Nitya Nritya 2017 – A Pioneering Dance Festival that brought India’s greatest performers, Gurus and Concepts to Bengaluru for 27 Years - A Preview
Preview from Usha RK, Arts Consultant
Nitya Nritya literally meaning ‘continuious dance or dance for always’ was and is a dance festival that hosted some of the greatest artists and gurus giving generations of students and dance connoisseurs the opportunity to gather knowledge and learn numerous aspects of this art form in Bangalore. It was the dream of a dance guru Dr. Lalitha Srinivasan to invite and share for the benefit of every dance enthusiast the works, themes, concepts, knowledge and thoughts of numerous artists of India. There is absolutely no doubt that this trailblazing effort benefitted the dance space in Bengaluru immensely.
The organizing and putting together a humongous festival with not only performances but also seminars and panel discussions deliberating on the various issues and aspects of the dance art was not an easy task. Lalitha ji with the support of her family and close associates tirelessly worked year after year to make this a reality. Sourcing of resources, financial and human was a herculean task and in the current scenario its almost impossible to organize a festival like this with out the support of the funding agencies including the Government – State and Centre. After the successful organizing of such a festival its time that the Central Government must take the responsibility of adopting them and funding them only for the Mission of the Ministry of Culture which primarily is – propagate, promote and perpetuate the cultural heritage of India.
Nitya Nritya - 6th, 7th and 8th October 2017
Nitya Nritya is a premier conference and festival of Indian dance in Bangalore that has been carefully nurtured and conceptualised by Dr Lalitha Srinivasan, who was guided & mentored by stalwarts such as the late BVK Sastry, late Sri H. K Ranganath, Dr R Satyanarayana, Smt. Vimala Rangachar & the late Smt Maya Rao, Nitya Nritya has gained repute as a festival of national stature. We have witnessed amazing performances by artistes of great caliber in all styles of dance. Maya Rao's Amir Khusrau, Vempati China Satyam's Kuchipudi ballets, Pt Narendra Sharma's Year of the Child and Cricket were some ballets never seen before by Bangalore audiences.
Excellent soloists like Dr. Padma Subramanyam, Chitra Visweswaran, Alarmel Valli, Malalavika Sarukkai, Mallika Sarabhai & more recently her son Revanta, Sanjukta Panigrahi, Vempati China Satyam, Dr Kanak Rele, Radha & Raja Reddy, Yamini Krishnamurthy, Pt. Durga Lal, Pt. Birju Maharaj, Bipin Singh etc. have honored this festival by their artistry and excellence. Presentations in contemporary styles & themes have met with great appreciation.
The unique feature of Nitya Nritya has been the annual conference that developed and discussed several themes & delved into intricacies & application of the art. Topics ranged from technical aspects of dance, contemporary dance techniques, dance criticism, music & sculpture. Local dancers shared the stage with the masters and that in itself was a unique experience. I don't think it amiss to say that Nitya Nritya imprinted the stamp of Bangalore as an artistic location of vibrance and class in the cultural map of India.
Bringing in new blood and younger talent to organize the festival:
Nitya Nritya, under the stewardship of Padma Bhushan Dr V K Aatre and support of stalwarts in the field of art like H N Suresh, is now being presented with the collaboration of a Convening Committee that includes dynamic professionals in the field of dance - Praveen Kumar, Padmini Sreedhar and Dr Seshadri Iyengar along with the Nitya Nritya organizing team. This year the Conference on the 7th and 8th October at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan addresses the allure of the Ensemble productions and its approach, design and associated challenges. Technology has impacted the world of dance as much as it has every other walk of life, and adaptation is inevitable. The glitz and glamour of the overall presentation and the need for choreographers to think outside the box and deal with need for contemporary and social dialogue while balancing tradition, classicality and the idiom will certainly make for interesting discussion and lively debate. Seasoned and upcoming dancers will present their experiences.
The conference also presents performances on both days post the lecture demonstrations and discussions The 27th edition of the Festival on the 6th October at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 7th and 8th October at the Krishna Deva Raya Ranga Mandira features Navia Natarajan on 6h Oct, 2017 at 6 pm at the Khincha Memorial Hall, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Dr Anupama Kailash presents the works of the Telugu Vaggeyakaras with the rarely seen Kuchipudi dance form Vilasini Natyam.
The theme ‘Celebrating Thyagaraja’ to commemorate his 250th birth anniversary is the central piece featuring the Nupura Ensemble, Avijit Das in a Kuchipudi solo and Veena & Dhanya Nair performing Mohini attam. Chitra Aravind and Dr Seshadri Iyengar, members In addition the seasoned convening committee of Nitya Nritya 2017 will conclude the theme ‘Celebrating Thyagaraja’ on the final day.
This year Nitya Nritya features the Odissi Dance ensemble lead by Sharmila Biswas as the Grand Finale on the 8th of October, 2017. The morning sessions include panel discussions on the allure of the Ensemble productions and its approach, design and associated challenges.
While maintaining the tradition of managing a festival of great caliber, Nitya Nritya always aims to continue to pioneer new experiences, curate collaborative experiments and bring thought leadership in the dance field in Bangalore.
Key words & Credits: Nitya Nritya, Usha RK, Sharmila Biswas, Mahesh Swamy, Veena Murthy Vijay, Usha Radhakrishnan, Indian Classical Dance, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, October 2017, Bangalore
Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Sattriya, Mohiniyattam, Kathakali
September/ October 2017, 9/10-17.26.1 **A Worldwide Indian Classical Dance Initiative