Sundeep Bhutoria

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Day 1 of Shree Music Festival enchants Jaipur

With Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma
It is about 3 am on Saturday December 8. Yesterday evening the first day of the Shree Musical Festival took off at the Jawahar Kala Kendra. When I conceptualized this festival the idea was to have it in an auditorium but as the main auditorium was already booked we planned to do it in an auditorium in North West Command.
Later I realized that the basic idea of this music festival was to make it accessible to the local people, we decided to change the venue to Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK) which is the cultural hub of the Pink City.
JKK was designed by famous architect Charles Correa. This multi-arts centre was built by the Rajasthan Government to preserve Rajasthani arts and crafts. It comprises eight blocks which houses museums, one amphi-theatre, a closed auditorium, conference hall, library, arts display rooms, cafeteria, small hostel, guest house and art studio. It also houses two permanent art galleries and three other galleries. But is it also a fact that JKK remain under utilized.
With Ina Puri and Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma
I often feel that performing arts are missing from many of the centres across India that are beautifully constructed with the objective of promoting art, culture, literature. I wonder why is it that such centres of art and culture with better infrastructure than India International Centre (ICC) in Delhi or for that matter Bharat Bhawan (Bhopal), as it was a decade and half ago, lack their appeal and charm.
I think it is because the Government does not want to give the management of these centres to private groups and also because of the fact that the postings of senior government officers to these centres are viewed as a “lesser posting” or at times considered to be a “punitive posting”. No wonder JKK is so under utilised. Same with other such centres across India.
With guests and dignitaries at the Shree Music Festival post event party in Jaipur
December 7 night at JKK was a perfect setting for music festival. Mohammad Amaan Ali opened the concert to a standing ovation on day one. Salil Bhatt accompanied by Cassius Khan from Canada showcased his mastery over the instrument called satvik veena created by him. Khan also exhibited his skills on the tabla winning a roaring appreciation from the audience.
Rajasthani folk singer Manesha Agarwal mesmerised with her folk songs and santoor maestro Padma Vibhushan, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, accompanied by Japanese artist Takahiro Akai on tanpura and tabla player Pandit Ramkumar Mishra, mesmerized the audience to receive a long applause from the enthusiastic audience.
The amphi-theatre at JKK drew audience far beyond our expectations. Our co-host Jaipur Citizen Forum had cautioned us that due to the peak wedding season the audience turn out could be less. Day one was a roaring success. Lets see how the next two days unfold with eight performances lined up. The after dinner party at the Rajputana Residents Lounge was lively. Even Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma retired to his room at about 2 am. After dinner I am penning this blog. Two more late nights to come.
ess bee

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