Gharana (Tradition), references the linage of knowledge that transferred from one generation of artists to the next. Originally closely held along familial lines or to the most devoted students, in today’s modern context this term has expanded to describe the major traditions, or styles of Indian classical arts. Gharana Arts was established as an institution with the intent to preserve the cultural and artistic traditions of the India and the diaspora here in Canada. A significant component of the teaching is based on the traditional Guru-Shishya (Teacher/Student) relationship.
Established in 2005 with the broad objective of promoting these ancient traditions here in Canada, the organization perseveres to share these artistic practices to a new generation of Canadians and Indo-Canadians through events such as today’s Concert, the 3-day Canadian Gharana Festival and the Sangeet Concert Series both, hosted here in Ottawa, and the 2-Day Kala Jashan Festival, hosted in Kolkata India.
Founded by Ravi S. K. Singh and Kasturi Mishra, Gharana Arts strives to support the education and development of youth in the Ottawa community and seeks to bridge the gap for young people learning Indian Classical Arts in Canada. As well as offering classes in traditional Kathak and Tabla, the school is also the only North American institution accredited by the Prayag Sageet Samiti, and allowed to host examinations and certifications for its students in Dance and Music.
Students of Gharana Arts are therefore offered the unique opportunity to:
- Train and learn in Canada in the traditional Guru-Shishya Parampara;
- Study and be examined for certifications and degrees recognized internationally, by the Allahbad Sangeet Smriti and the Government of India; and,
- Perform professionally through forums such as the Sangeet Concert Series; Gharana Arts Festivals, hosted bi-annually in Canada; and the Performances and Festivals, hosted bi-annually in India.
Goals and Objectives:
The objectives of Gharana Arts focus on 2 areas: Education and Performance
- Through lectures, workshops, and innovative publications, create an awareness of the value and beauty of Indian classical arts within a modern Canadian context.
- Establish an institution of learning and research to develop Canadian practitioners of these traditional art forms at a professional level.
- Redefine the quality and high level of artistic merit in these art forms without compromising on their traditional foundation. Demonstrating through performance the innovation that arises from tradition.
- Establish an annual Canadian Festival for these arts based in the National Capital Region, explicitly creating a platform for all artists in Canada to perform.
- The pandemic has clearly made apparent the social inequities in our society but also the drive and willingness to address these challenges. Gharana Arts will continue to address these issues through our innovative cultural programming such as the 2012 Gharana Festival and the 2016 and 2018 Ottawa Rhythm Festivals, but will also commission specific collaborative artistic endeavours specifically seeking to explore cultural divides and search out the commonalities of differing artistic traditions.
- Some of the most affected by this pandemic felt this through a decline in mental health, the effects of which will continue to challenge us for a long time to come. Gharana arts will continue to emphasis mental health in its curriculum, but will be starting specific classes on the Meditative and Yogic aspects of India arts and culture.