Margazhi Festival

The Creative CALL

Dr. B. N. Goswamy

Dr. B. N. Goswamy  


As the curator of KFA’s Natya Darshan, a performance symposium, Malavika Sarukkai is in experiment mode again.

World renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma once said, “Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you are passionate about something, you’re more willing to take risks.”

These elements of passion and risk drive Malavika Sarukkai to push boundaries and explore new frontiers through her classical dance. And it’s with that same spirit that the Bharatanatyam dancer is spearheading Natya Darshan, a performance symposium, for Kartik Fine Arts from December 18-21. It is co-curated by Prof. Harikrishnan from the Wesleyan University, the U.S., who, Malavika says, “is sharp, incisive and comes with plenty of experience in the classical dance field.”

At the symposium, dancers, scholars, artists and authors will examine, explore and experiment with the central concept -- ‘Ullasita Vikasat Sarasijam – The Lotus Blossoms.’ They will draw from myths and symbols in Indian art and also unravel the creative process that emerges from within the self.

During a conversation, Malavika explains, “The symposium hopes to understand the creative process from an artist’s point of view, while getting a peek at their world often hidden from the public. Like a bud which opens out with the life force, the symposium, I hope, too will unfold the immense creative possibilities within the classical realm.” And adds, “When people heard I was going to curate a symposium, the first reaction was that of surprise. For, this is the first time I am attempting something like this. The project has been yet another stimulating experience for me. Last year, Mr. Sabaretnam (of KFA) suggested I put together this year’s Natya Darshan. And that's how this exciting journey of discovery began for me.”

Distressed by the fact that classical dance has not got the status it deserves, Malavika hopes this “intense” symposium, with an interesting line-up of speakers and performers, will spark a debate, put things in perspective and “give creative people a chance to raise the bar. It is driven by the need to recognise the creative mind of an artist, the thought processes involved to create.”

The dancer has over the past three decades or more, found global acclaim for her creative choreographies, which she says, “is my effort to take dance beyond specific geographies, and go in search of something higher, subtler.”

Among the highlights at Natya Darshan will be the presence of noted art historian, Dr. B.N. Goswamy, with whom Malavika has collaborated on a series of lec-dems linking Indian miniature paintings and Bharatanatyam. He will talk on ‘Between the Conception and Creation.’ He says, “The poet Ghalib once said, ‘The sound of my reed pen is actually the swish of the wings of an angel in the air.’ Well, that encapsulates the process of creativity. It is intangible, and it’s what demarcates art from craft.”

Kathakali exponent Sadanam Balakrishnan will be conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award at the symposium.


Venue: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore.

DEC 18: 6.30 p.m.: Talk by art historian Dr. B.N. Goswamy on Images from the Portal of the Lord; 6.50 p.m.: ‘To the Light’ by Malavika Sarukkai.

DEC 19: 9.30am: Inauguration; 10 a.m.: Keynote address by Dr B.N. Goswamy; 10.45 a.m. Kalinga Nartana by Uma Nambudripad Sathya Narayanan; 11.25 a.m.: Creativity in Tradition on how Abhinaya unfolds in the T. Balasaraswati Style - lec-dem by Shyamala Mohanraj; 12.10 p.m.: The Musicality of Dance in the T. Balasaraswati style - lec-dem by Aniruddha Knight; 5.15 p.m.: Lakshmi Parthasarathy Athreya presents Surya Vikasita Pankajam; 6.45 p.m.: Rama Vaidyanathan presents Chitravali; 8.15 p.m.: Q and A session moderated by Prof. Hari Krishnan.

DEC 20: 9.45 a.m.: Film screening - Legends of Dance; 10.05 a.m.: Prof C.V. Chandrasekhar’s lec-dem on solo and group creative process with excerpts from his Panchamahabhutam; 11.10 a.m.: Vikram Sampath speaks on Gauhar Jaan; 11.50 a.m.: Gauri Sharma Tripathi presents a thumri and kavitt (Kathak); 12.15 p.m.: Panel discussion on Interpreting the Creative Process: Anita Ratnam, Geeta Chandran and Gauri Sharma Tripathi - moderated by Hari Krishnan; 5.15 p.m.: Shijith Nambiar presents Padmam (Bharatanatyam); 6.45 p.m.: Aditi Mangaldas presents Widening Circles (Kathak); 8.15 p.m.: Q & A session.

DEC 21, 9.45 a.m.: Film screening; 10.05 a.m.: Lifetime Achievement Award for Guru Sadanam Balakrishnan followed by a lec-dem; 11.20 a.m.: Lakshmi Vishwanthan talks on Sahasrapatram - A Thousand Years of Thanjavur Culture; 12 noon: ‘My Experience with Two Traditions of Music and Dance’, performance by Vidya Sankaranarayanan; 12.30 p.m.: Saadrshyam, lec-dem by Sheejith Krishna; 5.15 p.m.: Arushi Mudgal presents Sopaan (Odissi); 6.45 p.m.: Sadanam Balakrishnan presents Salajjoham and Ullasitha Vikasat Sarasijam (Kathakali)

Morning sessions are free, evening shows are ticketed. For tickets, contact KFA at 24997788 / 90948 29675.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 11:45:19 AM |

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