Tuesday, October 11 is the International Day of the Girl Child, a day dedicated to recognising the unique challenges that girls face around the world and to addressing their rights. To celebrate the occasion, leading public programming platform Avid Learning has joined hands with the iconic Royal Opera House, Mumbai, to host Stree Shakti, an event showcasing professional tabla maestro Pandita Anuradha Pal’s rhythmic prowess on Saturday, October 8 at 7 pm. And there could be no better person to drum up attention to the cause of the girl child than Anuradha, who is known to be the world’s first female tabla maestro. Trained by Ustad Alla Rakha and Ustad Zakir Hussain, she is also a President Awardee and an ambassador of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao initiative that is celebrated each year between October 9 and 14.
What You Can Expect
The Royal Opera House’s lush Baroque interiors will play the perfect backdrop to Shree Shakti: Anuradha Pal’s Tablas Tell Stories as the tabla maestro takes her audience on a journey celebrating the life and facets of a girl child, her challenges, and triumphs in a never-seen-before manner by amalgamating facets of poetry, art, prose, music and rhythm. In a nod to Navratri, a festival that has women’s empowerment embedded into its very fabric, nine world percussion instruments will also be used to showcase a delightful blend of compositions depicting the contemporary and traditional Navdurga.
The evening is slated to begin with a heart-stirring short poem celebrating stree shakti, or female empowerment, by Ila Pal, Anuradha’s mother. In accordance with the theme, four young girls from across India will be honoured with the Padma Shri M. T. Vyas Stree Shakti Award for their service to music, dance and society by the Anuradha Pal Cultural Foundation, which is also dedicated to helping society not only spread awareness about anxiety and depression, but also combat it via its impactful work.
A Perfect Venue For Empowerment
It’s no exaggeration to say that after being around for more than a century, the Royal Opera House has once again become a cultural hub in the city of Mumbai. “Our work at The Royal Opera House has led to our space becoming so much more than yet another performing arts venue,” says Maharani Kumud Kumari of Gondal and proprietor of The Royal Opera House. “I am so pleased to support the empowerment of women through events such as this one,” she says. “It is an honour to have the world’s first female professional tabla maestro Anuradhaji gracing our stage,” enthuses Ashish Doshi, Honorary Director of The Royal Opera House “We are excited to give Mumbaikers this opportunity to witness the power, magic and elegance of an inventive and talented artiste through a unique and immersive experience at The Royal Opera House, Mumbai.” The maharani and Ashish are not alone in talking about the importance of art and its compound effect on society. Asad Lalljee, CEO of Avid Learning and Curator of The Royal Opera House, also believes that art has the power to uplift and empower. “Programmes such as these are key to fuelling empowerment for women and we feel privileged to support, highlight and champion influential female voices from the arts and culture from across the country and beyond,” he says.
Catch Stree Shakti: Stree Shakti: Anuradha Pal’s Tablas Tell Stories for an evening of music and a celebration of the courage and resilience of the girl child.
Where: The Royal Opera House, Mama Parmanand Marg, Mumbai 400004
When: Saturday, October 8 2022 | 7 pm – 8.30 pm