Varied forms come together

Varied forms come together

As part of ‘World Dance Day’ celebrations, Ashish Mohan Khokar’s ‘AttenDance’, was held at Alliance Francais recently. The event saw 108 performances in 12 hours.

The chief guest was Leela Samson, chairperson, Sangeet Natak Akademi.

The event kicked off with a performance by Nadam, Nrityantar, Venkatesha Natya Mandir and Kuchupudi Parampara Foundation.

It was followed by a seminar, which was opened by Chiranjiv Singh, president, Alliance Francaise.

Other speakers at the seminar included Padmini Ravi, Radha Shridhar and Vimala Rangachar.

The performances ranged from yakshagana, kuchupudi, bharatanatyam, kalari and Manipuri to chhau, contemporary and folk dance forms.

“We mostly present artistes who are young — less than 40 years —  so that they get a chance on a professional platform. Most of the performers at the event are from Bangalore as Bangalore artistes need branding,” explains Ashish Khokar.

His open mind and passion for the art comes across in his message — “Dance is not a career, but a calling. It is beyond profession. This is a bright smart generation.

They should stick to the medium, respect the tradition and grow with the modern times.”

Geetha Bhat, who runs ‘Chittara’, which works towards reviving the dying arts in Karnataka, was involved in organising the event.

She says, ‘The crowd here is mixed. More than 200-300 people have come in. Everything is running on time.”

Sukruti Tirupattur, a bharatanatyam dancer, who was also part of the event, says. “This event is very famous, everybody wants to dance here. Alliance Francaise attracts a diverse crowd. Their vision, approach and thoughts are so different and all such different things coming together is very beautiful. It’s a very happy atmosphere.”

The event was open to diverse age groups as well. Chitkala Tunga, a 14-year-old yakshagana dancer, talks about her experience here.

“I have done more than 150 shows but this is very different. I am performing ‘Kamsavadha’ with my father and it’s so nice to watch so many other dance forms,” she says.

Odissi dancer Madhulita Mohapatra has been dancing at the event for the last five years.

“So many eminent gurus have come and this is an opportunity to take guidance from them,” she says.

‘Maya’, a dance ensemble, was one of the troupes, which took part in the event.

With a lawyer, an investment banker, an engineer and a software professional in the team, they have been dancing together for 20 years.

As first-timers at this event, they were really excited. “Sharing the stage from eight-year-olds to 80-year-olds is something to cherish. The feedback you get here is very genuine. This event is not a general crowd-puller, it has mainly artistes and art connoisseurs.”

The event went on till 10 pm with some notable performances by Vani Ganapathy, Gayathri Kesavan and her two daughters Maitreyi and Mathangi, Padmini Ravi, Aishwarya Nityananda and Deepa Sashindran.

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