27th SPIC MACAY National Convention at NITK, Surathkal
The story of Indian culture is one of survival through all odds. It is a story of adaptation, evolution and innovation through change. The culmination of the years of innovation was on display on the 5th of December, when Grammy award winner Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt enthralled the audience at Sharada Vidyalaya, Mangalore, with his skill and mastery over the Mohan Veena. He belongs to the elite class of musicians who can trace their origins to the none other than the great Tansen, the musician in Emperor Akbar’s court. He lived up to the legend, enthusing the crowd of students and music connoisseurs alike to join him in the concert. He is, infact, the mastermind behind the Mohan Veena, which is closely related to the Hawaiian guitar, which is a testament to the creative genius that he is.
The concert was, quite aptly, the curtain raiser for the 27th SPIC MACAY Annual National Convention (NatCon) to be held from 28th May to 3rd June, 2012, by the Mangalore chapter of SPIC MACAY at NITK Surathkal.
A SPIC MACAY concert is unlike another concert. Here, the aim isn’t just to entertain a crowd, but to inspire one. A bond is created between the performing artist and the audience. The artist doesn’t just perform; he interacts with the audience, answers their queries, and tells them about his artform, its greatness and nuances. The Mangalore chapter has always been an active participant of this movement. It is run by enthusiastic students from the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka. Over the past 25 years, the chapter has helped organize more than 1000 concerts in over 200 institutions in the Dakshin Kannada, Uttar Kannada, Hassan, Chikmagalur and Kodagu districts in Karnataka. Volunteers have organized district level competitions for school children. Even among students within the college, the chapter is responsible for encouraging a lot of engineering students to take up a form of art as a hobby.
The success of the concert was clearly visible among the school students who attended the concert and thanked the organizers for inviting them. True to SPIC MACAY ideals, Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt had lively interactions with the audience. He played his Grammy award winning work, ‘Meeting of the Rivers’ on request by a member of the audience. He encouraged the audience to put the ‘Taal’ for one piece. He even went on to dedicate a rendition of the song ‘Abhi Na Jao Chod Kar’ to show his admiration and respect for the evergreen Dev Anand. He was ably accompanied by Pt. Prithviraj on the Tabla, who kept encouraging the audience to whistle and cheer the artists.
The curtain raiser was also extensively featured in the media. Here are a couple of articles on the same :
The concert certainly set the mood for the NatCon. The convention traditionally garners participation from people all over the country, and from all walks of life. This year alone more than 1500 people are expected to be a part of it. The convention is a celebration of everything that is Indian. Prominent dancers, musicians, painters, yoga gurus and craftsmen gather to meet the enthusiastic audience. Interactions are held through concerts, lec-dems, talks and workshops. During intensives, participants get an opportunity to have one-on-one interactions with the artists for 2 to 3 days in workshops where the artist talks about the art-form, teaching the participants in the Guru-shishya style of olden times. This year, the organizers are hoping to showcase art forms from the whole of Karnataka. Art forms local to Dakshin Kannada such as Yakshagaana puppetry and make-up are included for the intensives. Yoga sessions are planned by gurus of naada yoga and hatha yoga. All in all, the NatCon this year is geared up to be a unique experience.
While the NatCon 2012 promises to be as enthralling as the concert, this convention isn’t just about the week-long affair. The aim of this NatCon, and any SPICMACAY venture in fact, is to generate that spark among the youth, to ensure the continuity of the art form, to inspire the youth to produce the future Vishwa Mohan Bhatts, Zakir Hussains and Gangubai Hangals, so that another Max Muller in the near future can say that India is the most blessed place on earth.
The registrations for National Convention 2012 have started. Please contact your chapter or state coordinators for registration forms. Follow www.spicmacay.com or www.spicmacay-karnataka.org for updates!
Report compiled by :
Once again, we invite you to National Convention 2012!
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