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Fifty glorious years of Sangit Kala Kendra: A stage like no other


MUMBAI, MAR 25, 2023

The Sangit Kala Kendra’s 50th anniversary celebrations, conducted under the leadership of its President Rajashree Birla, were truly magnificent and spectacular in every way. Bollywood star Anupam Kher, in his inimitable witty style, hosted the journey of Sangit Kala Kendra (SKK) for a packed and enthusiastic audience at the Dome, NSCI Complex in Worli here. Everyone was captivated by this opening segment, aptly titled “Kaleidoscope.”

Welcoming the guests, Rajashree Birla said, “Adityaji had a heady zest about him. From the start besides business, he gravitated towards the performing arts.  It became part of the mental make-up of his richly textured life. He essayed a variety of characters. He had a fascination for the stage, as to him it was full of joie de vivre. In a concatenation of the roles he played, nothing was more endearing than as the actor, the performer and the singer.  And because he could feel it running through his veins, he began dreaming of setting up an institution that would showcase talent of various hues among different genres.  His vision saw its fruition, in the formation of the Sangit Kala Kendra.  We have come a long, long way from the early 1970s to date, on the robust foundation envisaged by Adityaji.  We owe him big time.”

Bollywood actresses Hema Malini and Shabana Azmi, noted singers Kavita Krishnamurthy, Pankaj Udhas and Nitin Mukesh were among those honoured on the momentous occasion.

The event was also graced by the presence of Vishwas Nangare Patil, Additional Director General of Police, Maharashtra. 

Neerja Birla’s interaction with Ranbir Kapoor was engrossing and riveting. It gave ample insights into Ranbir’s personal and professional life and was extremely inspiring. A high-voltage musical performance by Sonu Nigam and his troupe was also another highlight of the evening.

Noted industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla, Ananya Birla, Aryaman Birla and the entire extended Birla family were present in full strength on this occasion that also saw the presence of the crème de la crème from the art world.

“Today, at this august function, we poetize our memories of the Sangit Kala Kendra through these five decades. This institution has won the admiration and affection of all performing art lovers.  And this is largely because we have been privileged to have maestros and amazing emerging talent perform on its stage.  And many a performer has jumpstarted his or her life as an artist and an actor here.  All of its work is impactful and at times cathartic for the audience through the poignant pieces put up, through the rejoicing of dance and song, and the multitude of festivals dotting our country.  Every decade, SKK added a newness to it.  We became bolder and stronger, and getting on SKK’s platform became aspirational,” said Rajashree Birla.

“We are beholden to our legendary maestros – artists and actors who have performed on our manch and have added to SKK’s aura.  As you know, 29 of these virtuosos have been honoured with the Aditya Birla Kalashikhar Awards.  Many of these stalwarts have mentored budding artists from a cohort of 57 youngsters upon whom the Aditya Birla Kalakiran Awards were conferred.  The institution of these awards in memory of Aditya ji, have truly been a high point.  SKK is one big family, and you are all a part of it, reflecting your admiration and affection for your Founder President, Aditya Vikram Birla.” She added.

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