BENGALURU:In the month of May, Srivatsa Shandilya, photographer and founder of International Arts and Cultural Foundation was browsing the internet when he came across a Google Doodle on Padma Bhushan awardee Mrinalini Sarabhai. That’s when the idea of putting together a centenary celebration for famed dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai triggered.
“After quickly figuring out what the programme would entail, I reached out to Mallika Sarabhai, who immediately agreed to be part of a programme here in Bengaluru, especially since this is the place where her mother used to learn Bharatanatyam under guidance of Muthukumar PiIlai, and also performed with legendary Ram Gopal,” Srivatsa says, adding, “In addition, she also met space scientist Dr Vikram Sarabhai here and later married him. This makes Bengaluru all the more special,” he says.
The three-hour programme on Thursday will include a 40-minute screening of a film, Mrinalini Sarabhai, The Artist and Her Art, directed by Mallika Sarabhai and Yadavan Chandran, which documents Sarabhai senior’s life, captured over the years. Post the screening, a talk by Mallika on her mother’s contribution to dance, and a discussion on the film with critics will follow. Four dancers including Yamini Muthanna, Rukumini Vijaykumar, Archana Rao and Shreema Upadhaya will perform for the audience. “The film will showcase Mrinalini Sarabhai’s passion towards dance.
Her story of taking up dance during the pre-Independence era when women were barely allowed to leave home, is inspiring. She not only mastered dance, but she also started an organisation of her own (Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, Ahmedabad) which to this day is thriving. It’s a life and story to be celebrated,” he says.The event will take place on June 14 at 4pm, at National Gallery of Modern Art, Palace Road. Entry is free.