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Girija Devi performs classical and light classical music and has helped elevate the profile of thumri. Wikimedia
  • Thumri is a genre of lively semi-classical Indian music
  • The origin of Thumri is linked with Kathak, a form of classical dance
  • For the past seven years, Sahitya Kala Parishad has never failed in delivering a successful musical fare in Delhi

New Delhi, August 30, 2017: Thumri is a genre of lively semi-classical Indian music. it is regarded as one of the most significant types of music in North India after Khayal. In Thumri, a common theme is Lord Krishna’s romance with Radha, his companion, and gopis. This year, Delhi will witness the magic of Thumri in the month of September.

The Origin-

The origin of Thumri is linked with Kathak, a form of classical dance. Thumri requires delicacy, a soulful voice to deliver its actual beauty. This form has evolved due to Awadh’s Nawab Wajid Ali Shah and Sadiq Ali Khan, the musician of his court and play a big role in what thumri is today. Wajid Ali Shah was Lucknow’s governor for the period between 1847 and 1856. His reign saw the rise of architecture, music, poetry, dance, and drama. His contribution to India’s Art is a lot. However, some musicologists feel that before him, Thumri grew as a classical form after which it achieved popularity. A new style of Thumri, known as “Varanasi” developed in the late 19th century and it was not dependent on dance.

Thumri and Perspectives-

Many traditionalists opposed the blending of dance and music in this form. However, there also existed numerous classical musicians who got attracted to this form, as it has the ability to mix notes belonging to other Ragas through innovation. Due to this reason, Thumri was selected by various performers, including instrumentalists as well as singers. This gave rise to many forms of Thumri.

Even after so many years, the tradition and love for this form of music have not completely vanished. This has been made possible by Sahitya Kala Parishad, part of the Delhi government’s Department of Art, Culture, and Languages. For the past seven years, it has never failed in delivering a successful musical fare in Delhi. Shrimati Sindhu Mishra, the organizer of this fare, has not only introduces best vocal traditions in North India, but she has also motivated the singers of genre other than Thumri to give a performance on her stage.

ALSO READ: Ragas for Preschool Children: Combining Classical Music with Fun Exercises

Some of the extremely talented, but less exposed singers who have been provided with a platform in Delhi’s Thumri festival include Banaras’ Debashish Dey, Samrat Pandit, Pandit Channulal Mishra, Pandit Ajoy Chakravorty among others.

Delhi Thumri Festival 2017-

This year this festival will be held at Kamani Auditorium in Delhi from 1-3 September. The festival will commence with the performance of Vidushi Arti Ankalikar who will be portraying the Jaipur Atrauli gayeki. This will be followed by Indrani Mukherjee. Her guru was the famous Vidushi Purnima Chaudhari, but now she learns from Banaras’ Manju Sundaram. She says he teaches in the Gurukul way of old times. The first day of the concert will be terminated by Pandit Chanulal Mishra of Banaras.

The second day will witness the performance of Indore’s Kalpana Zokarkar. She has a good musical descent which comprises of training in Ustad Rajab Ali Khan’s tradition. This will be the first platform for Kalpana and she agreed that she is excited about her staging. Ramakant Gaikwad, who is an upcoming singer portraying the Patiala Gharana Thumri, will be next. To put an end to the evening, the stage will be handed over to the well known Padmashri Smt Malini Awasthi.

On the final day, Delhi based singers Pooja Goswami and Meeta Pandit, the fifth descendant of the erudite family of Gwalior Pandit will take over the stage. The grand finale will be made memorable by the performance of Padma Vibhushan Vidushi Girija Devi.

-prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter @Hkaur1025


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