Covid-19 had halted the physical presence of visitors to events but it also helped build a wider audience through online telecast.
Parampara Series – The National Festival of Dance & Music is one such event that developed online audience during Covid-19 and when its 26th edition was held last week, the first time with physical presence of audience after the end of the pandemic, it came as double delight to the organisers.
For not only was there audience present at the venue in the Capital but a sizeable number also attended it online in other cities.
The festival, which comprised the most successful dance productions of recent times in addition to musical concerts by legendary artists Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Rama Vaidhyanathan, Aruna Sairam, Raja and Radha Reddy, had a great turnout. The amphitheatre was a full house on both days and a diverse mix of demographic attended the event – from youngsters to senior citizens.
Raja and Radha Reddy presented “Universe that is God”, an auditory and visual meditation on Lord Venkateshwara as a manifestation of the ultimate supreme spirit of the Universe. “Through dance, one can enter a meditative state similar to ritualistic chanting, which can bring about an electronic change in the physical and metaphysical status of an individual,” they explained.
Bharatnatyam dancer Rama Vaidyanathan performed one of her favourite compositions, a Varnam based on the verses written by Meera Bai. This was followed by a Telegu Padam.
Aruna Sairam sang from the rich treasure of classic compositions of the great composers, Thyagaraja, Dikshitar, Shyama Shastri and Oothukkadu Venkata Subbaiyer. She also rendered texts from Sanskrit and Tamil verses. In addition, she provided a glimpse of pan Indian music – bringing out several variations of the classical form – which also touched upon light classical and folk music.
“This is indeed a wonderful initiative to bring artists together and make us share our musical journey with the future generations. A timeless legacy of music and dance spreading the message of hope, harmony and solidarity,” added Ustad Amjad Ali Khan who presented his compositions set to various time cycles and traditional ragas.
“Earlier the classical arts were not really for the masses. They were always for the elite and the aristocrats,” says Kaushalya Reddy, the co-organiser of the event.
There has been a distinct shift in this aspect in recent years.
“More and more youngsters today are getting hooked to classical arts and music,” explains Reddy.
Moreover, classical arts are known to have multiple benefits, particularly for young people. Through the classical arts, children feel connected to their roots and traditions of our country, added Reddy.
Organised every year by Raja and Radha Reddy and Kaushalya Reddy to enlighten people with classical rituals of India, the festival invited renowned artists to perform in the three-day festival held over two days – November 12-13, 2022 at the Raja Radha Rangmanch (Amphitheatre), Natya Tarangini, Sector 6, Pushp Vihar, New Delhi.
Eminent guests at the event included Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, Odissi dancer Sharon Lowen, Subhalakshmi Khan, writer Aruna Vasudev, actor Chandrachur Singh and designer Shivan Narresh among others.
The Parampara Series was launched by Natya Tarangini keeping in mind the necessity to bring the common masses closer to the Indian traditions and culture and to ensure that the rich Indian heritage is preserved for generations to come. In the past, Natya Tarangini has presented various stalwarts. Its endeavour is not restricted to bridging the gap between the legendary artists and audience but also giving a platform to young talent.
Today, Natya Tarangini’s name has become synonymous with this successful festival series, which showcases artists drawn from across the world. The Moscow Classical Ballet, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, flamenco dancer Jose Porcel and whirling dervishes are among the groups that have performed at the festival along with stalwarts such as Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Kishori Amonkar, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Dr M. Balamurali Krishna, Begum Parveen Sultana, Vyjayanthimala Bali, Kelucharan Mohapatra, Hariharan, Alarmel Valli, Pandit Birju Maharaj and Astad Deboo among others.
“Parampara series is an endeavour to redefine and rejuvenate India’s rich cultural heritage. Every year as part of the series we bring amazing works by renowned artists from across India. It is our way to preserve and enrich the cultural mosaic of our everyday life, and we take pride in the fact that it has been widely received in its efforts and is now in its 26th year,” said Kaushalya Reddy, Artistic director and Guru of Natya Tarangini.
Established in 1976 by Padma Bhushan awardees Raja and Radha Reddy and Kaushalya Reddy, Natya Tarangini was started with an idea to globally popularise the Kuchipudi style of classical dance. Forty-six years since its establishment, Natya Tarangini has evolved from a simple Kuchipudi dance school into a unique performing arts centre encompassing all activities involved in the preservation and promotion of the arts.
Natya Tarangini also promotes other art forms through its art gallery, Nandjeet Khemka Art Gallery, where paintings and sculptures of various artists are displayed. Apart from this, Natya Tarangini is actively involved in conducting education workshops and seminars.
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