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Celebrating Diwali the festival of lights

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An evening of celebrating the festival of light, diwali, was held in King’s Lynn Town Hall.

Guests experienced an evening of extraordinary Indian classical music and dance.

This celebration of Diwali, the festival of light, with Indian classical music, dance and food was well appreciated by the Indian and the local community and it created an atmosphere of excellent multicultural integration.

Gurdain Singh Rayatt accompanies on tabla and Gurbaksh Singh Matharu plays tarshenai. (53013118)
Gurdain Singh Rayatt accompanies on tabla and Gurbaksh Singh Matharu plays tarshenai. (53013118)

Diwali is a festival of lights and one of the major festivals celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists.

This concert was hosted by Sursarang, a newly established Lynn based organisation of Indian classical music, in association with Sama Arts Network one of the UK’s oldest and most influential arts organisations in the genre of traditional and contemporary South Asian arts, orchestral, jazz and world music.

This concert was a part of a series Women in Arts Festival, celebrating the contribution of women in music, especially in the genre of Indian classical music.

Tonya Sheenson (53013121)
Tonya Sheenson (53013121)

Women have historically made important contributions to music worldwide, and in Britain in particular.

Recent figures, however, indicate that they make up less than a sixth of the professional musician workforce, and an even smaller number in British Asian music.

This concert was led by the eminent Indian Classical Vocalist Sanjukta Mitra, who is also the co-founder of Sursarang.

Tonya Sheenson performs an ancient North Indian form of dance. (53013124)
Tonya Sheenson performs an ancient North Indian form of dance. (53013124)

The concert started with Tarshenai, a traditional Indian string instrument played by Gurbaksh Singh Matharu a noted Tarshenai player based in the UK.

He was accompanied on tabla, the Indian percussion instrument, by one of the most eminent tabla players of the UK Gurdain Singh Rayatt.

The next piece was a dance recital in the traditional Kathak style, an ancient North Indian form of dance, by Tonya Sheenson, a student of the Kathak Dance maestro Alpana Sengupta.

Sanjukta Mitra delivers a mesmerising vocal recital. (53013127)
Sanjukta Mitra delivers a mesmerising vocal recital. (53013127)

The concert was concluded with a mesmerising vocal recital by Sanjukta Mitra, a gold medallist and the leading vocalist of the Bishnupur Gharana, the only Bengali lineage of classical music in the UK.

She was accompanied by Gurdain Singh Rayatt on tabla and Gurbaksh Singh Matharu on esraj.

Dr Prabir Mitra, director of Sursarang, and Mr Jay Visvadeva, artistic director of Sama Arts thanked the audience for their wonderful participation and there were talks of future events in Lynn to popularise this genre of music within the wider community.

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