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Home grown artistes ready for Old is Gold

Entertainment programmes featuring celebrity film stars always attract huge crowds but events that feature local talent are no less popular.

They too attract a cross-section of our communities, despite their modest budget and less expensive venues.

One such of the latter category is the Sixth Edition of ‘Old is Gold,’ a music and dance show, rehearsals for which are reportedly at a hectic pace.

An array of talent

Organised by the Auckland based Mohammed Rafi Academy of Music, the programme, due to be held on Saturday, September 7 from 7 pm at Dorothy Winstone Centre, Auckland Girls Grammar School, will once again bring together local talent, manifest as singers, instrumentalists, dancers, choreographers, stage managers and presenters.

Amit Sengupta, the man who has brought to the fore stars over the past five editions of the music programme and other events, said that Old is Gold VI would be different, offering a variety of songs and dances.

Dance numbers

“We have three dancers rendering as many song sequences, choreographed and directed by Ratna Venkat, who has been appearing in a number of shows since her Bharata Natyam Arangetram and Kuchipudi Ranga Pravesham on March 10, 2007. She will perform a specially choreographed item in Kuchipudi-Kathak style to the song, ‘Mohe Panghat Pe,’ and dance with Nirmita Ghose in Bharata Natyam-Kathak style for the song, ‘Tu Hai Mera Prem Devta.’ She has composed and directed ‘Dhoondo Dhoondo,’ in Indian Folk style for Upasana Chowdhury,” he said.

Tabla Master

While Old is Gold VI boasts of professional musicians and instrumentalists, the presence and performance of Avirbhav Verma would indubitably be a Jewel in the Crown, adding glitter to the evening’s performance.

The young musician is a maestro in Tabla and Piano and if you are fortunate, you may see him creating melody on eleven Tablas simultaneously.

Born in a family of musicians, Avirbhav grew up in an environment filled with soulful music. His father the Late Pawan Kumar Verma groomed him as a fine Tabla player but following his untimely death 13 years ago, Avirbhav continued his Tabla lessons with his grandfather Pandit Lachman Singh Seen, encouraged by his mother Gandharv Verma, an accomplished vocalist.

Avirbhav has performed in many parts of the world, including a session with the French group ‘Erik Ruffas.’

He respects his older brother Swarit (residing with his family in Melbourne) as a star Tabla Master and a “great source of inspiration and encouragement.”

A student of Unitec School of Music, Avirbhav plans to return to India following the completion of his course in November 2013.

Large team

A team of 29 singers, musicians and dancers are participating in the three-hour spectacle to render songs and dance sequences that have enthralled millions of people around the world over the past six decades.

Among the songs listed for their performance include ‘Jane Oh Kaise Log The Jinke’ (Pyassa), ‘Jewan Se Bhari Teri Aankhe’ (Safar), ‘Shirdiwale Sai Baba’ (Amar Akbar Anthony), ‘Na Jiya Lage Na’ (Anand), ‘Aap Ke Hasin Rukh Pe’ (Baharen Phir Bhi Aayegi), ‘Jalte Hai Jiske Liye’ (Sujata), ‘Aa Chalke Tujhe’ (Door Gagan Ke Chhaon Me), ‘Lag Ja Gale’ (Woh Kaun Thi?), ‘Ek Pardesi Mera Dil Le Gaya’(Phagun) and ‘Ye Zindagi Usiki Hai’ (Anarkali).

What: Old is Gold (VI)

Who: Mohammed Rafi Academy of Music

Where: Dorothy Winstone Centre

Auckland Girls Grammar School

Howe Street, Newton

When: Saturday, September 7 at 7 pm

Tickets: $20 at selected outlets

Contact: Amit Sengupta on (09) 6295278 or 022-4249269

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