Indian couturier Rohit Bal and well known classical vocalist Shubha Mudgal will come together for the first time to present a project titled Living Traditions at the Serendipity Arts Festival, set to be held in Goa from December 16-23.

To be held in an open air theatre in Panaji, this project will reinterpret Hindustani classical music through the archives. Esteemed musicians will, through their plush costumes and riveting performances, provide a window into the opulent, bygone era of the early 1900s.

Artistes such as Murad Ali, Purbayan Chaterjee and Kaushiki Chakraborty along with tabla players such as Aneesh Pradhan, Yogesh Samsi and Satyajit Talwalkar and Ajay Joglekar, a harmonium player, will showcase compositions that were recorded in the early part of the 20th century, at a time when recording technology was in a nascent stage in India.

The music aspect, therefore, will be a tribute to the manner in which artistes adapted their presentations for emerging formats such as this recording technology.

Talking about the event, Mudgal, who will curate some of the music events for the gala, said in a statement: “For me, this is a rare opportunity to leave aside my usual role as a performer and be a curator instead. This gives me the unique opportunity to work with new themes and ideas for presentation and production.

“One of the many projects at the festival is the ‘Living Traditions’ event which focuses on Hindustani classical music. We will be using archival images and audio recordings to recreate music performances from the past.”

This collaboration will also take a relook at reviving old textile techniques, and Bal’s showcase is inspired by period costumes and musicians from different gharanas amalgamated with his sensibilities.

He said: “I am excited to join hands with the fest to revive and showcase the fashion and music of the early 1900s. Through this project, we will attempt to bring forth the grandeur and elegance of the bygone era’s music and fashion.

“I look forward to working with Shubhaji and the musicians to recreate the magic of yesteryears through my interpretation of the 1900s fashion.”

Serendipity Arts Festival will be a multi-disciplinary arts event that will celebrate the diversity in art with a special focus on music, dance, theatre, crafts, visual arts, culinary arts and photography.

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