Sacred Singing: A Baul Performance by Parvathy Baul

Performing Arts - Music | April 13 | 6-8 p.m. |  Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center

 Parvathy Baul, Baul folk singer, musician and storyteller from Bengal

 Sanchita Saxena, Director, Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies; Executive Director, Institute for South Asia Studies, UC Berkeley

 Sukanya Chakrabarti, Theater Artist, Performer, Ethnomusicologist

 The Subir & Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies, The Institute for South Asia Studies, Townsend Center for the Humanities, Sarah Kailath Chair of India Studies, The Mira and Ajay Shingal Center for Dharma Studies - Graduate Theological Union, Department of Music, Catherine and William L. Magistretti Chair in South and Southeast Asian Studies, Department of South & Southeast Asian Studies, Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies

The Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies at UC Berkeley proudly present an evening with Parvathy Baul, Baul folk singer, musician and storyteller from Bengal.

Parvathy Baul is a master performer, practitioner, and teacher of the Baul tradition from Bengal, India. She has performed at prestigious concert halls and music festivals in over a dozen countries. Her mastery of vocal pitch and tone while playing multiple instruments and dancing has been lauded by music experts, while the overall impact of her performance has been described by critics as “riveting” and “spellbinding.”

Parvathy’s work emerges from a long lineage of master Baul singers, dancers, and spiritual teachers. She studied closely with two of the most respected Baul singer-gurus of the previous generation, Sri Sanatan Das Thakur Baul and Sri Shoshanko Goshai. She was recognized by Sanatan Das Baul as both a musical and spiritual teacher in the Baul tradition, carrying forward his spiritual legacy.

In India, Bauls are known not only for their exquisite songs but for their fierce opposition to the caste system and reverence for the feminine. While fully embodying traditional Baul music and practice, Parvathy is also renowned for her efforts in renewing this ancient heritage. As the most recognized woman Baul performer in the world, Parvathy is making systematic training in Baul arts available to women in India on a scale that has never occurred previously and frequently uses her international reputation to highlight lesser- known master performers. She is the founder of Tantidhatri, an international women’s performance festival, and co-founder of the Ekathara Kalari school in Kerala, India for training in both song and traditional spiritual practice. In 2017 she will be touring in the U.S. for the first time.

Event moderated by Dr. Sukanya Chakrabarti. Sukanya Chakrabarti received her doctoral degree in Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University in June 2016. Dr. Chakrabarti has been involved in various performances in the Bay area and around the world - she performed in Democratically Speaking (2016); acted in Seneca’s Oedipus, and directed Sam Shepard’s Killer’s Head, both staged as a part of Stanford Summer Theater Festival 2011; performed in several productions by Enacte Arts (The Conference of the Birds, 2016; Merchant on Venice, 2014; Noor: The Empress of the Mughals, 2013); and participated in Eugenio Barba’s workshop at the Odin Week Festival in Holstebro, Denmark (2014). Her directorial and devised projects include A Bare Stage (2015); almost…home… (2014) and Divided Together (2012), all produced in Stanford University. She has been trained in Indian Classical music and dance since her childhood, and takes special interest in Rabindranath Tagore’s songs, literary works and philosophies. Her training and specialization are in the area of oral history; postcolonial and ethnic studies (with a focus on South Asian performance studies); ethnomusicology; dramatic literature; transcultural theater and performance; experimental devised performances; and community-based performance-making.

Event made possible with the support of the Sarah Kailath Chair of India Studies

Event is FREE and open to the public.

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