Look back in ecstasy
As 2006 gets off to a start, G.S. RAJAN speaks to some creative beings about their most memorable experiences in the year gone by
Presenting lecture-demonstrations in interior Uttar Pradesh through Spic Macay was my most satisfying experience, where I saw the real India Ranjana Gauhar
LIFE IS A SONG (from top) Geeta Chandran with Shovana Narayan, Rama Vaidyanathan, Meeta Pandit, Amaan Ali Bangash, Gaurav Mazumdar
Artists are reputed to be whimsical, wacky, self-absorbed. But they are hard working and full of interesting tales too. Delhi's performing artistes and technical people, who kept the stage lights shining in auditoriums across the city and air dashed round the world too, were busy as always in 2005. Some were taking time off from a hectic schedule of performances to be with family and friends, like Shovana Narayan who dashed off to Vienna for the winter break. Others showed how dedication and sheer grit could bring them back to the stage despite adverse circumstances, like dancers Rajendra Gangani and Rama Vaidyanathan. If Bharatanatyam dancer Geeta Chandran turned author, violin player Anupriya changed her religion. Meanwhile, Odissi exponent Ranjana Gauhar discovered the real India, and Prateek Chaudhury, who identifies himself as a renowned sitar maestro, patted the youth on the back for their increasing interest in classical music. Here is what they had to say:
Sarod player Amaan Ali Bangash
The high point of my year was the release of my album Reincarnation in Mumbai, where my father Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, film stars Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan were present.
Violin player Anupriya
My most satisfying experience in 2005 was the launch of my band, Rain Forest 21.
Odissi exponent Ranjana Gauhar
Presenting lecture-demonstrations in interior Uttar Pradesh through Spic Macay was my most satisfying experience, where I saw the real India.
Bharatanatyam exponent Geeta Chandran
My most satisfying moment in 2005 was having my book released in Delhi by Dr. Karan Singh and in Chennai by Vyjayanthimala Bali.
Gaurav Mazumdar, sitar player
My concert at the Metropolitan Museum in New York was my most memorable moment of 2005.
Guitar player Kamala Shankar and sitar player Rajeev Janardhan
Our most satisfying moment was playing a jugalbandi in Chennai, a concert in tribute to M.S. Subbulakshmi.
Vocalist Meeta Pandit
My most satisfying experience was when I sang a duet with my father, Shri L.K. Pandit, and the most memorable was when Prasar Bharati produced a documentary on me titled "Meeta - Linking a tradition".
Sarangi player Murad Ali
I was most happy when I could organise a three-day festival in Delhi titled Saurang, featuring sarangi players and vocalists. I also presented a special item with 12 sarangis.
Kathak exponent Rajendra Gangani
In 2005, I was immobile due to a road accident. However I used the time to choreograph a special number on terrorism and will premiere it soon.
Light designer Gautam Bhattacharya
My most satisfying experience was designing and executing lights for an Indo-Sri Lankan project, Dashanan, staged at Kamani auditorium.
Bharatanatyam dancer Rama Vaidyanathan
My most satisfying experience was performing in the Monsoon Festival after recovering from major surgery on the knee. The most memorable moment was receiving a standing ovation from the people of Bangalore when I performed for the Bangalore Habba.
Odissi dancer Reela Hota
My most memorable experience in 2005 was when I performed in Dharwad in the presence of the great musician Gangubai Hangal, who sat through my performance and blessed me later.
Kathak dancer Shovana Narayan
My most satisfying experience was choreographing a special piece on a Buddhist theme, `The Sound of Emptiness and Harmony'.
Kuchipudi exponents Jayarama Rao and Vanashree Rao
We performed at the inaugural of the Legends of India festival along with L. Subramaniam and M. Balamurali Krishna.
It was a great moment for us.
Sitar player Prateek Chaudhuri
More and more youth appreciating classical music and understanding its nuances, which has given tradition its due importance, is the most satisfying development of 2005.
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