Chennai Kalakshetra artists to perform at Modi-Xi meet

Representative image. (AFP photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping would be treated to a mind-blowing performance including dance dramas on Mahatma Gandhi and epic Ramayana, Kathakali rendition and Bharatanatyam by famed artists from the prestigious Kalakshetra Foundation on Friday.

The 8th century Rock Temple built by Narasimhavarman II of the famed Pallava dynasty that ruled from Kanchipuram will reverberate with the messages of Gandhi and Ramayana as some of the finest artists that this city-based foundation has produced will perform for nearly 30 minutes.  

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Modi and Xi would go around the marvel called Rock Temple in Mamallapuram, 50 kms from here, that overlooks the magnificent Bay of Bengal and sit down for an exciting performance before heading for a private dinner on the lawns of the heritage structure. The monument, that consists of three temples, has been beautified and illuminated to welcome its most high-profile guests in recent years.

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People aware of the development told DH that the performance by artists from Kalakshetra Foundation, founded by dancer and philanthropist Rukmini Devi in 1936, would be split into five parts. Beginning with Alarippu, the invocation piece symbolising offering of respects to the God and guru, the artists will move on to perform Shanti Sutra (Kabir Das bhajan).

While Sethu Bhandanam (Pattabhishekam) depicting some of the events from Ramayana will be the third performance, kathakali rendition will be the next. The nearly 30-minute incredible presentation would end with Tillana — the rhythmic piece in Carnatic music that is usually performed at the end.

Shanti Sutra is a dance drama conceptualised by Kalakshetra director Revathi Ramachandran and was first performed on October 1, 2018. The dance drama seeks to explore the thread linking Gandhi and Rukmini Devi, the founder of Kalakshetra and conveys the message of peace.

Also read — Modi-Xi meet: A stroll and visit to monuments

Sources said some of the best dance dramas conceptualised by the Kalakshetra Foundation over the years have been included in the programme as part of the Second India-China informal summit to be held on October 12.

“The cultural event will be the highlight of the first day events as the two leaders will settle down after an hour-long monument hopping. With the cool sea breeze coming their way, the dignitaries would enjoy the performance of some of the outstanding artists,” a source in the state government said.

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