Although Thumri and Dadra are mainly associated with female singers, it is not usual for men
Perform these song types too. Not so rarely one comes across a male voice whose rendering of
this repertoire not only shows great mastery but also artistic abandon. Chhannulal Mishra
comes from a traditional family of kathaks of Benaras and is widely acknowledged as perhaps
the few last great exponents of this genre. His musical renderings and his communicative
prowess at the Swarutsav
were a great hit with the audiences.
Nothing binds this subcontinent more than its musical traditions. From Bhajan to Khayal and
Qawwali to Rajasthani folk songs, while there is a rich diversity of forms of musical
expression in every region, there is also an underlying thread of commonality of spirit.
So as India's premier news magazine, India Today, completed a quarter century of documenting
the life and joys of our great country, it held a unique and mammoth festival of music in the
heart of Delhi's Connaught Place to celebrate the event.
At a time when big, open air musical events are at a wane, The India Today Swarutsav 2000
spanned five sessions over four days comprising devotional music, the romantic semi classical
genres, classical instrumental and Khayal, Sufi music and Creative Fusion. In the stunning
open air ambience of a specially erected stage at the Central Park in Connaught Place, some of
the best and leading musicians from across the subcontinent gathered to give electrifying
performances to regale a huge audience comprising both connoisseurs and lay listeners.
Swarutsav looks forward to becoming an annual event in India's cultural calander.
As we promised at that time, Music Today is now proud to present the Live at Swarutsav 2000
series as a unique collectors' item.
The second session at India Today Swarutsaw 2000 was devoted to the romantic semi-classical
genre of Thumri, Dadra, Geet and Ghazal. Thumri, derives its name from the hindi word thumak
(the sway of the hip), it spans the sensuous and the sublime in its themes. Deriving from the
Hori-Dhammar tradition on one hand, it is also linked to the rustic folk melodies on the
Inspired by the Krishna cult, it found its present niche in the late Mughal era when
courtesans and dancing girls sophisticated this form immensely. Thumri has also interacted
with Khayal, the more austere high classical form. Dadra is a smaller song type, set to a six
beat rhythmic cycle of the same name. The name comes from the Sanskrit word daadura (frog)-
connoting a leap-frog gait. Dadras are earthy and erotic in their verses and are usually sung
after a Thumri in a brisk, faster tempo.
Geet is a simple song in Hindi or Urdu usually of a romantic nature. Ghazal is an old Persian
form of mystical and romantic poetry developed by the Sufis in Iran. It was adopted and
developed in Urdu in the Indian subcontinent with great sensitivity and gusto over the last
three centuries. It is considered to be the highest form of poetic expression in the Urdu
Shyam Mora Naahin Aaye, 17:00
Laage Tose Naina, 11:39
Rang Rangili Rasili Chhabili, 05:49
Dekho Dekho Kaise, 04:00
Hato Jo Re Na Bolo Kaanha, 04:03
Sejia Se Saiyan Rooth Gaye, 11:15
Barsan Laagi Badariuyan, 09:47
Deep Singh Bisht, tanpura; Vijay Kumar, tanpura
Recorded live by Deepak Samson & Pratik Biswas on 30th November, 2000
At India Today Swarutsav, New Delhi. Edited and mixed by Deepak Samson
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