Cultural activities by South Asian artists
Performances by South Asian artists touring Scandinavia during the years 2001–2004:
• The World famous Rajasthani music ensemble Musafir toured Sweden 12–27 November 2004.
The Musafir group, a creation by the master tabla player Hameed Khan (who is also artistic director of Jaipur Kawa Brass Band), has been touring Europe successfully for many years, appearing at festivals like the Re-Orient Festival in Stockholm. They now performed in Skellefteå, Östersund, Gävle, Göteborg, Kungsbacka, Lund, Kristianstad, Växjö, Linköping, Stockholm (Södra Teatern) and finally in Ytterjärna outside Stockholm. More information.
• Suranjana Ghosh from Kolkata, one of India’s few professional tabla players, gave a concert in Uppsala on Saturday 27 November 2004, 15.00. She performed together with the Uppsala Tabla Orchestra and the jazz group Movie, in a cross-cultural musical show called ”Ganges möter Fyris”. Venue: Rådhussalen, Vaksalagatan 2, by Stora Torget, Uppsala. More information on Suranjana Ghosh and the concert
• The Oslo World Music Festival took place 2–7 November 2004 with several artists from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The World famous Pakistani qawwali musician Faiz Ali Faiz performed on Wednesday 3 November in Kulturkirken Jakob; and the Indian choreographer Rukmini Chatterjee presents a dance performance called ”Rhytms” at the same place on Thursday 4 November. The festival also included a Bhangra show with the group DCS. More information.
• The Ethno Techno Project, combining Indian traditional music and dance with modern Western house music, toured the Western part of Sweden during February–March 2004. The Swedish sitar player Niklas Holmberg, along with the Indian musicians Nakod Pandit Rajendra (tablas), Deepu K Nair (violin and vocals) and Geetha K N Bhat (vocals) performed together with the professional dancers Sibi Sudarshan, Saroopa Vipindas and Anitha Jones. The tour was organized by Musik i Väst and had its premiere at Dalslands Folkhögskola in Färgelanda on 10 February 2004. After that performances followed at a large number of places in Bohuslän, Västergötland and Småland before a final show at Musikmuseet in Stockholm on on Saturday 27 March.
• The Bangladeshi Theatre troupe Rupantar, part of a Khulna-based NGO working professionally with drama, dance, and music, gave performances in Stockholm 27–28 March 2004. Rupantar has an ambition to increase people’s consciousness about democracy, equality, environment and children’s rights through their plays. They have also drawn attention to the plight of Bangladesh’s unique mangrove forests, the Sundarbans. This is combined with with developing a new way of expressing themselves called ALT (Alternative Living Theatre), inexpensive performances based on body language and frequent use of make-up. The performances in Stockholm were arranged by Svensk Teaterunion, and took place at Aliasteatern, Hälsingegatan 3, Saturday 27 March; and at Etnografiska Museet, Sunday 28 March.
The Bangladeshi group’s visit to Sweden is part of a five-year Sida-sponsored project called Voices of the Children, aimed at strengthening children’s theatre in Asia. More information.
• The popular Sri Lankan Baila singer Mr. Saman de Silva, and electronic organ player & singer Mr. Sarana Gunaratne from Italy, performed at the annual Christmas & New Year Celebrations organized by the Sri Lanka Association in Sweden, on Saturday 7 December, 2002. This so-called Lanka-Nite 2002 was celebrated for the tenth time, and took place at Husby Träff, near Akalla north of Stockholm.
• The Odissi dancer Dipanwita Roy from Kolkata, India – a disciple of Padmabushan Shri Kelucharan Mahapatra, and Padmashree Sanjukta Panigrahi, performed at Musikmuseet in Stockholm (Sibyllegatan 2), Friday 25 October, 2002, 18.30. Dipwanita Roy has previously toured Sweden, she performed in Lund and Göteborg in 1992, but this was her first show in Stockholm. More information from Musikmuseet.
• The Indian Bharata Natyam artist Sarangarajan Vijayalakshmi from Chennai tours Sweden during September–November 2002, with a performance called ”Love’s Wisdom in the Last Era”. It is a show that deals with the evil phenomenon of Infanticide in certain parts of the State of Tamil Nadu in South India, and it is arranged by Alvom, an organisation that fights infanticide.
She performed in Kristianstad (Stadsteatern) on 31 October, and SASNET sponsored a performance in Lund a week before.
• The four Indian classical musicians K Shivakumar (violin), V Shyamsundar (mridangam), K Sridhar (sarod), and Maruti Kurdfekar (tablas) have toured Sweden during September–October 2002 with a programme called ”When North India meets South India”. After a couple of concerts in Stockholm they played at Västerås Konserthus on Monday 30 September – a concert which was directly transmitted through Swedish Radio P2. They also performed in front of enthusiastic audiences both at Jeriko in Malmö, and in Göteborg and the Swedish West coast (including a concert at Gerlesborgsskolan in north Bohuslän).
• In March 2001 the Ruhunu Ballet Troupe under the leadership of Master Senaka de Silva made performances in Sweden (Stockholm and Hyllinge), and Norway (Oslo). The members of the troupe performed a programme of ten items, most of them representing the different traditional classical dance varieties developed in Sri Lanka and India during centuries, like Kandyan, Ruhunu, Sabaragamuwa och Bharata Natyam. A couple of items were also influenced by modern dance. The initiative came from the Sri Lankan Embassy in Stockholm which in cooperation with SriLankan Airlines also arranged the tour, together with local organizers who also had arranged Sri lankan dinners for all who came to enjoy the performance.