Sundeep Bhutoria

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Kalam and Gauhar Jaan in Jaipur

With Pankaj Bisht, Guest Author of Kalam in Jaipur
I went for a weekend trip to Jaipur as there were few things lined up. On September 9 we had another series of Kalam with guest author Pankaj Bisht at the Mariott Jaipur. It was a nice interactive session.
Then the next day there was the play Gauhar Jaan at the Maharana Pratap Auditorium staged by Prabha Khaitan Foundation. The response was overwhelming and the show a great success. 
With Rajeshwari, Lilette and Apra
I must congratulate director Lillete Dubey, Rajeshwari Sachdev who played the role of maverick Gauhar Jaan and also playwright Mahesh Dattani. Zila Khan's live singing was much appreciated in the play.
With Zila Khan
I also hosted a dinner at the ITC Rajputana on the evening of September 10 after the play. The play Gauhar Jaan traces the story of one of India's best known superstars at the turn of the last century. An Armenian Christian who converted to Islam, Gauhar was a naturally gifted musician with a wide repertoire of classical music. One of the first women whose voice was recorded in 1902. She cut close to 600 records.
With Denzil Smith
It is an important, powerful and moving story of a person who was a pioneer of the thumri tradition in Indian Classical Music and the play is a revelation for the younger generation, who know little about those times or about this great musician.
The lead characters of the play included Zila Khan, Denzil Smith, Danny Sura, Gillian Pinto, Rajeev Siddhartha and Parinaz Jal. The invitees appreciated the invitation format – an original old record with songs that could be played in a record player. It was quite an effort on our part to collect 700 such extended play (EP) records from across the country.
I hope to stage the show in other Indian cities.
ess bee

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