Mumbai, May 29 — If you are a novice who loves attending evenings of high culture but sits clueless during a performance of classical music or dance, there is good news for you. From June, the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) will introduce special ‘pre-concert talks’ before all shows of Western and Indian classical music and dance.
Scheduled to take place 10 minutes before the concert, the talk will give the audience a brief idea of key aspects of the performance, from its genre or gharana to its historical context or the signature style of a composer or artiste. And to give these talks, NCPA has roped in its in-house experts in each field.
“Recently, a lot of our audiences have conveyed to us that contrary to what we assumed, many of them are not well versed with Indian classical music and would like to know more,” said Dr Suvarnalata Rao, programming head for Indian music at the NCPA, who will give the talks for Indian musical events. Informal versions of the talks were conducted before Western classical music events by Zane Dalal, conductor-in-residence for the NCPA’s Symphony Orchestra of India.
Audiences found it useful, and the talks are being formalised. “We always get a mixed audience, so some orientation helps the uninitiated enjoy the concert better.
But we cannot go into technical details,” said Rao, who will give a prologue to Carnatic maestro N. Rajam’s violin recital on June 4 by talking about the tradition of solo violin performances and how it is different from violin as an accompaniment.