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La Martiniere Girls' College hosted a lecture cum demonstration on Kathak by the renowned dancer Rani Khanam on 6th October, 2015 being organised by SPIC MACAY( SOCIETY FOR THE PROMOTION OF INDIAN CLASSICALMUSIC AND CULTURE AMONGST YOUTH) She was accompanied by Falgun Saini on Phadant, Zoheb Hasan at the vocals and harmonium and Pradeep Mishra on the Tabla.
The students of the middle school  were surely in for a treat of a different kind.
She began her lecture cum demonstration by quizzing the students about their knowledge of the classical dance forms.She explained the meaning of the word 'Kathak' and the difference between the classical and folk dance. Classical dance form is based on rigorous training of 15 to 18 years with the knowledge of abhinaya, costume, movements to the accompaniments of the instruments, like tabla. Folk dance is a group dance which depicts happiness oe celebration at a festival in simple movements on a particular rhythm. Classical dance is done for worship of God. many of them being based on the stories of the Ramayan and Mahabharata.
She began her performance by dancing on a bhajan," Jai jai radhe Krishna hare'.

She told the young audience about the two styles of Kathak dance - Lucknow and Jaipur Gharana. The Lucknow Gharana  developed under the patronage of the Nawabs and includes abhinaya mainly.
Her subtle explanation of the Hindu style of wishing the audience and the King ( Rangmanch ka tukda) and the Mughal Darbari salami was easily understood.
The dexterity of her foot movements while explaining the different levels of sounds on the tabla, how foot movements related to birds, other sounds of nature and instruments left the young audience mesmerised.
Her next performance narrated incidents from the life of Lord Ganesha and Krishna " Bihari ko apne bas kar paon". Her excellence in the field of her specialisation of lucknow Gharana was clearly evident.
The synchronisation of the tabla and foot movements was breathtaking. The performance of 'Ladi' - a piece of continuous foot movements brought a thunderous applause from the students. She danced on a Daadara portraying Vatsalya ras between Krishna and Yashoda. last but not the least she made the children clap in rhythm with her foot movement. The students enjoyed the programme thoroughly and greatly appreciated the excellence and creativity of the versatile artist, Rani khanam. One could see an expression of wonder and joy written on the young faces as the programme came to an end.



Senior students of class 9-12 of La Martiniere Girls’ College, Lucknow, were in for a special audio treat with renowned flautist Pt. Ranendranath (Ronu) Majumdar performing in their school aditorium under the aegis of the VIRASAT series of the Lucknow Chapter of SPIC MACAY (Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth).
Pt. Majumdar addressed the students- sharing his experiences and knowledge about music. He said that any and every music in the world has seven basic notes and even made the audience- students and teachers alike- sing it with him, after which he played them on his flute. He even shared a “sher”, thus leaving the audience in splits.
He told the audience how the flute, which was originally a pastoral, that is, a folk instrument, was introduced to Indian Classical music about 90 years earlier by Pt. Pannalal Ghosh. He also said that the flute was the most natural instrument in the world, not having any additional material and  consisting simply of holes in a bamboo pole, unlike , for example, the guitar which has synthetic strings, or the tabla, which has skin.
He made the audience close their eyes, so as to enjoy the music from the soul, which, as he said is the right way to listen to feel music. He played the morning raag- “Raag Aheer Bhairavi”. After having finished playing, he asked the audience to honestly tell him whether they enjoyed his performance or not, to which the audience answered in a loud, unanimous “Yes!”
Next, he played his own personal favourite, as he said so, the “Kajri”- the folk tune from Uttar Pradesh, in Raag Khamaaj. He also made the audience sing “Saare Jahaan Se Accha” along with him, and also informed them about the mostly unknown fact of Bharat Ratna Pt. Ravi Shankar, his guru’s guru, having composed the song.
The question and Answer session took place then, where the students asked questions like how he became interested in music, to which he replied that having seen his father play the flute, he too had taken it up as a hobby which soon turned into his passion. He also narrated a funny anecdote about his visit to a certain school, where he had asked the students to close their eyes, and had opened his own, on an impulse, to check whether they had followed his instruction or not, and had noticed a child in the centre, who had a hand covering one eye while the other eye was open. On being asked the reason for doing so, the child had humbly replied that he wanted to check whether Pt. Majumdar was actually playing the flute, or if it was just a recording.
Since the audience wanted to listen some more to him, he played “Paayoji maine Ram Ratan Dhan Paayo” while urging he audience to sing it. It was clearly seen by the thunderous applause that he received that the audience had loved and enjoyed every minute of his performances!




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