The non-artistic but serious issue of copyright, trademarks and creative ownership was discussed on Day Three of the Natya Kala Conference that is now on at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha in T. Nagar.
Dancer Anita Ratnam’s conversation with Gladys Danial, IPR attorney got the House completely attentive. Key issues were discussed.
But if the NKC can contribute better, it must work further on the issue - perhaps get a simple FAQs online resource raised quickly and get dancers and choreographers for another round of education in a day and age where the creative arts is expanding and legal rights sought.
The morning began with dancer Purva Dhanashree educating us on the background to Vilasini Natyam - it was performed in three contexts - dance in temples, in royal courts
Is this a distinct style? Yes.
Purva then demonstrated a pallavi as temple ritual: danced as the templepujari offers naiveidiyam to the deity.
Next up, was a snappy demo on nethra abhinaya in the ancient art of Kutiyattam
Sooraj Nambiar and his percussionist amazed the audience as he used the movement of eyes, limbs and body to give life to an elephant, a mongoose, a tiger and a deer.
“The training in eye movement is very important for this art - we do it early mornings and after sunset. Because it is hot in Kerala the rest of the day and this training is intense.
We use the eyes like a paint brush, “said Sooraj, a Kutiyattam artiste.
Bhakti : how do we share this emotion to new audiences? How do we redefine it - this was the topic for Mumbai-based dancer Pavitra Bhat.
Pavitra says he uses multimedia, visual and sound effects to interest a new audience.
And demonstrated how a pasuram in Tamil was created for a non-Tamil audience. And how he danced to a Oriya piece when performing in Orissa to communicate better to a local audience.
The final theme was on ‘The Imperativeness of Artistic Legacy’ and it featured dancers/gurus Aniruddha Knight, Roja Kannan, Malavika Sarukkai and Hema Rajagopalan and was moderated by Chitra Sundaram.
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