Fingers that roar;

Thoughts, music, pure

By Dr. Rajiv Trivedi




Somehow, when this shy, petite girl sits on the stage skillfully handling the Pakhawaj, one finds it difficult to match his aural and visual input. The strong masculine sound of the ancient percussion seems quite the opposite to her coy, babyish personality. Yet, one has to marvel at her determination that made her work against all odds and achieve the prerogative of being the first ever woman Pakhawaj artiste in the world. chitra2.jpg (5995 bytes)When people refer to the entry in Limca Book of Records, Chitrangana tries to divert them with something else. On being forced to face the question of her being recorded as the first-ever, female Pakhawaj player, she said that for her joy is greater than distinction.

Indeed, it was this joy that made Chitrangana secretly try her hand on the Pakhawaj of her grandfather Pandit Ambadas Pant Agle, renowned internationally for his absolute mastery over this instrument. Panditm Ambadas and his musical household were true to age-old traditions. Little Chitra would see her elder brothers, Rajendra and Sanjay being taken to task if they ever made a slip during riyaz. However, there was no formal training or riyaz for her where Pakhawaj was concerned. Rajendra was being trained in harmonium, Sanjay in Pakhawaj and Chitra in dance. It was only when her brother Sanjay had taught her secretly and she mastered the basics with aplomb that orthodoxy bowed down to talent. Her father Kalidas Pant Agle began teaching his talented daughter.

Chitrangana Agle Reswal is also the best example of native talent being nurtured through institutional training. Not only did she hail from a musical family, she learnt music formally, studying Pakhawaj under Raja Chhatrapati Singh for five years. Ustad Allauddin Khan Sangeet Academy had sponsored this study under its Durlabh Sangeet Shaili scheme. She also received a two-year scholarship from Ministry of Human Resource Development. Approved as B high artiste, her solo recitals are regularly broadcast from Akashvani, Indore.

Taal Mani
Sur Singar Samsad, 1993
Abhinav Kala Samman
Bhatkhande Shiksha Samiti, 1993
Mahakal Samman
Ujjain, 1993
Rashtrapati Bhawan
New Delhi, 1993
Tansen Sangeet Samaroh
Gwalior, 1995, 97, 98
Chakradhar Samaroh
Raigarh, 1994
Kumar Gandharva Smriti Samaroh
Vijaynagaram, 1994
Saptak 99
Ahmedabad, 1999
Dhrupad Samaroh
Autrangabad, 1999
Dhrupad Samaroh
Varanasi, 2000
Dhrupad Samaroh
Varanasi, 2003
Ahmedabad, 2004
Dhrupad Samaroh
Varanasi, 2005
Shravan Mahotsava
Ujjain, 2005
Gandhinagar, 2005
Vasant Samaroh
Varanasi, 2006
Prathama Samaroh
Bhopal, 2006
Allauddin Khan Samaroh
Maihar, 2007
Jamnagar, 2007
Maheshwar Festival
Maheshwar, 2008
ITC-SRA Festival
Kolkata, 2008
Concert Tour
Norway, 2009
Concert Tour
Doha, U.A.E. 2009
Portugal, 2009
Delphi Games
Jeju, Korea, 2009
MP Sthapana Celebrations
Bhopal, 2009

Besides giving solo performances and accompaniment at all prestigious functions in and around Indore, Chitrangana has performed at Maihar, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Raigarh, Pune, Nagpur,  Hyderabad,   Nanded,  Viajyanagaram, Mumbai,  Varanasi,  Kolkata,   Aurangabad and Ahmedabad. She has disciples all over the country who keep visiting Indore to seek her guidance. Belonging to a family of performer teachers, she has a natural skill to communicate. She is pressed to hold workshops despite her busy schedule and she has taught from young enthusiasts to serious practitioners in several towns. She has been holding week long annual workshops at Rajkot for four years now.

It is easier said than done that a skilled percussionist like Chitrangana should as capably juggle the various roles of daughter, wife, mother, scholar and judge, but she does them all. That her efforts as well as of others of her ilk do not go unnoticed that Madhukali, Bhopal in collaboration with Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, organized Prathama -- a function that endeavoured to bring women artistes who became the first performers in their respective fields, followed by other institutions like Brahaspati Kala Kendra & Research Institute, ITC-SRA etc.

Recent: Concert at Jalgaon November 2009

References :

Naman -- Indore, Dec. 2nd 2001

Prathama -- Bhopal, Dec. 9 2006

More about the instrument, Pakhawaj in Bharatiya Sangeet Vadya

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