Music

Tracing the evolution of thumri

EXPLAINING THE NUANCES Pt. Nayan Ghosh with Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty and Ajay Joglekar

EXPLAINING THE NUANCES Pt. Nayan Ghosh with Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty and Ajay Joglekar  

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The National Seminar on thumri dadra and allied forms, held recently in Mumbai, threw light on the form of music which has been denied its rightful place

The ITC-Sangeet Research Academy (SRA) and the Indian Musicological Society (IMS) in collaboration with the Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA), National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) and the Music Forum, organised a National Seminar on Thumri Dadra and allied forms at the NCPA, Mumbai recently. Delivering the keynote address Shekhar Sen, Chairman SNA, expressed his satisfaction and joy on a national level seminar being organised for the first time on a genre of music that was denied its rightful place being classified as a semi-classical form.

Demonstration and dialogue

The two-day seminar divided in different sessions, opened with an introductory session on thumri dadra and allied forms by Vidushi Shruti Sadolikar, Vice Chancellor Bhatkhande (Deemed) University, Lucknow; on the origin, history and evolution of gharanas/styles, the socio cultural context like its association with tawaif, etc. This was followed by demonstration and dialogue conducted by Snehal Majumdar Chairman IMS. Referring to the Chhalikya and Kaishiki Vritti from Bharata Natya Shastra, Shruti cited Abhinava Gupta, Sangeet Samayasara and other treatises on music, the times and patronage of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah to the present scenario. She also demonstrated how thumri/dadra compositions were transformed into the Marathi Natya Sangeet popularising classical music in Maharashtra, reaching the common man.

Sen gave an overview of Poorab Ang by referring to the patronage of the Nawabs and Raja-Maharajas, before he demonstrated a few compositions like the rare one of Amir Khusro, his mother was taught by Ustad Yunus Hussain Khan and the one she learnt from Munishwar Dayal of Gaya where the Urdu couplet was interspersed in between the rendering of the thumri composition. He also screened the recorded video clips of some of the important names like Siddheshwari Devi and Girija Devi.

Proper taleem

Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty gave a beautiful presentation on Punjab/Patiala Ang and also talked about the future, hence taleem or training of this challenging genre that requires the training of classical music from Khayal to Dhrupad to handle intricacies like the avirbhav-tirobhav of different ragas (going from one raga to another, and coming back) to enhance the emotional content of the thumri/dadra compositions and also full command on the rhythmic aspect. He presented his 11-year-old talented student Shrimoyee to prove his point of proper taleem or training.

There was also a session on the artistry of instrumental accompaniment of thumri and allied forms by the versatile artiste and scholar Pandit Nayan Ghosh, who demonstrated the variety of theka and laggi which is played in the concluding segment of thumri/dadra. Right from creating the opening zamin (the opening preface) to udaan and ulat-palat alterations of umpteen types. Artistes of the calibre of Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty was there to sing for him and Ajay Joglekar for the harmonium support, which made this session memorable. Even his gifted son Ishan assisting him on tabla was marvellous.

Nayan also explained the important points about the sarangi support for thumri. He even sang the immortal thumris of old time greats like Ustad Faiyaaz Khan and Waheedan Bai recounting the memories of stalwarts like Ustad Ahmed Jaan Thirakwa. Malini Awasthi was invited to give a presentation on allied forms of thumri like dadra, kajri, chaiti, jhoola, sawan and barahmasa et al which was delayed for some reason and missed by this critic.

Pandit Arvind Parikh had underlined the importance of the concluding session in his welcome address only on the inaugural day. The inaugural session also had the annual awards ceremony where Dr. Ashok Ranade Award went to Piyal Bhattacharya, the ITC-SRA Award to Pt. Tejendra Narayan Majumdar, Music Forum Research Award to Vidushi Shruti Sadolikar, Media Award to Pt. Vijay Shankar Mishra and many more including the Music Forum Award for the prize winners of the AIR competitions who performed at the Godrej Theatre.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 6:25:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/tracing-the-evolution-of-thumri/article22763744.ece

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