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UTSAV (article first published : 2000-02-23)

Kala Darshan, Institute of Music and Dance, will state UTSAV, A Celebration of Music, Song and Dance on March 31 and April 1 at the Hindu Centre, University of Durban-Westville. Produced and directed by Manesh Maharaj, this classical programme will showcase students of Kala Darshan, as well as leading exponents in the field of Kathak, Bharat-Natyam, Tabla, vocal music and Sitar in a music and dance spectacular.

Kala Darshan is the brainchild of Maharaj who, since his return from India in 1998, has carved a niche for himself in the field of music and dance in South Africa. UTSAV is the Institute's first major presentation since its interception in January 1999. "The aim of the Institute is to cultivate the rich cultural heritage of Indian music and dance by introducing young aspiring students in programmes wherein they participate and exhibit their talent" says Maharaj. His students follow a syllabus as laid down by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (Mumbai) where Maharaj obtained his Sangeet Visharad (B.Mus.degree). Besides being taught the art of music and dance, Manesh also coaches students on how to manage a performance as a solo artist.

Besides teaching students in his own Institute, Manesh also teaches music and dance to students at Westville Hindu School, as well as the Cato Manor Technical College. However, it is in performing that Manesh finds his true love for music and dance being put to the ultimate test. His production of "Manesh in Concert", which played to audiences at the Durban Playhouse in March last year, showed his versatility, strength and ability to manage classical recitals in sitar, vocal music and kathak in one evening over three consecutive days. Being one of the few male kathak dancers in South Africa, Maharaj has won himself a loyal and diverse following.

Manesh has been associated with Essop Khan-Mahomed Alli Productions (EKMA) in two of their productions - The Krazy Kracks (1998) and The Coconut Busters (1999) and will appear in EKMAs forthcoming theatre production, which after an initial run in Durban, will tour nationally. UTSAV features well-known singer and sitarist Shanjeet Teeluck, tabla maestro Vishen Kemraj and dancers Ruendhrie Pater and Shalini Moodley. The performance starts at 19h30 and tickets at R15 available at the door. More details on block bookings (30 or more) from (031) 403-1682 or 082-256-3700.




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