By Anjana Anand
6th June 2016
The day started with a buzz as participants entered their respective classes with enthusiasm and trepidation. For many, it involved months of planning as they had to take time off from work and make arrangements at home to immerse themselves for a week in a world of arts. The first session focussed on the basics with adavu practice after which the participants met their individual teachers to start work on core technique and repertoire.
A working lunch saw Dr. Gauri Krishnan speak about her book ‘The power of the female: Devangana sculptures on the Indian Temple architecture’. Book readings are organised in between to expose young students to the documentation of work on Indian dance history and culture – many of them authored by local artists and researchers.
The afternoon session with Bragha Bessel was a hit with the students. She took them on an emotional journey through the hearts of the ashtanayikas. This was followed by an awe inspiring lecture by Dr. Chithra Madhavan on temples in India. Soon after the lecture, many students were found discussing plans to visit India to see some of the wonders she had described.
The evening performance by Chitra Poornima and Sushma Somasekharan titled Nrithya Geetham, curated by Aravinth Kumarasamy, was a refreshing surprise. The duo brought energy and enthusiasm to the well-researched presentation. They effortlessly straddled dialogue and music to illustrate how Carnatic music sung in a Bharatanatyam performance differs from a music kutcheri.