Platinum Mudra

The strains of a host of ragas and the tinkling of ghungroos will float in the winter air as the annual Vasantotsav, a festival of Indian classical music and dance, will take place in the Capital. Organised by Delhi-based Kalashram, the four-day festival is an ode to the doyen of kathak Pandit Birju Maharaj, who completes 75 years on February 4. Maharaj, a leading exponent of the Lucknow Kalka-Bindadin gharana, has regaled the audience with a host of Kathak techniques including the famous Natwari Nritya. The man may have slowed slightly in the last few years, but nothing has diminished his charm and the bhav nritya that he still performs with the same spirit.

The inaugural on Friday had a dance duet between Bharatnatyam dancer Zakir Hussain and Gaudiya Nritya exponent Ayan Mukherjee, followed by a duet by shehnai player Rajendra Prasanna and violin player Santosh Nahar. Today's line-up is more dance-centric and will feature a duet between Maharaj's son Deepak and kuchipudi dancer Deepika Reddy, who is also a former member of the regional censor board. On Sunday, there will be a performance by Suchismita and Debopriya, better known as the flute sisters, followed by a duet by Bharatnatyam exponent Rama Vaidyanathan and Odissi dancer Sujata Mohapatra. Maharaj will make a special appearance at the closing day. The festival will conclude with a finale performance on Maharaj's birthday by tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain.

The venue till February 3 will be at Kamani auditorium. On February 4, it will be at FICCI auditorium. Contact Kalashram: 26277367

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