Musical Instrument Museum Experience India Festival 2019

Many vocal, instrumental and dance traditions have shaped India’s diverse culture.

Ghungroo bells worn at dancers’ feet, mridangam and tabla drums, ektara single string instruments, Bharatanatyam dance movements, and tala beating and tapping allow people from all over the country to express themselves.

On August 31 and September 1, the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix will highlight the musical and dance traditions of India with shows and activities on both days.

In its sixth year, Experience India is part of the larger Experience series, which highlights music, dance and culture from around the world. MIM also offers Experience events dedicated to France, the Andes, Polynesia and Ireland.

Experience India will showcase the musical traditions of northern and southern India, said Ryan Borden, director of public programs at MIM.

In the morning, Sonoran Masala will perform the Carnatic musical traditions of South India, mixing this classic style with more modern jazz and rock sounds.

Later, student singers and tabla players from the Phoenix Gharana School of Indian Arts will give a taste of the classical Hindustani style of northern India.

Students of Sampradaya Dance of India will lead interactive Bharatanatyam dance workshops and participate in a performance combining Bharatanatyam dance movements, live music and narration.

Participants can learn more and try out different musical instruments at a ghungroo craft activity, instrument projector table, and tala music-making workshop. Borden said the workshops add to the experience by allowing guests to participate in the musical creation.

The Musical Instrument Museum's Experience India event highlights some of the instruments on display inside the museum.

“The little things and the experience of playing music and getting up and dancing, people really react to that,” Borden said.

Nilanjana Bhattacharjya, Honorary Faculty Member and Lecturer at ASU’s Barrett Honors College, will give a talk on the instruments used in popular Hindi films.

Borden said some of the groups were returning from previous events and bringing something new each time.

“Even though we have returning artists, we have different arrangements and performance content. It’s really nice to see them come back and show off what they’ve been up to since they’ve been here for the last time, ”said Borden.

During each Experience event, MIM works closely with community partners such as the Phoenix Indian Association. Borden said this is important for delivering culturally accurate programming.

“We definitely wouldn’t do these events without being in touch with the community and making sure they support us by providing this platform for their culture and their music,” Borden said.

During Experience India, the museum’s Café Allegro will offer special dishes such as chicken rasam soup, naan bread and matar paneer, or lamb curry over rice.

In between activities, participants can explore the museum’s exhibits, including a section devoted to Indian musical instruments.

“We always try to link the activities to the content of the gallery. It’s a first step for us, to make sure it’s all tied together, and we really show what’s on display, ”Borden said.

Discover India

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, August 31-Sept. 1.

Or: Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix.

Admission: $ 20, $ 15 for 13-19 year olds, $ 10 for 4-12 year olds, free for 3 years old and under.

Details: 480-471-8690,

Comments are closed.