'Partition: Stories of Separation by Sonam Kalra' is the brainchild of award-winning singer and composer, Sonam Kalra. Conceived of and created by Sonam, Partition: Stories of Separation is an experiential music performance using music, theatre, video and design to retell the stories of separation which were a result of the heart-wrenching and tumultuous partition of India in 1947.
Sonam was inspired to create this piece when she read the poetry of Ustad Daman, a poet of the Indian subcontinent. Even though she has not had to live through the pain of partition herself, Sonam has always been moved to tears when talking about it with someone and has often wondered why she should feel so deeply about it and that maybe this pain is something that lies embedded in the memory of her DNA.
And perhaps, it is that very same pain that led her to question this further. It is now 70 years since the Partition and many of the stories we have heard from our grandparents will be lost with the passing of the older generation. Sonam believes these stories need to be preserved, honored and to serve as lessons for generations to come. Sonam hopes that in revisiting these stories using the medium of music and theatre, we are able to empathize, ponder and realize a way forward. Hopefully, a way of peace and co-existence based on a shared grief, a shared loss, a shared history and a shared love.
Sonam spent almost a year researching the works of poets and writers from both sides and composed the music for this performance based on their poetry and inspired by their stories. She intersperses the performance with video and prose, carefully chosen and written by her as well. On stage with Sonam is acclaimed Indian theatre actor, Salima Raza as well as an ensemble of very talented supporting musicians. Also collaborating with her is one of Indias top visual artists, Gopika Chowfla and contemporary poet, Deepak Ramola who has helped write some of the pieces used in the performance.
Using the power of music, the voices of Manto, Ali Sardar Jafri, Daman, Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Amrita Pritam as well as personal accounts of ordinary people who survived this terrible ordeal, her effort has been to weave together a retelling of this holocaust that tore our country apart. Sonam has received rave reviews from the press and audiences alike- The Hindustan Times reviewed Sonams performance as absolutely soul-stirring whilst the Deccan Herald described it as a powerfully poignant narrative.
Sonam hopes that through this performance and recounting of Partition she can speak of a way forward, based on dialogue and peace where the two nations can look at each other through the eyes of humanity and not through politics.
This music event
is going to be a soul stirring experience.