Dhrupad Recital at Akanksha School, Kasarwadi

Dhrupad Concert by Ashlesha Shintre At Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj English Medium School, Kasarwadi

01 November 2018

Baithak’s fourth music concert for the CSMEMS students featured a Dhrupad performance by Ashlesha Shintre, one of the senior disciples of Pt. Uday Bhawalkar, of the Dagar Gharana. She was accompanied on the Pakhawaj by Krushna Salunke, disciple of Pt. Suresh Talwalkar.

As Baithak also conducts weekly music classes in this school, students are now much more aware about swar-taal-laya, and about the format and expectations of Baithak concerts. Children as young as 8 and 9 years old try to sit attentively without fidgeting for almost an hour, a creditable job for their age! When the 130-odd children entered the hall and settled down, the artists were already ready to begin. After a small informal introduction, Ashlesha started the performance with Raag Bibhaas, a robust morning Raag. After a detailed Alaap, the Jod followed. Children were absolutely silent during the entire Alaap, which reinforces our faith in the power of good music. The Pakhawaj joined in towards the end of the Jod, after which Ashlesha presented a Dhrupad composition in the same Raag. Various rhythmic patterns (bol-s) and tihaayee-s were the highlights of the performance.

After the performance, Ashlesha spoke about the Taanpura – its need and importance in Indian Music, its structure and tuning, and playing technique. She highlighted the benefit of using acoustic (real) Taanpura over digital Taanpura software.

Towards the end, Ashlesha taught two lines of the famous Dhrupad in Maalkauns to all the students. Students took a little time in learning the tune and the words, but enjoyed the process as they got better and better during each repetition. Ashlesha sang the lines for them many times, and Krushna also encouraged the kids to sing the Dhrupad. Students also asked many meaningful questions to Ashlesha, like how does she interact with the Pakhawaj player, when exactly does the Pakhawaj join in, etc. Ashlesha was impressed by the response of the students, and said that she would love to perform again for such an attentive young audience.

 

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