Featured post

ONE PURPOSE | ONE TREND | ONE UMBRELLA | MY WAY OF LIFE IndiaHeritageDesk - Indian Arts & Culture

india heritage, cultural heritage of india, heritage india, heritage hotels, culture heritage of india,  india heritage desk, ihd, socia...

Monday, 26 September 2016

Natak: Theatrical Art of Maharashtra
India’s extensive and rich tradition of theatre dates back to at least 5000 years. The earliest form of the theatre emerged in India was in Sanskrit. It began after the development of Greek and Roman theatre and before the development of theatre in other parts of Asia. The origin of Indian theatre is closely related to ancient rituals and seasonal festivities of the country. Bharat Muni’s Natya Shastra is the earliest and most elaborate piece on dramaturgy written anywhere in the world which holds numerous combined and codified traditions of Dance, Mime and Drama that describes classifications of dramatic acts. No other book of ancient times contains such a thorough study on drama. It is addressed to the playwright, the director and the actor because to Bharat Muni these three were inseparable in the creation of drama.
 Marathi theatre
It is the theatrical art in Marathi language, originating in the Maharashtrian province, and elsewhere with Marathi Diaspora. Beginning in the middle of the 19th century the Marathi theatre was dominated by the playwrights who enriched the stage for about half the century with excellent musical plays known as ‘Sangeet Natak - The Musical Drama’, ‘Tamasha- Plays Featuring Folk Dance’ and ‘Powada- Drama In The Ballad Form’.
In Maharashtra the theatrical activity began in 1843 with Vishnudas Bhave's “Sanglikar Natak Mandali”, which was influenced by the English plays. Vishnudas was an extremely gifted scholar - playwright, director and able organizer. He began staging plays with narrations in verse, the stories of which rooted from Sanskrit mythology and religious literature. Songs and music were the strengths of Bhave's dramas. In 1868, Vinayak Kirti entered the Marathi Theatre with his historical drama "MADHAVRAO PESHWA" which had absolutely no songs or musical recitals; instead the whole drama was acted with dialogues which were totally in prose. Here the Marathi drama branches off in two directions - Prose Plays and Verse Plays. The Marathi Theatre now began its un-interrupted march. This success of the theatrical arts paved way for commercial repertories in Marathi theatre, and subsequently the formation of numerous Natak Companies.
The forward march of the Marathi Theatre, be it professional and non-professional, has been ever progressive and full of constant social and aesthetic awareness. These heights have been scaled due to the glorious efforts of many highly learned playwrights and talented artists. It is difficult to narrate its past in a few words. The share of Marathi Theatre in the development of Indian Theatre has been not only unique but a source of valued inspiration for theatrical arts in other Indian languages. Thus Marathi Theatre has etched a golden chapter in the history of Indian Theatre.
Many outstanding playwrights like Mama Warerkar, Acharya Atre, Vasant Kanetkar, Vidyadhar Gokhale, M. G. Rangnekar, Madhusudan Kalelkar, Shirwadkar and the renowned modernist Vijay Tendulkar, were triumphant in raising the standards of the post-independence Marathi Theatre. And some later playwrights who, with their innovative thoughts tried to give a new dimension to the Marathi Theatre include Jaywant Dalvi, Vinayak Janardhan Keertane, Mahesh Elkunchwar, Prabhodh Thackeray, S.N Navare, Satish Alekar, G.P. Deshpande, Datta Bhagat, Ram Ganesh Gadkari, and Vishnu Das Bhave.
Even today it continues to have marked a presence in the state of Maharashtra with a loyal audience support, when most theatre in other parts of India has had tough time facing the onslaught of cinema and television. The sole reason this art form is still alive today is just because of good writers, innovative directors and an appreciative audience. The craze for theatre and the eagerness to experiment with its content remains untouched. As in Maharashtra it is a tradition and neither the audience nor the playwrights ever look at it as just a medium of entertainment.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Dhwani: Re-establishing the Cult of Kathak

