BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 20 August, 2002, 10:15 GMT 11:15 UK
Indian potpourri at Edinburgh Festival
Flautist Hari Prasad Chaurasia
Hari Prasad Chaurasia represents the classical heritage

Kala 2002 is the latest link in the chain of events that have made Indian the hottest flavour this summer.

A joint effort between Indian and UK cultural groups, it has brought together more than 150 artists from different parts of India to the Edinburgh festival.

They include classical dancers, musicians, thespians, folk artists, fusion bands and even martial arts performers.


We hope to generate a different kind of dialogue and link with India

Nelson Fernandez, Visiting Arts
While classical artists like flautist Hari Prasad Chaurasia showcase the rich, cultural heritage of India, fusion music groups like Mrigya present a more contemporary and experimental side.

Together, they represent something of the country's melting pot of cultural and artistic diversity.

Renowned dancer Birju Maharaj is performing the Kathak dance of northern India, while Radha and Raja Reddy provide a new dimension to south Indian Kuchipudi dancing.

And appearing at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo are drum-roaring martial art dancers from the north-east, as well as the President's Bodyguard, the oldest cavalry of the Indian army.

Raja Reddy
Raja Reddy: Shows a new dimension of Kuchipudi dance
Other highlights include monologues on the experiences of the Indian eunuchs by Pritham Chakravarty and a Bharatnatyam dance performance by Malvika Sarukkai.

"This is for the first time that India is getting such a display at a British festival," said Kala 2002 director Sanjoy Roy.

The idea to hold Kala 2002 was first thought of four years ago when Mr Roy visited Edinburgh.

Last summer, he brought five Indian acts to test the waters. Such was the response that he felt encouraged to do something bigger.

Support from the UK-based Visiting Arts, the Indian Council of Cultural Relations and many others helped him realise this ambition.

Experimenting

Nelson Fernandez is head of performing arts and training at Visiting Arts, the national agency for promoting the flow of international arts into the UK.

He said the aim of supporting such events is to create a new consciousness in Britain about people who have become an integral part of the social tapestry.

"We hope to generate a different kind of dialogue and link with India. These artists bring to Edinburgh an India that not many are familiar with," he said.

Mr Roy echoed this view, saying: "A lot of musicians are experimenting with sounds and a lot of dancers are experimenting with various dance forms."

Dancer Daksha Sheth's troupe is performing Circus Of Earth And Sky, which uses contemporary dance styles intertwined with martial arts and yoga.

New links

Of the music on offer, Mr Roy highlighted two groups, saying: "Indian Ocean has a lot folk music influence, while Mrigya has its roots in Indian classical music."

For the artists, Kala 2002 presents an opportunity to establish links with a new audience.

"It is great challenge to perform for a completely new audience, that too in such a competitive environment," said violinist Sarat Chandra Srivastava of Mrigya.

"There is so much to learn from the other performers at Edinburgh."

And for the audience, too, there is a lot to learn and experience.

If high culture is your choice, you can pick any of performers mentioned above. If it is popular culture that you are after, there's Bollywood at Edinburgh too.

Film star Shah Rukh Khan has a retrospective of his films running at the festival, where he will make a personal appearance on 24 August.

Coverage of the 2002 Edinburgh Festival from BBC News Online

The buzz

In focus

Fringe diarists

REVIEWS

AROUND THE BBC

WEBSITES
Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes