When the refurbished Tagore theatre was thrown open to the public by the government a few months ago, it was with a Manoj George show. The chief minister not only attended the music programme but also honoured violinist Manoj George who was part of the Grammy award winning album Winds of Samsara.
To mark the fifth year celebration of the UDF government, yet another show has been announced with free entry for the public at the Tagore theatre today.. The culture and tourism departments have once again invited Manoj George to lead the show, perhaps impressed by the response to his earlier show in the capital.
The last show was mainly to showcase different styles of music and the crowd in Thiruvananthapuram responded warmly. This time, it will be more experimental in nature but we have put together the show with the common man in mind. There will be segments of dance which will be in sync with reinterpreted film music,” he says.
Adds the show director Manoj K. Varghese, “It will be a show with a difference. Normally, you would have dance, classical or contemporary, which will be accompanied by its own kind of music. Here, music will be predominant and dance will blend with it.”
One of the highlights of the show will be the performance of Padmashree Peruvanam Kuttan Marar. “It is for the first time that the maestro has agreed to do a fusion,” says Manoj Varghese, who had to use all his persuasive powers to make the chenda exponent agree. “It will be unique in many ways. Besides Marar, Sopanam expert Njeralath Hari Govindan will perform.”
Called ‘Devadundhubhi’, these two musicians are sure to provide a strong traditional framework but Prakash Ulliyeri on the Piano and Lavanya on Saxophone and several others will offer a counterpoint. And an international touch will be provided by two African djembe players, George Abban and Emmanuel Awuku .
While the music has been conceived by Manoj George, the other Manoj whose India Elements is putting together the show is responsible for some of the innovations.
“It will be a different experience,” he assures but refuses to divulge too many details about the dance part of it choreographed by award winning Sajna Najam. “It is a surprise,” he says.