“Have you ever closed your eyes and run your fingers over a colourful, Persian rug?” asks Vidushi Shruti Sadolikar-Katkar as she describes the repertoire of combined Ragas which is typical of the Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana. “You will be able to trace its patterns without feeling anything, even though there are different colours and designs that start and end at various points; the texture is smooth and you wouldn’t even know where the blending was done,” she muses.
Shruti Sadolikar-Katkar compares the masterful blending of combination Ragas in the Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana to the seamless transition of a train from one track to the other, without the travelers even aware of it. In this concert, she sings three Ragas– Raag Savani Nat, which is a favourite of the Gharana, Raag Bihari and Raag Kaunsi Kanada. A female exponent of a pre-dominantly masculine style from a strong lineage – these are what make the October Director’s Cut series from Darbar so special. The Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana is known for its rare Ragas and an apt combination of intellect and aesthetics in their representation. This Gharana specializes in combining two Ragas into one with seamless, smooth transitional points.
Accompanying her on the Tabla is Vishwanath Shirodker, on the Sarangi is Murad Ali and on the Harmonium is Tanmay Deochake.
“In Darbar Festival, a core internal objective in the process of curation is the equal representation of male and female artists. If we cannot achieve 50% on a particular year, we at least try to stick to 30% which is good considering this is a male-dominated zone,” says Sandeep Virdee. Behind the setting of such an objective, Sandeep cites this as applicable not just in Indian Classical Music but Classical Music forms from all parts of the world.
Apart from the gender angle, representation of the Khayal traditions from all parts of India is also an objective. “I believe that there has been a melt-down in the Gharanas or styles as far as the Tabla is concerned in the present scenario; Most Tabla players do not want to stick particularly to their own Gharana throughout a performance. However, this is not the case in vocal Indian Classical Music,” observes Sandeep.
Shruti Sadolikar-Katkar is one such artist who fits the bill in the best possible manner. She does justice to the style by finding the space for infusing her grace, sublimity and subtle nuances, adding another dimension to the male-oriented Gharana. Her uncompromised and unadulterated delivery of the rare Ragas lends a beam of class and confidence to her overall performance.
Enjoy this 1 hour 54 minute performance where you will hear the singer speak a bit about her Gharana and also about the philosophy behind its pure but disciplined approach.