This article was originally printed (with just 2 photos) in the October 2014 (Diwali) edition of Brisbane Indian Times. For more photos please visit our Facebook album.
Sangeet Mela 2014 Report
“Actually that was the first time I’ve been to a classical concert, and I really enjoyed it. I’m much more interested in my tabla practice and seeing more concerts now.” (18 year old tabla student”
“I think the Indian community were sceptical about what kind of event it would be and didn’t turn up, but now that we know just how good a classical Sangeet Mela can be I promise I will bring lots of friends next year.”
“Thanks and congratulations for organizing such a beautiful event!!”
These are some quotes from attendees of the inaugural Brisbane North Indian Classical Music and Dance Festival, Sangeet Mela 2014. It was artistically a magnificent event but unfortunately the audience did not reflect the quality of the performances.
Ku Lillian Warrum (Odissi dance – Melbourne)
Ku Anjuha Ketheeswaran (sitar – Rising Star Award winner) accompanied by Sri Shen Flindell (tabla)
Sangeet Mela 2014 opened in the early afternoon with a beautiful Odissi dance performance by Lillian Warrum from Melbourne. The opening session also included performances by young artists receiving the Sangeet Premi Rising Star Awards. Anjuha Ketheeswaran presented Raga Madhuvanti on sitar; Rising Star runner-up in the vocal category Eman Rawi presented a beautiful khayal in Raga Bhimpalassi and showed that he certainly has a bright future; percussion category winner Arka Tito Basu played tabla solo in Jhaptaal and Teentaal. The first session concluded with special guest vocalist from Sydney Dr Vivek Apte, who presented a wide range of compositions in Ragas Miya Malhar and Hameer.
Sri Eman Rawi (vocal – Rising Star Award runner-up) accompanied by Sri Maharshi Raval (tabla – Sydney)
Sri Arka Tito Basu (tabla solo – Rising Star Award winner) accompanied by Sri Joseph Abhay Nand (harmonium) and his guru Sri Shen Flindell (tali)
Dr Vivek Apte (vocal – Sydney) accompanied by Pt Govinda Chakraborty (tabla – Delhi), Sri Joseph Abhay Nand (harmonium), and Sri Sangeet Mishra (sarangi – Mumbai)
The late afternoon session opened with Rising Star dance award winner, Ku. Helena Joshi, with live accompaniment by Shen Flindell (tabla) and several other notable local musicians. It was indeed a very impressive performance and the highlight of the Rising Star Award performances on the day. The final Rising Star Award performance was presented by young vocalist Senjuti Maitra who sang a Khayal on Raga Desh followed by a bhajan. One of day’s highlights followed, with a tabla solo by Pt Govinda Chakraborty of Delhi, followed by duet in Rupak Taal with Shen Flindell. Rahim Zullah sang Raga Behag in sitarkhani teentaal, finishing with tarana in drut teentaal.
Ku. Helena Joshi (Kathak dance – Rising Star Award winner) accompanied by Sri Shen Flindell (tabla), Smt Menaka Visvanathan Thomas (vocal), Sri Joseph Abhay Nand (harmonium), Sri Murali Ramakrishnan (bansuri)
Ku. Senjuti Maitra (vocal – Rising Star Award winner) accompanied by Sri Arka Tito Basu (tabla) and Sri Joseph Abhay Nand (harmonium)
Tabla duet by Pt Govinda Chakraborty (Delhi) with Sri Shen Flindell (accompaniment by Sri Sangeet Mishra, sarangi – Mumbai)
Sri Rahim Zullah (vocal) accompanied by Sri Maharshi Raval (tabla – Sydney), Sri Joseph Abhay Nand (harmonium) and Sri Sangeet Mishra (sarangi – Mumbai)
The evening session was worth the ticket price alone, opening with Kathak dance by Darshana Hingu, starting from Raga Shankara in Rudra Taal, followed by Teentaal and finally a Thumri. The Kathak dance performances with live accompaniment were very popular with the audience. Nothing quite matches the excitement of dancer’s movements in synchrony with live tabla and vocal.
Smt Darshana Hingu accompanied by Sri Shen Flindell (tabla), Dr Mansey Kinarivala (vocal), Sri Joseph Abhay Nand (harmonium), and Sri Murali Ramakrishnan (bansuri)
Saikat Bhattacharya performed a heavenly Raga Bageshree with tabla accompaniment by Maharshi Raval (Sydney), and finally came the genuine grande finale, sarangi solo by 8thgeneration master Sangeet Mishra accompanied by Pt Govinda Chakraborty on tabla, who both entranced and dazzled the music lovers in attendance with Raga Charukeshi and Mirzapur Kajri.
Sri Saikat Bhattacharya (sitar) accompanied by Sri Maharshi Raval (tabla – Sydney)
Pt Govinda Chakraborty (tabla – Delhi)
Sri Sangeet Mishra (sarangi – Mumbai)
Though the audience was smaller than expected, the passion shown by all in attendance demonstrated that there is a place for Indian classical culture in Brisbane, and the organisers have high hopes that Sangeet Mela will become a successful annual event not just attracting audiences from our local region by from all around the country.
End of night cast photo