DD Archives produced 85 DVD sets so far

DD Archives produced 85 DVD sets so far

NEW DELHI: A total 85 sets of DVDs of recordings preserved by the archives of Doordarshan have been released so far, six of which were made available this week.


The DVD titles that were released by Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni this week were the Paintings of India by renowned lensman and conservationist Benoy K Behl, recordings of path breaking danseuse Padma Vibhushan Sonal Mansingh, Secrets of Shastras revealed by Gurus, Mind Watch by the psychiatrist duo Avadesh Sharma and Sujatha Sharma, Filigree of Rhythm about the tabla by three maestros, and 125 Years of the Surabhi theatrical tradition which was born in Maharashtra but moved to Andhra Pradesh.


According to Prasar Bharati chairman Mrinal Pande, the pubcaster has some of the largest archives in the world and is probably the largest repository of Indian art and cultural heritage. She said with the Supreme Court declaring in 1995 that airwaves were public property, Doordarshan was fulfilling its role by making its heritage available to people.


Acting Doordarshan Director General L D Mandloi said this was only the first set released this year and several more were expected to follow.


Kamalini Dutt, who relinquished charge as the person in charge of DD Archives on 31 December, said the recordings preserved in both Doordarshan and All India Radio could help researchers studying various aspects of Indian culture.


The DVDs titled ‘The Paintings of India’ depict in 26 episodes the deep study of Indian art from Ajanta to the present day and reveal that Indian paintings are among the greatest traditions of the art of the world. This prestigious project was filmed all over India and around the world and is a landmark in understanding Indian Art.


The DVD titled ‘Mind Watch--A series on mental health’ is based on a series of that name in 26 parts, focusing on emotional and psychological issues that underlie mental health and mental illnesses. The series is psycho-educational in nature and was conceived and designed to increase awareness in the minds of the general populations across all sections of society. It talks about the various aspects of emotional and behavioural dysfunctions that arise due to bio-psycho-cultural factors that affect the mind and its functioning.


The two DVDs titled ‘Path Breaking Dancer Dr. Sonal Mansingh’ showcase the danseuse’s brand of special artistry into both traditional art forms, Bharatnatyam and Odissi. The focus was on bringing in that unique freshness at a time when both forms were emerging out of their old norms. The titles showcase some memorable performances of Mansingh spanning her artistic journey of more than 30 years. The two DVDs are about Bharatanatyam and Contemporary Choreographies, and Odishi and Contemporary Choreographies.


The DVDs titled ‘Secrets of Shastras’ are a set of three volumes containing five DVDs. The first set is Bharatanjali. Conceptualised and anchored by dancer scholar Prof. Sudharani Raghupathy, this series of 8 episodes bring to light pedagogy of Bharatanatyam. The series has been designed in such a way that it gives insight to the young learners about the shastrik background and links to the practical learning. The second set is Bharatiya Natyashastra. The monumental work of Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam is based on her in-depth research of Natya shastra, bringing alive the dance postures etched on the temple walls of South India and tracing the pan-Indian presence of this manual of theatre arts. The third set is Natyaopasana. S. Sarada, a close associate of the legendary Rukamini Devi of Kalakshetra, was a great Sanskrit scholar and had acquired wide knowledge on classical music and dance from the original Sanskrit and Tamil scriptures. This DVD is a collector’s item for students of classical dance.


The two DVDs titled ‘Filigree of Rhythm’ are on the Tabla, an instrument that has mesmerised music lovers for generations and has undergone several stages of innovations over centuries, and has tremendously evolved as an instrument. The present title features the three maestros Ustad Ahmed Jaan Thirakwa, Pt. Kishan Maharaj, and Pt. Samta Prasad. Thirakwa belongs to that generation of Tabla players which started gaining respect for the art of playing Tabla. He was also the first Tabla Maestro to have been conferred with the Padma Bhushan. Pandit Kishan Maharaj is the first and the only recipient of the Padma Vibhushan among Tabla Maestros and was a representative of the Benaras Baaj. Pt Samta Prasad was one of the most amazing Tabla players of all time from the Benares Gharana who practiced for 16 hours a day to attain a unique strength and balance in his fingers.


The DVD titled ‘125 Years of Surabhi -Theatre Timeless’ is about Surabhi, a unique institution of family theatres that has an unrivalled place in the history of Indian theatre. The strength of Surabhi theatre lies in its being ‘family theatres‘
that practiced a strictly professional attitude in their vocation. Unlike other contemporary theatre companies that had flourished for a short period and slowly dwindledaway, Surabhi lived on. The efforts and innovation of Govinda Rao and Chinaramayya for the prosperity of Surabhi are remarkable. The Surabhi family continues to thrive amidst adversity and remains a beacon of hope for performing arts.

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