Chennai

Ruhāniyat ~ Kalaiyin Mozhi: a collaborative art and cultural event debuts in Chennai

Adithi Ganeshan

Adithi Ganeshan  

With easy collabs and an open plan, a young entrepreneur curates an evening of dance, shopping and comedy

If Gen Z has been a bit of a mystery to you, look no further than Thadam (Footprint) for some clarity. All the performers/presenters at this interdisciplinary arts event are below 23 years of age, with the youngest being 10. The début event of Ruhāniyat ~ Kalaiyin Mozhi, a newly-launched platform to promote upcoming artistes, is the brainchild of Adithi Ganeshan, a first year BCom student of Stella Maris College.

Reaching for abstract

Ganeshan launched her first start-up, Happy Dancing, when she was 17. It was a platform with short dance tutorials. Then came Prospaces, a dance studio. The increasing number of open mics and gigs in the city convinced her that it was time to push the envelope “for more abstract and modern art forms”. Thadam involved scouting talent online for several hours each evening. She then reached out to the 21 artistes invited to be part of the show, to discuss how they could represent the theme within their creative style. A trained Kathak dancer, she too is one of the performers, presenting a piece on the dedication of Indian soldiers.

The lineup is both classical and contemporary: there are not many evenings where you can see a Bharatanatyam thillana on the Dashavatara (by Shruti Umaiyaal), followed by rapper Andrew Jay presenting a specially-composed song bearing the name of the festival in his multisyllabic lyric style. There are also some collaborative pieces lined up. For example, Niranjana Rajan, a law student and make-up artist specialising in illusion and fantasy looks, promises a live demonstration of her art coupled with poetry by Shivam Panigrahi. Stand-up comic Aakash Raja will take on the technological footprint in his set, exploring the humour in his “journey with social media and technological growth”.

Early bakers

Pop-up stalls on the sidelines will offer retail opportunities to the audience. Vinusha Ramalingam, the 10-year-old home baker behind Four Seasons Pastry, already has a following in Chennai. She presents, among other goodies, her signature cupcakes associated with the seasons and its colours. Meanwhile, Sindhuja Sridhar will showcase her eponymous clothing line. Also the creative lead of Ruhaniyat and responsible for the look of Thadam, she has dreamed of a life in fashion. At the age of eight, she was already “drawing clothes and selling them to classmates” who would, in turn, draw ‘money’ and pay her with that.

Thadam is a venture that bears the stamp of all those Gen Z characteristics of open-mindedness, easy interfaces with peer-marketplaces and cool collaborations with friends. And this is just the beginning.

Watch Thadam by Ruhāniyat ~ Kalaiyin Mozhi at Prospaces, 46, Fanepet 2nd Street, Fanepet, Nandanam, on March 14, from 5.30 pm. Tickets from ₹250 on musicofmadras.in.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 1:44:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/this-gen-z-playground/article31059343.ece

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