Saturday, February 17, 2007
Patiala's famous [Fort, founded in 1764 by Maharaja Ala Singh] Qila Mubarak came alive with captivating strains of Sufism yesterday. In concert at the impressively decked-up royal stage of the Qila was lesser-known Manjari Chaturvedi, who made her place in the hearts of Patialvis by presenting a Sufiana delicacy.
Trained in what she calls ‘Sufi kathak’, Manjari brought the magic of legendary Sufi poets alive during her performance, which lasted for over two hours. The presentation came out in sparkling colours, as the danseuse improvised Punjabi and Rajasthani music to the advantage of her recital.
The performance was dominated by elegant kathak movements that were presented with a blend of Rajasthani, Punjabi and Kashmiri Sufi music. The dancer made extensive use of musicians to bring home the theme of Sufi kathak, which she explains as an expression of love through music and dance.
Her performance last night was considered as new in kathak idiom, as she danced with both qawwals and Rajasthani musicians in attendance, singing Punjabi Sufiana qalam.
Ending her captivating presentation with a dance item on the legendary Sufi composition ‘Dama Dam Mast Kalandar’, Manjari Chaturvedi transported the audience into another world, where love and tranquility reigned supreme.
In her well-etched out performance, she managed to introduce the Patialvis to the rich world of Sufi poets, who preached the message of communal harmony through music.
Later during the evening, she was presented with a phulkari, the token of royal city’s appreciation for her art form.
Earlier today, the famous Sheesh Mahal [pictured*] came alive to the folk songs, as the 14-day crafts mela took off on a colourful note.
As many as 2,50,250 craftspersons from all over the country have descended to town for participating in the event. Punjab Human Rights Commission member Justice RL Anand (retd) inaugurated the event.
[*from: Punjabi Gov website: http://punjabgovt.nic.in/TOURISM/Tour1.htm]