Blogs

Visualising a Raag

Blog Writer: 
Ashok Gupta

In a marvellous serene setting in Chennai, Baha ud din Dagar gave a recital where he first played Yaman and then a rarely heard raag these days, Durga.  The listeners were in a trance and only after a few minutes did the applause come.  The concert lasted almost three hours and could have gone on longer. 

Pina for All

Blog Writer: 
Sanjeevini Dutta

On Sunday afternoon, for the second time, I went to see the film Pina, a wonder in 3-D, directed by Wim Wenders (Beauna Vista Social Club, Paris Texas) which had started out as a collaboration between Wenders and the protagonist, German choreographer Pina Bausch and finished sometime after her death six months into the project.

The Art of Critical Writing

Blog Writer: 
Sanjeevini Dutta

I was fortunate to catch at the Guardian Open Weekend, an In-Conversation between the stalwart drama critic Michael Billington and the playwright David Hare, in a role-reversal where the critic had the centre stage. Notable was the generosity of spirit by one of UK's best-known living playwrights to play the second fiddle. The warmth and respect that the two men held for each other was apparent throughout, adding a vibrant atmosphere to the day

Odissi Comes of Age in the UK

Blog Writer: 
Sanjeevini Dutta

The Odissi Ensemble’s premiere of Shades of Love, at the Hat Factory in Luton, represents a high point both for Odissi in the UK and for the form worldwide. What is behind this grand claim you may ask? Well firstly we have five strong and charismatic performers who between them combine the best traditions of three of the four major Odissi gharans: Kelucharan Mahapatra, Deba Prasad and Pankaj Charan Das.

Most difficult is being simple

Blog Writer: 
Ashok Gupta

Rita Ganguly disciple of Begum Akhtar recounts this incident: at the Maharja’s Palace in Benaras after singing for the most part of the evening as Begum Akhtar was leaving she overheard a remark "Now we can listen to some real music, Badi Maina please sing for us". Begum Akhtar was fuming, was the music in which she had worked so hard,  not good enough and, who was this Badi Maina ?

That Other Gharana

Blog Writer: 
Pranav Yajnik

For those of us raised on Kathak in the United Kingdom, the Banaras gharana is a strange, wild creature.  Glimpsed only through clips on the internet, the Caliban of Kathak seems to creep and crawl around the perimeter on the fringes of our known world, never fully seen but at times presenting itself as an 'other' that beguiles as much as it perplexes.  The prevailing style of Kathak in the United Kingdom is Lucknow gharana, regardless of the sub-style the teachers take their training in.

Sanjeevini shares her excitement...Pulse is on the move

Blog Writer: 
Sanjeevini Dutta

It has been a dream to create a Pulse website that is more of a weekly look at South Asian dance and music. This is to cover the gaps between the quarterly magazine, which can feel a long time in our digital age. So with the arrival of our new Pulse assistant editor Lucinda Al-Zoghbi - this is an achievable aim. From now on look-out for the top stories of the forthcoming week plus news articles, reviews and photos that will keep the site refreshed and energised for the viewer.

Gauhar Jaan and the Viceroy

Blog Writer: 
Ashok Gupta

The much sought after thumri vocalist Gauhar Jaan had a difficult time but once she got recognition became a stylish and a very wealthy lady. Those were the days of British India where only the Viceroy was permitted to have a carriage drawn by six horses, and yet Gauhar Jaan would go about the city in her six horse drawn carriage. She was stopped many times and received fines of Rs.1000, which was a lot of money in those days.  Whilst she paid the fines, she continued to use her six horse carriage unrepentantly.

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