RINGING in the festive cheer is the ongoing Surtaal Utsav by Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi. The five-day event brings music,vocal and dance performances on to a common platform. As the festival kicked off on Tuesday,the first performance was by Lakhwinder Brothers of Amritsar,who mesmerised the audience with Sufi singing. The second day will feature geet and ghazal by Anil Sagar from Malwa. A law graduate from Panjab University,Chandigarh,Sagar has a passion for music and Sufi singing and has composed music for albums and feature films,and is now foraying into devotional music. The third day is dedicated to tanti saaz (string instruments) and the performers include Ustaad Moshin Khan and Ustaad Vinod Pawar. Khan was born in the famous gharana of Bhindi Bazar Muradabad ,well-known for Hindustani vocal music. Moshin received his early training on the tabla from his uncle,Ustaad Dayam Ali Khan,and that in vocals from his father,Ustaad Wazir Ali Khan.
Finally,classical dance will take the centrestage with Suchitra Mitra and her troupe performing the fourth day of the festival. Mitra specialises in the study and performance of Bhartanatyam. A star pupil of Kalalshetra,Chennai,Mitra has received her training from stalwarts such as Kalanidhi Narayan,Guru Govindan Kutty,Rukmini Devi Arundale. Suchitra is a firm believer and a practitioner of the guru-shishya tradition and has successfully spearheaded her school of Dance,PADAM,Pedestal of the Art of Dance and Music in Chandigarh.
The festival concludes with a classical concert by Ramneek Singh (vocals) and Ravinder Singh (flute). While Ramneek specialises in the presentation of Vilambit khyal,Ravinder started playing the flute at the age of 10 and has composed music for numerous plays and dance performances.
Surtaal is on at Punjab Kala Bhawan,Sector 16,till December 21,6.15 pm onwards.