Dance

Young learners take to stage at Chinna Kalanadam

Small’s big steps Children who will perform at the festival; (left) Nandini and Murali

Small’s big steps Children who will perform at the festival; (left) Nandini and Murali  

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Children learning classical dance and music under eminent gurus perform for the two day dance festival -- Chinna Kalanadam

Most children in dance classes earlier had to just watch their seniors rehearse for an upcoming show and think of performing on stage only after a certain age.

But it is not the case anymore, as dance teachers feel that every age group has its own flavour to offer.

If senior dancers offer perfection, the younger ones showcase their joy and authenticity on stage.

“What else to look for in a performance other than sheer delight and involvement?” asks Kathak exponent Nandini Mehta, who with her co-dancer Murali Mohan holds Chinna Kalanadam, a yearly festival for child performers.

After ten years of Kalanadam, the annual arts festival of Nartan Academy of Dance and Music (NADAM), the co-directors felt they wanted to organise more such events. That’s when they began with Chinna Kalanadam, a festival meant for children below the age of 13.

“I always wanted to do something for children and with this festival, it is being realised,” feels the danseuse.

Child artistes who have attained the basic training in a classical form and are confident to perform on stage, are referred for the festival from dance institutes across Bengaluru.

“As we are aware of the standard of teaching of gurus here, we select the performers accordingly. From outstation institutes, we usually seek a video of their previous performance or rehearsal,” explains Nandini, on the selection criteria. “This year, there will be teams from Mumbai, Hyderabad and Calcutta as well,” adds the founder.

Isn’t it challenging to make children below the age of 13 synchronise for a group performance?

Nandini responds: “Indeed, it is. But making them practice over and over again is the only mantra.”

Most shows at the festival will be group performances. “There will be three solo recitals as well apart from duets,” she adds.

For the Kathak exponent, the purpose of this festival is to bring attention of children onto classical art forms and to introduce dance forms that children are not familiar with. “Therefore we have child artistes performing Kathak, Odissi, Bharatantyam, Kalairpayattu, Kuchipudi and more. The festival features Hindustani and Carnatic music prodigies also.”

“The Children’s festival is organised like any other professional dance festival without compromising on the costume, light design etc. This helps children learn the stagecraft,” she points out.

The eleventh edition of Chinna Kalanadam will be on July 6 and 7 at ADA Rangamandira, JC Road, Bengaluru. Theatre person Zafer Mohiuddin and Kuchipudi exponent Vyjayanthi Kashi will be the guests of honour.

Young disciples of Veena Murthy Vijay, Sharmila Mukherjee, Mysore B. Nagaraj, Nirupama Rajendra, Lalitha Srinivasan, Madhulita Mohapatra, Geeta Hegde and other well-known gurus will be performing for the festival.

“As the festival attracts so many renowned dancers, it is a valuable experience for the young students to perform before the eminent gathering. Moreover, isn’t it always pleasing to watch young children dance?” asks Nandini.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 9:20:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/young-learners-take-to-stage/article28282284.ece

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