Dance

Kalanadam, organised by Kathak duo Nandini and Murali, hosts the Attendance awards

Full of zest Kalanadam performance; (below) Ashish Khokar and other artistes presenting an Attendance award to Sonal Mansingh

Full of zest Kalanadam performance; (below) Ashish Khokar and other artistes presenting an Attendance award to Sonal Mansingh  

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Young at 20: Kalanadam, the festival organised by Kathak duo Nandini and Murali, hosts the Attendance Awards as well

Trained in a Bharatanatyam initially, danseuse Nandini Mehta learnt Kathak as part of her choreography programme at Natya Institute like most Kathak dancers of Bengaluru. As there were very few Kathak performers in Bengaluru at that time, it was difficult to present group choreographies. That was the time when she felt the need to set up her dance school -- Nadam -- in 1994. “It was also to share what I had learnt,” adds Nandini.

It was during the same time that she met another Kathak dancer from Gujarat who was in Bengaluru to complete his graduation. Murali Mohan who was trained in Jaipur gharana intended to continue his training here. “I was looking for a male dancer to accompany me along with Nirupama and Rajendra for a dance tour to France. That’s when I thought of Murali and ever since, we have been performing together,” she narrates.

“We didn’t think of a long time collaboration at that time. After a couple of our performances, offers that came our way demanded us to perform as a duo. And it just clicked,” she adds. “But it was not easy,” admits Murali. “She was trained in the Lucknow gharana. So, as our styles were different, our practice sessions would naturally involve a lot of fights. However, we somehow worked out a way that didn’t limit us to our respective styles,” he explains.

The understanding between the dancing duo has grown in the last 25 years. “Understanding between friends is different from that on stage. Luckily, we have developed both. We don’t fight like we used to before,” quips Murali.

Observing the lack of cultural platforms in the city, they conceptualised Kalanadam, an annual festival by Nadam, in 2000. Although it was meant for their disciples initially, it soon opened its stage for other artistes. “Senior artistes watch performances by upcoming ones belonging to different dance forms and vice-versa at the festival. We also invite artistes from abroad. Chitralekha Dance Company from UK, Malathi Iyengar’s ensemble from US etc. have performed for us. This year, we have Kritika Ramachandran and Saravanan Subbaraman from Malaysia,” she says.

Kalanadam will be held at ADA Rangamandira on November 29, 30 and December 1. The festival has Radhika Ramanujan, Saurav and Gaurav Mishra, Sriyah, Surya Rao and Krishnamurthy Tunga, Nalini Kamalani presenting Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Kathak and Kuchipudi over the three days. Nadam ensemble presents its production on November 30 and Articulate Dance Studio on December 1.

Kalanadam, organised by Kathak duo Nandini and Murali, hosts the Attendance awards

Attendance annual award ceremony curated by dance critic and writer Ashish Mohan Khokar will be held on November 30.

This year, Seshadri Iyengar gets Ram Gopal award for best male soloist, G. Ulaganathan gets Mohan Khokar award for best arts writer, Sharat and Bharat Prabhat get Uday Shankar award for best choreography and guru Jitendra Maharaj gets the Rukminidevi award for lifetime achievement.

“As attendance is based in Bengaluru, we make sure Karnataka-based artistes get their due. In fact, this year almost 80 per cent of them are from here,” informs Khokar.

Explaining the nature of the awards, he says: “these awards are unique in the sense that they don’t give away cheques but provide opportunity for these artistes to perform in other parts of the country or abroad or do research.” Praveen Kumar, Madhu Nataraj, Rahul Acharya, Nandini Mehta etc. -- who all have received Attendance awards in the past, have made trips to Italy, Brazil and Sweden.

The festival starts at 6 p.m. on all the days.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 9:34:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/young-at-20/article30107219.ece

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