The sixtieth edition of the Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav, which is slated to begin from December 11, will feature a short film festival, Shadja, on Indian classical music.
During Antarang, a discussion session that involves an interactive session with acclaimed artistes who have been a part of the Mahotsav, Pandit Swapan Chaudhari and Dr Suresh Chandvankar will be interviewed this year.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Shrinivas Joshi, executive president, Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal, said: “A total of nine different films — all on classical music — will be showcased. In addition, we will also instal LED walls for better projection of the event. The two programmes (Shajda and Antarang) will be held from December 12 to 14. Shadja will begin from 10.30 am and be followed by Antarang.”
Shrirang Godbole, chairman, Indian Magic Eye, said a short film on Bharatnatyam by Jagat Murari, Music — Dance and Culture by Ghanshyam Mohpatra and Music of India — Classical by A Bhaskar Rao would be screened on the first day.
The second day has Antar Yatra and Om Namah Shiva by Loksen Lalvani and Tarana by Rajat Kapoor scheduled for screening. A film on Ustad Amjad Ali Khan by Gulzar, Sitara by Amar Verma and Taal & Mridanga by Shyam Benegal will be shown on the last day.
Godbole said: “Antarang this year would have noted tabla maestro Pandit Swapan Chaudhari and Dr Suresh Chandvankar, a passionate collector of old gramophone records and the honorary secretary of the Society of Indian Record Collectors, who will be talking about their journey, experiences and memories.”
The Vatsalabai Joshi award this year will be given to Pt Ajay Pohankar.
The other highlights this year include an exhibition of rare photos of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan Saheb, founder of Kirana Gharana. The pictures have been compiled by photographer Sateesh Paknikar. “This particular exhibition would also have some of the letters written by Ustad Abdul Karim Khan Saheb in an enlarged format. Sourcing the pictures was not easy as they are very old. However, we have managed to select source and enhance the best ones for the exhibition.”
In addition, a special walkthrough section has been created, which will have five television screens displaying the photos from Paknikar’s previous exhibitions on various themes that have been the part of exhibitions at the venue for the last five years.
The themes include the likes of “Smaranyatra” (down memory lane), an exhibition of various offbeat photographs of the Sawai fest. Besides an exhibition of Pandit Bhimsen’s photographs after he received Bharat Ratna and an exhibition of photographs of Gangubai Hangal and Pandit Firoz Dastur and last year’s exhibition on the Kirana Gharana.
Godbole said: “There will be five LEDs installed at various locations and a revamped interior to enhance the experience this time. Shyam Bhutkar is supervising the same. An article, Sawai Gandharva Maze Guru, written by Pt Bhimsen Joshi, would be distributed among the audience.”
Some of the veteran musicians who have accompanied Pt Bhimsen Joshi will be honoured too. Among them are Purushottam Walawalkar, Nana Mule, Tulshidas Borkar and Mauli Takalkar. Besides, families of artistes who have passed away in the last few years would also felicitated. Pt Arvind Parikh and Usha Chipalkatti will be honoured for their contribution to the world of music.
Joshi said: “The PMPML has announced special buses for music lovers during the Sawai fest. The buses will ply from Raman Baug to Katraj, Anand Nagar, Dhayri, Kothrud Depot and Karve Nagar.”