July 25 2014
By Seetal Kaur
One of Europe’s largest celebrations of the Indian classical performing arts returns with a world-class line-up and an accent on youth and developing the next generation…
DURING the height of the beautiful British summer season, Liverpool will be bursting with Indian arts as Milapfest’s ‘Indika’ festival returns to The Capstone Theatre from for a whole week, starting today (July 25).
A host of world-class artistes will grace this year’s festival, featuring classical music and dance in evening performances, traditional morning raga concerts and a family friendly garden party.
The festival was born out of the two summer schools, ‘Dance India’ and ‘Music India’ that simultaneously run every year and continue to bring famous artists to the Liverpool Hope University Creative Campus grounds.
“With a line up of some of India’s best performers and tutors, we have gathered an unprecedented line up of talented artists all in one place,” said Alok Nayak, director of development at Milapfest.
“We wanted to celebrate this by creating a festival of Indian arts for everyone to enjoy. Liverpool is a special cultural city, which is a perfect environment for a festival of this kind, and audiences and students alike are really appreciative of Indian arts here.”
The theme of Indika 2014 is collaboration, and throughout the week audiences will see partnerships between different Indian musical genres and dance styles, alongside unusual combinations of instruments.
When asked how the performances were chosen for this year’s line-up, Nayak said: “We want to ensure that there’s a variety of both up and coming innovative artists, paving their way in the profession, as well as some of the most respected senior artists, who have travelled the world, and are considered legends in their field.
“Apart from that variety, we make sure we have an interesting mix of instruments, dance styles and themes, as well as collaborative performances so that there’s a real opportunity to have a taste of the huge range of experiences you can get from Indian arts.”
Highlights of the festival include the popular morning raga concerts at 8am on Sunday (July 27) and the unique Yuva Ratna Awards on the Monday and Tuesday.
These awards aim to recognise and applaud talented youth who have dedicated themselves to the practice, preservation and promotion of Indian classical arts in the UK and beyond.
Taking place over two nights, twelve contestants will perform before a distinguished judging panel with the winner of award to be announced at the end of each evening.
Another highlight is the finale night on Friday next week (August 1) with a spectacular double-bill performance by acclaimed Bharatanatyam star Mythili Prakash and the legendary Pandit Birju Maharaj, affectionately known as the ‘Father of Kathak’.
“We want people to realise that Indian arts are for everyone. You don’t have to understand the language, culture or region to appreciate and enjoy the music and dance of India.” said Alok. “We hope that people feel inspired, uplifted and leave our festival events feeling great!
“Indian arts are emotional, tell great stories and can help to add a beautiful dimension to your understanding and appreciation of life. We want to bring people together, and as our Milapfest saying goes we hope we are ‘Uniting Hearts Through Arts’.
- Saturday, July 26 – 7.30pm – Veena Jayanthi & Alarmel Valli – A double bill performance of ancient string music and the best of Bharatanatyam
- Thursday, July 31 – 7.30pm – Madhup Mudgal & Madhvi Mudgal – Hindustani classical vocal and enchanting Odissi dance
Main picture: Mythili Prakash by Sunny Lamba
For the full programme and booking ticket information: www.milapfest.com
Follow the festival on Twitter at: twitter.com/milapfest and #IndikaFestival