Jahnavi Harrison

London Beckons Indian Ragas – Darbar 2014 opening concert

Debahsish Bhattacharya
Image Source: 
Courtesy Southbank Centre
Thu, 2014-09-18 18:30

London Beckons Indian Ragas

Purcell Room

Thursday 18 September 2014

Bharat Bushan Goswami: sarangi | Prabhu Edouard: tabla

Debashish Bhattacharya: sarod | Subhankar Banerjee: tabla

Photo: Debashish Bhattacharya | Courtesy Southbank Centre

Reviewed by Jahnavi Harrison


Shiva Shakti by David de Souza (800x533).jpg
Image Source: 
David De Souza

Shiva-Shakti- Daksha Seth Co
QEH South Bank, London
Reviewed by Jahnavi Harrison

Fri, 2013-04-19

It all sounded so promising in the programme. ‘Visually spectacular’ aerial choreography, ‘stunning’ circus work, live percussion, all by ‘some of India’s most talented performers’. Daksha Sheth Company’s production of Shiva Shakti has toured all over the world and the 900 seats of the Queen Elizabeth Hall were mostly full in anticipation. 


Susheela Raman, Alchemy Festival

Susheela RFH-121forweb.jpg
Image Source: 
Simon Richardson
Wed, 2013-04-10

This time last year, Susheela Raman played to a full house at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. The audience that thronged the considerably larger Royal Festival Hall last night was undeniable proof that her profile is ever rising. Southbank Artistic Director Jude Kelly spoke at the beginning of the concert about the aspiration that Alchemy present not just the best artists from the South Asian subcontinent, but provide a fertile environment for them to interact with the British public, as well as the diverse wealth of homegrown artists.

Preview: Artist Profile on Vidhya Subramaniam

Credit: S. Anwar

Image Credit: S. Anwar 

Celebrated bharatanatyam exponent, Vidya Subramaniam,is in the UK to give two consecutive performances: Bhavan, London (7th) and Capstone, Liverpool (8th December).  Making her life as a dancer in California, after her move from Chennai, Subramaniam tells Jahnavi Harrison how it at all began.

Most bharatanatyam teachers in suburban America have long since abandoned a performance career. The pressures of family life and the still relative dearth of regular performance opportunities make teaching the children of the Indian diaspora a much more financially viable option. Vidhya Subramaniam is far from average. Both a teacher, choreographer, dancer, scholar and actress, she shows no sign of slowing down.

Unveiling Afternoon Ragas: Prattyush Banerjee

Image Credit: Courtesy of the Artist

Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre
As part of Darbar Festival 2012
Image Credit: Courtesy of the Artist  

Sun, 2012-09-30

Darbar founder, Sandeep Virdee has been outspoken in his desire to present lesser known talents each year. ‘Unveiling Afternoon Ragas’ was hardly the most exciting title of this final day afternoon session, but what ensued definitely was. Hailing from Kolkata, sarod maestro Prattyush Banerjee stood at the entrance of the auditorium, gently greeting audience members. Though relatively young, his reputation seemed to precede him. The hall was packed out, including an encouraging front row of senior musicians like Ustad Dharambir Singh and Pt. Swapan Chauduri.

Double Bill: Pulsating Surshingar and Violin maestros - Joydeep Ghosh and the Mysore Brothers

Image Credit: Arnhel de Serra

Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre
As part of Darbar Festival 2012 
Image Credit: Arnhel de Serra 


Thu, 2012-09-27

Darbar’s reputation as the most diverse, high quality Indian music festival outside of India, was upheld with its cracking first night. After a late start, Joydeep Ghosh took to the stage. He is not a big name, and his hefty instrument, the sursringar, is even less known. Tuning took quite some time, and the mixed audience shifted in their seats a little, but once he really started playing, all were captivated. The sursringar is the older brother of the sarod, and has not often heard rich bass tones that are reminiscent of Japanese stringed instruments like the junanagen.

Raghu Dixit Project

Credit: Courtesy of the Artist


Raghu Dixit Project, Bellowhead and Gauri Sharma Tripathi
Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre 


Wed, 2012-04-18

The Raghu Dixit Project is creating quite a buzz. It’s not hard to see why. Blending sunny Beach Boys guitars and folk rock, these four bearded Bangaloreans in skirts and anklebells tackle their set with wise-cracking charm. They sing in a feast of languages - at one point frontman Dixit actually manages with gentle coaxing and a winning smile to get the diverse audience singing in Kannada - no small feat!

Sachal Jazz Ensemble

Credit: Courtesy of the Artist


Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre
As part of Alchemy Festival 2012


Tue, 2012-04-17
A packed house gathered last night for Sachal Jazz Ensemble’s first ever performance outside of their native Pakistan. It was clearly a momentous occasion for all involved. Surveying the tiers of faces in the hushed Queen Elizabeth Hall, Izzat Majeed, one of the two musical directors of the group spoke with emotion, “You just have no idea how thrilled and happy we are to be here.”
The group’s unique take on old jazz standards has come to world attention through YouTube videos and a well received studio album.

Darbar, Day 4, Kadri Gopalnath and Dhrupad of Tagore

Image Source: 
Shobanar, Flickr.com

Darbar, Day 4, Kadri Gopalnath and Dhrupad of Tagore
King’s Place, London
Reviewed by Jahnavi Harrison

Sun, 2011-04-24

The last day of the Darbar festival dawned with a concert by Kadri Gopalnath - perhaps the most famous saxophone player in India. As expected of Easter Sunday morning,  the audience was small, but it didn’t seem to matter to the musicians - a hugely talented line up of Jyotsna Srikanth (violin), Bangalore Praveen Rao (mridangam) and RN Prakash (ghatam).

Darbar, Day 2 Vocal Traditions

Image Source: 
Courtesy Darbar

Sameehan Kashalkar and Unnikrishnan

Fri, 2011-04-22

Showcasing the rich and varied traditions of Hindustani and Carnatic vocal music, this double bill began with Sameehan Kashalkar, son of the celebrated Pt Ulhas Kashalkar - who sat proudly in the front row. The start was delayed for quite some time as the two tanpuras and tablas were tuned, all to a continuous, booming drone from the harmonium. An Irish man next to me with only a little previous experience of Indian music, questioned aloud whether this was a necessary part of the tradition - couldn’t they just do it before the audience come in?

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