Sunday, September 05, 2010

QUT Indian Independence Day

A couple of my students are starting to reach the level of being able to accompany Indian classical music, and my student Arka Basu recently had his first concert accompanying bansuri, at the QUT Indian Independence Day celebrations where he was invited to accompany Darshil Shah, a QUT student and upcoming bansuri player. Here are some snaps from the programme:

Nritya Bharati School of Dance concert 2010

On Saturday 5th August I attended the Nritya Bharati School of Dance 2010 student concert. This annual event is one of the largest in Brisbane's Indian classical cultural calendar, as Kathak dance teacher (and mother of two of my students) Namita Debroy presents the best of her many students of all ages, performing Kathak, folk and Bollywood dances. Here are some photos from the first (classical) half:

Kathak dancer and teacher, Namita Debroy

Yuki's mantra workshop in Maleny

A while back I contacted Andy Copeman at the Awakening Centre just outside Maleny about doing some events, and we started off with a mantra workshop and concert with my partner Yuki Taniguchi. Awakening Centre is a beautiful space and Andy gathered a lovely group of participants to learn some vocal techniques and Sanskrit mantras from Yuki. This event also served to launch Yuki's new CD, "Nada Yoga", which you can download or order from

Practising "humming bee technique"

After the workshop we did a little kirtan concert

Friday, September 03, 2010

3rd Annual Ashu Babu Memorial Tabla School Concert

I've had numerous incidents and delays over the past few weeks - not least of which was pouring a cup of tea into my (old) laptop - but at last I can tell the story of the 3rd Annual Ashu Babu Memorial Tabla School Concert, held on Guru Purnima (Guru's full moon), July 25 at Progress Hall, Mt Gravatt. All the students worked very hard, especially over the month preceding the concert, to prepare a 5-10 minute tabla solo, and they all did wonderfully. Among the VIP guests, Brisbane Indian Times editor Umesh Chandra and sitar player Saikat Bhattacharya awarded certificates to the students. Each certificate showed the lineage of the Benares Gharana of tabla, from founder Pt Ram Sahai down through the generations to my gurus and finally myself and the students. Finally I gave a little report on tabla school activities and my own tabla solo, in char taal ki sawari (11 beats) and teentaal (16 beats). Many thanks to Joseph Nand for harmonium accompaniment and for providing the sound system, and to Mohit Lal, Dhiresh Singh and Darshil Shah for their tireless efforts. Thanks also to all the families and friends who came along.

The event was held in honour of my guru-ji Late Pt Ashutosh Bhattacharya (and all gurus)

Yuki opened the evening with mantras dedicated to the Gurus

My student Arka Basu accompanied his mother Sulagna Basu in a couple of bhajan, while the other students offered flowers to the altar.

Krishanu and Diptanu Debroy opened the tabla proceedings

One of my adult students Jeevan just started along with his 8 year old son. Hopefully next year they can perform together.

Bhavik Barot (10)

Prashaant Ram (14)

Thejeswaran Elankayer (10)

MC Balu and I watching from side of stage

Sanjeyan Sivaananthan (14) won 2nd prize for his excellent solo in jhaptaal (10 beats) and teentaal.

Arka Basu (14) won 1st prize for his expressive and enjoyable solo in vilambit and madhya lay teentaal.

All the students received certificates from judges Saikat Bhattacharya (left) and Umesh Chandra

Finally, I gave a tabla solo in char taal ki sawari (11 beats) and teentaal (16 beats)