Thrive Festival kicks off May with live music and family fun
May Day traditionally celebrates the start of summer and the weekend-long Thrive Festival at Dartington Estate seeks to harness the joy, sunshine and hope that this represents.
Taking place from Friday, April 29 through Monday, May 2, Thrive features live music programming, family shows, and a variety of workshops around the themes of Indian music, birdsong, and nature.
Indian music runs through Dartington’s heart; the vision of its founders – Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst – was inspired by Rabindranath Tagore, the estate has enjoyed visits and performances over the years by Indian artists such as Ravi Shankar, and Indian music has been studied at the former Dartington College of Arts directed by Imrat Khan and Sharda Sahaï.
Rabindranath Tagore (. ) (.)
Thrive weekend includes concerts in the Great Hall, arts and crafts and music workshops for kids and adults, music on the lawn, and a shadow theatre.
The central themes come together on May Day with both a classic Indian dawn raga performance and REVEIL streaming Soundart Radio – the international project marking the International Day of the Dawn Choir.
Renowned tabla player Sanju Sahai has scheduled a series of three main evening concerts as well as the dawn raga performance and a workshop on demystifying Indian music.
Sanju has entertained audiences at Dartington many times and comes from a long line of tabla players that dates back 250 years. He came to live in Dartington as a teenager when his father Sharda Sahai was a teacher at the old college of arts.
Sanju said, “It feels like a very important festival that rekindles Dartington’s passion and long history with Indian music and brings that music to more people.
“Music is beautiful because it has no borders, it’s a common language that we all understand and that can bring everyone together. We need it more than ever. »
Sanju brought together a group of talented Indian and Western musicians including Matthew Barley, Nikki Wells, Sanjukta Mitra, Kirpal Singh Panesar, Jaymini Sahai, Giuliano Modarelli, Preetha Narayanan, Adrian Freedman and Jason Singh for cross-cultural collaboration. , as well as an Indian classical music concert and a contemporary fusion project.
Sound artist, producer, DJ and performer Jason Singh (. ) (.)
Dartington Creative Director Emily Hoare said: “Dartington is a place where music and nature come together, birdsong is all around us and Indian music is part of our heritage.
“It was a real pleasure to work with Sanju Sahai again. He is a rare musician whose collaborators cover the best of Indian and Western classical music, jazz, folk and contemporary music.
“The arts and learning are central to Dartington’s mission and they come together this weekend with craft and music workshops and the opportunity for a new generation of Dartington audiences to experience Indian music.”
Throughout the weekend, children can make birdhouses and bee hotels, take part in a wild bird singing workshop, and take part in bird painting workshops, with their works part of a Mural at Green Table Cafe with backdrop by artist Alison Conway.
Cloudscapes (. ) (.)
Family music workshops are held with Balladeste, as well as nature beatbox workshops led by sound artist, producer, DJ and performer Jason Singh – the estate’s artist-in-residence.
Jason will also lead two of his wildly popular Land:scape listening walks through the gardens, host a DJ set and join Sanju for a night of contemporary Indian fusion.
The festival will also include workshops for adults with Holly Ebony and Lucky Bird, while Clockwork Moth will perform two versions of their new show ‘The Owl Who Was Afraid of The Dark’ – a shadow play based on Jill Tomlinson’s novel.
There will also be free musical performances from the Indo-Baroque alt-folk duo Balladeste, the versatile Holly Ebony and a DJ set.
Various outlets will be serving food and drinks throughout the weekend.
For more information and to book concerts and workshops, visit Dartington.org/thrive