Folk fusion singer-composer Raghu Dixit has received the incredible honour of performing for Her Majesty The Queen of England and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh for the spectacular Diamond Jubilee Pageant. The performances will take place at the private grounds of Windsor Castle. On Sunday, the 13th of May 2012, there will be a special performance by over 550 horses as well as dancers, performers and artists from across the world to celebrate 60 years of the reign of The Queen of England. The show will be broadcast to over 6 million viewers in the UK and will also be broadcast to over 240 countries across the world.
Raghu Dixit, the only musician representing India, will curate a spectacular music and dance performance to his song Mysore Se Aayi which will also feature twelve dancers from Nritarutya along with all of The Queen’s horses! Mayuri Upadhya from Nritarutya, one of the country’s best Indian contemporary dance companies, will choreograph the dance sequences for the special performance.
Some of the other artists who will also perform at the Diamond Jubilee Pageant include Grammy nominated Susan Boyle, world renowned American classical violinist David Garrett, Australian entertainer Rolf Harris, leading South African actors from the West End smash hit Disney’s The Lion King who will be joined on stage by the Nairobi Chamber Chorus & Watoto Children’s Choir and classical maestros Il Divo. The narrators for the evening include Dame Helen Mirren, Alan Titchmarsh, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Omid Djalili and Martin Clunes.
Before the highly anticipated Diamond Jubilee Pageant, another highlight of Raghu Dixit’s tour to the UK is a performance on the ‘The Andrew Marr Show’ on BBC One on the 15th of April 2012. The renowned show has seen top politicians make news, cultural icons inform and entertain and the UK’s most influential commentators share their analysis and insights. It is one of the most popular shows with over 2 million viewers and some of the biggest stars have been interviewed on this show including Jay-Z, Angelina Jolie, Robert Redford, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Kate Winslet and Tom Jones and David Cameron. This will be the third time Raghu Dixit performs on national television in the UK, his previous appearances were for the renowned show ‘Later…With Jools Holland’ and a Glastonbury special screening.
Following that, The Raghu Dixit Project will be part of one of the most innovative new productions of the year. Produced by British Council and Southbank Centre, ‘A Tale Retold’ is a musical rendition of an Indian folk tale and is an hour-long musical by Raghu Dixit, members of British indie-folk group Bellowhead and UK-based Indian classical dancer, Gauri Sharma Tripathi and will be a completely new experience involving song, dance and visual animation. The trio will collaborate to showcase their respective artistic styles in a musical narrative directed by acclaimed director Jude Kelly with theatre director Quasar Thakore-Padamsee as assistant director. ‘A Tale Retold’ will be have songs written in English, Hindi and Kannada and will be part-interactive. It will premier at the Alchemy Festival in London on 18th and 19th of April and will debut in India in January 2013.
Below is what Raghu had to say about these recent developments:
How do you feel about performing for The Queen?
It’s a great honor to be invited for such a high profile event and anytime I am told that I am representing India and amthe ONLY Indian in a line up, it feels a little overwhelming, but I try to treat it like another gig that I will give my 100% at. Though, I know this is much bigger than most gigs I have played. There is a lot of planning and co-ordination in play to make this work like we want it to, and I only hope weare able to pull it off smoothly and it will be a roaring success. I hope she gets up and jumps along to Mysore se Aayi, like the rest of the world does 😀
What have you got planned for the performance?
We’ve planned a musical and dance extravaganza with my song ‘Mysore se Aayi’. Accompanying me, will be 12 dancers choreographed by Mayuri Upadhya, co-founder of Nritarutya, one of India’s best contemporary dance companies, and I am told 500 of the queen’s horses will be dancing in the grounds as well! So that is going to be something! If all of this was not enough, I will be backed by a 70 piece Orchestra that are learning the music score for Mysore se Aayi, so that is something I had never imagined would happen with my song!
How did A Tale Retold come about?
It started as a discussion my manager/bass player, Gaurav had with Tasneem, from the British Council. We have always wanted to make a musical with an Indian story and as luck would have it, things fell into place, and we managed to rope in some of the best people in the worldto attempt this with. The members of Bellowhead who we are sharing the music responsibilities with are fantastic and we always have a blast together,so it will be great fun making brand new music along with them. From what we have written so far, it is unlike anything I have ever done before!
Can you tell us a little about the performance?
A Tale Retold was conceived as an idea last last year, and since then all the members involved met for a developmentphase in India, and we have written 15 new songs, that will make up the musical. Gauri, who is taking over the dance responsibilities for this project will be choreographing various sequences of the musical and right now, everything is being played by ear. New things are coming up every day and things are morphing into what I think will eventually come a beautiful product.
Immediately, we will be previewing some of the music made for the musical at our gigs later this month at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, but more development work will go in before we can showcase this in India late this year, or early next year.