“I love to dance Kathak, however, in Drishtikon we love to dance” – Aditi Mangaldas

13th January 2018, Saturday saw the 2nd successful and houseful season of the Drishtikon Home Studio Baithak, this time in collaboration with the India Heritage Desk. A unique platform for upcoming artists, the baithak this time showcased Faraz Ahmed | Vocals, Aamrapali | Kathak and Contemporary and Suraj Subramanian | Bharatnatyam and Oddissi.

The Baithak started with Faraz’s rendition of the classical raag Megh and then the famous thumri “yaad piya ki aye”. At once the studio became electric with people shouting “kya baat hai” at every other instance. Not to forget the amazing harmonium played by Zakir Dhol Puri and tabla by our very own Mohit Gangani.

Faraz was followed by Aamrapali in a soulful interplay with Krishna. Already known for her chakkars, Aamrapali exhibited some very fine Kathak to the audience’s contentment. She also performed a contemporary piece, interestingly using the studio mirrors, wherein she was supported vocally by her sister Mehar Bhandari. A very powerful dancer, Aamrapali was much applauded by the audience.

The final performance of the evening and one of the best was by the Belgium based dancer Suraj Subramanian. Suraj started off with Bharat Natyam, praising the South Indian warrior goddess, Meenakshi. He then moved on to the beloved, Krishna in Oddissi. One of the incredible and fun piece that he did in Bharat Natyam was the protagonist talking about the “Other Woman”. He finalised his performance with a short recital in Oddissi. Although I have very little knowledge about Bharat Natyam and Oddissi, I thoroughly enjoyed his performance.

This time around it was good to see that the Baithak had a much more concentrated audience. A special mention to Aditi Ji for taking pains and leading this project from the front, as in times to come such platforms and presentations would be a lifeline for many forlorn artists and performers.

Please N.B. – I am not an artist or a technical person to comment on or judge any aspect of the performance. I do understand what all pain one takes and the courage one puts up to present such a performance and highly appreciate and respect it. Whatever I write is purely what I feel sitting in the audience.

Photographs @ Arijeet Mukherjee
Copyright @ Artist Association of India

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