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Exploring the Philosophy of Sant JanāBāi
This project can be called a ‘melting pot’ of different art-forms: the music is inspired by not only the classical forms such as dhrupad or khayāl, but also draws to a large extent from the traditional musical forms of abhang, employing tunes and rhythms of the typical Vārkari music that is heard in pilgrim centres such as Alandi and Pandharpur.
Each abhang is interspersed with a narration that tells Janābāi’s story and explains the meaning and import of each abhang. These abhangs shall be presented through Bharatanatyam dance.
Artwork by Jyotsana Dwivedi.
Navia Natarajan, renowned Bharatanatyam artist from Bengaluru, began her journey in her childhood. She had her arangetram at the age of ten under Dr. Rashika Kalyani. She later on trained under Guru Smt. Padmini Ramachandran. Currently, she is receiving the guidance of Guru A. Lakshmanaswamy and Abhinaya exponent Guru Smt. Bragha G. Bessel.
She has performed at the most prestigious platforms all over India as well as in the United States and Europe. She is very well-known for her choreography. She is the recipient of the Yuva Kala Bharathi award from Bharath Kalachar Chennai, , Kala Ratna Award from Cleveland, recipient of the “Sanatan Nritya Puraskar from Sanatan Sangeet Sanskriti , New Delhi, Empanelled artist of ICCR Recipient of Scholarship from Centre for Cultural Resources and Training and Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, Top grade “A+” grade auditioned artists of Prasar Bharathi, Broadcasting Corporation of India, Doordarshan.
Janhavi’s tryst with music began through an inherited interest from her parents and her training began at the tender age of 5 from Dr. Usha Parkhi, from whom she learnt until 2005. She then began an in-depth training in the nuances of the khayal tradition from the Gwalior gharana doyenne – Vidushi Veena Sahasrabuddhe. She is currently a student of the Gundechas and the Dhrupad Sansthan in Bhopal.
Building upon her incredibly strong musical foundation and background, she has now grown into one of the finest young dhrupad musicians, and has enthralled audiences all over India and around the world. She has performed at the biggest classical music festivals as both a solo artiste and in jugalbandi with other accomplished musicians, and is now one of the most sought after dhrupad musicians of the day. She also teaches very actively both online and in-person, and is also the dhrupad instructor at the Dhrupad Sankula, Bengaluru.
As the daughter of Pt. Umakant Gundecha, Dhani has literally grown up around dhrupad music. She formally began her full time training in Dhrupad vocals from Padma Shri Gundecha Brothers at the Gurukul at the age of 20. By education, she is a graduate in Political Science (Honors) from University of Delhi, and has also completed her masters in Indian Classical music (specialization in Dhrupad) from Udaipur.
Recognized for her natural calibre and efforts through various national scholarship awards including the Ministry of Culture’s national scholarship, Dhani’s performances have been very favourably received on reputed platforms all over India and abroad. She also teaches Dhrupad actively, and is an integral part of the Gurukul, Dhrupad Sansthan in Bhopal. Recently, she performed at the prestigious Tansen Samaroh, Gwalior (Dec 2022).
Dnyaneshwar’s journey with music and the pakhawaj began with his father Shri Ranganath Deshmukh, the well known kirtankar from the Varkari Sampraday. He then underwent extensive training from the renowned Pakhawaj maestro Pt. Panduranga Appa Datar. In 2009, Dnyaneshwar was introduced to the Dhrupad style of pakhawaj playing by the maestro Pt. Akhilesh Gundecha.
Dnyaneshwar Deshmukh has performed all over India and abroad on various platforms as a solo artist as well as an accompanist, and has shared the stage with many renowned names of Indian Classical music.
Hirdesh is an exponent of pakhawaj, undergoing training at Dhrupad Sansthan Bhopal Nyas under the tutelage of Pt. Akhilesh Gundecha. He is one of the foremost students of the Dhrupad Sansthan gurukul and has performed solo as well as in accompaniment to dhrupad recitals at various significant concerts in India.
Chinthu Param & Pratibha Panth
The songs attributed to Janābāi are in Marathi language. As such, the role of the narrators is very important in this presentation, for the purpose of effectively conveying the meaning of the abhangas to an audience unfamiliar with the Marathi language. The program will thus be conducted by Chinthu Param and Pratibha Panth, two students of Dhrupad from Bengaluru.