Since its inception in 1956 at Chandigarh, the Pracheen Kala Kendra has continued to be the premier institution in India and abroad in the field of Indian classical music and dances in so far the preservation and promotion of these arts are concerned. It would not be out of place to mention that the institution in more than half of a century of its existence has not only forged ahead firmly towards its defined goals but has been extended enviable support by the people from various parts of India and foreign countries associated with the performing and visual arts. The year 2016 was a special year in the history of Kendra as Kendra celebrated its Diamond Jubilee and on this special occasion, Kendra organized many musical events throughout the year in the length and breadth of the country.
The Kendra, like the previous years, registered rapid strides of progress in its chosen areas of academic, cultural and artistic activities, top on this scale being the conducting of examinations, imparting education and training in performing and visual arts, conducting research besides organizing cultural programmes by inviting top notch as well as upcoming artists from the field of performing arts. At the same time, it has undertaken steps to ensure that its position as Number 1 institution dedicated to providing first rate services to the students of Indian classical music, dances and fine arts is sustained and strengthened with every passing year . The Kendra’s aim is to develop ways and means by which basic cultural and aesthetic values and perceptions remain active and vibrant among people. A report on the activities of the institution is as under:-
WORLDWIDE NETWORK OF CENTRES
The Kendra has a worldwide network of examination centres which specializes in education in the field of art and culture. It has more than 3500 affiliated institutions spread all over the country and abroad including USA, UK, Canada, France, Singapore, Mauritius, UAE, Kuwait, South Africa, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, etc.
The examinations of Prarambhik, Bhushan, Visharad and Bhaskar conducted by the Kendra are enjoying considerable recognition. Since the Kendra is a recognized institution and its certificates and diplomas are treated at par with degrees by various State Governments/Education Boards/Universities, as a result of which, as many as 324441 students appeared in different examinations of the Kendra in the session 2015-2016 as compared to the figure of 319331 appeared during the last session, thereby registering an increase of 5110 number of students.
Known for imparting quality training in Indian classical music, dance and fine arts (painting) at its both the complexes in Chandigarh and Mohali, the Kendra continued with its effort to educate as well as encourage the interest of young generation in these classical art forms under the guidance of noted teachers and Gurus of these fields.
13th CEREMONY OF GURU M.L. KOSER AWARD
The 13th annual “Guru Madan Lal Koser Award” instituted by Pracheen
Kala Kendra for excellence in performing arts was presented at a glittering function at Tagore Theatre on 18 February, 2017. Shri M.P. Singh , Principal Secretary, Governor of Punjab and Administrator, UT Chandigarh was the Chief guest and conferred and award upon world renowned Vocalist Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty Award carrying a cash prize of Rs. 1.00 lakh, a shawl, a citation and a memento for his lifetime contribution in promotion and dissemination of Indian Classical music. The members of Governing Body of Pracheen Kala Kendra headed by its Chairman Shri S.K. Monga, Dr. Shobha Koser, Registrar along with Secretary Shri Sajal Koser and some other members of the Executive and General Body of the Kendra were also present at the said occasion. Award ceremony was followed by the vocal recital of the Maestro.
THE 46th PRACHEEN KALA KENDRA NRITYA & SANGEET SAMMELAN
The prestigious annual event of the Kendra “Pracheen Kala Kendra Nritya
and Sangeet Sammelan(formerly known as All-India Bhaskar Rao Nritya
and Sangeet Sammelan)’ s 46th edition was held at Chandigarh from
March 18 to 24, 2016. Organised during the Diamond Jubilee year , the
seven day festival was a grand success as nationally and
internationally acclaimed and famed exponents from the world of the performing arts presented their choicest items. The artists who performed included Shri Amaan Ali Khan & Shri Ayaan AliKhan (Sarod Jugalbandi) , Smt. Mahua Shankar (Kathak), Smt. Sania Patankar (Vocal), Kedia Brothers (Sitar & Sarod jugalbandi), Shri JawadAli Khan , Shri Majhar Ali Khan, (Vocal jugalbandi) Shri Shubhendra & Smt. Saskia Rao (Sitar Cello Jugalbandi, Pt. Chetan Joshi (Flute) , Smt. Shallu Jindal (Kuchipudi), Pt. Sandipan Samajpati (Vocal) , Shri Braja Mallick & troupe ( Odissi Dance), Shri Saunak Chatterjee (Vocal) , Smt. Purnima Ashok & Troupe (Bharatnatyam Dance) , Pt. Harvinder Sharma (Sitar) , Smt. Purva & Troupe (Kathak Dance)
BAITHAK PROGRAMMES OF KENDRA
For the last eighteen years, the Kendra has been taking care of providing a platform among others to the upcoming, talented as well as established artistes from the field of performing arts as on the 11th of every month, it holds Baithak programme besides organizing Special Programmes which now have become a permanent feature of Kendra’s activities.
