Anubhuti Fest 2017: Pt. Uday Bhawalkar On Dhrupad Gayaki, Foreign Audiences And More!

Pt. Uday Bhawalkar was performing on the second day of the Anubhuti Fest 2017 at Vasantrao Deshpande Hall, Nagpur.

Pt. Uday Bhawalkar, Anubhuti Fest 2017, Vasantrao Deshpande Hall, Nagpur, Cloud Door, Anahat, Mr and Mrs Iyer, ITC SRA

Pt. Uday Bhawalkar is one of the most well-known personalities when it comes to North Indian classical music. An exponent of Dhrupad genre, one of the oldest forms of compositions in the Indian classical music, Bhawalkar has contributed in the soundtracks of various international films like Cloud Door, Mr and Mrs Iyer and Anahat.  He currently resides in Pune and is one of the gurus in ITC SRA (Sangeet Research Academy).

Reacho caught up with him, right before his performance on the second day of Anubhuti Fest 2017. Here is an excerpt from the interview:

On the preservation of Dhrupad Gayaki:

In order to preserve Dhrupad Gayaki, one of the oldest forms of compositions of Hindustani classical music, I’ve to start it on an individual level, first.The talim which I got from my gurus, I’ve to practise and also take it forward for my disciples and the younger enthusiasts.

On singing in a foreign land:

There are three to four reasons why foreign audiences attend my concerts. Mostly these concerts are organised by Indian organisations, who want to preserve Indian culture outside India. In places like Greece, Mexico and Belgium, people are fascinated with everything that is Indian. They are in love with Indian culture and want to know more about it.

On his stint with ITC SRA:

I joined it 5 years ago and it has been a wonderful experience, since then! It is one of the rare institutions in the world that follow the guru-shishya parampara. Moreover, this institution has a galaxy of gurus, coming from different gharanas, having different style and approach. Hence, the student gets a different approach, altogether.

On teaching on Skype:

We should move on with time and I don’t find anything strange in teaching on Skype. The only thing that matters is a good internet speed. If there is a gap, even if it for a fraction of seconds, there is a miscommunication and the joy of teaching is gone! But if you ask me personally, it is a blessing to have the guru in person. 

Since 2014, Anubhuti has cemented its place in Nagpur with its bouquet of performances by the prestigious artists from all across India. This year Anubhuti is again set to bring some enchanting classical performances by some iconic artists of India. For the very first time in the history of Central India, the city will welcome Mahesh Elkunchwar Marathi play 'Magna Talya Kathi' directed by Chandrakant Kulkarni on 25th of February. Know more about this event, here.

Title image: Bengalfoundation

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Mandar Pandhare (WRITER)

Mandar Pandhare is a commerce graduate turned journalist. When he is not writing stories or editing articles, he is either busy traveling, cracking lame jokes or drooling over Nagpuri street food.