British Council and BFI Presents Shiraz with Anoushka Shankar majesty of the Taj Mahal with the Indian premiere of her score to newly restored classic
Indian film Shiraz along side a screening of the film.
Shiraz tells the story behind the construction of the Taj Mahal. Made in 1928, Shiraz is an epic British-Indian-German silent film featuring an all-Indian cast, which was shot on location in India, produced by and starring Indian cinema pioneer Himanshu Rai. The film tells the love story of the 17th century princess who became Empress Mumtaz Mahal, and the subsequent construction of the Taj Mahal in her honour. This remarkable film is accompanied by Shankars score, performed by an eight-piece ensemble of players on Indian and western instruments.
Deeply rooted in the Indian Classical music tradition, Anoushka studied exclusively from the age of nine under her father and guru, the late Ravi Shankar, and made her professional debut as a classical sitarist at the age of thirteen. By the age of 20, she had made three classical recordings and received her first Grammy nomination, thereby becoming the first Indian female and youngest-ever nominee in the World Music category. Through her bold and collaborative approach as a composer, Anoushka has encouraged cross-cultural dialogue whilst demonstrating the versatility of the sitar across musical genres. As a result, Anoushka has created a vital body of work with a prominent roster of artists such as Sting, M.I.A, Herbie Hancock, Pepe Habichuela, Karsh Kale, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and Joshua Bell.
This is the Indian premiere of both the score and of the British Film Institute National Archives restoration of the film, specially commissioned to mark the UK/India 2017 Year of Culture. The BFI National Archive has looked after the film since it was made and it has rarely been seen in India since 1928. A world-leader in film restoration and remastering, BFI has restored the film to an exceptional standard in order that it can be screened nationwide in India for the first time.
Shiraz takes place as part of UK/India 2017, a year-long celebration of the long-standing relationship between India and the UK, which will see a vast programme of cultural exchange and activity take place in cities across both countries. Working with a huge number of partners and institutions, the British Council is developing a programme of cultural activity which will connect and inspire people in both countries; and strengthen and celebrate the UK and Indias cultural ties. For more information on UK/India 2017 please visit www.britishcouncil.in
Restoration supported by Matt Spick. Commission of the new score supported using public funding by Arts Council England, alongside additional support from PRS Foundations The Open Fund; the George Harrison family, on behalf of the Material World Foundation; and the British Council.