India 21 October 2016: Shunyata-'When Kathak Met Cham’ A DVD release documenting an unusual ballet, and its making is set to be released on November 1st 2016. The Kathak guru, Padmashri Shovana Narayan and the Grammy winning monks of the Palpung Sherabling Monastic Seat collaborated to create a beautiful dance and music production which was performed to a packed audience at Kamani Auditorium.
The making of the performance was captured in a film, 'When Kathak Met Cham', directed by the National Award winning filmmaker, Aparna Sanyal. DVDs of both the film and the performance will be released at the India International Centre by Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Minister of State (Minority Affairs) and the Sarod maestro, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan.
The release is being organised by the Palpung Munishasan Dharmachakra Sangh and the India Harmony Foundation.
Palpung Sherabling Monastic Seat
The Palpung Sherabling Monastic Seat is part of the great Palpung tradition that was set up by the 8th Tai Situpa in 1727 in the Derge county of Kham, in Tibet. Palpung refers to a 'mount' - as the vision for Palpung was to be a mount of excellence, preserving the best of Buddhist traditions from various lineages in Tibet.
In 1975, the present head of Palpung, the 12th Chamgon Tai Situpa, set up the beginnings of what is now a beautiful and sacred centre in Himachal Pradesh, India - the Palpung Sherabling Monastic Seat. In 2004, Palpung Sherabling was the recipient of a very unique award - the Grammy, under the Best Traditional World Music category. No other monastery or (Buddhist) monks have ever been given such an honour.
India Harmony Foundation
The principal objective is building bridges between different communities and promoting national harmony. Restoring, through a sustained series of confidence-building measures, peace, harmony and genuine fellowship between different communities living in India. The clear intent would be to reverse, across the country, the feeling of alienation that has crept into the psyche, the hearts and the minds of people, so that once again India becomes in every sense truly, ONE NATION AND ONE SOCIETY.
The Trustees of the Foundation include illustrious members of society, including Padma Bhushan Virendra Dayal, Lt General Ata Hasnain (Retd)., Shri Ashok Sajjanhar ( Retd), Shri K. Rahman Khan ( former Union Minister of Minority Affairs) Padmashri Keki N Daruwalla, Mrs Spalzes Angmo (Former Buddhist member of the National Commission for Minoritoes), Mrs Louise Khurshid ( former MLA), Mrs Zakia Zaheer ( educationist ) and Ms Jahanara Ahmed (mediaperson). Mrs Kulsoom Noor Saifullah is the Managing Trustee of the Foundation..
Shovana Narayan: Considered an exquisite diamond of her art style, intense and passionate, elegant yet vibrant, Padmashri Guru Shovana Narayan is among India’s most celebrated Kathak Guru and Maestro of the present age. She has extended the boundaries of Kathak to unchartered literary territories and sensitive social issues exhibiting social activism, a silent and aesthetic voice against oppression of all kinds that have proved to be trend-setters. She has been conferred with numerous awards, outstanding among which, are the Padmashri Award for excellence and outstanding contribution to dance by the President of India in 1992 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1999-2000.
Aparna Sanyal: A multiple award-winning documentary Director, including the prestigious National Award, the Rajat Kamal (2012), Aparna has worked on myriad subjects, from the quotidian to the esoteric. She has also been the 'India Producer' for several international documentary projects for channels like History, BBC, National Geographic and Discovery. She was awarded the Charles Wallace India Trust Award for research in 2015. She runs a communication firm in Delhi, where her work was recognized by the British Council under their 'Young Creative Entrepreneur' initiative in 2010.