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Friday, July 20, 2018

Songs of the Mystics

When Pune-based dancer Zia Nath began to twirl as a little girl,it made her feel special.

Written by Suanshu Khurana | Published: March 3, 2012 4:17:19 am

When Pune-based dancer Zia Nath began to twirl as a little girl,it made her feel special. By the time she started to understand dance,she considered contemporary forms as her forte. But a Gurdjieff Sacred Dance session at Pune’s Osho Centre converted her. “Gurdjieff was an Armenian mystic who stumbled upon Sufi temples in Central Asia. After I saw that performance,I decided to do that for life. I learnt the concept of whirling dervishes from Gurdjieff’s followers and merged it with Odissi,” says Nath,whose performance is slated for Day 3 of Jahan-e-Khusrau,the three-day festival to commemorate the death anniversary of Sufi saint,Hazrat Amir Khusrau.

The annual festival,the brainchild of director-designer-writer Muzaffar Ali,is organised in collaboration with the Delhi-based Rumi Foundation. On Friday,the festival opened with Vidhi Sharma’s recital of Khusrau,followed by a Kathak performance by Vidhi Lal and Shivani Sharma. The finale performance was by Hans Raj Hans.

The second day,today,begins with Indira Naik’s recital,followed by a collaboration between Italian flautist Andrea Griminelli and sarangi player Murad Ali. “We collaborate on Man Kunto Maula,one of Khusrau’s most famous poems,” said Murad. Besides,actor-composer Ali Zafar will also perform on Day 2.

This year,the audience has a reason to worry,owing to the non-availability of tickets and passes. “This is against the concept of Sufism. It is supposed to be a pathway to God,not a cultural propaganda,” rued Geetika Ganju,a corporate executive. When contacted,Ali replied,“The festival is an effort to have as many people attend the concerts as possible. However,a lot of tickets are taken by sponsors,while some are given free with CDs. So my hands are tied.”

All said and done,all eyes will be fixed on Abida Parveen,whose rhythmic rendering of Sufi poetry of various saints is known to be an experience in itself. “Hers is the finale performance. We are hoping for a wonderful concert,” said Ali.

The festival is on at Humayan’s Tomb till March 5

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