Few people have their heads in the clouds, while there are few who foresee the potential of dreams and put their heart and soul to accomplish them. In 1984 Vaswati Misra, an exponent of Kathak, choreographer, and teacher embarked on the journey to re-establish the cult of Kathak and take it back to its glorious pedestal.
Kathak for her was never a fling but eternal devotion. The sight of her elder sister, Saswati performing Kathak, triggered in her the desire to learn and explore the art form. The bond became stronger when she met and married, Krishna Mohan Misra, the eldest son of Kathak maestro Pandit Shambhu Maharaj and cousin of Pandit Birju Maharaj.
She combined her passion for performance and education to set up an Arts Education Centre, Pandit Shambhu Maharaj Kathak Academy as the educational wing of Dhwani. Receiving recognition from the Government of India, in the form of a salary grant she was finally able to maintain a repertory on a permanent basis.
To ensure that the Indian Performing Arts reach the grassroots level, which is bereaved of the acknowledgment it should have received long ago. Also, she implemented a planned methodology of teaching to alleviate the distress of students who are expected to erase what’s taught earlier and start afresh with the change of Guru. Her choreography based upon ‘dance grammar’ and ‘improvisation’ presents an extremely traditional form of dance in new and exciting ways.
Everybody, irrespective of age, experience, preference or background, is welcome to enrol for General and Certificate Courses of Kathak and Hindustani Classical Music. Also, there are vocational and arts education programs for the less privileged. Live music is an added USP for classical dancers.
Dhwani doesn’t pressurize the students by setting benchmarks, but encourage them to follow their love for dance and work hard to achieve their destination without surrendering to fate. It involves the students and parents alike so that they feel equal passion for arts. Ultimately, the dots get connected and alas! We get a prodigy of artistes.
Being able to make a change and introduce the plurality of culture to our own children will be the accomplishment for the institute.
Situated at Chittaranjan Park, New Delhi

Rejoice this Festive Season with Savour of Maharashtra

The divine existence of Lord Ganesha in the form of idols and sculptures is celebrated throughout India, especially in Maharashtra to mark the birthday ofShiva and Parvati’s son Ganesha, fondly referred as Bappa.
The ten-day fiesta which generally falls in the month of August & September is incomplete without Modak, a traditional Maharashtrian sweet made of jaggery, flour and coconut which has an interesting story in the Padma Purana regarding why Ganesha loves Modak.

Once the Devas offered Shiva and Parvati a divine Modak as they believed that the one who will eat the Modak will become knowledgeable in all scriptures, science and arts. Knowing this Goddess Parvati wanted to present that Modak to her sons, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya. As they were not ready to share it, Parvati decided that the one who will prove the true meaning of sincerity and devotion will get the tempting sweet. On hearing this, LordKartikeya immediately landed on his vehicle and started visiting all the spiritual places, but Ganesha went around Shiva and Parvati and said that no amount of offering is equal to the devotion of one’s parents. Impressed by his answer, Goddess Parvati presented the Modak to Lord Ganesha. This is believed to be the reason for Lord Ganesha’s love for Modak and that is why it is widely offered to Bappa in the form of Prasad.
With the changing taste of today’s generation new flavoured Modaks have been introduced in the market like Dark Chocolate Modak, Dry fruit Modak, Paneer Modak, Coconut Modak, Motichoor Modak, Kesar Modak, Malai Modak, Baklava Modak, Fried Modak among many others. Other than Modak,Nivagrya is another dish which is specially prepared during the UtsavNivagryas are prepared from the leftover flour dough that was made for the Modakcasing. These are less savoury, steamed dumplings mixed with cumin seed powder, green chilly paste, salt, and other flavourings, which are eaten with peanut oil and are quite a delicacy.
On this auspicious celebration, each and every household of Maharashtra prepares traditional food items as most of the Marathi people are big time foodies and firmly believe that the ingredients used in their platter should be rich and spicy.
Listed below are the 5 most popular Maharashtrian dishes to look out for this festive season.
  • Puran Poli– It is a popular Maharashtrian sweet dish made of jaggery, dal, flour & ghee and often prepared on festivals & celebrations.
  • Thalipeeth– Another famous dish from Maharashtra made of millet flour, rice flour, split Bengal gram flour, sorghum flour, split black gram flour and coriander seeds & is generally served with fresh home made butter or ghee.
  • Solkadhi– This curry is prevalent in Konkan region and Goa and is made of coconut milk and kokum. It has nutritional values and is also considered to be an anecdote for acidity.
  • Pithale– This dish comes from rural Maharashtra. Chickpeas flour, onion, garlic cloves, green chillies are the basic ingredients of this curry.
  • Bharli Vangi– Another famous curry dish, stuffed brinjals which are commonly known as bharli vangi in Maharashtra is served with roti or rice.

    Ganesh Chaturthi is not only a wonderful time for devotees of Ganesha but also for the food lovers. Being the most prominent festival in Maharashtra, worshiping Ganeshji in Vinayaka Chaturthi brings good luck and success along with mouth-watering delightful dishes for which the whole country awaits for.