Carrying forward artistic traditions

Padmini Ravi as `Jabaali' in `Tamtana' to be staged over the weekend at Ravindra Kalakshetra.

Padmini Ravi as `Jabaali' in `Tamtana' to be staged over the weekend at Ravindra Kalakshetra.  

IT IS a marriage of sorts, a meeting of the arts to get at some answers. The questions are actually to do with the future of performing arts, the ``what next'', as it were for form, content and imagination. Have the classical forms of music and dance moved too far away from social reality? Has theatre itself become too tedious, didactic and ``deadly'' in its failure to communicate? Has the time come to challenge received wisdom about tradition and correctness in these forms?

And, could we attempt a union of these forms, in a fresh context.

The Artistes' Foundation for the Arts (AFFA) certainly thinks so. The Foundation is the one asking these questions. And it believes that previous valid experiments and stirring performances have been production successes, ``but not given answers of clarity and common acceptance through the arts.''

Which is why, AFFA has come up with ``Tamtana'' or ``one's own self'' -- a ``movement of music and verse'' (in Kannada).

This, AFFA says, is an attempt to explore possible answers. Dancers trained in classical Bharatanatyam and Kathak share the stage with musicians trained in classical Carnatic and Hindustani schools -- another ``jugalbandi'' you may think. But no, because the two groups are going to be interacting ``within the friendly and energetic ambit of theatre.'' The ensemble comprises dancer Padmini Ravi (choreography), composer Praveen D.Rao (music), designer Shashidhara Adapa (stage design), Paresh Kumar (lighting, effects) and Pramod Sheggaon (costumes).

``Tamtana'' is written and directed by Prakash Belawadi and produced by Nandini Alva. Through the effort, the members of AFFA, Nandini Alva, Padmini Ravi, Kumar Iyengar, hope to ``create enthusiasm to carry forward the glorious artistic traditions that have come down through the ages.''

By Divya Sreedharan

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