Sing Song Girls

More than a century ago,there were The Whiffenpoofs,the all male a capella group from Yale University that began singing at a local bar to escape the biting winters of America.

Written by EXPRESS FEATURES SERVICE | Published:May 28, 2012 10:26 pm

Sing Song Girls

More than a century ago,there were The Whiffenpoofs,the all male a capella group from Yale University that began singing at a local bar to escape the biting winters of America. Some time later,they became a part of Yale’s most celebrated traditions of music,which survives till today. However,they never let any woman be a part of this tradition. As an answer to The Whiffenpoofs,the Yale senior women formed Whim ‘n’ Rhythm,representing the best female singers in Yale. In June,the group arrives in Delhi as part of their India tour. A capella is a form of singing without any accompanying instruments and it is mostly the chorus that fills in for the instruments. The repertoire of the girls from Yale draws from a host of genres including jazz,folk,traditional songs of Yale apart from contemporary pop.

Kabul Express

IT is one of the most dangerous and inaccessible places on earth. Not many people have the opportunity,or even the desire,to visit Afghanistan,” says Danish Husain,a Delhi-based performer of the medieval art of dramatised storytelling known as dastangoi. On May 22,Husain and fellow dastangoh Mahmood Farooqui notched up a first for this art form when they presented dastans from the Tilism-e-Hoshruba,a part of the mammoth text called Dastan-e-Amir Hamza (originally composed in Persian to describe the adventures of Amir Hamza,Prophet Mohammed’s uncle),at the Indian embassy in Kabul. The narrative technique of dastangoi relies on intricate detailing,gestures and vocal skills to describe stories of warfare,trickery,magic and romance. Husain says that Kabul was quite as he had expected — a city ravaged by war for three decades to be. “The city lived on an edge. People would go about their work,everything would be fine but one never knew when a bomb would go off,” he recalls. A bomb threat did change the plans of the dastangohs. They were scheduled to perform at the auditorium of the French Embassy but threats of an attack put paid to that. The performance was shifted to the smaller central atrium of the Indian chancery. Among the audience were Indian expats,local Afghans,Iranians and central Asians.

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