During its Diamond Jubilee year , some of the artists who performed in Baithak are Gauri Guha (Vocal) Raj kumar Majumder (Santoor) Renu Pahari Bassi (Kathak Dance) , Sonali Natta (Vocal) Danish Ali (Violin)
Nabanita Chowdhury (Vocal) Pt. Yadavraj Phad (Vocal) Priya Srinivasan (Bharatnatyam Dance) Padmaja Chakraborty (Vocal) Chandrima Majumder (Sarod) and Nila Sinha Roy (Vocal) to name just a few only from long list of artists.
Heralding a new era in the preservation and promotion of Hindustani classical music and dancing realms the Pracheen Kala Kendra achieved another milestone of with celebration of diamond Jubilee year in 2016. On this special occasion, Kendra organized various special programmes featuring renowned as well as upcoming young artists who presented their best and choicest of items such as Veena & Guitar Jugalbandi by Salil Bhatt and Matthias Mullar, Sitar recital by Supratik Sengupta from Kolkata, Kathak jugalbandi by Saberi Mishra and Trina Roy from U.K. As a part of Diamond Jubilee and by way of a special event, Kendra also organized three days festival of sitar and vocal and in this festival eminent artists like Rita Dev (Vocal), Shakir Khan (Sitar), Meeta Pandit (Vocal), Adnan Khan (Sitar), Arshad Khan (Vocal) and Dhruv Bedi (Sitar) captivated the audiences with their soulful and remarkable performances. A two day Music and Dance festival featuring Shri Anjan Saha and Kaberi Sen (Sitar and Odissi Dance ) and Arunangshu Chowdhury & his group and Archana Singh (Taal Vadya kacheri and Kathak) was organized by the Kendra . Under the aegis of Special programmes Kendra also presented a dance ballet, “Katha Kathak ki”, which was the home production of the Kendra comprising of its students and the said ballet was conceptualized , choreographed and Directed by Dr. Samira Koser, eminent Kathak Danseuse and a faculty member of the Kendra.
QUARTERLY BAITHKAS AT NEW DELHI
In 2015 Pracheen Kala Kendra also started its quarterly Baithaks in New Delhi under the series “Legends of Tomorrow” and was appreciated by music lovers of the Capital. This year various talented young and upcoming as well as well known exponents of performing arts like Dr. Samira Koser (Kathak) , Ankita Kaushik & Himanshu Srivastava (Bharatnatyam Jugalbandi), Vasu Krishna Maharaj and Vaibhav Krishna Maharaj (Kathak Duo) and Meenu Thakur & troupe (Kuchipudi Dance). Megha Talegaonkar and Shubhra Talegaokar (Vocal jugalbandi) and Ustad Asgar Husain Khan (Violin recital).performed in the quarterly baithaks which have become a successful platform and lot of young and talented artists have lined up to showcase their immense talent.
A TWO DAY 4th GURU M.L. KOSER MUSIC AND DANCE FESTIVAL AT NEW DELHI
To continue its sparkling tradition of enriching Indian classical art and culture, the Kendra in memory of its founder, organized 4TH Guru M.L. Koser Music and Dance Festival on December 2nd and 3rd at Satya Sai Auditorium, Lodhi Road, New Delhi. The festival on the first day witnessed a melodious vocal recital of accomplished classical vocalist Vidushi Sunanda Sharma followed by scintillating Sitar recital by immensely talented sitarist Pt. Harvinder Sharma and concluding day commenced with a soulful Vocal recital by Pt. Sandipan Samajpati who captivated the audience with his mellifluous voice followed by dazzling Odissi dance performances by the disciples and troupe of Padmashree Guru Ranjana Gauhar.
