Raza Foundation’s Uttaradhikar celebrates ‘Guru-Shishya’ Tradition

India’s famed Guru-Shishya Parampara that has enriched and faithfully transmitted our art, culture and traditions down the generations for millennia is being celebrated at a unique three-day festival organized by the Raza Foundation here next week.
Uttaradhikar is an annual cultural series with a unique concept: Eminent Gurus of India’s classical arts select one of their disciples to perform at the festival. They will introduce the ‘Shishya’ affirming them as an inheritor of their tradition and style of the art form. The ‘disciple’ in a way is the torchbearer who will carry forward the dance/music tradition of their Guru.
The second edition of Uttaradhikar from Oct 3-5, 2017, hosted by the India Habitat Centre, will feature six artists from around India from various domains of instrumental and vocal music, and classical dance. Except one artist whose father and teacher is no more, they have all been selected and recommended by their Gurus, many of whom are distinguished performers themselves.
“Inheritance and transference in classical arts in India are complex issues. In spite of modernization of education and training, the Guru-Shishya Parampara has remained vital, relevant and active, and our festival is very much in keeping with the mandate of Raza Saheb (the late artist S H Raza) who was deeply invested in keeping these traditions alive,” said Ashok Vajpeyi, Managing Trustee of the Raza Foundation.
“At one level the series features some of the most well-trained and talented young performers of classical music and classical dance and, at another, it affords the classical rasikas to view the current status of the Guru-Shishya Parampara,” he added.
The festival will open on Tuesday (October 3) with a Sitar recital by Rajeev Janardhan, a disciple of Pt Arvind Parikh, and one of the most acclaimed instrumentalists of his generation. Equally proficient in Rudra Veena and Surbahar, Rajeev was initiated into Hindustani classical music at the age of eight and blossomed into a true artist under the guidance of his gurus, Pandit Bimlendu Mukherjee and Pandit Arvind Parikh, both of whom are doyens of the famous Imdad Khani Gharana of Sitar.
The second performance of the day will be by Kathak dancer Rupanshi Kashyap, who has trained under renowned dancer Padma Bhushan Kumudini Lakhia at the Kadamb Centre for Dance in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, since a young age. Besides being an exceptional solo Kathak performer, Rupanshi is also a theatre artist, having starred in many classic Gujarati and Hindi plays.
On Wednesday Saniya Patankar, a disciple of Vidushi Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, will present a Hindustani vocal concert which will be followed by Manipuri dance by S Karuna Devi, a disciple of Preeti Patel. Sarangi expert Farooque Lateef Khan, a disciple of late Ustad Abdul Lateef Khan, and Odissi dancer Pavithra Reddy, a disciple of Surupa Sen, will perform on the final day on Friday.

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