BENGALURU: The month of April usually sees cinema photographer Srivatsa Shandilya organising a tribute to veteran actor Dr Rajkumar during his birth month. But this time it was different with the strict lockdown in place. But better late than never, and so Shandilya has decided to go ahead with this on August 15. Organised by his foundation, International Arts and Cultural Foundation, the online programme, Dhwani Karnataka, will bring together 32 professional singers from different district in the state. “Dr Rajkumar and his films have always left me in awe.
When I started my organisation in 2013, my first programme was related to his films. Ever since it had become a tradition to organise a birth anniversary tribute,” says Shandilya. While previous programmes combined the tunes of classical songs of yesteryear with dance forms like Bharatanatyam and Kathak, this year, owing to the several restrictions, the programme will come with its limitations. With an overload of online programmes comes the challenge of holding the attention of the audience.
“There are tonnes of videos on the internet which people are exposed to. So, if something is not up to the mark, people will tune out in less than half a minute. The programme has to be different to captivate the audience,” he says, adding that he is going ahead with this programme since he didn’t come across many classical art programmes.
The reason he’s picking one singer from each district is because he feels that while Bengaluru artistes are exposed to online festivals, it’s not the case with the others. “We want to use technology to bring all of them onto one platform,” says Shandilya, who, so far, has been sharing recordings of his previous festivals on social media. While in the past Shandilya has organised a classical dance festival for transgenders, he is also working on bringing alive the poetry of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “This is being attempted through classical dance forms,” he says. The festival will be streamed on the social media page of the International Arts and Cultural Foundation.