PHOENIX (Oct. 23, 2014) Celebrate East Indian music and culture at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) during “Experience India” on November 1 and 2. Supported by the India Association of Phoenix, MIM’s second annual “Experience India” event delves even deeper into Indian culture with explorations of the distinct music and dance traditions from the northern and southern regions of the country. The weekend event will include live musical performances, a specially crafted menu of Indian-inspired cuisine, a curator talk and hands-on activities for all ages.
In the morning, the Phoenix Gharana School of Indian Arts ensemble will perform traditional music of northern India. Accompanied by Prafulla Athalye, one of the leading tabla players of India, students will sing unique vocal arrangements that bring classical Hindustani music to life.
Radhika Kotwal will lead the students of Kalaa Kendra Kathak Institute in a lively performance of kathak dancing, a classical style from the northern region that pays homage to the tradition of nomadic storytelling. The dancers will exhibit the subtle expression and energetic footwork of kathak on both days of the event. In the afternoon, students of Sampradaya Dance of India will perform the classical bharata-nātyam dance routines of southern India under the direction of internationally renowned artist Nita Mallya.
During the event, guests may create their own printed fabric at our woodblock print activity. The traditional art, used for printing on textiles like silk and cotton, will be taught to guests in four sessions throughout the day. Later, guests can participate in the centuries-old tradition of Rangoli art. This temporary art form involves natural materials, such as flower petals or colored rice, being arranged in creative patterns on the floor.
Neelam Sandesara of the Henna Shoppe will offer henna body art to guests. The natural, brown-tinted dye is impermanent, but will give guests a beautiful and intricate design that can last up to four weeks.
Live performances of traditional music will be showcased on both days. The vīṇā, harmonium and tabla drums will be the highlighted instruments. Guests will have the opportunity to not only hear the music but try their hand at playing the instruments as well. Unique performances by local vīṇā musicians Vasumathi Narayan and Vasudha Pappu will be on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
“This celebration will give guests a taste of the sights and sounds of India,” said Celina Chiarello, public programs manager at MIM. “From the participatory art experiences to the live performers, MIM has evolved ‘Experience India’ to offer an even richer experience that showcases traditions from both the northern and southern regions.”
On Saturday and Sunday, Dr. Nilanjana Bhattacharja, honors faculty fellow at Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University, will give a talk on “The Musical Instruments of Popular Hindi Films: On and Off the Screen.” Dr. Bhattacharja will discuss the influence and significance that instrumentalists play in Hindi films, explaining how musical instruments shape what we see in popular Hindi film today. Colin Pearson, MIM’s curator for Asia, Oceania and the Middle East, will discuss Indian musical instruments and related objects in the museum’s collection.
MIM’s award-winning Café Allegro will offer a specially planned menu of Indian-inspired cuisines available for purchase, including chicken rasam with ginger, cumin and turmeric; masoor dal, a lentil soup; red lamb stew with cilantro and carrot-basmati rice; vegetable curry with masala-spiced local vegetables and raisins; naan bread; and nankhatai, a pistachio-sugar cookie.
“Experience India” performances and activities are included with paid museum admission. Admission is free for Circle of Friends donors.
The Musical Instrument Museum is located at 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard in Phoenix (corner of Tatum and Mayo Boulevards, just south of Loop 101). For general museum information and a full schedule of events, visit MIM.org or call 480.478.6000.
The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) enriches the world by collecting, preserving and making accessible a wide variety of musical instruments and performance videos from every country in the world. We offer our guests a welcoming and fun experience, incomparable interactive technology, dynamic programming and exceptional musical performances. MIM also fosters appreciation of diverse cultures around the globe by showing that we all innovate, adapt and learn from each other to create music—the language of the soul.
Erin Miller, Media Relations Manager, MIM