On Vidya Rao

Vidya Rao is a leading performer of the delicate style of thumri-dadra singing. For many years the disciple of the late Smt Naina Devi, Vidya has continued her study of this form under Smt Shanti Hiranand and Smt Girija Devi. Her initial training in khayal was under the late Prof B.N. Datta and thereafter under Pandit Mani Prasad.


She has performed at national and international forums to appreciative audiences. Specialising in  thumri, dadra, the allied folk-derived forms such as kajri, chaiti, hori etc, ghazal, she also sings the devotional poetry of the medieval   bhakti and sufi saints. Her  repertoire also includes Sanskrit verses from the Hindu and Buddhist texts, as well as  the elegiac forms of soz, marsiya and noha, and praise-forms such as naat etc.


 She has composed for and collaborated with other musicians and artists from other disciplines (painting, writing, theatre etc) to create innovative works for theatre, film and art installations. She has been associated with the Delhi-based theatre group Vivadi as a founder-member since its inception, and has researched and designed the music, composed, sung and acted in several of their productions.


The recipient of Fellowships for the intensive study of thumri from the Ford Foundation and the Indian Government’s Department of Culture, she has presented papers on music and the performing arts at several conferences and has been published in several academic journals and books. She has conducted workshops and lecture demonstrations with varied groups—school and college students, students of theatre, design and architecture, and  with professionals  from different fields. Her workshops include the SoundBody workshops developed by her that explore the nature and energy of sound as a tool for voice training and healing.


Vidya Rao has been Visiting Professor at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU, Delhi, Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Study, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, and is Visiting Faculty at the Deer Park School, Himachal Pradesh, and at Beej Vidyapeeth, Dehradun. She is also associated with the Adivasi University, Tejgadh, and Matrika, New Delhi, and is Consulting Editor for Social Sciences with Orient Longman , Publishers.

Published on May 31, 2007 at 10:39 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] Flute, Why So Proud? By Raza Rumi  Guest Article by Vidya Rao – Click here >> This entry is filed under Music, India, Love, heritage, Arts & […]

  2. […] Rao sings in London on Sunday By RR I have been invited by Vidya Rao to attend a concert tomorrow as she will sing at the Thames Festival in London on Sunday, 16th […]

  3. It was a nice item which I found by chance.

  4. which country and city pl and pic pl

  5. Vidya sings this Saturday, July 18th 2009 in Delhi at Centre for Creative Expressions, S 186, Greater Kailash Part II, New Delhi 48.

    She will be singing songs on the many meanings of rain…truth, beloved, body-Self, and, as expressions of the heart’s yearning…

    Sounds exciting! All are invited. For enquiries call 011 29215163…

  6. […] An essay contributed by the celebrated singer,writer and spiritualist Vidya Rao […]

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