THE ANNUAL REPORT OF PRACHEEN KALA KENDRA
FOR THE YEAR 2016-2017
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 3,26,040 students appeared in different examinations of the Kendra in the session 2016-2017 and as compared to the students strength during the last session, there is an increase of 2000 number of students.
Known for imparting quality training in Indian classical music, dance and fine arts (painting) at its complexes in Chandigarh , Mohali and New Delhi, 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 and visual arts was presented at a glittering ceremony 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 the 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 upon world renowned Vocalist Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty . . 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.
47th ALL INDIA PRACHEEN KALA KENDRA NRITYA & SANGEET SAMMELAN, 2017
The 47th session of Pracheen Kala Kendra Nritya & Sangeet Sammelan, the annual fest of Indian classical music and dance organized annually by the Kendra, (formerly known as All India Bhaskar Rao Nritya & Sangeet Sammelan ) which has gain popularity as one of the foremost festival of Clasical Music and Dance in India was held from March 18 to 22, 2017. Eminent exponents like Pt. Pallab Bandyopadhyay & Ustad Gauhar Ali Khan (Shehnai & Violin Jugalbandi) , Padmashree Ranjana Gauhar (Odissi Dance), Sunanda Sharma (Vocal) Sanjib Bhattacharyya (Manipuri Dance) , Rupak Kulkarni (Flute) , Madhumita Ray Kathak, Pt. Salil Bhatt & Ankit Bhatt (Veena & Sitar Jugalbandi) & Dr. Shobha Koser (Kathak) presented their choicest of items in remarkable performances and further enhanced high traditions set by the said prestigious Annual Festival of the Kendra .
MONTHLY BAITHAK & SPECIAL PROGRAMMES AT CHANDIGARH & MOHALI.
For the last twenty years, the Kendra has taken care to provide a platform amongst others to the upcoming and talented performers in music and dance, on the 11th of every month to showcase their talent in the monthly baithaks and apart from this Kendra also organizes Special Programmes on various occasions , which by now have become a permanent feature of Kendra’s activities. During the previous year, some of the artistes who participated and performed in Monthly Baithaks and Special programmes include Arnab Bhattacharyya (Sarod) , Ankita Kaushik (Bharatnatyam) , Paromita Mukherjee (Violin ) , Malkit Singh Jandiala (Vocal), Suchitra Mitra & troupe (Odissi), Nabhodeep Chakraborty (Vocal) , Aparajita Sharma (Bharatnatyam), Anisha Ray (Vocal) , Amitabh Chatterjee (Sitar), Rajbir Kaur & Jasbir Singh ( versatile Sufi duo) & Pandit Birendra Nath Mishra, to name a few amongst a host of other prominent as well as promising and talented artists.
HOME PRODUCTIONS/DANCE BALLET
Heralding a new era in the preservation and promotion of Hindustani classical music and dancing realms the Pracheen Kala Kendra achieved new heights. Under the aegis of Home Productions Kendra also presented a Dance ballet, “Radha ki unkahi premgatha”, 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. This dance ballet was recorded and telecast by the Chandigarh Doordarshan.
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 with the passage of time these quarterly baithaks have gained popularity among the music lovers and artists of the NCT of Delhi. These programmes have received good response and coverage in the media. 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), Dr. Nabanita Chowdhury, (Vocal) , Santosh Kumar (Flute) 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.
TWO DAY 5th 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 5TH Guru M.L. Koser Music and Dance Festival on September 18th & 19th , 2017 at Stein Auditorium , India habitat Centre. This festival which is also gaining immense popularity, witnessed an incredible vocal recital by distinguished and prominent Vocalist Venkatesh Kumar and a melodious flute recital by Pt. Rajinder Prasanna on the inaugural day and concluding day commenced with a soulful Santoor recital by Pt. Bhajan Sopori who captivated the audience with his mellifluous santoor followed by dazzling Kathak dance performance by Pandit Rajinder Gangani.
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 the 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 nine 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 Anita Shabdeesh. Nearly 90 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.
8th CONVOCATION OF NORTHERN REGION
As many as 115 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 upon diplomas of Bhaskar and Visharad final at the Pracheen Kala Kendra convocation held at Dr. M.S. Randhawa Auditorium of Punjab Kala Bhawan on May 14, 2017. It was the 8th year of Convocation (Northern region). The function was split into two parts – convocation and musical programme. Chief Guest, Prof. Yash Pal, HOD, Department of Music, Punjabi University, Patiala gave away diplomas to the students and Smt. Suchitra Mitra , eminent Bharatnatyam Exponent delivered the keynote address.
After the convocation, the students who topped the Bhaskar (M.Muse) examination presented their remarkable performances.
