Culture & Litrature

City gears up for arts fest

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Bangalore, September 19:  Did you know that the founder of Bangalore, Kempe Gowda, authored a Telugu-Kannada Yakshagana ‘Ganga Gowri Sallapamu’? A dance-drama based on this work, ‘Ganga Gowri Vilasam’, will be staged at the sixth edition of the Bangalore International Arts Festival (BIAF).

Styled in Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi, the performance will be presented by Samanvay and choreographed by Kuchipudi exponent Veena Murthy Vijay, and is one of the highlights of the festival.

Addressing a conference here, Suma Sudhindra and Veena Murthy Vijay of the Artists’ Introspective Movement (AIM), which spearheads the BIAF, said this year the fest would be a nine-day cultural extravaganza (September 20 to October 6), hosting multiple high-energy programmes and concerts at nine venues across the city.

“There will be 21 performances in all that will include legendary artistes from across eight countries coming over to celebrate harmony through arts,” said Ms. Sudhindra.

“Having travelled across the globe, we realised that back home we needed a cultural platform [unique] to India, and that was how AIM’s BIAF was flagged off six years ago with immense support from ICCR,” she said.

This year’s BIAF brings collaborative work from the British Council, folk troupes from Mauritius and Sri Lanka, Bharatanatyam from the Dhananjayans, violin by Nagaraj and Manjunath, a play by Prakash Belawadi, and a film-based fusion ‘Yuvagni’ by Praveen D. Rao.

This year’s special is the ‘youth festival’, which will see colleges too participate, said Ms. Murthy.

There’s also various folk forms on display — the mask-dance from Jharkhand, ‘Seraikella Chhau’ that will emulate movements from nature to the splendour of primitive drums and the ancient ‘mukha veene’ (piped instrument) that will enhance the background score based on Indian ragas.

Sri Lanka’s folk artistes from Kandy will showcase the melody from their agricultural fields.

‘Naadatarangini’, a 50-veena ensemble directed by Ms. Sudhindra and featuring artistes from Karnataka, will include a special ‘Priya-Tarangini’, where the five Priya ragas emerge. Want to hear the veenas blending together for Chitti Babu’s rhythmic wedding bells? Head to Chowdiah Memorial, October 6, 6.30p.m.

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