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A weekend rooted in music and dance

LiveMint logoLiveMint 13-07-2017 Sohini Sen

Over the years, there has emerged a gap between the artist and the audience. We want our performance to bridge that gap and let the audience enjoy while they get educated about our traditional dances,” says Nirupama Rajendra, artistic director at the Abhinava Dance Company in Bengaluru. Rajendra and her husband T.D. Rajendra will be performing at Suvarnam, the music and dance festival, in Bengaluru. 

The three-day festival, which starts today, will dedicate one day to one art form. It is held in memory of K.V.Ashwathnarayan and Lalitha Ashwathnarayan, founders of the Sudarshan Vidya Mandir school in Bengaluru.

The Rajendras, who perform Bharatanatyam and Kathak, will be followed by Carnatic vocalists and violinists Ranjani and Gayatri and contemporary musician Raghupathi Dwarakanath Dixit, better known as Raghu Dixit.

Abhinava Dance Company will perform this weekend.

At the inauguration, more than 25 students of the Abhinava Dance Company will present Sambhrama, a prayer to the five elements—earth, fire, wind, water and sky. This will be followed by dance choreographies: Shakuntala, Rasa Lila, Abhimanyu, Nigah and Kathakitathom. 

“Kathakitathom will show how rhythms can be fun, and classical dances can be entertaining. The storytelling requires us to use production skills, costumes, world percussions, etc. We will be using Bharatanatyam, Kathak and movement vocabularies from the Natyashastra, the ancient Indian text on performing arts,” says Nirupama.

On Saturday, the multilingual folk band, Raghu Dixit Project, will perform. While two performances lean more towards the classical, the Raghu Dixit Project has chosen more contemporary and world music sounds to connect with their audience. 

“I think the audience relates to good music. The genre is really irrelevant here. Good music breaks through and goes beyond all barriers,” explains Raghu Dixit.

The organizers agree. “We have always wanted to encourage versatility in our students and artists. The fact that the musicians and dancers performing in this show have a varied background is because they can all relate to our culture and society,” says Hema Narayanan, director of Sudarshan Vidya Mandir. 

The final day will see Ranjani and Gayatri taking the stage. The sisters will select songs tailored to the audience’s mood.

“That said, we want to give people the opportunity to be exposed to traditional music, some of which is more than 5,000 years old. It is only when our audience is exposed that they will be rasikas (or enthusiasts) of classical music,” says Ranjani.

Suvarnam: A Music And Dance Festival will be held from 14-16 July, 7pm, and 6.30pm (Sunday), at Sudarshan Vidya Mandir, Sakalavara Road. Tickets, Rs699 and Rs899, available on

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