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  Life   Art  04 Feb 2017  Art is in the eyes of the beholder

Art is in the eyes of the beholder

THE ASIAN AGE. | POOJA SALVI
Published : Feb 4, 2017, 12:10 am IST
Updated : Feb 4, 2017, 12:19 am IST

Fusing three art forms, Kasak Masak is a performance that boils down to perspectives.

Ishita snapped mid-performance.
 Ishita snapped mid-performance.

When Sriparna Chatterjee came to Mumbai in 2012, she was already a trained singer in Hindustani classical music. Not only did she have professional schooling, she had also learnt music from several gurus. However, looking back these many years, Sriparna thinks that learning from multiple teachers only helped her grow. “People who learn classical music tend to learn from one guru all their lives; they tend to stick to one gharana, but I think that keeps you bound to just one method of learning,” Sriparna tells us.

Today, apart from being a music therapist, Sriparna also performs classical music in collaborations. When she had an idea to conduct a music programme that incorporates storytelling and dance, she approached Ishita Sharma, a kathak dancer and an actress. Together, they devised Kasak-Masak, a musical experience that combines thumri, kathak and storytelling.

“The show is a combination of three art forms,” Sriparna explains. “I will be singing original compositions comprising of some classic thumris and bandishes. The music created is related to the five elements of nature — water, earth, space, air and fire,” she explains further. Sriparna will represent nature using ragas pertaining to each element of nature.

SriparnaSriparna

On the other hand, Ishita tried to fit in a bit of everything in her Kathak performance. “As opposed to a traditional kathak performace, which begins with a vandana (a prayer), then tukda and the bols, moving to a tarana, and an abhinay, what we’re doing with Kasak Masak is more about communicating how different elements of nature play a role in bringing together life,” she explains.

In their art forms, both the women look at portraying the two facets of each element — the creation and the destruction. “Take earth, for instance. For the creator, earth signifies growth, and the destruction is an earthquake. However, we aren’t literally showing an earthquake — we’re showing what could destroy an artiste,” Sriparna smiles.

Similarly, fire is portrayed as desire, where the destructive element is lust. With dance and the songs are in coordination, the show also incorporates a story written by Amrita Pritam, as well as a poem by Walt Whitman.

Towards the end of it, both artistes have incorporated their own perceptions of nature. “Our inspiration for the show came from a lot of places. When we sat down to write the show, we took our own perceptions of the elements of nature. There was a lot of introspection as opposed to inspiration,” recalls Ishita. She explains that earth for her is the floor that she dances on. “Sriparna will be singing a song on what inspires her about earth, what she thinks about earth. For instance, she will be singing a song on rain, Bijuri Chamke, which reminds me of the monsoons and bring out the happiness of the rain and my choreography will follow that,” she says.

Amidst all the difference in perception, Ishita isn’t very concerned about any contradictions. “There could be contradictions between our perceptions, it’s not that complicated. What the person will connect to is up to them — it is all a game of perspectives,” she concludes.

You can attend the performance today at 7.30 pm at Harkat Studios, Versova
Tickets: Rs 350

Tags: classical music, kathak, thumri