Updated: Feb 2, 2022
Unlabel, our Flagship Talent showcase event successfully completes its 3rd edition. Conceptualised 3 years ago to provide a platform to talented youngsters with Autism and special needs, Unlabel is a collaborative with top Indian Classical musicians and dancers. Supported this year by Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh and Vidwan Kumaresh, Unlabel saw an audience of close to 200 people on a Sunday morning at the beautiful space that was the Finer Side. Pravallika, Devesh, Siddhartha and Adithya gave their best and enthralled the audience with their performances.
Every Sunday morning is special to all of us and something we look forward to but the morning of 19th December, 2021 was extra special and unique indeed. For the third year in a row, #Unlabel, the flagship talent event of 'Mitra for Life,' was a huge success. #Unlabel is a unique music and dance event organised by Mitra for Life with the goal of allowing our young performers to be recognised as artists rather than people with special needs. The event was held at ‘The Finer Side’, an art school on Kanakpura road which provided the perfect stage and setting for the wonderful event. Two very special couples graced the occasion as our chief guests for the event; Vidwan Kumaresh (from the Ganesh-Kumaresh Duo) and Dr. Jayanti Kumaresh; Dr. Meenakshi Ravi and her husband Vidwan N.G Ravi. They were overwhelmed with the performances and were all praise for the talented artists.
The event saw performances from Pravallika - a dancer whom Downs Syndrome does not hold back; Devesh, a young Tabla player and Carnatic singer whose music redefines his Autism; Adithya – a multi-talented musician shooting to fame with his playing of 5 different instruments, and Siddhartha Majumdar – who grooves with his singing of Kishore and Rafi hits. There is certainly magic and Divinity in all these performers and according to them, the learning never stops.
Pravallika performed Bharathnatyam to two wonderful choreographies of Late Guru Bhanumathy. Devesh displayed his talents in playing the mrudangam, tabla and vocal singing. Siddhartha made the entire 150 plus audience groove to his ‘Zindagi ek safar hain suhana’ and ‘Maine tere liye hi saat rang ke sapne chune’. Adithya performed 2 classical compositions on the keyboard; the first in raaga Abheri composed by his Guru Vidwan Kumaresh fondly known as the ‘Fiddling Monk’. Aditya had the privilege of performing this piece in front of his Guru; the second piece was composed by Adithya himself in Raaga Vasanta Bhairavi which even stalwarts like Vidwan Kumaresh acknowledged as a very tough and challenging raaga. Both pieces left the audience mesmerised and speechless.
With close to 200 people in the audience, it was amazing to see people be awed by the music and talents of these youngsters. On stage, the labels of Autism & Down syndrome were not relevant, all that was coming forth was the talents of the youngsters and the grit and determination of the parents who have stood behind them staunchly to help them achieve this.
The other highlight of the event was the youth volunteers, who were all youngsters with special needs from the youth club @Mitra who helped pull off the event smoothly. They were involved in helping out with the reception, the backstage, and welcoming guests. It was wonderful to see the confidence shine through as they went about their tasks. The youngsters also sat together in the audience, cheering on as their friends performed. It was heartening to see the friendships that have formed and the natural element of fun with peers that has come into their lives.
The Finer Side is a beautiful venue, surrounded by Greenery and built to blend into nature. We thank Pruthvi Banavasi for giving this wonderful stage to our youngsters.
At ‘Mitra For Life’, we strongly believe in the community coming together. With inclusion and diversity being the talk of the hour, we are extremely happy to present this opportunity and a platform once again to support our talented musicians and dancers with invisible disabilities. We are truly overwhelmed with the wonderful response the event received, motivating us to make #UNLABEL 2022 even bigger!
The link for the event #UNLABEL 2021: