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Ravi Shankar - In Portrait
Ravi Shankar - In Portrait
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2002     3hr 10min

The first DVD of this set, called "Ravi Shankar -- Between Two Worlds," is the definitive account of India's most celebrated musician and follows two years of Ravi Shankar's life - filmed in India and America - against the...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Pop, International, Classical
Studio: Opus Arte
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 11/19/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 11/26/2002
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 3hr 10min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A Master of the Sitar and Indian Music
Nicholas Croft | New York | 07/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Between Two Worlds", a 90 minute film by Mark Kidel, is the 'definitive' portrait of Ravi Shankar, as it attempts to encompass all facets of his life in music, while also drawing a rough sketch of his personal life as well. The film begins in Benares, India at a birthday gathering where Ravi proclaims that his life is a spiritual journey through music, in which he feels a special love for everyone that is expressed through the language of his art. Reflections by Ravi, on his relationship with his parents and family, lead to a description of his early travels to Venice, Paris, New York and Hollywood, where he was influenced by a range of talented composers, musicians, dancers, actors and painters. In 1938, his Brahmin origins expressed their attraction in his decision to become an austere musical disciple of the guru Ustad Allauddin Khan. He spent more that seven years with 'Baba' and came to marry his guru's daughter.This intensive musical preparation led to Ravi assuming a role as an Indian cultural ambassador, influencing musicians as diverse as Yehudi Menuhin, John Coltrane, George Harrison and Philip Glass. The film portrays that the indisciplined excesses of the 1960's popular culture, and Ravi's own participation in this exotic milieu, led to a year and a half break from musical life and finally to a rededication to more moderate ways in the years which followed.The film closes with a tour of the construction of the Shankar foundation in New Delhi and plays a plays brief concert excerpt in which Ravi performs with a deeply solemn and profoundly beautiful sadness. In the performance, we see that music can become almost a form of worship. A world where humility, introversion and improvisation become one in the pursuit of expressing the presence of the ineffable.Bonus footage in the two DVD set shows Ravi in the process of constructing a new musical work with his students. A second 54 minute disc records Ravi in a live performance at the Union Chapel of London with his daughter Anoushka. If you love Indian music, then the publication of "Ravi Shankar - In Portrait" can be viewed as a rare event in world of international culture."
Simply wonderful!
Nicholas Croft | 05/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This two-DVD set is a worthwhile purchase for anyone interested in Ravi Shankar. The first CD has two segments, "Between Two Worlds" and "Benares Ghat." "Between Two Worlds" uses Shankar's 80th birthday as a point of departure for a video retrospective, including film clips of Ravi with his brother Uday's dance troupe in the 1930s, sample footage from a film he scored, excerpts of his Monterey Pop and Woodstock performances, a short segment from the 1969 film Raga where he visits his guru Baba Khan, clips of Ravi teaching (including George Harrison), and Ravi and his wife showing the construction of his cultural center in India. The second program on Disc 1 shows Ravi teaching his composition "Benares Ghat" to a group of students. Disc two includes live performances of two complete classical ragas with a group including his daughter Anoushka, two tabla players and tampura. Anoushka is a very accomplished player, but limits her involvement here to trading several instrumental phrases with her father and playing occasional secondary lines to support him. This performance from 2002 shows Shankar's virtuosity undiminished despite his age. Disc two concludes with Ravi discussing Indian music and the sitar, playing several examples to illustrate his points. This segement also includes short performance excerpts. Covering his biography, teaching, performance, and views on Indian music, this set fairly comprehensively covers Ravi Shankar's long and varied career. The sound, image quality, editing and camera work are all excellent throughout."
World class in a world that needs class
Nicholas Croft | 01/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am a rock n' roller for the most part, but my music and cultural interests go far and wide.
This DVD set on the BBC/ OPUS label is simply brilliant visualy, auraly and content-wise. The spirit and integrity to this man and his music is truly inspiring.
There are segments of Ravi teaching a piece to his young group, as well as a segment on sitars and the differences between Western and Eastern music.
Brilliant, this is by far the dearest and highest quality of my large video collection. It gets watched repeatedly.
Wait till you see the concert performances...his daughter Anoushka (who is no slouch on sitar herself) seems somewhat in awe, shaking her head in near disbelief as Ravi spins his magic.
World class."
Pranam Panditji
S. Karulkar | CA USA | 03/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I knew there was a reason why I was so excited about this DVD even before I got it. I have already watched it three to four times in so many days. My two year old loves to sit with me and watch it too! I remember going to the concerts in Bombay in the 80's and Panditji always seemed to be playing from Himalayan heights.He seemed to be un approachable to us then. We always had theories about artists who lived in the west.Most of us were known to have (unqualified) OPINIONS! This DVD brings Raviji's human side in front of you. My impression about him has completely changed. I have even more love and respect for the man now. ThanX to BBC for such a great job, I particulary enjoyed the B/W clips from his childhood days.
What a life ! Watching this DVD one gets a insight in to his spirituality and at the same time he seems to be such a simple person. Raviji thinks, speaks as if he never left his childhood place in Benares. He still has an accent which most people like me try hard to get rid off. It was quiet touching to see his wife correct him from saying "servants quarters", a non-PC term used commonly in India, I had tears in my eyes. Some of the footage with Raviji's Guru, Allaudin Khan is simply brilliant. I am mostly stuck with the first CD, but the concerts on the CD 2 are very well recorded and if you have a 9:16 big screen TV , its quiet a treat.
I am already making a list of people I can buy this for as a gift!"