Now you can watch live performances at home

Kolkata: Imagine sitting in London and watching in real time a Bangla rock band performing in Kolkata on your computer?

Kolkata-born percussionist Pandit Abhijit Banerjee, 43, who now divides his time between California and India, is busy giving the finishing touches to his dream project, Dhwani TV, India's first web television dedicated to the country's performing arts.

Banerjee got the idea from none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger, the California governor, himself! Banerjee's group, Tarang, was recently selected by the Hollywood hunk to be part of a team of six performing groups for videos that will be web cast by the California government.

Ten-odd minutes will be distilled out of each group's hour-long performances, which Banerjee feels, could be shown on web television at various US libraries to promote US tourism.

"There's a huge NRI population hungering for Indian art and culture and web television would ideally reach out to them," Pandit Banerjee told DNA. The channel will be launched by February- end.

"This will be India's first web channel dedicated to culture. Web television is low cost, but has global access," he added.

Banerjee's NRI friends have come forward with part of the funds and are taking care of the business and technical aspects.

"One has to get the programming right," he said.

"My good relations in the art world will help me access good quality videos of performances from across the world," he said. His thrust will be on all the performing arts in India that includes classical recitals, rock bands, theatre, puppetry, art news and seminars, among others.

Banerjee runs a percussion institute called Dhwani in Los Angeles, New York, Kolkata and Chennai.