Off to a great start

Off to a great start

With great celebration and grandeur, the inaugural ceremony of the sixth edition of the ‘Bengaluru International Arts Festival’ recently took place at NGMA.

The auditorium was so packed that it was impossible even to move through the aisles and the excitement levels were tangible in the air.

After a scrumptious high tea, the function began with Preeti Sunderajan performing a contemporary dance titled ‘Three Lines’. Retelling three stories through movement and music, Preeti wowed the audience with her theatrics.

From the Sunday bath routine to love stories of her caretaker Ammayamma, her playful experimental movements and flexibility had the crowd mesmerised and offered a sense of freedom even as a spectator. “It was a wonderful feeling performing here. It’s always nice to be a part of a festival where you can show your work and receive feedback on it,” said Preeti.

The Seraikella chhau dance by Pandit Gopal Prasad Dubey and troupe was next. The creation of the sun temple in Konark was shown in a piece called Chandrabhaga, while the contrast of day and night was witnessed in Raatri’. Radha-Krishna love dance was also on the cards.

The last performance for the night was a Sri Lankan folk dance by Tilak Fernando and troupe. Mostly originating from Kandy, the dances included modern movements to Sinhalese songs, traditional harvest dances, temple dances and even a dance paying homage to the goddess of aesthetics. “This is our third year at the festival and we’re happy to be here. We look forward to coming back,” said Tilak.

Abhijit, an attendee, said that he enjoyed the Sri Lankan dance the most.
“It was colourful, peppy and really vibrant. It gave a glimpse of a different culture through folk music and dance. I especially liked the headgear they were wearing,” he said.

On the second day of the festival, ‘Artists Introspective Movement’ (AIM) organised classical music performances by artistes Vijayakumar Jitturi and Rajguru Hoskote at Freedom Park.  The highlight of the event was the Karnataka folk dance. Some of the songs by the duo included a poem by saint poet Shishunala Sharif and a song on Lord Ganesha.

 Tilak Fernando’s troupe also performed some Sri Lankan dances on the occasion. Speaking about the festival, Vijayakumar said, “Artistes from across the country are taking part in this event and through this, we get a glimpse of the culture in different states and countries. It introduces the people here to new culture. As artistes, we get to learn from them. It is an honour to be part of this programme and I wish to perform in the festival next year too.”  The amphitheatre was packed with music enthusiasts. One such person was Nagaraj, who said, “Listening to classical music is a very interesting way to spend an evening. Many songs that were previously forgotten were remembered today and the best part was that it is just simple music. It is very peaceful to end one’s day with such music.”

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