This year the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music pays homage to the genius of India, the origin of many of the stories of A Thousand and One Nights. Musical brilliance was to be found in the palace courtyards of maharajahs and nabobs who encouraged the dissemination of unique artistic knowledge. We discover this splendour at a concert at Bab Al Makina on 7 May entitled Durbar
Durbar (from Persian: دربار - darbār) is a Persian-derived term meaning the kings' or rulers noble court or a formal meeting where the king held all discussions regarding the state.For many centuries in India great court musicians performed their art within the palaces of Rajput dynasties and Mughal nabobs. For a durbar or prince’s court meeting, a public audience attended along with the more formal court, making for flamboyant performances. Here artists and courtesans performed with pride and delicacy; everyone enjoyed their songs, gestures, artistry and mastery.
Here in Fes at the Bab Al Makina with the stage set for the occasion, a night of virtuosity awaits us, for we are princes and princesses of the royal court for an evening.
Coming from all corners of India, some 15 classical soloists and percussionists are on stage with the Rajasthani singers and the hypnotic Kathak dancers. Be they bold rising stars or well-known members of the established set, all have been chosen for their creative genius.
In the tradition of begum singers, who enchanted the princely court with their somewhat impertinent charisma, the young Rageshri Das opens this exceptional Durbar. Joining her are two revelations: Shashank Subramaniam and Rakesh Chaurasia, who while being only thirty years of age are already both masters of the Bansuri flute in the Carnatic and Hindu tradition. They perform with Ustad Irshad Khan with his powerful style of playing the surbahar (bass sitar), Soumik Datta, lively exponent of the sarod and Alla Rakha Kalavant whose celebrated name is associated with the sarangi.
|Ustad Sabir Khan|
To accompany them, Ustad Sabir Khan, the 33rd caliph of principle tabla school Farukhabad Gharana, presents his two young sons Arif and Asif. Performing outside Bengal for the very first time, they share the stage with the master percussionists Shahbaz Hussain and Parupalli Phalgun.
It would not be possible to assemble this Durbar without representatives from the world of folk music. With their voices already showing the harshness and severity of the Thar desert, the children of Chota Divana present the work of the bards of the ‘Land of Princes’. Anwar Khan Manghaniyar and Gazi Khan Barna, well-known on the international stage, make these musical gems shine even brighter.
This assembly is punctuated by frenzied classical Kathak dancing at its most rhythmic and masterful. Four of the very best dancers perform here to show us the brilliance of this music that goes back to the beginning of time.
Homage to India
International premiere - Bab Al Makina - May 7– 21h00
Book your ticket here
The View From Fez is a Fez Festival official Media Partner
FULL FESTIVAL PROGRAMME HERE
The View From Fez thanks Helen Ranger for her translations from the French
See our Fes Festival previews:
Opening Night Preview
Homage to India Preview
Divas of the World Preview
Nights in the Medina 1 Preview
Nights in the Medina 2 Preview
Nights in the Medina 3 Preview
Istanbul to Fez Preview
Tribute to Oum Keltoum Preview
Samira Saïd Preview
Forum Sessions Preview
Sufi Nights & Boujloud Concerts