North Indian Classical Music and Dance
Doors at 7:30 PM
Show at 8:00 PM
Tickets $15 at the door
The performances title, Mehfil, is an Arabic word which means a courtly entertainment of poetry, classical music, and dance.
Mushtari Afroz: (Choreographer & Dancer)
Mushtari was introduced to Bengali folk dance at a young age in Bangladesh as part of her school’s extracurricular activities. Unlike India where classical music and dance have a long-standing tradition, Bangladesh takes pride in her folk dance and music tradition. Mushtari’s training in North Indian Classical Dance form ‘Kathak’ began when she immigrated to Canada in the early 2000.
After studying with her first Guru Joanna De Souza for about two years she started advanced training in Lucknow gharana of Kathak under the tutelage of Ms. Saveeta Sharma at Upasana – The Spirit of Dance and recently in Jaipur gharana of Kathak under the tutelage of Mr. Hemant Panwar at Panwar Music and Dance School.
Grants from Canada Council for the Arts and UK’s Milapfest Foundation helped her pursue training with the living legend of Kathak -Pandit Birju Maharaj- and the leading contemporary Kathak artist -Ms. Aditi Mangaldas- in UK in workshop setting. Her interest in the recent development of contemporary aesthetic in dance has also motivated her to study with some of the leading Canadian and International choreographers. Mushtari has been performing primarily as a solo Kathak dancer for the past 3 years.
In 2016 Mushtari founded a dance collective called ‘Kathak Bandi’ that aims to celebrate human stories and experience through dance, rhythm, live music and the emotive quality of North Indian Classical Dance form ‘Kathak’. Since its inception the collective has created work inspired by visual art, poetry and contemporary events that speak to the ‘Now’. ‘Resist/Co-exist’ – a Kathak-Flamenco collaboration, ‘Sunset in Fall’ – a work inspired by Canadian Fall, ‘The Broken Dream of a Stream’ – a work inspired by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore and ‘Bold Expressions’ – a work inspired by contemporary ideas on ‘what defines boldness’– are some of Kathak Bandi’s recent creations. With Mushtari in the lead the collective has presented its recent work at Aga Khan Museum’s Pop-Up performance Series, The Canadian Foundation for Asian Heritage’s Concert at University of Toronto, In-Depth Conference at Munk Centre for the Global Affairs, Noor Cultural Centre, University of Toronto Festival of Dance, Emerging Young Artist Inc’s Contemporary Art Exhibition, Tagore Centre, Open Open Open Festival at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.
Shirshendu Mukherjee: (Hindustani Vocal and a collaborator of Kathak Bandi Collective)
Born in a family of music connoisseurs, Shirshendu Mukherjee was inducted into music at the tender age of 3 under the tutelage of Smt. Chandana Chakrabarty. Later on, he joined ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata as a Scholar and received extensive training under his Guru Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty, the doyen of Patiala Gharana. Shirshendu started performing at the age of 14 by rendering at the Annual Classical Music Programme organized by Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Kolkata when he shared the dais with the giants of Indian Classical Music viz. Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Ustad Zakir Hussain.
He has been a regular performer in various major conferences in India as well as in Europe, wherein he has been highly appreciated by the connoisseurs of Indian Classical MusicShirshendu is a Gold Medalist in Master of Arts in Indian Classical Vocal Music from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. He has also taught in Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata as Personal Contact Programme Counsellor under the Directorate of Distance Education, in 2007-2008.
Since 2012, he is attached to Sir C V Raman Centre for Physics and Music, Jadavpur University, Kolkata as a Guest Researcher and has contributed into many papers published in various international symposiums and journals.Shirshendu has founded `Reyaaj School of Music’ with a vision to impart Indian Classical Vocal Music to students of varied ages in traditional Guru-shishya parampara system. He also teaches Indian Classical Vocal Music (Khayal) and Bhajan online in a traditional, systematic way. His aim is to inculcate love for and appreciation of Indian classical vocal music across the globe.
Ahilan Kathirgamathamby: (Tabla and Percussion and a collaborator of Kathak Bandi Collective)
Ahilan started to learn Tabla at a very young age and continues to learn today under Ravi Naimpalli. He has also learned Mirudangam under Umayalpuram Sivaraman in India. The majority of his training has been live classical performances with the likes of Pandit Vinayak Torvi – Indian classical vocal and Ravi Kumar – Sarod. Ravi and Ahilan have practiced and performed together for more than 15 years, an experience he values the most to his growth.
Ahilan has performed many dance projects in Bharathanatyam and Kuchipudi for over 20 years and expanding his play with Kathak, and Flamenco. He continues with his performances with numerous projects and other dance genres and Ahilan has also been teaching for more than 20 years, something he loves to do daily. Outside of percussion, Ahilan is a Life Coach, Filmmaker, and Photographer. The combination of these four elements truly personify who he is, and how his presentations of these can influence people to enjoy their lives. The love for these four passions created his company, Four Red Petals – “inspiring people to look within.”