sat 04/02/2023

India

Imagine: The Lost Music of Rajasthan, BBC One

That Alan Yentob gets around. I’ve run into him backstage during Jay Z's set at Glastonbury and in a jazz club in Poland, and here we found him in Rajasthan fronting a fascinating and well-shot programme, albeit workmanlike rather than really...

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theartsdesk in Kerala: Making Hay in God's Own Country

Thiruvananthapuram, capital city of the state of Kerala in the far south-west of India, is as crowded with people as its name is with syllables. By mid-November, most of the monsoon rains have passed and the city is bathed in a stiflingly sticky wet...

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Anoushka Shankar, Colston Hall, Bristol

In the age of Skype and no-frills budget travel, frontiers barely exist – at least if you’re not an immigrant or refugee. World music is as much about boundary-breaking and fusion these days as it is about discovering the unsullied treasures of what...

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Susheela Raman, Islington Assembly Hall

Over the past decade I’ve always been more an admirer than a fan of Susheela Raman, wanting to like her music more than I did. But her latest album Vel has changed all that. It’s an uncompromisingly dark and powerful statement that makes no...

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My Summer Reading: Writer William Dalrymple

William Dalrymple wrote his highly acclaimed bestseller In Xanadu, an account of his journey to the ruins of Kubla Khan's stately pleasure dome, when he was 22. In 1989 he moved to Delhi where he lived for six years researching and writing his...

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My Summer Reading: Composer Nitin Sawhney

Composer and music producer Nitin Sawhney (b 1964) is known for his variety of musical projects, reflecting his background fusing Indian and British heritage. He has written music for films, television, dance productions, studio albums and concert...

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Horizon: The Nine Months That Made You, BBC Two

This was the sort of science programme that an interested non-science person like me finds immensely irritating. It began with a series of statements which were, in fact, meaningless overstatements. Not only this, but these overblown statements...

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La Bayadère, Mariinsky Ballet, Royal Opera House

The bayadere bears on her shoulder a vase of holy water, and the story of the ballet La bayadère is of her refusal to compromise. She could better her life in two political deals: become the high priest’s mistress, or later, when bitten by a...

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WOMAD III, Charlton Park

WOMAD is in its 29th year, and ticket sales have gone up 29 per cent, we are told, with over 35,000 sold. World music, always rather beyond fashion, is thriving, at least in this live festival incarnation in Wiltshire. One criticism, according to...

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The Asian Music Circuit fights back

Anuradha Paudwal: On tour courtesy of Asian Music Circuit

In the ravages of the recent arts cuts, and debates over the winners and losers, one estimable organisation tended to be overlooked in the coverage – the Asian Music Circuit, who have done more for Asian arts in the UK than probably any other entity...

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CD: Vijay Iyer - Tirtha

A recent Grammy nominee for his 2009 album Historicity, composer-pianist Vijay Iyer is one of an increasing number of young jazz artists who refuses to be corralled by genre. Iyer's work traverses a continuum that embraces everything from hip hop to...

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Tanika Gupta on Adapting Great Expectations

A few years ago my brother and I were stuck in a traffic jam somewhere in London and a Rolls Royce drew up next to us with an elderly Asian gentleman at the wheel. He turned to us both and smiled sweetly before gliding on. For a blink of an eye, the...

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