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2003 Annual Concert

Date: January 18, 2003
3 to 6 pm (Saturday)
Venue: Memorial United Methodist Church
Location: 250 Bryant Avenue, White Plains, NY 10605.
Hindustani Classical Vocal, Kathak, Sitar and Tabla
Admission and Parking: FREE
IMAGES of this Concert

ASAVARI, a school of Indian Classical Dance and Music located in White Plains, NY celebrated its Fifth Annual Concert on Saturday January 18, '03 from 3 to 6 pm at the above location. The concert presented Kathak Dance and Hindusthani Music by Gargi Bagchi, the teacher and choreographer, and her students. The concert started with the Hindustani classical vocal presentation by Gargi  and her students students with Morshed Khan in Sitar and Tapan Modak in Tabla. Gargi has taken training in Hindustani ragas from many teachers in Calcutta. She also has a fair knowledge of songs written by the Nobel laureate Ravindra Nath Tagore and the rebel poet of India and Bangladesh, Kazi Nazrul Islam. Later, she also studied under the tutelage of vocal maestro Pandit Ajoy Chakravarty . The students gave an outstanding performance in singing the songs based on classical ragas example Bhajans, Slokas, Bandishes and Taranas. There were also Kathak performances with live music and bols recited (based on classical ragas with Tukdas, Parans, Laris and Tehais embedded in the compositions) by Gargi.

Kathak is a north Indian classical dance style, which is unique for its Footwork and Circles. It is unique in blending influences from Hindu and Muslim culture, which shows in the costumes, dance gestures, and the accompanying music. Kathak in both Hindu and Muslim themes was presented by Gargi and her students in a wide variety : from classical to classical based to present day compositions example - Bhajans, Vandana, Thumri, Ghazal, Tarana, etc. Asavari teaches Kathak in Lucknow style. Gargi has been a student of Asavari, located at Calcutta for ten years. She has taken workshops from the renowned Kathak guru Pandit Birju Maharaj . She was the choreographer of all the dances that was presented on that evening. The students performed to their best ability and according to the level of their interests and experience.

One of the great attractions was the recital of Tabla (Indian percussion instrument) by Shri Tapan Modak and his students. Tapan, the disciple of Pandit Kishen Maharaj, runs a school named under his guru as 'Pandit Kishen Maharaj Taal Taranga Institute.' Following this was a Sitar by Morshed Khan accompanied by Tapan Modak in Tabla.

The second half of the program was devoted to the Folk and Film category, with the dances choreographed in authentic folk style blended with Kathak steps. This year the theme was Bengal.

There were no tickets and donations. All expenses were borne by Gargi and her students who offered generous help in every respect e.g. auditorium, sound system, lights etc. The most striking thing is that all the guest artists performed for free just to help Asavari. There were fair number of people in the audience and they all enjoyed the show.

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