CHENNAI: From performing for fundraiser concerts to entertaining their patrons, various folk and classical artistes have consistently been using their talent to lend a helping hand amid the lockdown. One such initiative to spread hope and positivity through music and dance is Coronavai Jeyippom, a series of performance videos featuring acclaimed traditional performing artistes.
Launched on June 12, the initiative raises awareness about COVID-19 precautions and protocols. The series is presented by Chennai UCCN, an initiative of the Greater Chennai Corporation, as a member of the Creative Cities Network (UCCN) of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) since 2017, and is powered by Aanmajothi, the cultural wing of Saraswathi Vidyalaya.
Elaborating on the idea, the Chennai UCCN committee says, “We strongly believe that arts can inspire society. In this challenging time, we created ‘Coronavai Jeyippom’ to offer the public necessary health-related reminders through song and dance. The videos are uplifting and informative at once, and were thoughtfully produced so that the core message comes through even as the audience partakes in the sheer enjoyment of our amazing traditional art forms.”
The videos, each four to five-minute-long, feature well-known artistes from the city. One among them is popular playback singer Gaana Muthu, who’s also well-known for documenting the subcultures of North Madras on his YouTube channel, and acclaimed Gaana singer Isaivaani.
Simran Sivakumar, Bal Shree honour-winning Bharatanatyam artiste and founder of Anartana, who's also a part of the series, shares, “There’s so much negativity in the air. As artistes, we can do our bit to offer momentary respite to our patrons and that’s precisely what we’ve been doing. In my video, I walk them through simple breathing exercises and dance movements for them to relax.” Chinnaponnu Kumar, Kannadasan award-winning folk artiste and playback singer of Nakka Mukka fame, and stand-up comedian Abhishek Kumar are also part of the video series.
KS Natarajan, founder, Aanmajothi, the cultural wing of Saraswathi Vidyalaya says, “Last year, we had a similar awareness song called United to Heal, composed and choreographed by parai, silambam and other folk artistes. It was an instant hit among the public. We intend to do the same with this.”
To watch the videos, visit Chennai UCCN’s YouTube channel.