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Sampravaahi T h e C o n f l u e n t S t r e a m s


Sampravaahi, a music and dance initiative, is the brainchild of Kathak dancer, Ms. Anurag Verma, with Samandar Manganiar as the Group’s Artistic Director. The music and dance presentation is a confluence or coming together of two disparate art streams - Manganiar Music and Singing Styles and Jaipur Gharaana Kathak Dance traditions from Rajasthan. The presentation intends to explore the hidden common or compatible features and meeting ground shared by the two as they blend, interact and, at times, flow parallel to each other but retain their distinct identities. The multifaceted classicality of the Jaipur Gharaana of Kathak Dance and the depth of romanticism, grandeur and gravity of the folklore and music of Rajasthan weave their magic together.

Aiming to preserve the authentic and increasingly endangered treasure of Manganiar music while providing a rich, although unusual, musical base for all the traditional aspects of Kathak dance repertoire - footwork, abhinaya, thaat, parans, todas, kavitts, gats, pirouettes, complicated taal patterns, multifaceted story-telling, even the usage of the nagma, a repetitive musical depiction of a fixed cycle of beats – the Dance Choreography in Sampravaahi attempts to blend in the classical grammar of Kathak dance in a subtle rather than an obvious and forced manner, so that the mood of the song and music and its Rajasthani base and spirit reaches out to the audience intact. The Concept behind Sampravaahi is not that of any kind of attempted fusion but rather that of a very bold and close interaction between the two streams, so that what meets the eye is pure Kathak dance, and what is heard is, by far and large, Folk music and song.

Folk songs celebrate life and the land. Rajasthan, the land and its folk music, has myriad hues and shades, as those of Bhakti or devotion, of Shringaar or the sense of beauty, that of its Ethos of Affection, an intrinsic sweetness and all-embracing acceptance for all beings, of Festivals and Seasons lovingly celebrated and rituals and traditions readily cherished and preserved against the passage of time, of exemplary tales of Valour, and of a Synthesis of Religions and Cultural Influences.

Through this music and dance ensemble of, what Anurag and Samandar believe to be, sahodar kalaayen, or, sibling art forms, both born to the land of Rajasthan, Sampravaahi has presented vignettes from the cultural life of Rajasthan, a whole world of varied themes like Devotion – in bhajans by Meerabai and other traditional bhajans, Sufi saint poetry and Sant Vaani from Rajasthan, even dancing to Chirjaas of Goddess Karani Mata; Valour – through their presentation Sainaani, the Ballad of Haadi Raani based on the poem by Meghraj Mukul; Festivals - such as Saawan Teej; and Shringaar - depicting the beauteous in both male and female through songs like Baalochan.

Sampravaahi has also pioneered performances to traditional Manganiar Women’s Gaayaki and the Jaangda style of singing.

The Group’s performances abroad include those at Bali Spirit Festival 2011, Bali; Mini Festival of India in Indonesia and Malaysia 2009 by Indian Ministry of Culture; Summer Mela Festivals 2010 in UK at Preston and Bradford and Glasgow, Scotland, and performance for Sangam Centre, London.

Within the country, some of their recent performances have been at Chakradhar Samaroh 2012, Raigarh; Basantotsav 2012 by Prasar Bharti, New Delhi; Shambhu Keremane Hegde National Natyotsav 2012, Honavar, Karnataka; 17th Uday Shankar Ballet and Dance Festival 2012 by Shruti Mandal, Jaipur; Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) 2011 by Jaipur Virasat Foundation; 8th National Doordarshan Awards 2009, Jalandhar; for The Press Club of India, Delhi; Chambal Tourism Adventure Festival 2009, Kota; PEDICON 2011 and AICOG 2009, National Doctors’ Conferences, Jaipur, etc.