Friday, March 7, 2008

The Spirit of India

A little piece of India fell into my letterbox today and my heart skipped an extra beat. When I opened the brochure about the forthcoming visit of India’s most celebrated flautist, Natesan Ramani and singer Manjiri Kelkar courtesy of the Nataraj Cultural Centre, which organises these Spirit of India concerts, I was immediately transported back to the colour, the passion, the exuberance and the explosive intensity of India itself – that wonderful world where ghazals, ragas, tablas and sitars send pleasurable shivers down the spine. Spirit of India 2008 is bringing this unique double-bill – voice and instrument, north and south Indian classical music – to Dunedin (Otago Museum) and Christchurch (Arts Centre) on March 18th and 20th respectively. I can’t describe classical Indian music – certainly not technically – but the words ‘bold, tragic, sensual, erotic, spiritual, rich, emotive’ all spring to mind. But a description will always fall short; experience is the thing and these performances will be a rare treat.

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