Dhrupad recital by Dagar Brothers | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 12, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 12, 2009

Dhrupad recital by Dagar Brothers


The Dagar Brothers -- Aneesuddin and Nafeesuddin Dagar -- are worthy heirs of the Dagarvani tradition of Dhrupad. Photo: Mumit M.

Noted Indian classical vocalists of the "Dagarvani Dhrupad Gharana," the Dagar Brothers -- Aneesuddin Dagar and Nafeesuddin Dagar -- performed at a Dhrupad recital at the National Theatre Stage, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on February 10. Jointly organised by the High Commission of India and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the evening was crowned with a turnout of several eminent personalities including diplomats, intellectuals and artistes.
Information Minister Azad Abul Kalam was present as the chief guest while Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni was present as special guest. Dipak Mittal, first secretary, Indian High Commission, welcomed the audience. Indian High Commissioner, Pinak Ranjan Chakrabarty, also spoke at the event.
Most members of the celebrated Dagar family have performed in Dhaka. Aneesuddin and Nafeesuddin Dagar represent the twentieth generation of the family, which has kept the Dagarvani tradition of Dhrupad alive. The brothers are worthy heirs of the tradition -- the oldest form of Hindustani classical music. Dhrupad reached its zenith in the 16th century, during the reign of Mughal emperor Akbar, considered one of the most generous patrons of art. At that time there were four schools of Dhrupad, representing this art in all its diversity. Brij Chand Rajput was of Dagar lineage, so the school of Dhrupad that he headed was called Dagarvani. The Dagar family's contribution to the perpetuation and enrichment of this art, while preserving its original purity, has been precious, and the history of this family can be traced back for 20 generations without a break.
Traditionally this family has always performed Dhrupad as 'jugalbandi' (duet). Born in Delhi, the Dagar brothers began their initial training under the guidance of their father Ustad Sayeeduddin Dagar and their illustrious uncles Ustad N Zahiruddin Dagar and Ustad N Faiyzuddin Dagar. The brothers have performed throughout India and several major cities of Europe.
The performance opened with an 'alaap,' an extended melodic improvisation without lyrics or rhythmic accompaniment, setting the mood and personality of a 'raaga.' The 'alaap' was divided into three tiers and was followed by a composition. In Dagarvani, the 'alaap' is a refined application of ten types of vocal executions -- 'Akar,' 'Gamak,' 'Lehak,' 'Dagar,' 'Dhuran,' 'Muran,' 'Kampit,' 'Andol,' 'Sphurt' and 'Hudak.'
Dhrupad compositions feature poetic lyrics and are accompaniment with 'pakhawaj.' Prabir Kumar Arya provided 'sangat' (accompaniment) with the performance. Pratima Kulkarni and Purnima Kulkarni were on 'tanpura.' Essentially a form of meditation through vocal execution, the performance is a blend of continuity, sparkle, sweep and depth.

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