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Natya Tarang: Fresh waves of art

Sahana Balasubramanya

The 12th edition of ‘Natya Tarang’: a festival of music and dance, justifying its name, presented young artistes in their brimming flavours in Hyderabad recently. Conducted by Vishakhapatnam based Nataraj Music and Dance Academy in association with Indian Council for Cultural Relations, the festival on its second day, laced an opportunity for two classical artistes to raise up to a wonderful occasion.

Sahana Balasubramanya, a disciple of Guru Saroja Vaidyanathan from Delhi commenced the festival with a rather ‘uniquely’ packed string of items. A traditional invocatory item was followed by an emotively aligned Meera Bhajan where the protoganist places herself in every creature of nature in order to sense an intimate closeness to Lord Krishna – her eternal love. Sahana carried an easy going body language and a good blend of natural and classical expression to make it a treat to watch.

O.S Arun’s powerful voice slowly becoming a regular in Bharatanatyam was aptly fitted into a piece composed as an ode to the Ganges – The dance was well choreographed, but one could not help getting carried away with the vocals. The dancer concluded with a simple, serene looking rendition of Vande Mataram.

Sridevi Mungara

It is quite a discussion in the art circles of what a professional artiste could justify in meagre time slots given by organizations. Come to think of it, the existence of these very platforms are itslef a boon considering the weak ratio between the number of artistes and the platforms today. It is in this immediate need for the multiplying of cultural organizations that the work of bodies like the Nataraj Dance Academy comes to the fore.

As Vikram Gaud, the festival Director rightly opines “The Government of Andhra Pradesh has very little programmes to promote art and culture. The very few that were started as ambitions beginnings did not see a future at all. I have been conducting festivals of music and dance for the past 13 years in Vishakhapatnam both at the National and International level and I see it does a lot of good for the younger generation who are taking to the classical arts. While other states like Tamil Nadu and Orissa have a strong backing from the Government, it was important to make culture visible in the state too. Hence I collaborated with ICCR and started this festival about six years back. The festival hosts one artiste from the ICCR’s empanelled category alongside another chosen by us. This way the artistes get their due performance share. Else it is only the cream and stalwarts who land up performing all over”.

Standing up to the effort of the organization was another dancer of the evening Sridevi Mungara. The presentation was surely a sign of passing on the tradition that master sculptors of the performing arts left for the times to come. Erstwhile choreographies in the legacy of Vempati Chinna Satyam in the hands of the younger generation though looked yet to be polished, but served the purpose of presenting before a well receiving audience.