Music and Dance step up artistic science

Music and Dance step up- Tabla Group Web

Ratna Venkat – 

Music and dance lovers will experience Auckland’s own ‘Mehfil,’ organised and presented by Auckland-based musician and Sarod exponent Chinmaya Dunster this weekend.

Court Tradition

The ‘14th Auckland Mehfil,’ (an intimate court tradition that was prevalent during the Mughal empire in India) will be held at 7 pm on Saturday, February 18 at Blockhouse Bay Boat Club, 91 Endeavour Street in Blockhouse Bay.

Tickets, priced at $20 per person will be available at the venue.

Children under 18 years of age will be admitted free.

The evening of Jugalbandi and Fusion promises never-witnessed-before music and dance collaborations. Following our article on Sarod artiste Chinmaya and multi-instrumentalist Shastro (who will be the Flutist) in our last (February 1) issue, we present two bands in this report.

Sargam Fusion

Recognised as New Zealand’s leading fusion band, ‘Sargam Fusion’ has, since its inception, been providing a harmonious blend of Indian, Eastern and Western music, appealing to a wide range of mixed audiences.

Its motto ‘Creating music, connecting cultures’ is testimony to the band’s aim of connecting people from different cultures, living by the spirit of diversity and multiculturalism that form the crux of modern New Zealand.

‘Sargam Fusion’ has also collaborated with artistes of international repute, including Bansuri Flute maestro Rakesh Chaurasia and New Zealand’s own symphony, ‘The Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra,’ both in 2016.

Music and Dance step up-Chaurasia and our artistes- Group Web

Accompanying artistes

The ensemble at the forthcoming Concert would comprise Ahi Karunaharan (Keyboards), Basant Madhur (Tabla), Rajiv Gounder (Octopad) and Rob Mita (Bass Guitar), Ashish Ramakrishnan and Joy Kavya Ravela (Vocals).

Innovative fusion dance by this writer is also part of the programme who will return and be backed by live vocals and instrumentation.

She was previously seen at the ‘5th Auckland Mehfil’ in 2015 where she presented the traditional North Indian classical dance form of Kathak, with support by Akhilesh Madhur on Tabla, Basant Madhur on ‘Padhant’ (Recitation) and Deepak Madhur on Harmonium.

Tabla Science

The juxtaposition of Tabla beats with science may sound strange but it is the concept behind this newly formed group, which will showcase how art and science (normally seen as two completely different fields) can be perceived interchangeably.

Initiated by Basant Madhur, Principal and Director of Sargam School of Indian Music based in Auckland, ‘Tabla Beat Science’ represents young and energetic upcoming Tabla players of New Zealand, with the ability to resonate Indian classical, folk and world music beats.

“The complex classical beats, thrilling fusion and traditional folk ‘taals’ or rhythms are the beauty of the group, which has fascinated our audiences,” Basant told Indian Newslink.

Some of the successful performances rendered by these artistes in 2016 include ‘Auckland Diwali Festival,’ ‘Sur-Taal’ (featuring Sarangi maestro Sangeet Mishra) and ‘Music Extravaganza’ (featuring Satvik Veena maestro Salil Bhatt).

The group will showcase the talents of students of Basant including Akhilesh Madhur, Aman Reddy, Prashant Kumar and Shamal Lal.

Due to limited seating at the venue, we request our readers to contact Chinmaya Dunster early and register their names.


What:  14th Auckland Mehfil

An evening of Jugalbandi and Fusion

Who:   Chinmaya Dunster

When: Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 7 pm

Where: Blockhouse Bay Boat Club

91 Endeavour Street, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland

Tickets: $20 per person available at the venue

Children under 18 are Free

Contact: Chinmaya Dunster on 022-3204020;



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