This year's Classical stage plays tribute to two famous poets of the sub-continent, Nobel prize winner Rabindranath Tagore and Nobel nominee and Lenin Peace Prize winner, Faiz Ahmad Faiz. Both of whom have left a lasting imprint on the minds of Classical arts lovers, Tagore's 150th birth anniversary and Faiz Ahmed Faiz's 100th are celebrated with aplomb, with Sufi and Bengali music and dance, performed in a way that all audiences can enjoy and connect. The stage incorporates the rare South Indian instrument, the Veena, via BBC 3's world routes protégé and Mela's got talent is back, with youngsters in arts showcasing their immense talent and diligent learning.
Ashanti OMkar comes back to the London Mela's Classical stage after competently compering and co-curating in 2010. She presents the exciting new line-up that plays tribute to two greats, Tagore and Faiz Ahmed Faiz, which also covering the different talents from the Indian sub continent. Passionate about new and experienced musicians, she studied Indian Classical vocal music from childhood, has worked with the likes of double Oscar/Grammy winner, AR Rahman.
CLASSICAL STAGE LINE-UP
photo credit Akin Falope
SAMYO - by Milapfest
UK's top junior Indian classical orchestra join the Mela's got talent section of the Classical Stage, to showcase their emerging skills, practiced with practice and diligence and led by the eminent Gaurav Mazumdar. Milapfest is the UK's South Asian Arts Development Trust, run by national charity Milap Festival Trust.
Milap, a small but beautifully significant word from SANSKRIT, means 'to meet each other in friendship'. Milap was founded in 1985 with the idea of promoting cross-cultural programmes that would transcend the barriers of race, language and religion.
Geetanjali by Tagore
The curtain raiser for this colourful event was premiered on the Classical stage last year and this year, the event takes an evolved shape and form. Celebrating Tagore with music and dance, in the beautiful language of Bengali, this is set to tantalise the ocular and auditory senses of the audience.
photo credit Ravi Purohit
Indian Classical Synthesiser Vibes - Rekesh Chauhan
Born into music, via his father, Rekesh learnt Hindustani Classical music from childhood and then went onto learning the Western Classical piano and guitar. Pulling his knowledge of East and West and working with a brilliant Tabla player from Europe, this set promises a soothing vibe for the afternoon, blending the sounds of the keyboard with Indian Classical Raags (Modes), for your listening pleasure.
BBC 3 protégé, Veena Maestro
South East London raised Hari Sivanesan is a BBC 3 protégé, fresh off his performances at the BBC Proms and WOMAD festival, amongst a year of intensive touring and life long training in UK and India. He is known for being a Raga (mode) maestro on this rare South Indian stringed instrument, the veena, which is often depicted in paintings as being played by the Hindu goddess, Saraswati. He is accompanied on stage by T Pirashanna, a young well known West London raised percussionist, who is seen on prestigious stages like Carnegie Hall and Barbican, supporting the legendary Ravi Shankar and Anoushka Shankar et al.
Homage to Tagore - Sangeeta Datta
Trained in singing Rabindrasangeet (the music of Tagore), from early childhood, Sangeeta Datta and her Baithak artistes come together on stage today, accompanied by the young British Sarod virtuoso, Soumik Datta. Her work on Tagore has been showcased at festivals like Alchemy at South Bank and Darbar at King's Place and she is also a scholar, writer and film-maker, who made 'Life goes on', which stars the great-grandniece of Tagore himself, Sharmila Tagore. Today's tribute to 150 years of Tagore, is in a format for all to enjoy, as they unravel his work from it's native language, Bengali, to English, making portions of his work accessible to all.
photo credit Kev Howard
Qawwali music and the poetry of Faiz Ahmed Faiz - Adeel Saeed Chishti
Son of the late singer Qari Mohammed, Adeel Saeed Chishti takes forward his eminent lineage, by performing devotional music in 5 languages (including English). Born in Faisalabad, Pakistan, the city that gave birth to the great legend Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Adeel's music is all about humanity and peace. He will be performing a variety of uplifting songs, as a befitting finale to this eclectic stage, in his inimitable powerful and soulful voice.
Nepali Cultural Walk
Nepal and Nepali people are known for their diversity in culture and tradition. We have 4 caste and 36 sub-caste system. Almost every caste has their distinctive costume representing their ethnicity. It is the rich and hand made textiles that make the cultural attire beautiful to look at and comfortable to wear. Keeping in mind the tradition and trend, we like to flaunt the beauty of our cultural attire by having them worn by a number of beautiful young Nepali men and women.
RUNNING ORDER1.00 - 8.30pm Ashanti OMkar
1.00 - 1.05pm Mela’s got talent - Ruchira Srikanth invocation and Ritvik Srikanth violin piece
1.10 - 1.30pm Mela’s got talent - Samyo junior orchestra - Milapfest - Alok
1.45 - 2.15pm Ananda Gupta
2.30 - 3.00pm Nepali dance
3.15 - 3.45pm Rekesh Chauhan
4.00 - 4.30pm Hari Sivanesan and Pirashanna Thevarajah - Veena with Mirudangam
4.45 - 5.15pm Nepali dance
5.30 - 6.30pm Homage to Tagore - Sangeeta Datta
6.45 - 7.45pm Qawwali (Faiz Ahmed Faiz tribute) - Adeel Saeed Chishti