Song of Surrender

Friday, 10 June 2016

Dance India Asia Pacific - Day 3

By Anjana Anand

7th June 2016


Day three saw a book reading by Lakshmi Vishwanathan. She took the listeners into the world of the devadasis where art was a part of their everyday life. These women of pride were educated, cultured and lived a life of patronage. Bharatanatyam has these women to thank for preserving and enriching the art form.

It was another day of learning with Dr. Chitra Madhavan’s talk on dance sculptures in Indian temples. The sculptures ranged from ornate figures to delicate movements captured in soft stone. It was amazing to notice that these great works of art are largely anonymous. Who were these artistic and scientific minds behind this awe inspiring work?

Professor C.V. Chandrasekhar took the students on a nostalgic journey of his choreography over the past 40 years. He spoke about his move away from story telling to subjects of nature through poetry.  Creating a production is about passion and creativity – the two qualities which helped him in the early years when arts funding was not an option.

The evening ended with a talk by Lakshmi Viswanathan on Rasa at the Singapore Indian Association. As someone said at the end of the lecture ‘We understood ‘rasa’ in our appreciation of her eloquent speaking!”

DIAP (Dance India Asia Pacific) has been receiving a lot of support over the past few years. This year it was heartening to see representation from all the main dance schools in Singapore. The CEO of the National Arts Council, Ms. Kathy Lai sent a warm message of appreciation. “DIAP has offered dancers the chance to learn from gurus in the field since 2012. Today, it is embraced by the community as one of the largest and most intensive training programmes for Indian dance practitioners at all levels”There was an evident comraderie which the students were sharing. As the Milapfest motto says. Uniting hearts through arts!

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