ANOTHER SPECIAL FEATURE FOR STUDENTS OF PKK TITLED “PARAMPARA”
To promote the talent of its students and to provide every students an opportunity to showcase their talent and perform on stage , Kendra also started monthly series named as “Parampara” which successfully is giving stage exposure to all the students who are learning in various departments of Kendra. These series of programmes will surely give confidence to the children and help them in their wholistic development. The Kendra organized first episode of Parampara on 23rd May, 2015 and till now eight successful episodes of Parampara have been held.
In line with its tradition, Pracheen Kala Kendra also organized its 30 day long production oriented Children’s Workshop on Theatre and Kathak Dance under the guidance of noted theatre artist Vijay Kumar and noted Kathak dance teacher Smt. Renu Pant. Nearly 80 students ranging between five to sixteen years of age took part in the said workshop which as in the previous years, was a great success. In the workshop, the children were given lessons in theatrical arts like make-up, costume designing, stage decoration, speech, body movement, acting, mask-making etc. On the culmination day, the children gave a glittering performance of the workshop based items.
PUBLIC CHARITABLE AND WELFARE ACTIVITIES
During the year under review, the Kendra undertook a number of public welfare and charitable activities. The Kendra took special interest in the well being of the education, training, recreation and all-round growth of slum children who comprise a vast section of society. The Kendra lay special emphasis on the training and education of handicapped children also who have been physically and psychologically assisted by the Kendra from time to time. A lot of relief and recreation go into their well being. It has made a distinct difference to the quality of their lives. Kendra is a regular donor to WWF, CRY, Child care etc.
Special scholarships are earmarked for poor and handicapped children and they are imparted free training in music, dance and other allied arts so as to enable them to stand out in the society. Organizing of programmes and conferences participating these children is one of the most important activities of the Kendra.
7th CONVOCATION OF NORTHERN REGION
As many as 100 meritorious and successful students of Classical Music (Vocal & Instrumental), Classical Dances and Fine Arts (Painting) of Northern region comprising the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and UT Chandigarh were conferred with the diplomas and certificates of Bhaskar and Visharad final at the Pracheen Kala Kendra’s North Zone convocation held at Chandigarh on 15th May 2016. The function was split into two parts – convocation and musical programme. Chief Guest, Sh Rajvinder Singh Gill, Director, North Zone Cultural Centre, gave the diplomas to the students and Dr. Prof. Jagmohan Sharma , Associate Professor (Department of Music), Govt. College of Education, Patiala delivered the keynote address.
PRACHEEN KALA KENDRA’S 44th ANNUAL CONVOCATION FOR THE EASTERN REGION
Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh, the premier organization dedicated to the promotion, preservation and dissemination of Indian classical art and culture with a Pan- India presence, organized a musical concert a day before its 44th Annual Convocation. Two spectacular performances by Pride of West Bengal Legendary, Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty and impressive Taal Badya jugalbandi of Tabla and Shreekhol by famous Barman Bandhus. Eminent Rabindra Sangeet Singer Smt. Pramita Mallick was present as chief guest.
On Sunday , 8th January 2017, Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh held its 44th Annual Convocation for the Eastern Region at Mahanayak Uttam Mancha, Kolkata. More than 500 successful students of Visharad final (B. Mus.) and Bhaskar final (M.Mus.) belonging to the eastern region of the country comprising the states of West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha , Tripura and other North East states were awarded their certificates/diplomas
Sri Sajal Koser, Secretary of the Kendra welcomed the guests and artists. This was followed by inauguration of the Convocation by Chief Guest His Excellency, Shri Keshri Nath Tripathi, Hon’ble Governor of West Bengal and Key note address by Prof. Amita Dutta, renowned Kathak dance exponent.
Eminent Sarod player Pt. Buddhadev Dasgupta , was felicitated with a Lifetime Achievement Award comprising a cash award of Rs 25,001, a shawl, a memento and a citation. Shri Chandan Sen, Renowned Director and Actor, Shri Rabin Mandal, Eminent Painter, Shri Udit Prasanna Mukherjee, a well known journalist were felicitated with a cash award of Rs 11,001, a shawl, a memento and a citation. Shri Arkaprabha Sarkar was presented with the Prodyot Bhadra Young Journalist Award, comprising a cash award of Rs 11,001, a shawl, a memento and a citation. Prior to presenting these tokens of appreciation, a citation, covering their achievements in a nutshell, was read.
