“Shekhinah” The Feminine Attributes of God - A Collaborative musical
performance with , Fernando Perez and Rajasthan rhythms.
Among the Hebrews one
of the traditional names of god is Shekinah and she is seen as the
mother or feminine aspect of God. After the destruction of the
Temple of Solomon in 587 BCE she became the comforting, forgiving
and loving presence the ‘God who dwells within’ offering hope to a
people lost in bitter exile. The Talmud says “They were exiled to
Babylon, the Shekinah within them”. She is referred to as ‘the
glory’, ‘the radiance’, and she was the cloud by day and pillar of
fire by night that led the Israelites through the Sinai wilderness.
She is also closely related to the Sophia tradition in the Old
Testament and the Sophia of the Hellenistic wisdom philosophy.
The concert is a collaboration between Shye Ben-Tzur, an Israeli
composer, Fernando Perez a spanish Flamenco guitarist a group of
Rajasthani musicians (Manganiyars). The performance will fuse
Rajasthan rhythms and western harmonies. After the successful
project Heeyam, where three ancient traditions(Hindu, Islamic &
Judaic) met into one celebration. And after the acclaimed album "Shoshan"
Shye showcases a new live concert.
Shekhinah is vibrating acoustic sacred music experience. With
devotional Sufi poetry in Urdu, Hindi and Hebrew, the live
Celebration crosses all cultures. The musicians are from various
communities - Gypsy and Sufi musicians from Rajasthan, along with
Shye Ben-Tzur is an acclaimed Israeli composer, producer and
performer based in North India for the past decade, playing
Rajasthani rhythms with Western sounds. He is a Hebrew Qawwali
After attending a concert in Israel by the Indian classical
musicians Hari Prasad Chaurasia and Zakir Hussain, he became
interested in Indian music, which brought him into contact with
Qawwali. He went to Ajmer in India, Rajasthan’s most important Sufi
shrine, where he trained and collaborated with the qawwali musicians
His debut album Heeyam (“Supreme Love”) was recorded in India,
Israel, and USA. In this album Shye worked with traditional Sufi
Qawwali singers, who have been learning his compositions and poetry,
and sung them in Hebrew. From his personal life experiences Ben-Tzur
has succeeded to bring his own ancient culture alive into a unique
cross cultural work. Besides working with the Qawwali communities
across India, he has also been collaborating with different folk
musicians from the Rajasthan desert.
Fernando Perez has studied music in Zaragoza, Madrid and Barcelona
in Spain as well as in the US, Jaipur and Egypt. In these centers he
studied classical and contemporary styles as well as harmony,
composition, arrangements, orchestration, ear training, rhythm,
sound engineering and production.
But his interest took him to learn more directly from artists and
their cultures from Hawai’i, Cuba, Jamaica, West Africa, Japan,
South, Central and North America, Spain, France, Ireland to India,
Egypt and Israel.
He has explored guitar's many forms, Spanish classical, acoustic,
electric, resophonic as well as African, Hawaiian, steel, ‘slide’,
flamenco and the hindustani music style.
Haraoba' Merrymaking of Gods & Goddesses
a Manipuri dance recital by Meitei Jagoi
Dating back to over
2000 years, the month long Lai Haraoba festival is celebrated even
today with great enthusiasm. The unique feature of this pre-Vaishnavite
festival is that all the rituals are performed through dance.
Maibis or the priestesses take the leading role of conducting the
festival with ritualistic dances. A Maibi gets into a trance while
dancing and becomes a messenger of the sylvan deity she worships.
She invokes the spirit of the deity from the river and places it in
the temple of worship.
As a messenger of the deity Maibi describes the creation of earth
from the navel of the almighty God and subsequently she describes
through dance, the creation of the different aspects of the earth –
the four directions, five elements, creation of living and human
beings and other essentials like harvesting, house building and
Seeing this ritual the sylvan deities, Lairembi-Ibudhou Thangjing,
Panthoibi-Nongpokningthou and hundreds of other deities dance in
Meitei Jagoi, Devjani Chaliha’s troupe of Manipuri dancers is a part
of her institution of the same name which was established with the
blessings of her Guru Maisnam Amubi Singh in 1971.
Over the years Meitei Jagoi has performed in prestigious festivals
like the Uday Shankar festival in Kolkata, Konark festival in
Bhubaneswar, Jagannath festival in Puri and Barabati festival in
Recently a branch of Meitei Jagoi has been opened in Santiniketan
and participants of both Kolkata and Santiniketan will be performing
in the International Festival of Sacred Arts 2011.
Dr. Sumit Basu, Rakesh Singh , Manju Singh , Mallika Saha , Saikati
Hajra, Rinki Mahato
Kh. Premjit Singh – Pung cholom
Gour Pal –
Sonia Devi - Vocal
Concept and Direction
Hemant Kumar, K. Sunita Devi & Dr. Sumit Basu.
This performance is made possible courtesy of The Sangeet Natak