Paris Moves to an Indian Beat
Society with Ruchi
Bonjour Houston! It feels great to be back in my hometown after an awesome getaway to Paris, France. I did miss a few Indo-American society events in Houston but Paris kept me on my toes, and I mean literally on my toes. I also had the privilege to explore the Indian community activities in Paris. While wandering along the majestic streets of Paris I came upon several Indian/Pakistani restaurants and various theaters. The Indian Embassy had informed me about Raghunath Manet’s performance although I must say it would have been hard to miss this event as its posters appeared all around town specially near Denfert Rochereau and Montparnasse.
After ten years of enormous success of the show Omkara, the dancer-musician Raghunath Manet and famous jazz violin player Didier Lockwood got back together at Théâtre de la Gaîté Montparnasse for Omkara II. This new show devoted to the magic of artistic and cultural miscegenation between dance and music at the heart of improvisation. The duo presented a spectacular dance and musical show Omkara II on Sunday, November 13, 2011. Manet is not just a dancer but a veena player too. The show was a combination of dance and music and as Manet said in his interview that he loves tradition but needs to exchange it with other western traditions because the Indian tradition is so strong.
Omkara is the source of all the sounds. It is with this sound that Shiva created the world. Omkara is also referred to as the meeting ground of musicians in the quest of creation and the chance that brings them together – Indian musician and dancer Raghunath Manet, violin player Didier Lockwood with Aurélie Claire Prost and Indian percussionist Murugan.
Hundreds of sophisticated Indians in Paris, and art lovers gathered to find a connection between India and the french culture. “They need a new dimension,” says Raghunath. “It is not easy to perform in Paris as it is the capital of art and culture. Now a days french people are used to all kinds of dance performances and world music. They expect a lot from the artists, as for us it is very interesting to create and perform what is in us,” adds Manet.
Even though the United States can always boast its successful Indian American entrepreneurs and professionals let’s not forget Paris being the capital for Indians when it comes to designers and musicians. “I would like to add that Pandit Ravi Shankar started his career in Paris, an exciting city for performing,” says Raghunath Manet.