IT professionals, chartered accountants, college students who are also up-and-coming Carnatic vocalists, Bharatanatyam dancers, mridangam, ghatam and ganjira vidwans… these youngsters may have different profiles but from October 10 to 12, they are just Team Svanubhava. They are all working towards a common goal… make the fourth edition of Svanubhava, the annual cultural festival, a success.

Hosted in association with Kalakshetra, Svanubhava 2011 will once again see diverse performing arts converge under one roof with the aim of entertaining and educating all those with an artistic bent of mind. This year, with support from the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, the event has reached a new level. What’s more, Svanubhava will debut in Delhi on October 13 and 14.

What makes this year special? For starters, the event (both in Chennai and Delhi) is being organised from the scratch by a creative, young and like-minded brigade. The driving force behind this festival T.M. Krishna (Bombay Jayashree, a co-founder, opted out this year) is but too happy to allow the 40-odd enthusiastic youngsters hog the limelight. “In fact, I am not really in the picture. It’s their show all the way,” he says, sitting among the core committee members at Kalakshetra, the venue for the festival.

Team Svanubhava 2011 also includes Kalakshetra alumni and students from the Asian College of Journalism. Some of them were volunteers in the previous years and so are more tuned into the working process, while a few are new to the job. And of course, Facebook, Twitter and email have played a vital role in keeping them connected all the time and posted on what each one is doing.

The articulate Vikram Raghavan tells us how the team split up the work and got the tasks done! “We began the brain-storming sessions in June. Each month, we tackled one aspect – choosing the artists and checking their availability, getting sponsors, organising transport and accommodation for them, contacting schools, private dance and music institutions, preparing brochures and Internet management… Yes, tempers and words did fly at times, but we agreed on most things.”

“In artist selection, advice from people such as Kalakshetra’s director Leela Samson and Madhup Mudgal proved valuable,” says Krishna, who also suggested a few names.

Team Svanubhava 2011 comprised Chandrashekar Sharma, Anirudh Athreya, Praveen Kumar, Vignesh Eshwar and Rithvik Raja, who met sponsors, looked for accommodation and organised transport for the artists. Emannuelle Martin and Vidhya Raghavan were involved with content for the blog and Internet marketing.

The tough part was visiting schools and institutions and getting the key persons to promote the event among the students. Here, Sangeetha, Sudarsini, Ramya Kannan (who also doubles as the CFO for the team), K. Dharini, and the team’s youngest member, Varisha pitched in. “It was great fun and a learning experience as well,” says Sangeetha, a view echoed by the rest.

What does Svanubhava mean to each one of them? The response is unanimous. “It’s an opportunity for us to meet great artists, learn about different art forms, interact with fellow artists and contribute to something that keeps our culture active.” They add, “We are looking forward to taking Svanubhava to other cities such as Tiruchi, Bengaluru and Madurai.”

That’s team spirit for you!

The schedule

The three-day event is on from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at Kalakshetra’s Rukmini Arangham, Tiruvanmiyur. Lunch will be served free on all three days.

October 10

Presentation by students of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya; flute concert by N. Ramani; Yakshagana by Shivananda Hegde and group.

Post lunch: Odhuvars – Thevaram; and Qawwali by Warsi Brothers.

October 11

Hindustani vocal by Venkatesh Kumar; Villupattu by Subbu Arumugam.

Post-lunch: Does Indian Cinema reflect the reality of Indian Women? Kushbu Sundar, Rohini and Mangai in conversation with Sadanand Menon; Talavadyam by Srimushnam V. Raja Rao (mridangam), Trichur Narendran (mridangam) and K.V. Prasad (mridangam).

October 12

Violin concert by T.N. Krishnan; Baul sangeet by Prahlad Brahmachari and Documentary Film.

Post-lunch: Bharatanatyam lec-dem by Shanta and V.P. Dhananjayan, followed by a chat with C.P. Satyajith on the present state of dance in India; vocal concert by Malladi Brothers.

For free registrations, log on to wwwsvanubhava.blogspot.com. For more information, contact svanubhava@gmail.com or call 98419 19140 / 99624 83266.

Keywords: Svanubhava 2011

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