Felicitations over, superintendants of centres who sponsored the highest number of candidates were honoured. This year winners were Shri Gour Mandal, Assam , and Tushar Mandal, Jalpaiguri.
Meritorious candidates in Bhaskar examination who were conferred upon “Guru M. L. Koser Award for Excellence” included The Guru M.L. Koser Award for Excellence, instituted by the Kendra in recognition of un-paralleled services of its founder Guru M.L. Koser was also given as well as the Shri Sunil Koser Award for Excellence to the top students in Bhaskar and Visharad final examinations respectively. In the session 2015-2016, a total number of students as 3,24,441 were appeared in Kendra’s different examinations thereby making it the largest organization of its kind in the field of arts education.
The Convocation concluded with medals & diplomas of Sangeet Bhaskar & Visharad Final being presented to students by the dignitaries present, along with Smt. Shobha Koser, Registrar-cum-Treasurer of the Kendra and Shri Sajal Koser, Secretary of the Kendra.
KENDRA’S NEW OFFICE AT ASSAM AND PATNA
In view of increasing demand and to cater to the requirements of the centre holders of the state of Assam and Bihar and for the smooth functioning of the Kendra in these states, Kendra established its two new regional offices at Patna and Jorhat Assam. Situated in a centrally located place, the new offices are well-connected with all means of transportation i.e. Train, Bus, Taxi, Auto etc. Patna office also has a rest room for the stay of the centre holders.
INTER STATE PAINTING EXHIBITION AND WORKSHOP AND MUSICAL PROGRAMME AT PATNA
Kendra in the year 2016 also organized Inter State Painting Workshop at its Regional office premises in Rukunpura, Bailey Road , Patna on 24th September, 2016. Noted painters of the state participated to display their painting prowess in order to elevate and disseminate the noble art of painting. On this special occasion Kendra also brought a catalogue (Samarika).
Kendra also organized a special musical programme on 25th September, 2016 at Kalidas Rangalaya, Bihar Art Theatre, , Patna and the event featured prominent artists of the State of Bihar. Shri Hari Lal Das with his scintillating Violin recital and Shri Saroj Das with his soulful vocal presentation mesmerized the packed audience. Shri Shiv Chandra Ram, Hon’ble Minister, Department of Art, Culture & youth , State of Bihar was the Chief Guest of the said occasion. On the said occasion Kendra also honored two illustrious personalities. Sarv Shri Anandi Prasad Badal, Chairman, Bihar Lalit Kala Academy and Dr. Shankar Prasad, eminent writer, musician, administrator, director and Ex-Chairman , Bihar Lalit Kala Academy were honored and Life time Achievement Award was conferred upon them for their tremendous contribution the field of Performing Arts.
SPECIAL MUSICAL EVENING AT JORHAT, ASSAM
The Kendra continued with the celebrations of its diamond jubilee as on 26 October 2016, it organized a special programme of Music and dance at District Library, Jorhat, Assam. The programme was a huge hit and it featured various music and dance presentations by regional folk artists of Assam. The event also witnessed a well appreciated Vocal recital by prominent vocalist Pragyan Barua and Melodious flute recital by Pt. Chetan Joshi. A dazzling Kathak Dance recital by Eminent Kathak danseuse Dr. Samira Koser gave a befitting finale to the said event.
CONVOCATION AT BHUBANESWAR
On 3rd January, 2016 , 8th Convocation of Odisha state was held at Jaydev Bhawan, Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Shri Ananta Narayan Jena , Hon’ble Mayor , Bhubaneswar was the Chief Guest and Prof. Basudev Chhatoi, Chairman, Higher Secondary Education, Odisha delivered the keynote address.
The Convocation was followed by a well-knit concert of music and dance featuring Guru Ramhari Das, an eminent Odissi vocalist and Guru Braja Mallick and troupe , a renowned Odissi Dance exponent. Shri Manoranjan Panigrahi, IAS, Commissioner-cum Secretary, Department of Culture, Government of Odisha was the chief guest and Shri Bijay Kumar Mohanty, Hon’ble MLA, Madhya Nirbachan Mandali, Bhubaneswar graced the occasion as Guest of Honor.