If you happen to be waiting at Borivali station for a Churchgate fast between 9am and 11am on Wednesday, October 10, spare a few moments for K. Dakshinamurthy, Krishna Kant Singh and Smit Dharia. Your morning, and that of thousands of fellow commuters, will be enlivened by a performance—Carnatic percussionist Dakshinamurthy will play first followed by Hindustani classical vocalist Dharia and tabla accompanist Singh.
The show is being organised by National Streets for Performing Arts (NSPA), a Mumbai-bsed NGO that aims to reclaim public spaces for performance. Initiated by Ajit Dayal, the founder of a mutual fund company, NSPA hosted a pilot performance at Churchgate station in June and began in earnest on Monday, October 8 with a show at Churchgate. “For a city like Mumbai, our lifeline is the rail network,” said Shrishti Iyer, NSPA’s performance co-ordinator. “You cannot get a more public space than a station. We are looking to expand to parks and gardens. We also want to support the livelihoods of musicians. Our focus is on traditional musicians. But we are open to all genres.” The initiative is inspired by India’s culture of street performance, Iyer said.
The first show, which took place opposite the ticket counter at Churchgate station, featured Dharia and Neeraj Arya, who did “Kabir rock” in the morning. The evening performance had singer-songwriter Imli Imchen and Brass àChaar, a brass quartet featuring saxophonists Shirish Malhotra, Amar Sukhi and Ryan Sadri (from Something Relevant) and trombonist Ramon Ibrahim. “Right now we have mix of musicians who see NSPA as scope for experimentation,” Iyer said. In the coming week, watch out for Imchen, who plays at Bandra station on Saturday, October 13 and Rahul Pais, brother of singer Alisha Pais, who will perform at Churchgate on Monday, October 15. The shows will take place from 9am to 11am and 5.30pm to 7.30pm on Mondays at Churchgate station, Wednesdays at Borivali station and Saturdays at Bandra station. For the October schedule, see here.Tags: Ajit Dayal, Imli Imchen, Music, National Streets for Performing Arts, NSPA, Rahul Pais, Ryan Sadri, Shirish Malhotra, Shrishti Iyer