AAI REVIEW – DRISHTIKON HOME STUDIO BAITHAK

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Showcasing budding artists … Reviving old traditions

Drishtikon Dance Foundation presented its very first, own Home-Studio Baithak on the 2nd September 2017. In an encouraging initiative to give an intimate platform to upcoming artistes, Drishtikon has started this remarkable concept giving an apt chance to youngsters to show off their skills in front of veterans, critics, organisers, seniors, friends and public.

The entrance to the Drishtikon studio was beautifully decorated with marigold flowers and candles. The studio was very intelligently turned into a mini black box studio which gave an effect of a proper proscenium setting. All sitting area for the audience was neatly covered in white. The lighting was adept and the sound quality incredible. All Drishtikon gang was in white, the girls in suits and the boys in kurta- pajamas, all of them carrying different colored dupatta’s. It was indeed a very positive atmosphere.

People were late and took time to reach the Studio as the roads inside Sainik Farm are nothing less than a jigsaw puzzle. The Baithak started with a delay of half an hour at 7:30 pm. It was more than a houseful with some people standing at the back.

The presentation started with solo renditions by Ashish Gangani on Pakhawaj and Mohit Gangani on Tabla followed by a dynamic and expressive jugalbandi by both. I had never ever seen Ashish and Mohit in such elements. It seemed they had been let lose. I could see the difference in their playing which was very contained and in self-possession whenever they have played it for Drishtikon. This day they were raw and wild and what not all. A special mention to Ashish who did a full piece with single hand mentioning he had practiced it in Drishtikon itself.

From a kid in the flock to a senior repertory member in Drishtikon, Minhaz has matured a lot. It was evident from his attitude, his talks and his dance that he was a part of one of the world’s best Kathak repertory. The proximity of the audience made him a bit nervous at first but soon he also gave in to his true elements. The stage surely seemed less for him. I personally liked the piece that he did from his Father’s repertoire from Banaras Gharana.

Having worked with a Kathak based organisation for so many years I had never thought that other classical forms will ever interest me. I was proven wrong by Suhail Bhan. Disciple of Guru Justin McCarthy, Suhail is an amazing Bharatnatyam dancer. His performance took the audience on to a Carnatic journey down south. A special mention to the vocalist Mr. Satish Venkatesh for his amazing voice.

The last performance, I am me, a contemporary solo by Minhaz was quite touching. It spoke about preconceived notions that people have towards a name, religion, caste, creed, gender, etc. It conveyed a very strong message to the audience. I could see a tear running down here and there. Great work done by Deepak K. S. on mentoring Minhaz on this one.

All the artists were presented with a small pot of flower each. Really appreciate whosoever’s idea it was.

This Home-Studio Baithak at Drishtikon has really left me wanting to see more such Baithak’s in the future. This was my first ever experience of a Baithak and all I can say is CHEERS DRISHTIKON!!

Please N.B. – I am not an artist or a technical person to comment on or judge any aspect of the performance. I do understand what all pain one takes and the courage one puts up to present such a performance and highly appreciate and respect it. Whatever I write is purely what I feel sitting in the audience.

Photographs @ Arijeet Mukherjee
Copyright @ Artist Association of India

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