A platform to promote talent

A platform to promote talent

A platform to promote talent. Ask the versatile Hindustani classical and Sufi singer Smita Bellur the secret of her success and she replies, “Put in your efforts and do not worry about the results.

An idea that was pondered over nearly half-a-decade ago took shape a couple of years back as the Hyderabad Heritage Festival. Started in 2012, the festival’s main aim was to promote talent in the city along with its heritage. Kishan Rao, the man behind this heritage festival remarked that it gives an opportunity for the city’s own talent to perform along with the top artistes at venues like Chowmahalla Palace, Taramati Baradari and Golconda Fort. The three-day festival concludes today .

Take up traditional music to spread culture – Smita Bellur

Ask the versatile Hindustani classical and Sufi singer Smita Bellur the secret of her success and she replies, “Put in your efforts and do not worry about the results.” This was in fact the best advice she ever got which strengthened her passion for music and instilled the will power and determination to take it up as her career.

“I was always worried that if I ended up pursuing my career in classical music, I would earn very less. But one day I had decided not to worry about what I would get from it and just lived my dream. That’s when I landed at the Gwalior Kirana Gharana,” shared Smita who hails from Dharwad.

At an early age of 12, Smita’s father realised her passion for Hindustani classical music and sent her for training. Since then, there was no turning back. Smita has given close to 300 performances across the country. She holds a master’s degree in quality management and a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Very recently, she quit a software firm. After spending 13 years in the corporate world and simultaneously managing music, she now wants to invest the rest of her life only on music. She aims to reach out to as many people as possible and make them understand the beauty of classical music.

The versatile artist is very fond of Sufi music. “It is the philosophy and love towards God that took me to Sufism. There is lot of depth in Khayal and Sufi singing and I really enjoy this soulful form of music.”

Smita’s only wish is that people including youngsters should flock to classical concerts and encourage upcoming artistes. “Every talented kid or person should pursue some form of traditional music and keep the culture going. It is only when there is a demand for such genres of music and audience, that the artists would get importance and be treated more seriously,” she concluded.

A music and dance treat

The three-day Hyderabad Heritage Festival 2014 organised by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism kick started on Friday at the Chowmahalla Palace with four electrifying performances. The event began with Kuchipudi performance by Ragini Puttu and group which had three Russian artistes, who came all the way from Moscow to showcase their talent in the festival. They presented four pieces- Narayanate Namo Namo choreographed by Guru Venkata Ravi Shankar, Vedelera Vaiyyaluri and Nateshakautavam choreographed by Late Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam and Pranavakaaram choreographed by Kishore Musalikanti.

The second performance was by Smita Bellur, a renowned Hindustani Khayal and Sufi singer from Bengaluru. She began her presentation for the evening with Raga Puriyadhanshri and then sang three Sufi numbers on public demand. The audience was charged up by the beautiful ghazal ‘Aye mohabbat tere anjaam pe’.

This was followed by Odissi dance performances by Madhulitha Mahapatra and group from Odisha. Their first one was an invocatory piece dedicated to Goddess Durga. Subsequently, a beautiful and soulful dance ballet on Krishnashtakam was presented by five women. The audience was spellbound for 45 minutes. It was a graceful and touching Odissi dance act.

The city’s well-known ghazal singer Vittal Rao concluded the first day of the heritage festival with a few famous ghazals. The audience was enthralled by the ambience of the palace and the heavenly performances that left them delighted at the end of the day.

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