All-women concert Music

All-women concert: It is girl power at its best

Savani Talwalkar

Savani Talwalkar   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

Three women get together to herald the month of March with a memorable show

Instrumental concerts are rare in the city. An all-women concert is even rarer. The month of March celebrates ‘girl power’ as three young women instrumentalists come together for a unique concert at Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) in Madhapur this weekend. Organised by ArtHub, the classical concert features a jugalbandi between sisters Sanskrati Wahane (sitar), Prakrati Wahane (santoor) and Savani Talwalkar on tabla.

Sanskriti and Prakrati take women empowerment a notch higher. At a time, when artistes taking up playing the classical instruments like sitar and santoor is on the decline, the sisters carved a niche and are proud of their musical choice. Trained by their father sitar player Lokesh Wahane, the duo perform solo but are mostly known for their musical jugalbandis on stage. Prakrati was nine when she heard the sounds of santoor and sarod but was drawn to santoor because of its unique sound. She says, “Ever since pandit Shivkumar Sharma brought it to classical music, the instrument has kindled interest even among youngsters. Now we also have women playing it.” Calling the Hyderabad show an opportunity for three young women to showcase their musical abilities, she says. “We promise to come out in flying colours.”

Instrumental in many ways

    It is a proud moment for Sanskriti as she joins her sister on stage. “We celebrate women in the month of March and it’s special that we perform on this big stage and carry forward the tradition.” She equals her right hand as an engine which helps in sitar play. “Women need power and techniques to pluck strings on sitar through their right hand index finger and also hold the instrument tight. The left hand has many cuts and only through practice one learns to bear the pain and master the techniques,” she adds.

    One question that Savani Talwalkar is routinely asked is the pain felt in her fingers after a tabla play. “I just laugh at those comments. People assume a woman tabla player experiences more pain than male tabla players,” she says. Savani was five when she gave her first concert for her grandfather’s birthday and since then it has been an exciting journey in tabla. She started when there were a few women tabla players in the music circuit. “In urban areas, the audience is used to women percussionists. but in towns and districts, the crowd is curious,” she says, and adds, “One of the limitations was in physical strength. Some women feel they lack that muscle power but that is not true. With practice one can do anything and the situation is changing with many young girls making a mark as percussionists.” Savani has been part of Sakhi, an all-women ensemble since its inception and travelled to many countries.

    (An evening of Indian classical music by ArtHub at Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT), Madhapur on March 1, 6.30 pm onwards; Entry free. Call: 9100 771 888)

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    Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 6:37:56 PM |

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