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March 2011
D.C.’s MARCH MELA AN INDIAN CELEBRATION In this country, not to be outdone by the cultural extravaganza in Canada, March is the month for Maximum India. Washington’s Kennedy Center, in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the Embassy of India, is hosting a series of events that feature leading Indian musicians, dancers, film stars, authors and artists.

Connoisseurs of classical dance can attend one or all of these programs: Samanvaya, Sarpagati, Sakthi Sakthimaan and Swayambhu.

Also scheduled are musical concerts featuring the likes of L. Subramaniam, Zakir Hussain, Shubhendra Rao and his wife Saskia, Anando Mukerjee and Vatsala Mehra. What’s more, the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) will play Indian-inspired works by composers Messiaen, Zemlinsky and Roussel. A concerto by Hussain, commissioned for this occasion by the NSO, incorporates ragas and talas, Sufi kalam and church music. Another star attraction, dubbed the Raga Pianist, is an 18-year-old named Utsav Lal.

Among other events, there will be a politics and literature panel (Salman Rushdie, William Dalrymple, Nayantara Sahgal) and film panels featuring Girish Karnad, Sharmila Tagore, Shabana Azmi, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Ketan Mehta and Nandita Das. The Monsoon Club will host Shillong-based Soulmate, Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition, DJ Rekha and Panjabi MC, Suphala and Chennai-based Emergence.

And yes, there will be some free events, not to mention film screenings, displays of paintings and crafts, theatrical performances, and gourmet Indian cuisine whipped up by award-winning master chefs. Is anything missing? Seems like Indophiles will be jamming the streets of D.C. this month.

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