ALL INDIA NRITYA & SANGEET UTSAV AT ASSAM & TRIPURA
To continue the wonderful tradition of bringing people together for appreciation of India’s culture heritage Pracheen Kala Kendra organized All India Sangeet & Nritya Utsav, 2017 at Tezpur, Agartala and Guwahati. The affiliated centre holders of the Kendra also joined hands in successfully organizing these cultural events. Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tripura was the Chief Guest at Agartala and the Hon’ble Governor of Assam was the Chief Guest at Guwahati. Eminent and Renowned artists namely Dr. Shobha Koser (Doyen of Jaipur gharana of Kathak ), Pandit Chetan Joshi (Eminent Flute Player), Rageshwari Das (renowned vocalist) Lima Das ( Satriya Dance exponent) captivated the audience with their remarkable and scintillating performances. The said events got all over appreciation and the Hon’ble Chief Guest while lauding the efforts of the Kendra towards the promotion of Indian Classical Music invited for further such activities and assured their support. To further enhance the activites of the Kendra in the North Eastern region , the Kendra is planning to again organize some more events in the near future.
45th ANNUAL CONVOCATION
On Sunday, 24th December, 2017, Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh held its 45th Annual Convocation for the Eastern Region at Mahanayak Uttam Mancha, Kolkata. Although it was a cold winter’s day, the hall was packed to capacity – proof enough of the Kendra’s popularity in this part of the country.
The Convocation began with a welcome address in which the organizers thanked the audience including the dignitaries present for gracing the occasion. This was followed by the inauguration of the Convocation by Hon’ble Governor of West Bengal, Shri Keshari Nath Tripathi, who was Chief Guest and renowned kathak dancer, Guru Susmita Misra, who was the Guest of Honour.
In his address, Hon’ble Governor of West Bengal, Shri Keshari Nath Tripathi, spoke about how Indian classical music and dance spans the entire spectrum of our emotions. He expressed surprise and joy that the younger generation – the students of the Kendra who appear for examinations every year – is keeping the tradition alive. He asked the Kendra to continue its good work and preserve the rich cultural heritage of this great country.
In her keynote address, renowned kathak dancer, Guru Susmita Misra urged the audience to encourage young talent. She felt that instead of being focused only on established performers, we have a responsibility to nurture & promote upcoming exponents who can flourish and bloom only with our support.
As in previous years, the Kendra lived up to its tradition of honouring prominent personalities. Renowned actress, Madhabi Mukherjee, was felicitated with a Lifetime Achievement Award comprising a cash award of Rs 25,001, a stole, a memento and a citation. Noted singer, Haimanti Shukla, and elocutionist, Jagannath Bose were felicitated with a cash award of Rs 11,001, a stole, a memento and a citation. Noted journalist, Moupia Nandy, was presented with the Prodyot Bhadra Award for Excellence in Journalism, 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.
Addressing the Convocation, Madhabi Mukherjee spoke about how overwhelmed she was with this recognition from the Kendra. She felt that nothing compares with the acknowledgement of one’s talent by the people of one’s own country. The Lifetime Achievement Award is an honour that makes her immensely proud, she said. Jagannath Bose regaled the audience with two pieces of poetry that he recited in his own inimitable style. Haimanti Sukla sang few lines of a Hindi song for the benefit of the Governor and followed that up with a song in Bengali, much to the delight of the audience. Moupia Nandy spoke about how the award puts additional responsibility on her to excel further in her sphere of work.
Felicitations over, superintendants of centres which sponsor the highest number of candidates to the various examinations of Pracheen Kala Kendra through main centre and main & sub-centres were honoured. The winners were Alap Sangeet Shikshayatan, Paschim Mednipur and Jyoti Kala Sangam Mahavidyalaya, Bhagalpur, Bihar.
Certificates & medals were handed over to the meritorious students of the Kendra in the Eastern region. The Guru M.L. Koser Award for Excellence, instituted by the Kendra in recognition of unparallelled 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. The Guru M. L. Koser Award went to Debasish Manna (Painting) & Paramita Mondal (Recitation). The Sunil Koser Award went to Sutapa Ghosh Sarkar (Vocal Classical). The medals and certificates were presented to students by the dignitaries present, along with Ms Shobha Koser and Mr Sajal Koser.
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. A total number of 700 students attended the convocation.
The Convocation was followed by a cultural programme in the evening at the same venue. The audience was treated to a dance drama Gupi Baghar Kando presented by Calcutta Choir with composition by Ganesh Mukhopadhyay, dance direction by Shambhu Bhattacharya and music/editing & application by Kalyan Sen Barat. The performance was a fitting finale to Pracheen Kala Kendra’s 45th Annual Convocation for the Eastern Region. The music lovers of Kolkata are already looking forward to the next one.
9TH CONVOCATION AT ODISHA
The 9th convocation of the state of Odisha was held on January 7, 2018 at Bhanja Kala Mandap, Bhubaneswar. Dr. Prafulla Kumar Mishra, Hon’ble Chancellor , Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University, Bihar was the Chief Guest of the Convocation and Dr. Tamasarani DasMohapatra, Director , Odia Bhasa Pratisthan, Government of Odisha delivered the keynote address .
Both Dr. Prafulla Kumar Mishra and Dr. Tamasarani DasMohapatra wholeheartedly appreciated the achievements of the Kendra in promoting the classical arts, especially , Odissi Music and Dance not only in the state of Odisha but so also in other parts of the country.
