CHENNAI: A new initiative called the Navapallava series, a young dancers’ festival, will be launched in Chennai showcasing artists in Bharatanatyam and Odissi.“It is a movement against the exploitative ‘pay and perform’ culture plaguing the world of Indian Classical Dance,” said ‘Kalaimamani’ Sailaja, artistic director of Saila Sudha Academy who is launching the initiative. “The aim is to create a professional platform for young artists, trained in different dance forms, across the country.” She went on to add that the previous generation of refined dancers were offered performances with due respect to the art and the artist. Hence, Navapallava brings forth the artistry of young dancers whose effort and hard work have gone into mastering their dance skills, to limelight.
“Unlike the earlier days, taking dance as profession is indeed considered to be a challenging task because of the financial constraints,” she said. “In addition to that, the dancers of true talent belonging to less fortunate economic backgrounds find it more difficult when they are asked to fund themselves, amid the mediocre and below-average dancers who can afford to pay for their own performances grabbing both the junior and senior slots.” Sailaja said this practice will drive the dance domain to shackles without clear demarcation, thus leading to the downfall of the art itself.
“As an antidote to this, Navapallava focuses to restore and preserve the divinity of dance forms and acknowledge the dignity of artists,” Sailaja said. “To make it a reality, a group of like-minded senior gurus and performing artists across India have volunteered to support this initiation by financing all the expenses. Spearheaded by Ashok Jain, the series has been launched in New Delhi, Mumbai, Aurangabad, Bhubaneshwar, Bengaluru and Kolkata.”
The performing artists are Sarita Mishra (Odissi) from Bengaluru and Vithya Arasu (Bharatanatyam) from Puducherry.
‘Kalaimamani’ Sailaja will launch the Navapallava Series at Kapaleeshwarar Temple, Mylapore on June 15 at 6 pm.