National Centre for the Performing Arts Launches BANDISH, 7/12-14
Three years ago, The National Centre for the Performing Arts, India's premier arts and culture institution, launched 'Bandish' in an attempt to celebrate this aspect of Indian music that forms the core of its performance material. The fourth annual edition of Bandish 2013- A tribute to legendary composers shall be held between July 12 & 14. The three-day festival will showcase some of the most treasured works of great composers of the subcontinent, presented by eminent artistes.
The term 'bandish' essentially means to tie or bind and is hence aptly used with reference to a composition including a melody, rhythm and text. Before this term came into usage, it was predominantly called 'cheez', which was used more for literary compositions. The 'bandish' came with its own unique set of grammar and vocabulary rules, which needed to be adhered to by the artiste. A delicate mingling of literary text set to tunes and patterned to a certain format of rendering and presentation soon took over the very aspect of its existence. This well-structured melodic composition, the bandish or cheez, forms the core of performance. Thanks to the creative genius of many composers across several centuries, there is a vast repository of compositions in existence today. These works are kept alive through the oral-aural tradition and are integral to contemporary performing practices. There are hundreds of bandishes in each raga. Two bandishes in the same raga may focus on different aspects of the raga and evoke contrasting moods. The concept of bandish in Indian music has always been looked upon with great reverence by musicians over many generations. It is the backbone of any Indian classical presentation and the primary index of a musician's pedigree.
Bandish, this year, shall present compositions of legendary composers such as Mirza Ghalib and Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Shri Krishna Ratanjankar (Sujaan), Vilayat Hussain Khan (Pranpiya), Gajananbuwa Joshi, Barkat Ali Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan (Sabrang) and Bindadin Maharaj and their bandishes will be performed by Talat Aziz, Malini Rajurkar, Ulhas Kashalkar, Kaushiki Chakrabarty and the legendary Birju Maharaj.
Two special features mark this year's programming. This will be a rare opportunity to witness legendary dancer Birju Maharaj's immense knowledge of music through his rendition of Bindadin Maharaj's thumri compositions. Apart from the pure classical repertoire, Bandish 2013 also includes ghazals, showcasing yet another thread of musical heritage that has evolved in India.
Bandish is an attempt from the NCPA to explore presenting thematic concerts within Indian music where much programming is based either on the artiste or the genre. Thus, at its heart, NCPA Bandish pays homage to the finest of composers who have lent the music of the subcontinent its timeless flavours and vibrant colour.
Dr Suvarnalata Rao, Curator of Bandish, Head - Programming (Indian Music) and Research Scientist, NCPA, says, "India has a very rich and vast heritage of classical compositions and we believe that the festival has immense potential to last another decade. We at the NCPA are pleased to share some timeless treasures of our grand Indian heritage with our esteemed audience and it is their once a year chance to absorb the beauty of the bandishes as performed by eminent artistes , capable of bringing out its depth."