When Dance-Music-Theater resounded through the Heritage of Pune!

Art is priceless. Yet budding musicians, dancers and young performing artists often struggle to find a budget venue to showcase their evolving talent. While. fees for auditoriums and halls run in lakhs of rupees, we need more culture spaces that are economically viable for people who want to nurture their art and present it for the general public. What better place than the heritage temples and wadas of Pune!

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We need more culture spaces that are economically viable for people who want to nurture their art and present it for the general public.

In its first year the Pune Heritage Festival team collaborated with the PMC Heritage Cell to open up Vishrambaug Wada for music and theater! In the same year we collaborated with Omkareshwar Temple trust to open their beautiful temple premises for classical dance forms. Subsequently, we also collaborated with Chaturshringi Devasthan Trust for the temple and also performed at Nana Wada. This was just a beginning where all these heritage sites had, for the first time, opened up for experimentation.

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In the past festivals Powada, Mardani Khel, Bharud, Gondhal and such folk forms were performed in Wadas. Hindustani classical music was performed through Bhajans, Kirtan, Sugam Sangeet and instrumental music like Dhrupad on Cello! These performances were woven around heritage themes. The sites offered perfect ambiance for experiencing the legacy of art in the city.

In the Dance-Music-Theater (DMT) section a wonderful biographical account of Savitribai Phule was presented in a monologue titled ‘Whay mi Savitri’. A Marathi play ‘Baya Daar Ughad’ based on the theme of women’s emancipation was the first two-act play at Vishrambaug Wada. It drew deep insights into the spiritual world through the literature of women saints of Maharashtra. Among the actors was the super talented Nandita Patkar of Elizabath Ekadashi fame. A children’s play at Nana Wada ‘Pahila Paan’ (First Leaf) was based on environment conservation.

These performances were woven around heritage themes. The sites offered perfect ambiance for experiencing the legacy of art in the city.

Performing at such unrefined venues is not easy and one should be prepared for all kinds of adversities, inadequacies and not just human errors.. it could even rain in odd months! Nonetheless, while planning the festival, the team wants to do all it can to provide an environment where the audience can best appreciate the experience. In hindsight, it is almost always a thankless job in the early stages, but most satisfying to watch materialize.

In the last five years, these efforts have contributed to PMC’s restoration work at Vishrambaug Wada. The Omkareshwar and Chaturshringi temples are now equipped and open for free for artists to perform!

2017 wont be any different! Keep following to be a part of this surreal concoction!

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