What music and dance gave us in 2020


Digital Revolution in Classical Music

For Minnesota-based veena participant Nirmala Rajasekar, who grew up in Mylapore, Chennai, the Margazhi Music Season has been a big a part of her life. For the final 20 years, she has made the journey each season and stayed for about three months to attend the competition. In any given season, she performs about 15 concert events however seems ahead to being within the viewers. “There is such joy in being at the kutcheris and lectures. A particular sangat that takes away your breath, bumping into an old friend, dressing up in colourful Kanjivarams, the food in the canteens, the scent of the fresh flowers everywhere, it’s quite an experience,” she says.

The famed December Music Season – Chennai’s marquee occasion held in the course of the Tamil month of Marghazi, the place greater than 500 organisations current over 2,000 music performances within the metropolis throughout three months – modified gears this 12 months by going fully digital because of the pandemic. The Music Academy is doing an eight-day digital competition in collaboration with HCL concert events and giving the viewers the close to expertise of getting into a corridor and sitting down for a live performance. “The Festival has been uninterrupted since 1929. We didn’t want to wait for the government rules to change and took a decision to conduct it digitally. We will record the concerts in our auditorium, which will be telecast online. The atmosphere is something to be savoured, but we decided to find a way to make the music reach people,” says N Murali, President of Music Academy. The Federation of City Sabhas, the oldest consortium of 13 main sabhas in Chennai, labored in collaboration with Kalakendra.com to current Yours Truly Margazhi, a web based model of the season. As for the lip-smacking meals, it was accessible as takeaway from the canteens to be relished whereas watching a kutcheri from your house.

Jayanthi Kumaresh carried out at this 12 months’s digital collection by The Music Academy.

This 12 months, the idea of a live performance modified, each for performing artistes and the viewers. One factor was clear – the viewers shouldn’t be returning to the auditoriums and live performance halls in full power anytime quickly. Many artistes took to performing on-line, which was an enormous studying expertise for many of them. The most conventional artistes corresponding to N Rajam, Ulhas Kashalkar, Ut Shujaat Khan amongst others, discovered to carry out for a display screen.

New Indie Stars

When it involves common music, on any given day in India, the numbers, all the time favour Bollywood. The pandemic was an important equaliser as hardly any huge movies launched. With no main Bollywood productions coming to the fore in 2020, indie music bought a brand new lease of life. Singer-songwriters, who have been solely common on YouTube and Instagram, have been instantly making it to the highest of the charts on streaming platforms like Spotify and Saavn.

Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Raghav Meattle might have launched his debut album in 2019, however 2020 had him attain many extra houses. His easy poetry and resonant guitar alongside a velvety voice, made him a big artiste in 2020. Another vocalist who caught everybody’s consideration was Anoushka Maskey. The self-taught singer by no means thought that her first musical undertaking, which launched in August, can be made fully in her bed room and “based on small stories and elements from the lockdown”. From Flesh and Bones, during which she described the loneliness that many skilled in the course of the pandemic, to Trampoline during which she talks about combating the thought of change and the way life can slip by, unnoticed, the ten songs on her debut EP, Things I Saw in a Dream, showcased Maskey as a songwriting expertise to be careful for.

Another vocalist who caught everybody’s consideration was Anoushka Maskey.

Then there was Delhi-based singer-songwriter Sanjeeta Bhattacharya, who got here throughout as essentially the most emotionally-grounded voice. Mumbai-based Aditi Ramesh’s spectacular scat singing of the Muthuswami Dikshitar compositions the place she melds Carnatic classical music with jazz and soul have made her essentially the most promising artiste of 2020.

The indie music seniors additionally gave out some large hits. Shillong-based Soulmate and Bengaluru’s rock geniuses Thermal and A Quarter (TAAQ) gave Give Love and a World Gone Mad respectively. While Soulmate’s blues had us bowing to the vocal prowess of Tips aka Tipriti Kharbangar, the flowery sonic and lyrical concepts of TAAQ described the chaos that was 2020.

Shadow Over Guru-Shishya Parampara

While a slew of classical gurus within the Carnatic classical world have been accused of sexual harassment in 2018, in 2020, two of the three Gundecha Brothers have been accused of sexual misconduct on the prestigious Dhrupad Sansthan — a residential gurukul in Bhopal. The allegations have been first made in a Facebook submit, with a few college students talking anonymously to The Indian Express later. A couple of months later, in December, a 23-year-old lady lodged an FIR towards pakhawaj participant and her trainer, Ravi Shankar Upadhyay. She claimed to have been sexually harassed by him. Upadhyay was arrested and is presently lodged in Tihar Jail.

The allegations put the thought of a guru being on a pedestal beneath a query mark. According to Carnatic classical vocalist TM Krishna, there are some lovely facets of the guru-shishya parampara, though he cautions towards “eulogising” it. “The way the guru-shishya system is designed, it has an unequal power structure. Placing the guru on a pedestal culturally, I think, needs to be demolished. This guru is not such a special human being. He is skilled in one thing — music. We need not romanticise the parampara. Because if there is abuse — sexual or verbal — in this system, it can go unabated,” Krishna had stated.

Since Upadhyay was educating at Kathak Kendra, many dancers from the institute got here ahead and stated that sexual harassment on the institute has gone on for some time. Kathak exponent Nisha Mahajan, who discovered on the Kendra from 1980 to 1985 and taught hereafter until 2000, instructed The Indian Express that there was “something tremendously wrong” with the system. “There was this notion that in order to be able to present bhaav or abhinaya, if you don’t go through certain experiences, it does not work. This was considered a part of the mentorship, of course informally… Either the students gave in, some others who really wanted to dance were willing to make the compromise. Then there were others who just left,” stated Mahajan.

Saviour of the Day

Arts – music and dance – introduced normalcy to our lives. We turned to the humanities earnestly, for remedial measures. And they delivered, giving us solace in instances of absolute want. Be it the Italians and Spaniards singing and acting from their balconies, or the residents of Wuhan chanting from their home windows or quite a few musicians singing, dancing and taking part in devices of their houses and reaching our residing rooms by way of the web, there was the hope that it might assist alleviate the load that was always piling up — the fears round work, life, survival and even loss of life.

We turned to the humanities earnestly, for remedial measures.

Music and dance gave us a way of group and self-awareness with the entire world and that feeling was valuable within the pandemic.





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