India is a diverse and culturally abounding country which throughout the centuries has been a humble abode of the residents of the subcontinent who have accomplished a rich intellectual life in such fields as music, dance, fine arts and literature. In the hustle of development the cultural heritage of this magnanimous country has taken a backseat. SPIC MACAY is a pro bono autonomous youth movement which promotes the incorporeal aspects of Indian cultural heritage by fostering and nurturing the classical dance forms, folk music, crafts and other ethnic inclusiveness of the country. SPIC MACAY organises thousands of programs every year to enlighten our youth and make them au courant about the elegance and delicacy of our culture. SPIC MACAY makes a conscious effort to influence our lives by making us imbibe the simplicity, grace and beauty of our culture and heritage thereby leading a meaningful and enhanced life.
Since the Inception……to the present The inception of SPIC MACAY was the brain child of ingenious Kiran Seth, a young graduate from IIT Kharagpur studying for his doctorate at Columbia University, New York when he unexpectedly happened to turn up at a Dhrupad concert by Ustad Nasir Aminuddin Dagar and Ustad Zia Fariddudin Dagar at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York City. Upon his return to India he congregated the students who could anticipate his vision and commenced ahead his revolutionary idea into a well-shaped movement in the bewildering formation of SPIC MACAY i.e. Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth. SPIC MACAY’S first concert by Dagar Brothers was held at IIT Delhi on 28th of March, 1978. SPIC MACAY has been marshalling thousands of programs to keep alive the cultural heritage of India and make it accessible to the fledgling. SPIC MACAY’s chapters run by youth have also arose in many non-native lands which include countries of USA, UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Middle-east etc. The major activities orchestrated by SPIC MACAY are - FEST series, VIRASAT series, National conventions for students and teachers, National school intensives, Music in the Park, The SPIC MACAY Scholarship Program, heritage walks, talks by eminent thinkers, yoga and Meditation Camps, screening of classic cinema etc. The activities which are a part of SPIC MACAY are -
Our Gems… The nonpareil founder of SPIC MACAY, Dr. Kiran Seth has engineered a cultural renaissance on the campuses of educational institutes. Overwhelmed by the fervent effect of the music by Dagar Brothers, he decided to share this experience with the world. The Dhrupad concert of IIT Delhi pushed him forward to come up with more such events. The classical arts come with a large number of prerequisites, not only for performers and practitioners, but for audiences as well. But the old saying ‘Where there is a will, there is a way’ again proved its worth. Like a large banyan tree, SPIC MACAY has grown, with hundreds of branches giving rise to newer shoots and leaves. Amid the complicated logistics of organizing thousands of events related to arts across the country, what has remained constant is Seth’s vision. Four decades later, SPIC MACAY is a cultural movement to reckon with. What started off with classical music has now embraced dance, folk, art, handicrafts, handlooms, photography, heritage tours and more. The movement has been lucky enough to get the never ending support of our eminent artists. Such legendary artists consider performing for SPIC MACAY as their way of giving back to the society and the country. Some such names are Ustad Nasir Aminuddin Dagar, Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar, Prof. TN Krishnan, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Vid. Malavika Sarukkai, Smt. Sonal Mansingh, Ustad Asad Ali Khan, Ustad Munnawar Ali Khan, Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar, Ustad Bismilla Khan, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, Carnatic vocalist Dr Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna, painter Anjolie Ela Menon, filmmaker Adoor Gopalkrishnan etc. The enhanced status of SPIC MACAY is touching new heights for sure with the relentless efforts and commitment of each stakeholders both on and off the screen.
The Wave of Change: It’s an old saying ‘drop-drop makes an ocean’. Exactly this has been magnified in the artistic works of SPIC MACAY. What started as a movement by a Professor and his students has now become a path which not only integrates modern youth with classical elegance but also serves as a bridge for the illustration of our beautiful heritage to the state-of-art world. Changes are several, but the one which requires a mention is the redefinition of the word ‘classical’ into the minds and hearts of many. SPIC MACAY not only changed the notion of classical music amongst millions but also revolutionized the perception of people when their thoughts hover over the word ‘ethnic’. This initiative also inspires the vision that every single bit matters if you ceaselessly keep accumulating the bits. In the words of author ‘Saul Bellow’, “Only art penetrates the seeming realities of this world. There is another reality, the genuine one, which we lose sight of. This other reality is always sending us hints, which, without art, we can’t receive.” It is these hints that an organization like SPIC MACAY has been trying hard to convey. In this world of superficiality where everyone is projecting themselves to be much more important than one's development within. This often results in leading a materialistic and shallow life unescorted by an inner connect of our roots. SPIC MACAY makes a conscious effort to keep us rooted to our culture thereby promoting us to lead burgeoning life and also safeguarding our ethnic diversity.