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     Evening Performances
     6:30 to 9:00 pm at Crafts Museum Amphitheatre

saturday 5th march at 6.30 pm

  The Mystic Force of Devi’ a Carnatic vocal recital by Ranjani and Gayatri

 

This evening Ranjani and Gayatri, will explore the many facets and manifestations of Devi through five compositions on Durga or Parvathi, Lakshmi and Saraswati. While each of these goddesses are accomplished and the repositories of beauty, valour, knowledge and wealth, the most intrinsic and essential quality is that of the Mata, or mother, who radiates infinite love for Her children.

 

"These compositions by Puliyur Duraiswami Iyer, Thyagaraja, Muthuswamy Dikshitar and other eminent composers are sung in Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi and extols the virtues of Goddess Parvati (valour), Saraswati (Learning and fine arts), Lakshmi (Wealth) and Devi also personified as Tulasi, or Tulasamma".


Ranjani and Gayatri, are world renowned versatile musicians whose twenty five years of professional experience includes studio recordings, television, radio, concerts, festivals and lecture demonstrations. They started their musical journey as violinists and are equally accomplished in both Vocal and Violin. Perfection of sruti, powerful voice control and uncompromising adherence to tradition and classicism are some of the qualities that describe their music. Above all this, it is the sisters' capacity to deeply experience and enjoy what they sing, that takes their music to a different plane. Their two voices blend and contrast to strike a fine balance between vibrancy and contemplation, intellect and emotion, tradition and innovation. It is this unique combination in their music that appeals to the connoisseur and the lay listener alike. Audiences savour their in-depth Ragam-tanam-Pallavi-s and soul-stirring viruthams, which are special features of their repertoire.

They have performed widely all over India in major festivals and also in the US, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, the Middle East and UK. They have given many thematic concerts and have an extensive repertoire of compositions in many languages including Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi and Marathi. They are the recipients of several prestigious awards and titles.


 

 

saturday 5th march at 8.00 pm
 ‘Saraka’ – Sacrifice

Traditional Griot, Kora and traditional songs and dancing of West Africa by Dafra Accoustics of Burkina Faso


This evenings performance explores some aspects of sacrifice as well as paying tribute to ‘Mami Wati’ the water goddess of many cultures of ancient Africa. Mami Wata is still venerated in West, Central, Southern Africa, and in the African diaspora in the Caribbean and parts of North and South America.          

Mami Wata possesses an inhuman beauty, unnaturally long hair, and a lighter-than-normal complexion. The appearance of her hair ranges from straight, curly to kinky, and either black or blonde. She is often described as a mermaid-like figure, with a woman's upper body (often nude) and the hindquarters of a fish. A large snake (symbol of divinity) frequently accompanies her, wrapping itself around her and laying its head between her breasts. She is a popular subject in the art, fiction, poetry, music, and film of the Caribbean and West and Central Africa. She also figures prominently in the folk art of Africa.

The word Saraka is a derivative of the Arabic ‘Sadakat’ and variations of this word exist in at least 50 languages stretching from West Africa to Sudan. Sacrifices are common in all cultures. Human sacrifices have given way to other animal sacrifices or vegetables (water melons) and the use of wine and bread in Christianity. This evenings performance explores some aspects of sacrifice as well as paying tribute to ‘Mami Wati’ the water goddess of many cultures of ancient Africa. Mami Wata is still venerated in West, Central, Southern Africa, and in the African diaspora in the Caribbean and parts of North and South America.

Mami Wata possesses an inhuman beauty, unnaturally long hair, and a lighter-than-normal complexion. The appearance of her hair ranges from straight, curly to kinky, and either black or blonde. She is often described as a mermaid-like figure, with a woman's upper body (often nude) and the hindquarters of a fish or serpent. A large snake (symbol of divination and divinity) frequently accompanies her, wrapping itself around her and laying its head between her breasts. She is a popular subject in the art, fiction, poetry, music, and film of the Caribbean and West and Central Africa. She also figures prominently in the folk art of Africa.

The function of some of the instruments played today are explained below:

A Djembe ( Jembay) is a skin covered, goblet shaped, hand drum traditionally carved in one single piece from hollowed out hardwood trees. The tradition of Djembe sacred drumming is common to many West African countries including Guinea, Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. Historically, drumming has accompanied various modes of communication, including singing, dancing, story telling and also to send and receive spiritual messages, in healing ceremonies, rites of passage, ancestral worship, warrior rituals, as well as social dances.

A wide range of tones can be produced by the djembe as a result of the goblet shape, the density of the wood, the internal carvings, the metal rings and ropes and the rawhide skin. The base notes are normally played on another drum the ‘dun dun’.

The djembe is said to contain three spirits: the spirit of the tree, the spirit of the animal of which the drum head is made, and the spirit of the instrument maker. It is legend that the djembe and/or the tree from which it is created was a gift from a Djinn or malevolent demigod. It is central to the musical heritage of the Malinke and Sousou tribes of Guinea in West Africa. Its legacy has been preserved throughout the centuries in the praises, lamentations and narrations of a special breed of musicians called "Griot." Travelling thecountryside accompanying themselves on the sacred "cora," a harp like stringed instrument, they give voice to the cultural wisdoms and historical truths of the descendants of Sundiata, the great warrior of the Mali Empire.

A Griot ( Jeli in Many African languages) is a West African poet, praise singer and wandering musician considered a repository of oral tradition. Each family of griots accompanied a family of warrior-kings (jatigi).Most villages also had their own griot, who told tales of births, deaths, marriages, battles, hunts, affairs, and hundreds of other folktales. In Mande society the ‘Jeli’ was a historian, advisor, arbitrator, praise singer and storyteller. Essentially, these musicians were walking history books, preserving their ancient stories and traditions through song. Their inherited spiritual, social, political and musical traditions were passed down through generations.

Dafra Accoustics is a multicultural group performing and teaching a variety of West African styles of Kora, drumming and traditional songs and story telling. They feature for the first time a new young voice from Mali who walked the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival and is lead voice for the Sahel opera, Djeneba Koné from Bamako, Mali, is an outstanding traditional griot singer, storyteller, and dancer.
Dafra Drum will be bringing the high energy of this Griot ancestral tradition, which is part of West African every day life, to the sacred Arts Festival in Delhi.

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