Heaven and Earth – in perfect resonance !

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Both France and India have rich histories of highly structured and refined musical traditions. These auditory lineages have been honed over generations and are a source of great pride to both countries. Small wonder then that Bonjour India 2017-18 is paying homage to Indo-French cooperation through Heaven and Earth – an inspiring encounter between traditional and vocal music! Heaven and Earth will bring together Aruna Sairam (a Padma Shri laureate and one of the most famous exponents of Classical Carnatic music) and Dominique Vellard (an expert in Gregorian chanting and director of the Gilles Binchois ensemble) for a multi-city series of concerts being produced and piloted by Alliance Française de Madras.

Aruna Sairam and Dominique Vellard

Aruna Sairam and Dominique Vellard

Apart from being a Carnatic vocalist, Aruna is a composer, collaborator, humanitarian and speaker. She uses her music as a means of transcending regional contexts and has taken Carnatic music to prestigious venues around the world including the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Carnegie Hall. Currently Vice Chairperson of Sangeet Natak Akademi (Delhi), Aruna was also appointed as an Advisor to the Department of Culture by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

Since 1979, Dominique Vellard has inspired and guided the Ensemble Gilles Binchois. His explorations and concerts of Medieval and Renaissance music have resulted in some of the most celebrated recordings of these musical periods. For the past 20 years, Dominique has developed multiple projects in collaboration with several traditional Indian, Spanish, British, Moroccan and Iranian musicians including Aruna. In recogniton of his contributions to the field of music, Dominique was recently awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.

'Heaven and Earth' with Aruna Sairam and Dominique Vellard

‘Heaven and Earth’ with Aruna Sairam and Dominique Vellard

Heaven and Earth will bring these stalwarts together to explore the ancient poetic sources of both Indian and French cultures. This will be achieved by delving into the tradition of Tirukkural and French medieval poetry and maxims. In the seven words of each Kural (poem or proverb), are embedded simple but profound life principles. By juxtaposing this tradition of wisdom with French poetry and maxims, the project creates a dialogue in which Kurals and other poetic forms are recited and set to music, interspersed with musical interludes.

Within the framework of Bonjour India, a series of performances of Heaven and Earth will be piloted by AF Madras in Thanjavur (Feb 4 in partnership with Prakriti Foundation for the Festival of Sacred Music Thiruvaiyaru on the Cauvery), Trivandrum (Feb 7), Mumbai (Feb 9 in partnership with Prithvi Theatre), Udaipur (Feb 11 in partnership with the World Music festival), and Chennai (Feb 14 at the Kalakshetra Foundation).

Siddharth Bhatt

Rédaction, AF Magazine Inde-Népal

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Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...