LACMA presents Lucknow through the Lens of Tabla: An Interactive Tabla Performance by Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri

Thursday February 24, 2011 @ 7:30 PM –  Bing Auditorium
Members $18, general $25, seniors 62+ and students with ID $5

LACMA’s forthcoming exhibition India’s Fabled City: The Art of Courtly Lucknow(December 12, 2010 – February 27, 2011) will culminate in a special interactive tabla performance featuring tabla Master Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri of the Lucknow Gharana. Moderated by Robin Sukhadia, this multimedia/instructional performance will examine, through live tabla performance and through projected images and research, how Lucknow’s culture converged the best living musicians, poets and arts patrons of the day to evolve the tradition of tabla, an extraordinary percussive instrument of the north Indian classical music tradition. Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri will perform tabla in short segments accompanied by explanation to create a richer understanding of the instrument itself, its language, and its importance in the overall artistic culture of Lucknow. Robin Sukhadia will facilitate a dialogue with Swapanji accompanied by projected slides to give further historical and geographic context to the musical performance and its connection to the city of Lucknow.

Special focus will be placed on Swapanji’s own tabla lineage which is traced to the courts of Lucknow rulers, where tabla assimilated a wide range of other drumming traditions to become what it is today. Swapanji will recite and perform a wide range of compositions which parallel the dance traditions evolving in Lucknow. Insights into the process of learning tabla in Lucknow courts and its connection to Persian culture will be presented. He will also discuss the role of British colonialism towards the destruction of Lucknow, and its consequential impact on the spread of tabla and classical Indian music beyond Lucknow’s borders into north India and the world. Guest performances by vocal and Kathak artists will provide further insight into how tabla supported the development of a wide range of artforms in Lucknow.

Guest performances by Debashish Chaudhuri (tabla), Rina Mehta (kathak dance), Ben Kunin (sarode), Antara Bhardwah (vocal), and Javad Butah (tabla + harmonium).

Members $18, general $25, seniors 62+ and students with ID $5

Special Thanks: Liza atluck, Tim Witter, Daniel Carp, Jim Santi Owen, Bill Witter, Bindu Gude, Julie Romain, Mitch Glickman, and Claire Kim.