Padma Shri Taalyogi Suresh Talwalkar and Sangeet Natak Academy Awardee Guru Shama Bhate will be performing in the centenary celebrations of Madana Gopala Rao Guru Mahotsav 2023 at Shilpkala Vedika on Sunday 8 October. According to Dr. Shrinivas Rao Mukku, Chairman, ArtHub Foundation, the concert is dedicated to Madana Gopala Rao ji and all the wonderful Gurus who have contributed to life change careers of many individuals. Throwing light on the man Madana Gopala Rao ji, who would have been 100 in 2023, had served for Military Engineering Services (MES), and took to teaching as a parallel activity. “He taught Hindi while he lived in South India and English while he lived in North India, where he spent most of his life. He was a true connoisseur of music who not only ensured education of his children but everyone who came in touch with him,” he says.
Speaking exclusively to Natyahasini, Kathak dancer Mukti Shri shares that the event is a tribute to both her Gurus, Smt. Shama Bhate Ji and Pandit Suresh Talwalkar ji. “I feel extremely elated that we are an instrument for this Guru Mahotsav and these Gurus are of the highest order in our classical music and dance tradition,” she says and invites Hyderabadis, connoisseurs of music and dance to witness the concert. She shares the memorable evening will feature, “Taal Yatra – Composed by Pandit Suresh Talwalkar, including 14 musicians with drums from all over the world. And Krishna the liberator – choreographed by Guru Shama Bhate, Kathak as a medium to tell stories of Krishna in modern context.”
Dr. Shrinivas Rao Mukku states that the concert will feature Taal Yatra and Kathak choreography so that we can celebrate the creations and contributions of such Gurus along with their disciples. Speaking about Taal yogi Padma Shri Pandit Suresh Talwalkar, Dr. Shrinivas says that the musician with more than 500 professional students is one of the best examples of Mahagurus who have contributed immensely to music and musicians. “Similarly, Shama Bhate, through her institute Naadroop, a premier institute in Pune, has moulded young talents into solo performers in Kathak. “She has also curated multiple innovative productions bringing a significant change on how dance and music could be used to communicate stories of philosophy, artists, saints and reformers,” he states.
Sharing their views on the Gurus, Dr. Shrinivas says: “Taal Yogi Padmashri Pandit Suresh Talwalkar is an accomplished tabla artist, an expert musicologist and a versatile Guru. For the first time, Sureshji introduced the novel concept of taking vocal accompaniment and added a new dimension and direction to the solo playing of tabla. His genius is highlighted by the exquisite renderings of “Taal Mala” and “Joad Taal”, a contribution applauded alike by connoisseurs,” he says.
According to the Chairman of ArtHub, Sureshji believes that the “Guru Shishya Parampara” is the soul of Indian classical music and he is an ardent follower of the same. “As a guru, his teaching abilities and expertise is unmatched. His unending quest for creativity and innovation, makes him a distinguished composer. His CDs like “Taal Yatra” or “Laya Kalpana” and the group concerts like “Taal Mala” and “Taal Yatra” can be cited best for the same,” Dr. Shrinivas says. However, it has to be pointed that Sureshji’s compositions have influenced not only the musicians from India but also from the Western countries and today, many jazz composers seek his guidance in their musical journey.
Mukti states that Guru Shama Bhate’s work spans over 35 years as a performer, teacher, choreographer, artistic director, and thinker. “Her personal idiom, evolved over the years, is an amazing blend of virtuosity (tayyari) and sensitive expressions (abhinaya), revealing the high degree of classicism. Also, Guru Shama Bhate is the primary disciple of Guru Smt. Rohini Bhate, the doyen of Kathak. She has performed as a soloist and along with her students all over the world,” she says.
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