa Yashoda putting a young Krishna to sleep. Impeccable in both dance and mythological knowledge, Laxmi explained the emotions behind her performances which made it even more interesting.

The India International Centre is a premier non-governmental institute dedicated to the integration and promotion of art, culture and values of humanism. Its calendar of events held throughout the year promotes the exchange of ‘knowledge and amity’  within different communities of the world