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Pancham’s music lives—through songs, dances, and audiovisuals

June 2018
Pancham’s music lives—through songs, dances, and audiovisuals


(Left) Milind Oak narrated and told stories of Pancham Da. (Photo: Niraj Sharma Photography)


Symyna-based India American Cultural Association (IACA) organized “Pancham: The Genius of R.D. Burman,” a musical masterpiece on April 21, 2018 at Duluth High School. The Niche and Dhrishti presentation was organized locally in partnership with Mustafa Ajmeri and others. It was produced by Madan Kulkarni and directed by Pune-based Milind Oak, following such productions as Gulzar-Baat Pashmine Ki, Yahoo – the Karishma of Shammi Kapoor, Bhairav se Bhairavi, Ghazal ka Safar, Trendsetters, and Black and White.

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Singer Chaitanya Kulkarni. (Photo: Niraj Sharma Photography)

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Singer Jitendra Abhyankar. (Photo: Niraj Sharma Photography)

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Singer Mrunmayee Tirodkar-Karandikar. (Photo: Niraj Sharma Photography)

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Singer Mrunmayee Tirodkar-Karandikar. (Photo: Niraj Sharma Photography)



(Left) Dancers Kunal Phadke and Aishwarya Kale. (Photo: Niraj Sharma Photography)

Director Oak put life in R. D. Burman’s songs with his crisp narration and interesting background stories and little-known facts. Singers Jitendra Abhyankar, Chaitanya Kulkarni, Rasika Ganoo, and Mrunmayee Tirodkar-Karandikar rendered heartfelt songs. In the line-up were all time hits from movies like Padosan, Aradhana, Amar Prem, Parichay, Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Sholay, and 1942: a Love Story. Well choreographed moves by dancers Kunal Phadke and Aishwarya Kale accompanied songs and got the hearts of the audience pulsating.

The show traced Pancham’s life and works through his music and audiovisual snippets from his contemporaries like Gulzar saab, Javed Akhtar, Shammi Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, and modern greats like Shantanu Moitra, Shankar Mahadevan, and Vishal Bharadwaj, to name a few. There were several video interviews of Bollywood doyens such as Manna Dey and Asha Bhosle.

Rahul Dev Burman was an Indian film score composer, and one of the influential music directors of the Indian film industry. Nicknamed Pancham, he was the only son of composer Sachin Dev Burman. Pancham is credited with revolutionizing the film music in Hindi films, and his style and techniques continue to be followed by today’s composers. Pancham, himself a versatile playback singer, introduced Western styles and rhythms to Hindi film music listeners, while keeping the melody intact.

RD ruled the music scene from the mid-sixties to mid-eighties. His last years were not very eventful with failing health and a spate of unsuccessful ventures till he bounced back with his swan song 1942: A Love Story in 1994. He did not live to taste its success as he breathed his last on 4th January 1994 just before its music release. Even after death, R. D. Burman’s music refuses to die. He is the most remixed music composer and his music is live in the minds of the listener even today. Pancham Da was a maverick, a pioneer who introduced new arrangements and influences from world music in his work. All this and more is documented in film journalist Chaitanya Padukone's 2016 book, R. D. Burmania: Panchamemoirs.

The houseful Atlanta audience loved this thrilling musico-rama. After the show the IACA organizing team, Dr. Paddy Sharma, Ani Agnihotri, and Mustafa Ajmeri, thanked artist and guests, including Consul D. V. Singh and Consul Shailesh Lakhtakia, and announced forthcoming events: the Festival of India and the Beauty Pageant.

Photo Gallery: by Niraj Sharma Photography


[The article above is a Website Bonus Feature, appearing only on the website for June 2018, not in the print/digital issues.]

 Remember, we have new Website Bonus Features that are not in the print magazine. Every time you see the W symbol in the print magazine, you can go to our website to see additional print or audiovisual material!

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