This event draws from Sufism’s mystical and transcendental dimensions. A three-day celebration that comprises lectures, dance, talks and musical concerts by an eclectic grouping of scholars and artistes is a fitting tribute to the myriad shades of Sufi thought that have found expression through diverse art forms and musical genres, spanning continents and cultures.
The festival begins with an illustrated lecture by art historian Dr. B.N. Goswamy. Titled “From Quest to Astonishment and then Nothingness: Sufis As Seen by the Indian Painter”, the lecture is presented in association with the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai.
Leading Bharatanatyam dancer Malavika Sarukkai will present “Love, Longing and Transcendence: In Search for the Spiritual” on the essential themes of Sufi thought. Beginning with abstract dance, the piece moves on to a rendering of Amir Khusrau’s poetry by Shubha Mudgal (pre-recorded soundtracks).
On the second day, a documentary — The Heritage of Amir Khusrau by Yousuf Saeed, a Delhi-based independent filmmaker — will explore the poetic and musical heritage of India’s 14th century Sufi poet-composer Amir Khusrau Dehlavi. It looks at how the legend of Amir Khusrau evolved over centuries not only through his Persian poetry that is known mostly to scholars and historians, but also through his Hindi songs, couplets and music compositions that have been kept alive by musicians and others in north India. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the director.
“Sufism and the Common Man”, a talk by actor Farooque Shaikh, is an attempt to explore Sufism as the mystical dimension of Islam preaching peace, and pluralism from the perspective of lived daily experience. The festival ends with a concert by Sanam Marvi and Group at the Tata Theatre. As a performer of Sufi music from Sindh and Punjab, Sanam Marvi will present Sufiana compositions to create the magic of mystic music from the interiors of Pakistan.
Bottomline: A fitting tribute to the myriad shades of Sufi thought.
Sama’a: The Mystic Ecstasy
Festival of Sufi music
When: November 21, 22 and 23
Where: NCPA, Mumbai