Of movement and poise

April 14, 2018 12:00 am | Updated 04:20 am IST

The Academy of Music’s Dance Fest this weekend also hosts a Creative Lab by senior gurus that aims to bridge the gap between students and teachers

A traditional takeOn the world of dance, says Veena Murthy

A traditional takeOn the world of dance, says Veena Murthy

Nearly 50 dancers and senior gurus will come together in a national dance festival in Bengaluru this weekend with a host of recitals and creative practical sessions. The Academy of Music, Chowdiah Memorial Hall, in association with Sri Raja Rajeshwari Kala Niketan presents ‘Nrutya Rangoli’ on April 14 and 15 at Chowdiah Memorial Hall, with a special two-day session ‘Creative Lab’ featuring senior gurus talking and demonstrating in the morning sessions from 10 am to 1 pm.

The ongoing festival is curated by danseuse and choreographer Dr Veena Murthy Vijay, Director, Sri Raja Rajeshwari Kala Niketan. “I am fortunate to curate a festival like this where the Academy of Music is involved. Until a year ago, the Academy concentrated on only programmes in music. But recently, it has included dance in its showcase,” says Veena, a student of Korada Narasimha Rao, and one of the foremost exponents of Kuchipudi in the State. Apart from being an enthusiastic artiste in documenting, performing and teaching old texts, rituals and practices related to classical dance forms for over three decades, Veena was lucky to pursue it in the age-old ‘guru-shishya parampara’.

“I wanted dancers and connoisseurs of art to benefit from dance festivals which are paramount to the city,” says Veena. According to her neither dance schools nor individual teachers are able to impart the ‘guru-shishya parampara’ (tradition) of teaching due to space and time constraints, both in physical and mental terms.“Teaching and performance spaces in Bengaluru are restricted. That is one reason we are welcoming the Academy of Music hosting the dance festival where a sea of information from dance gurus are shared free of cost. We are planning to create a record of the different styles discussed by gurus for posterity,” adds Veena, who has also penned a book Tere , tracing the minutiae of the Kuchipudi dance form for the Karnataka Sangeeta Nritya Academy.

As the curator of the fest, Veena looked at the theme where it offered entertainment, education and something more to take home for the intellect. “We have a slot for classical youth dancers; we have integrated with Mysore University, Jain University and Bangalore University where students and the dance faculty participate in several productions. We have invited senior artistes and gurus from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Naduand Karnataka to also take part in the academic lec-dems.”

Creative Lab

Apart from the dance fest, the academic session in the ‘Creative Lab’, says Veena, “is for the benefit of dancers who can register free of charge. The talks will be by dancers like Kiran & Sandhya (Kalakshetra Baani), Padmini Ravi (Vazhavur Baani), Poornima Gururaja (Tanjavur Baani), and Dr. Lalita Srinivasan (Mysore Baani) on April 14 and Sunil Kothari, dance historian, Meenal Prabhu (Bharatanatya), Dr Veena Murthy Vijay (Kuchipudi), Melattur S Natarajan (Bhagavata Melam), Gopika Verma (Mohiniyattam) and Usha Datar (Kathakali) on April 15.

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