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Saturday, 5 December 2015

Differently able

The tenth edition of Sambhav, a unique festival showcasing the artistic talents of physically and mentally challenged artistes from 16 countries including India, was held at the India International Centre (IIC), recently. The three-day festival attracted groups from Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Iran, Nepal, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Wales besides groups from Indian states of Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland and West Bengal.


Sambhav, that literally means "possible", was conceived and started by Odissi exponent Alpana Nayak in 2006 through her Delhi-based NGO Association for Learning Performing Arts and Normative Action (Alpana), which also runs a school for differently-abled persons in different streams and tries to contribute in an often neglected and difficult area. The objective of Sambhav was to promote inclusive growth at global level towards persons with disability and to empower challenged persons, particularly artists, through development of skills for enhancement of creativity in various fields of arts and to work towards sharing of ideas, knowledge, achievements and experiences through sustainable interactions.     

Sambhav-2015, which opened with a video message by President Pranab Mukherjee, followed by a short film on the 10-year journey of Sambhav, comprised an international seminar on artistic empowerment of disabled persons, an exhibition of art and craft by the challenged artists from participating countries and music and dance performances, Yoga, and an art and craft workshop. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) for mutual collaboration was also signed with some of the participating countries. The three sessions of  the international seminar, chaired by Dharmendra Kumar, director, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Institute for Physically Handicapped, had eight papers presented by resource persons from Australia, Wales, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Russia and Nepal.

The cultural programme opened with an awe-inspiring Batu-Nritta, a pure dance item in Odissi by the young dancers of Alpana. The Russian Association for the Blind, Moscow team presented traditional Russian music and a popular song. The Bangladesh team from SWID, the Society for Welfare of Intellectually Disabled, Dhaka, presented patriotic songs and folk dances. Teams from Bengaluru and Karnataka presented dance items on Vande Mataram and Raas. The Thailand team from Bangkok presented their traditional songs and dance. The Blind Association, Dimapur, Nagaland, presented folk songs. The MSMV, Palanpur, represented Gujarat. The opera singers from Wales were simply superb. Sambhav-2015 in fact proved that if the potentials of these artistes are rightly identified, tapped and channelled,  they too are capable of  producing results like others.

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Kalakunj organised Ibaadat-e-Ishq, an evening of Kathak, in memory of its  late founder Guru Ravi Jain at Triveni auditorium. Based on the Sufi thought, the evening opened with a solo Kathak performance by versatile dancer Richa Jain, who simultaneously sang couplets of the famous Sufi poet Maulana Jalalluddin "Rumi", and showcased equal command on her melodious singing and virtuosity as a seasoned Kathak exponent. The Kathak, interspersed with the Persian couplets, had the full traditional repertoire with crisp foot-work in Tisra, Chatusra, Khand and Misra Gatis - the variations of complicated rhythm. Richa concluded her solo with the famous Tarana "Yare man biya biya…" in raga Darbari set to Drut Ektala and impressed by fitting Aamads like "Dhatak thunga…"  or Bandishes like "Tat tat ta drig Nandan…" in the 12 beats cycle of Ek-Tala instead of the conventional 16 beats of Teen-Tala.

The impressive duet by Rohit Parihar and Mohit Shridhar in Teen-Tala on Bageshri Sargam, along with the thundering Padhant by Sanjit Gangani, the lyrical grace of the two dancers from Kazakhistan, Assel and Anna, on "Rang de Maula", a composition of Amir Khusroo, and a Trio were the other attractions of the evening that reached its climax with the concluding "Haman hain Ishq mastana…" of Kabir, presented by Richa Jain, Anna, Assel, Mohit and Rohit in a crescendo. The wing support with Padhant by Guru Nalini Jain,  Tabala by Shahbaaz Khan, Vocal by Zoeb Khan and Sarangi by Nafees Ahmad enhanced the choreography by Guru Nalini Jain and Richa Jain.

Source: The Statesman, 26th Nov 2015 

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