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From Vedas and Upanishads to Jai Ho A Melodious and Rhythmic Journey Through Time

HOUSTON: On Saturday September 22, the Tagore Society of Houston presented an outstanding and ambitious music and dance celebration, Rendezvous with Raage O Chhande at the auditorium of the Durga Bari Temple on Schiller Road on the Westside, off Highway 6 . The ambitious program was outstanding in concept and design as it explored the history and evolution of melody and rhythm in Indian music.

It will not come as a surprise to those familiar with Indian music that the history and progression of music and dance in India is too enormously vast, varied, rich, and in-depth; both in content and style to be explored in a few hours time. TSH’s objective was to touch the surface in an interesting, informative and entertaining way for those who are interested in Indian melody and rhythm and appreciate its rich heritage.

The program was a synthesis of multiple mediums – narration, video, instrumental and vocal music and dance. The narration guided the audience through the historical journey, from the beginning of the concept of music, its evolution through the Vedas, Upanishads and mythology, into the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th and 21st centuries. Simultaneously and equally fascinating was the stage backdrop which was a whole-wall slide-show synchronized with the narration, embedded video and audio clips and highly effective animation which depicted this historical journey through the eras.

The program was divided into segments, based on times, styles, influences and diverse cultures of India.The first half of the program was devoted to North and South Indian classical music and the undeniable influence of religion and spiritualism in music and dance of India. The second half of the program introduced all Regional, Modern Classical and Fusion Music. The resounding conclusion was a reflection of the past, present and the trend to the future.

In the past, Indian music obtained its inspiration and ingredients from generations of inherited popular and classical music. Today, as cultural exchange has become much easier with new technologies and globalizationj, the opportunity for Indian music to promulgate widely has become an inevitable reality. Indian music and dance now have undeniable world wide popularity and by being popular gives its creators experimental bandwidth. Indian music has a great deal to offer to the music of the wWorld because of its inherent depth, dignity, and beauty of mood and expression. Because of this Indian music will infuse life, by inspiring a reflection of the soul and send messages of peace and tolerance.

In 2010 the movie “Slumdog Millionaire” received an Oscar and the popularity and acclaim of AR Rahman’s song “Jai Ho” clearly positioned Indian music on a worldwide context. The evening’s program ended with this song and accompanying dance number.

The program was conceptualized by Ruma Acharya DeSarkar; script and direction was by Chandana Guha; narratoion by Sanchali Basu; background video created by Sailaja Bandyopadhay and 45 performers contributed their talents in instrumental, vocal music and dance.


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