November 2022

SPIC MACAY’s Pravaaham – a copious flow of Indian classical music and dance at IIIT Bangalore


One of the most important reasons to enlighten the younger generation with the traditions, culture and heritage is to make them aware of the cultural history, their roots and the events that shaped the nation and society. IIIT Bangalore takes pride in encouraging and enhancing awareness of the rich Indian cultural heritage to its students through various cultural programmes.

After two years of hiatus owing to the pandemic, SPIC MACAY IIIT Bangalore chapter held a series of 4 programmes on October 31. Pravaaham – a copious flow of Indian classical music and dance, was held in a newly built state-of-the-art auditorium at the campus. The event was just apt to rid ourselves of the pandemic fatigue and to rejuvenate.

The classical dance and music evening began with a visual treat when Doordarshan A-grade artist, Dr. Manju Elangbam and his troupe performed ‘Radha and Krishna’ ballet. It was truly a graceful, mesmerizing, synchronized and expressive ballet that was captivating the audience.

Dr. Manju played the role of Krishna and Ms. Nandeibam Sarjubala Chanu as Radha. Other artists in the ballet were Laishram Shyammo Singh on percussion, Phuritshabam Debajani Devi as the vocalist, Khundrakpam Muktamani Singh and Ningthoujam Sital Singh on Sankirthana and Pung, Kh. Vivekananda on Flute, and Urbashree Rajkumari, Linthoi Mayanglambam Chanu and Nongmaithem Leikendabi as dancers.

It was a classical retreat when Padma Bhushan awardee, Sangita Kalanidhi Vidushi Sudha Raghunathan performed a Carnatic vocal for an hour and a half. She has performed and collaborated with artists all over the world including performances at Théâtre de la Ville, Paris and the Lincoln Centre, New York and the Global Vocal Meeting organized by the Burghof Academy, Germany. During the performance, she was accompanied on the mridangam by Shri Neyveli S. Skanda Subramanian and on violin by Shri Vittal B. Rangan.

The notes flowed from Vidushi Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi and Vidwan Lalgudi GJR Krishnan’s violins in Carnatic style, it took the audience to a more spiritual level much above the mundane concerts. The siblings made their debut in their teens, and having played together for nearly four decades, Krishnan and Vijayalakshmi are among the most versatile artists and undoubtedly the most soulful ambassadors of the Lalgudi legacy. The duo has performed all across India and in international centers such as the Lincoln Center, New York, The Concertgebouw, Netherlands, Darbar Festival, London and Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival, USA. The duo has composed music for dance productions like Veda Bharathi, and Sambhavami Yuge, besides several other endeavours. They were accompanied by Shri B. Harikumar on the Mridangam and Shri Alathur Rajaganesh on the Khanjira.

A flawless Hindustani Flute performance by Pandit Ronu Majumdar left the audience awestruck. He has several international music releases and Hollywood hits to his credit. He has conducted a concert of over 5000 flutists under the banner of ‘Art of Living’ which was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. An awarded artist of the AIR, he has won numerous awards including the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi award and the Sahara Life-Time Achievement Award. He is known for his unique style of flute playing and is popular for his creative improvisations. He was accompanied by Pt. Kishor Vinayakrao Pande on the tabla.

This series is brought by the 45-year-old, non-political people’s movement SPICMACAY (Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth) started by Dr. Kiran Seth in 1977 who retired as Professor Emeritus from IIT-Delhi. At the age of 73 years now, he is cycling from Kashmir to Kanyakumari from 15 Aug to 15 Feb 2022, to create awareness about the need to focus on the values embedded in Indian heritage and to seek volunteers for SPICMACAY. And of course, to promote cycling which is good for one’s physical, mental and spiritual well-being along with the environment.