Arbutus has always focussed on all-round personality development. India has a rich and varied tradition of music, dance, and theatre. Knowledge of traditional art forms helps in enhancing the personality of not just children, but also adults. Exposing people to these art forms would also nurture their creative talents, and introduce them to a whole new world of creativity.
As a first step, Arbutus started with Music Appreciation workshops, way back in the 1980s. Different types of Indian instruments (taal, string, and so on) were brought on rent and the participants were introduced to the nuances of these instruments and the music they created. Renowned musicians were called upon to have a free chat with the participants. These workshops got an overwhelming response. The workshops for children also were greatly appreciated. Children used to come eight days' at a stretch and used to thoroughly enjoy themselves in the informal sessions. The first few workshops were free of cost. Well-known musicians like Ustad Usman Khan also did not charge Arbutus any fees for conducting sessions in these workshops.
Arbutus Centre for Performing Arts has a two-fold objective. One is to promote various performing arts, classical and contemporary, by giving maximum exposure to individuals, through lecture-demonstrations, workshops, and performances by renowned artistes. This, we feel, would go a long way in familiarising the society with our rich cultural ethos, and in connecting to oneself through the medium of these arts, something which is almost lost, in today’s high pressure fast life. The second objective is to tap special talents among the youngsters and provide them a platform to showcase them. We feel that a there are a lot of gifted individuals in the society, but they do not make it as professional performing artistes, because of lack of a proper stage where they can present their talents. We aim at making a humble contribution to their careers and dreams by giving them this much wanted stage.
Arbutus Centre for Performing Arts also conducts certificate courses in music for different age groups. There are courses in Hindustani Classical Music, as well as other light forms like ghazal, bhaavgeet, devotional music, and Marathi Natyasangeet. These courses focus not just on practical performances, but also on musicology, evolution, and speciality of that particular genre of music. We also offer weekend courses for working professionals. Dr Kalyani Bondre, (visit www.kalyanibondre.com) herself an accomplished classical vocalist, plays an active part in carrying out these courses. The proceeds from these courses go to financing all the various projects that Arbutus undertakes.
How Do I Apply?
Interested candidates can mail their resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Activities So Far:
In addition to workshops, lectures, demonstrations and competitions, Arbutus Centre for Performing Arts has also undertaken various other activities like orchestras, musical playlets, dance dramas, operas on different themes, street plays, and so on. The participants include school children as well as the youth. Performing in these events gives the participants a chance to show their skills, enhance their creativity, an exercise in team work, and finally a chance to come in front of the audience. These items have been staged at various events of Arbutus.
We have also tried experimenting with mythological concepts and have tried to relate them to the current context. We have explored novel themes like ‘A Fisherman Community Dance’, depicting intricacies of the fishermen’s lives, ‘Krishna Kaliya’, which we have adapted to the concept of Water Pollution and Conversion, ‘Water Cycle through Classical Dance’, ‘Life in an Indian Village with reference to Water’.
Arbutus celebrated its Silver Jubilee in 2001. A cultural programme was organised on March 3, 2001, where our participants gave performances in Hindustani Vocal Classical Music, Percussion instruments, and two of India’s major dance forms: Kathak and Bharatnatyam. The audience included well-known people from the field of music like Ustad Usman Khan, Ustad Faiyaaz Hussain Khan, and Suhas Vyas. Dr Dada Gujar of the Maharashtra Arogya Mandal, Hadapsar, and Dr Satyaranjan Sathe, Legal Expert and Former Principal of ILS Law College were also present. We also honoured those people who had helped us in some way or the other in the 25 years of our existence. Mr Ramanath Jha, the former Municipal Commissioner of Pune was the Chief Guest on the occasion.
Education for Sustainable Development Through Performing Arts:
At Arbutus Centre for Performing Arts, we have also tried to integrate the concepts of sustainable development and art forms like classical dance and music. We feel that if these difficult concepts are explained through the aesthetic medium of performing arts, it immediately attracts the interest of not just the performing artistes, but also the audience. We have explored various themes and staged them at different events. Here is a glimpse of such activities:
Arbutus presented a dance-drama to educate about environment, particularly water management. This dance-drama was presented at a function. Students from Abhinav Vidyalaya, Pune, participated in this programme. Dr. Meera Bondre put this concept into action. Ms. Asha Gadgil helped in narrating the story. Though the narration is in Marathi language, the dance-drama crosses the barrier of language.
Click on the Play button on the right to view the video. This video shows the the effective use of Indian culture, Indian dance form to educate about Water Management.
Arbuts has been using performing art to educate school children. The video that follows uses dance form to show 'Water Cycle'.
Click on the Play button below to view the video. This video shows the complete water cycle. This concept is put in the dance form by Dr. Meera Bondre and the project was co-ordinated by Ms. Shobha Pokale. Students from Vidyavardhini School, Pune, participated in this dance.