Special Correspondent

Bangalore: A flight of “alap” transports a listener to a realm beyond the cares of the workday world. This often overshadows our understanding of musical traditions as products of specific historical and social contexts.

The play Sanchari by Sumathi Murthy tries to place Kalyani raga at once in the elusive world of emotions and in the histories of nations and people.

It is a solo performance that traces the nomadic life of the raga through territories, personalities and emotional upheavals. Directed by A. Mangai, the play will be enacted by Ponni Arasu in Bangalore on Sunday.

The play begins with the different versions of the origin of the raga in medieval Greece, ancient Persia and Arab. It then moves to Indian composers such as Amir Khusrao. The raga assumes a character through an exploration of its every note.

Ms. Murthy, a musician, presents the play to mark the 100th birth anniversary of her legendary guru, the late Ramarao Naik.

Ms. Mangai, who is directing a non-Tamil play for the first time, says: “Through the narrative of Kalyani the play seeks to encounter the process by which borders are created and consolidated. The performance is presented as a solo piece drawing its idiom from different regions and times but firmly conscious of the now and here.”

The play will be staged at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on Racecourse Road at 6.30 p.m.

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