Lavani, unplugged

Updated: Nov 30, 2016, 13:10 IST | Suprita Mitter |

A whole day dedicated to Lavani’s complex nature, politics and myriad forms

Anil Hankare in a performance

IF you trip over the catchy tunes and beats of the dholak, the sound of ghunghroos and the graceful, expressive dancers of one of Maharashtra’s most popular folk forms, you are in for a treat this weekend. Lavani LIVE!, a day-long event by Godrej Culture Lab, will explore the divergent histories, styles, and discourses around Lavani. This apart, participants can gain insight at a dance-theatre workshop by Lavani performer Anil Hankare, gaze at stunning frames by Sandesh Bhandare and witness a finalé act featuring the coming together of the many avatars of the dance form.“I had chosen the subject, ‘The politics of performance — changing forms of Lavani,’ for my dissertation. There is abundant literature available on Lavani but not much is known about it in English academia. I came across several names who were involved in the art form in different ways, through research or performance, and felt it was important to bring them together to offer a complete picture,” says curator Sejal Yadav, a danseuse and PhD candidate at Jawaharlal Nehru University. “It is important to get varied perspectives as the issues that a stage Lavani performer face are different from those of an actress performing it on screen,” she explains.

A screening of the documentary, Natale Tumchyasathi: Behind the Adorned Veil, will look at the lives of Sangeet Baari performers (who sing at Lavani performances) and commercial Lavani dancers. This will be followed by a Q&A session with filmmaker Savitri Medhatul and producer Bhushan Korgaonkar. Another screening will feature Chabbi, a documentary on the journey of a cross-dressing Lavani performer. Post this, a panel will debate on whether this dance form is subversive or not while a second panel will chronicle Lavani’s journey from Baari to Bollywood.Tamasha: Ek Rangdi Gamat, an exhibition by veteran lensman Bhandare, will highlight the Tamasha aspect in a performance. “There is a difference between Lavani and Tamasha. In villages, Tamasha is a six-hour long act featuring comedy, prayer, acting, and a Lavani performance. At the event, the discussion is on one part of the Tamasha. It is important to increase awareness of these forms, and hence any sort of discussion is good news,” feels Bhandare who shot these images in 2002. “I have been pursuing photography for 30 years, and wanted to focus on the folk forms in Maharashtra. I earned a grant from the India Foundation for Arts, and travelled across Konkan, Vidarbha and Western Maharashtra to shoot these frames,” he adds.There will also be a dance theatre workshop with performer Anil Hankare, who will also present the finalé act of the evening.

ON: December 3, 11 am to 7 pm 
AT: Godrej ONE, Vikhroli (E).
CALL: 25188010

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