On this occasion, as per the tradition of Kendra , some illustrious personalities were also felicitated . Pt. Dr. Damodar Hota (Eminent Odissi Vocalist) and Dr. Gourahari Das (Renowned Writer-Journalist) were honored by the Kendra for their outstanding contribution and achievements in their chosen fields. The convocation witnessed huge rush of the students which continued till late in the evening.
The convocation was followed by well knit cultural programme marked with remarkable performances by renowned odissi vocalists Guru Gouranga Charan Khuntia and Guru Chandramani Lenka . The troupe of Eminent odissi danseuse and Guru P.R. Mangaraj also enthralled the audience. Sh. Pradeep Maharathy Hon’ble Minister of Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water graced the occasion as Chief Guest and Guru Dr. Banamali Maharana (Well Known Mardal Maestro) was the Guest of Honor. The Hon’ble Minister while appreciating the achievements and contribution of the Kendra offered to extend all possible support for the further recognition of the examinations of the Kendra and also for the allotment of land to the Kendra for establishment of a centre of cultural excellence. Before the convocation was formally inaugurated , the eminent personalities who were honored also inaugurated a painting exhibition by the young and upcoming talented artists of the state of Odisha which was organized by Kendra. On this occasion Kendra also felicitated Noted Journalist Pt. Pradosh Patnaik.
KATHAK UTSAV IN COLLOBORATION WITH KATHAK KENDRA NEW DELHI AT CHANDIGARH
For the first time in Chandigarh, Kathak Kendra and Pracheen Kala Kendra came together as a joint venture to organize “Kathak Utsav”, a remarkable feast of Kathak in city beautiful. This three day extravaganza from 19th to 21st January at Tagore Theatre was organized with a view to create more awakening about salient features of the Kathak dance form of various Gharanas in this part of the country. This Utsav witnessed India’s promising as well as eminent and renowned Kathak exponents showcasing their remarkable talents in Kathak. The artists performed in this mega event were Dr. Samira Koser, Chandigarh (Solo), Swati Wangnoo Tiwari & Jyoti Singh , New Delhi (Duet), Ram Mohan Maharaj, Delhi (Solo), Rujuta Soman , Pune (Solo), Mangala Bhatt & Raghav Raj Bhatt , Hyderabad ( Duet) repertory of Kathak Kendra choreographed by Shama Bhate, Pune , Sudeshna Maulik, Canada (Solo) , Vaibhav Krishna Maharaj & Vasu Maharaj , Mumbai (Duet)and repertory of Kathak Kendra choreographed by Guru Rajendra Gangani , New Delhi . This event became unique as in two morning sessions on 20th & 21st January respectively saw a remarkable discussion during the seminar on the topic “ Kathak Nritya aur iski upyogita ke Gatisheel pehlu” by Vidushi Nalini Asthana , a renowned Kathak danseuse and other eminent Kathak exponents and the morning of 21st presented remarkable Bhava presentation by Eminent Kathak exponent Dr. Shobha Koser followed by bhava presentation by Sh. Ashok Maharaj , who also regaled the audience with their astute performances. The utsav was inaugurated by Ms. Kamilini Asthana, a highly distinguished Kathak danseuse and Chair Person, Advisory Committee, Kathak Kendra and Kendra’s Chairman Sh. S.K. Monga , IAS, Retd. All the artists performed choicest of their performances and were well received by the city audience and the revered media.
SPECIAL PROGRAMME OF MUSIC AND DANCE AT BHOPAL
As per the huge demand of th centre holders of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh , while holding a meeting of centre holders at Bhopal, Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh also organized a special programme of music & Dance at Shahid Bhawan, MLA Rest House, Bhopal. The event featured soulful recial of renowned Vocalist Vidushi Kalpana Zukarkar , enchanting melody of Pt. Chetan Joshi on flute and dazzling Kathak dance by Sanghamitra and her troupe.
As per the tradition , Kendra also felicitated some well known personalities in the field of Music for their contribution towards the promotion of Indian Classical Music and also towards the fulfillment of Aims and Objects of the Kendra . Prof. V.N. Agrawal, Sh. J.K. Soni, Pt. Siddhwram Swami Korwar and Sh. R.K. Prasad were honored on this occasion.
A SPECIAL PROGRAMME OF MUSIC AND DANCE AT CHANDIGARH TO BLEND UTTAR AND DAKSHIN CLASSICAL MUSIC
Keeping its tradition of organsing , collaborating , sponsoring and associating with other culture organizations , Pracheen Kala Kendra in association with The Pioneer Arts education Society Delhi became part of a famous Jugalbandi series “ Uttar Dakshin” presenting jugalbandi of Pt. Tejendra Narayan Majumdar of Kolkata on Sarod and Vidwan M. Manjunath of Mysore on Violin. This splendid performance was followed by a well appreciated Kathak duo performance by Vidushi Ruchi Sharma and Khayati Sharma of Mumbai. This unique event was organized at Tagore Theatre , Chandigarh.