Life & Style

A confluence of artistes

The third edition of DakshinaChitra’s Utsavam will explore the inherent connections between various folk and classical art forms

It’s a programme aimed at discussing the various aspects that connect the rural and urban culture of performance art through talks, lecture demonstrations, panel discussions, performances and conversations. Welcome to the third edition of Utsavam, DakshinaChitra’s annual music, dance and theatre symposium. Slated to take place over the weekend, the event will explore the critical factors that give these forms life and understand the centre of their creativity, artistic influences and connection to other forms of folk and/or classical art.

Utsavam will also see the launch of the book Mannin Marabu, The Tamil landscape – Culture and Traditions, which has been sponsored by the Rane Foundation and the Ministry of Culture.

With interactive sessions with experts in each field, Utsavam will also witness dance and music performances by some of the finest exponents.

“While the previous editions of Utsavam revolved predominantly around the classical art forms of South India, this year the focus has shifted to the art and folk performances of the region. This year’s edition has been curated with the intention of discussing the various aspects that connect the rural and urban culture of performance art,” says Shreya Nagarajan, coordinator of Utsavam.

Some of the topics that will be covered include the diminishing number of artistes that make the nadaswaram today. “In fact, there are only two such families that remain in Kumbakonam today. This will be discussed at ‘The makers of Nadaswaram and their position today’; and we will be focussing on the Odhuvar tradition this year,” says Nagarajan. The tradition of Odhuvar was commissioned during the Raja Raja Chola period, and these Odhuvars sing Devaram in Shiva temples. “Odhuvar Guru Naganatha Desikar , who performs at the Marundheeswarar temple in Thiruvanmiyur every day, will be giving a lecture-demonstration. He will throw light on what it takes to be an Odhuvar, its relevance today and what the future looks like and how he chooses his pupils.”

The day-long event will also have a presentation on the topic ‘Folklore in urban spaces’ by MD Muthukumaraswamy. While the after-lunch session will have Vikku Vinayakram, Uma Shankar and team will delve into the ‘Confluence of folk and classical rhythms’. A panel discussion on ‘Folk as a classical art form’ will have eminent personalities participate in it and address various issues on the status of folk arts, the environment context of performance with regard to audience, and will importantly address the deep creative bridge that connects various forms of art, geographically, social and politically.

Towards evening, the event will also witness a procession by 20 folk artistes from one end of DakshinaChitra to the amphitheatre. They will be joined by the participants; the procession is an attempt to recreate a village-like ambience before culminating in a Therukoothu performance by young performers from Kanchipuram.

Utsavam is slated to be held on March 3 from 9.30 am to 6 pm, at DakshinaChitra. Tickets are priced at ₹300 and can be booked on Insider.in or at DakshinaChitra. This includes lunch and refreshments. For details call 9790924889.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 1:41:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/a-confluence-of-artistes/article22877461.ece

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