Bhava Yatra is an inspiring journey into the depths of emotions, feelings and divinity through Hindustani Classical music, where melody, rhythm and song blend with the traditional art of storytelling.
The core idea for Bhava Yatra is a shloka from the Bhagavad Gita in which Lord Krishna says that He will fulfill us in whichever way we seek Him. With this simple spiritual insight, Bhava Yatra journeys through three emotions or rasas; three shades of love – vatsalya (parental love), sakhya (friendship) and madhurya (romance). In this journey of exploration, we ride the waves of emotion through music and our chosen motif – Krishna.
Narration by a sutradhaar ties together this rendition of classical compositions including Dhrupad, Dhamar, Khayal, Thumri and Bhajan. Of the 12 compositions, 9 are by the renowned late Pt. Dinkar Kaikini.
Raag Katha tells the story of the founding concept of Indian classical music – the Raag. This story traces the journey of the Raag from its origins in Vedic chanting to its contemporary manifestations in Bollywood film songs. Weaving together song with story-telling, Raag Katha present glimpses and insights into the origin and evolution of India’s many musical styles.
The Raag has flowed into a myriad tributaries; it has multiplied into a many-splendoured thing and resonated today not only in Dhrupad, Dhamaar, Khayal and Thumri but also in Dadra, Kajri, Tappa, Ghazal, Bhajan, Pop, fusion music and Bollywood film songs. However, the core and the essential spirit of the Raag is unchanged. This unbroken line, this Sutra, this thread of continuity that traverses two thousand five hundred years, in this lies the story of our Raag. This is our Raag Katha.
“Pratha” highlights three musical genres – Dhrupad, Khayal and Tarana, each of which is presented through a unique tradition.
Dhrupad is presented through the Dagar bani, the wondrous lineage of the Dagars, gurus to the Gundecha brothers. We had the good fortune to learn these Dhrupad compositions from the Gundecha Bandhu when we visited their Gurukul in Bhopal.
The soulful Khayal compositions of Pt. Dinkar Kaikini of the Agra Gharana have been received in Sunaad through his daughter and disciple Aditi Upadhya, a founder teacher of Sunaad.
Lalit J. Rao, taught us the Taranas that she received from her guru, Ustad Khadim Hussain Khan of the Agra Gharana.
Raga Sarita is based on a Raga Samay Chakra Malika, which is a bandhish comprising 22 Ragas. Composed by Smt. Kumudini Katdare, disciple of Mogubai Khurdikar and Kamal Tambe, this bandhish represents Ragas as they are arranged in sequence according to the time of day. This placement subscribes to the theory in Hindustani classical music that each Raga is most appropriately sung at a specific time in the 24 hours of a day. Each line of the composition is set to a cycle of 16 beats, contains lyrics that describe a Raga and represents the typical movement of that Raga.
Leading with the names of 22 Ragas, one in each line of the composition, we will present a Khayal, Tarana, Dhrupad, Varnam or Keertanam in each Raga, followed by a film song in Hindi, Tamil or Kannada that you must have heard somewhere, some time, but not quite realised that it was set in Raga Hamir or Shuddha Sarang!
The Katha’s timeless tale is a dialogue between Yama the god of Death, and Nachiketa, a committed teenager seeking the truth. This dialogue between the ‘ideal teacher’ and the ‘ideal student’ has deep and yet immediately meaningful lessons for all of us, in our everyday lives.
Dhrupad, one of the oldest traditions within Hindustani classical music, stresses on the purity of the note – swara – to showcase the pristine beauty of our ragas.
This show makes the philosophy of the Katha Upanishad and Dhrupad music accessible to contemporary audiences.
Isha Rumi Beyond Form
“Let go and rejoice! Whose wealth is it anyway?” Isha Rumi Beyond Form is a theatrical juxtaposition of the Ishavasya Upanishad and the Masnavi of Jalaluddin Rumi, sung in the Dhrupad style of music.
How do we evolve, living in our present everyday lives immersed in sensory experiences, to that other dimension of being which is beyond the material and holds the promise of everlasting joy?
“So’ham asmi”…”He am I”…”Anal haq”…”I am Truth” marks the end of an individual’s journey to the egolessness of surrender.