Over 100 dancers will take the stage from August 5-7 to celebrate the silver jubilee of the IDA.

Any art is always greater than the artist… well, that's the driving spirit of the International Dance Alliance (IDA), which is celebrating its 25th birthday this year. The non-profit world organisation, which took roots in New York under the helm of Ben Somers, today boasts of 32 branches across the globe, including the Leela Sekhar-led Chennai chapter.

This year's IDA fest will be held on August 5, 6 and 7, 6 p.m., at the Narada Gana Sabha hall, in association with the Sabha and with assistance from Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi.

Dr. Vyjayanthimala Bali will preside over the celebrations on August 5, while Jayant Kastaur, secretary, Sangeet Natak Akademi, will inaugurate.

What's the theme this year? Radhika Shurajit, who along with fellow advisory council member Revathi Ramachandran, is putting together the fest, says, “It is ‘Natya Sangamam.'

Over 100 dancers are expected to participate. Six groups/soloists will perform on the first day, and seven each day over the next two days. Each performance will not go beyond 20 minutes.” Radhika continues, “What makes the IDA event unique is its ability to bring almost all dancers of different styles on to one stage.

“Egos and artistic differences are set aside, and dancers create, collaborate and celebrate the art form.”

The participants

Dancers who are involving themselves in the show include Vyjayanthimala Bali, Chitra Visweswaran, Shantha and Dhananjayan, Lakshmi Viswanathan, C.V. Chandrasekhar, Vasanthalakshmi and Narasimhachari, Manju Bhargavi, Priya Govindh, Meenakshi Chitharanjan, Srekala Bharath, Geetha Chandran (New Delhi), Srinidhi Chidambaram, Vineeth, Ananda Shankar Jayant (Hyderabad), Sheejith Krishna, Divya Kasturi, Manjira Sen, Jayashree Rajagopalan (Mumbai), Priya Murle, Srilatha Vinod and students of Sarasalaya.

The choreographic presentations of senior dancers Padma Subrahmanyam, Sudharani Raghupathy and Manjulika Sen will be featured in the festival.

The goodwill and understanding the IDA evokes among the dancers make the event unique.

No wonder, in the past, dance lovers have been treated to several noteworthy partnerships such as Padma Subrahmanyam, Chitra Viswesvaran and Sudharani Raghupathy coming together for ‘Viralimalai Kuravanji' or the Dhananjayans and Krishnaveni Lakshmanan sharing the same stage.

Truly, in the past 25 years, IDA has helped blur artistic boundaries and take giant steps towards a common goal… of promoting and preserving a tradition.

(Passes for the shows are available at the Narada Gana Sabha hall from today, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. For details, call Radhika Shurajit (98410 84599) or Revathi Ramachandran (98840 97597).

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