A unique fusion of devotional abhangs and lavani love songsAround the city — By The Desk on June 1, 2012 at 2:29 PM
Indian Express: City-based Atul Theatres is all set to present a unique fusion of devotional abhangs and lavani love songs.
Next month, fusion will step into uncharted territory. For the first time in the history of folk art, a team from city-based Atul Theatres, which turns 25 in June, will present a combination of Lavani and Abhang. Called ‘Abhang Rang Lavani Sang’, the programme will tie together the art forms into one musical rendition.
“I have often wondered about the origin of both and how differently each is treated from the other. While abhangs are devotional songs, lavani is played out to love songs. But if we research deeper, they have a strong connection. We have already shown this in Madhya Pradesh, Goa and other parts of Maharashtra. We have showcased in Pune on a small scale earlier, we plan a bigger show in June,” says Atul Date, who thought of converting this idea into a two-and-half-hour long musical presentation.
The programme will begin with a Ganesh Vandana, sung both in the abhang and lavani style. This will be followed by ‘Raas Leela’, which is called ‘Gauran’. “An emphasis on Lavani Baithkichi will be given,” says Anirudha Joshi, who will present both lavani and abhangs along with singer Kalyani Salunke. “My lavani performances are Ge Sagni from the film Pinjra and Sundra Mann Majhe .”
For writer and composer Dhanashree Lele, who has an MA in Sanskrit, it took months of research before she could actually compile the piece together. “There were so many interesting bits of information which suggested how deeply both art forms were linked. Like, if you listen to the lavani by Honaji Bala, you are reminded of abhangs by Sant Gynaeshwar. In fact, literary texts reveal that Sant Gyaneshwar also used lavani as a means to profess his love for God, just like Sufi saints do,” says Lele.
Lele’s exhaustive research included academic study as well as interviews and interactions with lavani artist. “ Lavani is an essential part of our life. Through that we move towards abhangs,” she says. “The last part of the programme will be an abhang pad titled ‘Aghwa Rang Ek Jhala’, which means different colours come together to form one.”
Various programmes will mark the anniversary, including two new shows – Saange Kabir and Gyanadev Mhane. With the introduction of ‘Saange Kabir’, Atul Theatres will bring Saint Kabir’s recitations in Marathi, starting June 3. ‘Gyanadev Mhane’, a compilation of Saint Gyaneshwar’s thoughts and songs, will be presented on June 23. A show called ‘Mahakavi Savarkar’, depicting Veer Savarkar as a poet and not just a freedom fighter, is also on the cards.