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Theatre, Music, and Art: All under one roof at Navras festival in Jaipur

The festival will host a series of rich and diverse productions of theatre, contemporary dance and sufi, classical, pop and fusion music from 18 to 26 March

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a number of theatres and stage plays will be hosted by Navras Festival, wikimedia commons
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Jaipur, March 14, 2017:  Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK) in the Pink City is all set to play host to the second edition of its performing arts festival, Navras and bring together some ethereal elements from the art, culture and music space under one roof.

Spanning over a period of nine days from March 18-26, the festival will present a series of rich and diverse productions of theatre, contemporary dance and sufi, classical, pop and fusion music. The idea is to give the audiences a chance to experience the arts and its impact in a range of spectacular spaces within the JKK premises.

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“JKK is proud to present a variety of nationally acclaimed performances in art, music, dance and theatre to audiences in Jaipur. If Navras means to have new experiences, then it is our endeavor that the audiences in Jaipur enrich themselves in experiencing theatre, dance and music in new and diverse ways,” said Pooja Sood, Director General of JKK.

The festival will open with a performance by noted singer Shubha Mudgal and her band Koshish. Equally at ease with popular music and fusion projects, Shubha Mudgal is one of India’s acclaimed vocalists who has specialised in Hindustani classical music.

The days that follow will witness many artistic presentations including dance productions -Ganapati by Adishakti and Timeless by Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company; theatre productions – Kaumudi by Abhishek Majumdar and White Rabbit Red Rabbit by Nassim Soleimanpour; and music – sufi Kalam by Zila Khan and classical by Shruti Sadolikar and Vidya Shah.

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The festival will also witness the premier of “Phool Kesula Phool,” a theatre production commissioned by JKK and directed by Rajasthan’s bright talent Rajendra Panchal. JKK will also be presenting “Tilchatteyki Diary,” a play for children that was commissioned last summer.

In an attempt to introduce audiences to alternative viewing strategies, several experimental productions have also been invited to Navras.

There will also be an exhibition, “Women on Record” curated and designed by photographer Parthiv Shah on March 26. The exhibition will run in the Museum Galleries 2 and 3 till the end of April.

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The culmination of Navras will also see the opening of the exhibition, “The Theatre of Alkazi” curated by Amal Allana and designed by Nissar Allana, on March 27, as part of the Rajasthan Divas Celebrations and also World Theatre Day. The exhibition will continue till the end of April in The Contemporary, JKK Museum Galleries. The exhibition is being supported by the Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan. (IANS)

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC