Two leading Carnatic vocalists get together with two well-known Bharatnatyam dancers in a festival intended to bring the classical arts together
Last year when Sanjeev Bhargava of Seher,an NGO that promotes performing arts in the Capital,was organising the annual classical dance festival Ananya,what struck him was the lack of synergy between different disciplines of the classical arts. There was a time when stalwarts like Kumudini Lakhia got together with composers like Atul Desai,when OS Arun would compose for a performance by Leela Samson,but these days,each discipline has become quite rigid and hierarchical, he says. Bhargava then decided to hold a festival that would bring together diverse forms on a single stage. Beginning March 16,a three-day festival of music and dance,Samyukta,will see some of the biggest names of Carnatic music and Bharatnatyam get together for a never-before series of collaborative performances.
The festival,which will be held at the Fountain Lawns of the India International Centre,will see Bharatnatyam dancers Leela Samson and Priyadarshini Govind get together with two of Carnatic musics leading lights,TM Krishna and Bombay Jayashri. While day one will feature Krishna and Govind performing together,day two has Samson and Jayashri in tandem. Seher has saved the best for the last,when all four artists will take to the stage. When I first heard about it,it sounded like one of those fantastic ideas that you wish you could work on,but never managed to. