Classical treat for all

Updated: 13 January, 2019 11:07 IST | Jane Borges | Mumbai

A new festival in the city, to be held at Royal Opera House, is hoping to win the attention of the youth towards traditional Indian dance forms

Arushi Mudgal
Arushi Mudgal

It was last year when Tripti Arya, who runs NGO Arya Group Foundation, first took her two sons, aged nine and five, for a ballet performance of Swan Lake. Seeing how much they had enjoyed it, Arya thought to herself how it would have been nice to expose her children to the Indian classical art form. "It wasn't always about them turning out to be good dancers, but just to have them appreciate something that is very much part of our culture," she says.

But, as a Kuchipudi dance exponent herself, Arya felt that most Indian classical dance events were very esoteric in nature, meant only for "those who understood the depths" of the form. It's the need to create a more involved space for the younger generation, which led her to curate the Bhramara Festival of Dance, along with ShowHouse Events.

Tripti Arya
Tripti Arya

The two-day festival, which will be held at the Royal Opera House, will see 30 minute-long performances covering six classical dance forms — Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Mayurbhanj Chhau and Kathakali — and workshops to help acquaint millennials with India's rich tradition. The repertoire will include performances by Sadanam Balakrishnan and troupe, who will be presenting a traditional play about Rasaleela in Kathakali style; a kathak dance drama by US-based Leela Dance Collective; a Bharatanatyam performance by Parshwanath Upadhye revisiting the tale of Hanuman from his childhood, among many others.

Odissi dancer Arushi Mudgal, who is doing a presentation of select tales featuring Krishna and Ra, in her performance titled Leela, says that the initiative is fascinating. "I have always been interested in connecting with the youth, through my work. This time around, I made a conscious decision not to present any of my old pieces, but create something new for the festival. I have also tried to treat my choreography in a not-so conventional fashion," says Mudgal. "In the past, the abstractness of the dance form and its underlying philosophy interested me more. But here, I have tried to be more direct and dramatic."

When: January 19 and 20, 4 PM onwards
Where: Royal Opera House, Girgaum
Entry: Rs 300
To book:

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First Published: 13 January, 2019 10:00 IST

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