6th NaadaBindu Festival at ChinmayaNaadaBindu, Kolwan

The 6thNaada Bindu Festival (NBF)a residential 3-day performing arts retreat, was presented by Chinmaya Naada Bindu from February 12 – 14, 2016 at Chinmaya Vibhooti, Kolwan, Pune. PujyaGurujiSwami Tejomayananda, Global Head of Chinmaya Mission, inaugurated the festival and released the festival souvenir ‘Sannidhi’ conceptualized, designed & edited by Ms RamaaBharadvaj, CNB Director-Dance. “Antarnaad”, a new-age classical music CD with enchanting bansuri compositions by CNB Director-Music Himanshu Nanda was also released by PujyaGuruji on this occasion. The NaadaBindu Festival, attended by over 350 participants, had an impressive start with a soulful invocation by AartiSundaresan followed by a dynamic tabla performance by the students of the Chinmaya Social Responsibility programme, a community development initiative by CNB which provides free training in music to children from the neighbouring villages. This was followed by an insightful discourse by Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda on his composition “Rama Hare Stotram”.It was said that our Beloved Bhagwan is so compassionate that those who surrender unto Him are blessed with the virtues to realize God and God reveals Himself to the devotee. It is with love alone that we can gain this knowledge and realize God. What you are seeking, that you are!

The festival opened with “SundaraKandam”, a spectacular ‎Bharatanatyam dance-drama by AnithaGuha’sBharathanjali team. The excellent ‎choreography with perfect detailing to each aspect of the performance like lights, costumes, characterization with background ‎music by VidwanNeyveliSanthanagopalan ensured that it was a grand visual treat. Day-1 of the Festival ended on a meditative note with the soul-searching performance by Hindustani music legends Pts Rajan-SajanMisra. They started their performance with Raga Bhoopali presenting a badakhayal in taalRoopak, a chotakhayal in Teen taal followed by a dhrutkhayal in Raga Durga and a bhajan in Raga Kirwani. The concert ended with a beautiful rendition of the bhajan “DhanyaBhagaSevaKa” in Raga Bhairavi leaving the audience spellbound. A mesmerising concert by the exceptional musicians of Yashila led by acclaimed violinist Kala Ramnath, Abhijit Banerjee on tabla, Somnath Roy on ghatam and Goutam Shome on the keyboard set the perfect tone for Day-2 of the festival. The jugalbandis between both percussionists was an amazing blend of traditional and modern styles.

Acclaimed ‎Carnatic vocalists Shanmukhapriya and Haripriya, popularly known as Priya Sisters, were also featured on the 2nd day. The concert began with “VatapiGanapatim” in ragamHamsadhwani. Their renditions of various compositions in ragas Devamritavarshini, Chakravakam, Shivaranjani and Kapi were soulful. The center piece of the concert was a composition of Saint Thyagaraja in Rag Todi. The concert ended with the beautiful bhajan “ShriRamachandraKripaluBhajamana” by GoswamiTulsidasji. They were ably supported by V.V.SrinivasaRao on Violin, NeyveliSkandasubramanian on Mridangam and B.S.Purushotham on Kanjira. MythiliPrakash, one of the world’s leading young exponents of Bharatanatyam, presented a spectacular finale to Day 2 of the festival with her theme based performance “Sharanagati” which included the margam”Shiva PanchaksharaStotram”, the central piece Varnam and a Padam “RusliRadhaRuslaMadhav”. The pièce de résistance was “Allahu” a Sufi song which proved that art knows no boundaries of religion and touched everyone’s heart. The exceptional group of live musicians who accompanied Mythiliji included her brother Aditya Prakash on vocal, LingarajuSiddiah on mridangam, Mahesh Swamy on flute and vocal, EaswarRamakrishnan on violin and JayshreeRamanathan on nattuvangam.

“When you really sing with love, your heart dances and when you dance with love, your heart sings”. This proverb was proved true on the 3rd day of the festival, where CNB Director PramodiniRao presented “Prema-Geetam”, her soulful musical offering of ‎Love, on the occasion of Valentine’s Day. She unravelled the facets of love through a beautiful selection of songs from varied genres like bhaktigeet, natyageet, ghazal, sufi and folk in multiple languages. She was ably supported by NileshRanadive on tabla, Vijay Shivane on ‎harmonium and AbhijeetBhosale on percussion. The 6th NaadaBindu Festival had a truly grand finale with the outstanding performance by Sitar maestro UstadShahidParvez Khan. Ustadji began the concert with a deep and meditative alap in Raga Madhuvanti followed by jod and jhala. He also presented two gats in the same raga set to taalRoopak and Teentaal. The concert ended with a beautiful dhun in rag Pahadi. Pt. MukeshJadhav gave him excellent accompaniment on the tabla. The festival also included two enlightening art-talks. CNB Director-Music Himanshu Nanda presented MQ 2 HQ (Musical Quotient to ‎Happiness Quotient), a special module that highlights the role of music as a tool to improve the efficiency and performance of an individual, contribute to holistic growth, and its relevance to the corporate sector. The session was highly interactive and was appreciated by the participants, most of whom had no background in ‎classical music. RamaaBharadvaj, CNB Director-Dance, gave a creative and engaging introduction to gestures and their application in ‎dance through “FINGER TALES – Storytelling in Dance”.The hour-long session, was immaculate in its concept development and filled with humor and thought-provoking introspections on dance creation. She introduced each aspect as if it were a story. Her special choreography on the theme of pollution effectively connected ‎Bharatanatyam to real life and revealed her imaginative choreographic skills. Her “Bharatam& Beethoven” that was created 30 years ago to depict an episode from the Ramayana, left the audience spell-bound. “Finger Tales” was indeed a masterful and educational session and received a standing ovation from the audience.

The festival also featured an exhibition of beautiful oil and mural paintings by artists Arun Raman and MalathyRajan as well as live painting by artist ShireeshKathale titled Trance-Formation where he interpreted the musician’s mood on the spot and expressed it through colors on canvas. A colorful Garba Night also saw the audience, artists and volunteers join hands to dance in gay abandon. From children to senior citizens, dancers to non-dancers, everyone let go off all inhibitions and swayed to the musical beats.

The 6thNaadaBindu Festival drew to a close with the artists, organisers, volunteers and audience working in unison to make it a memorable experience.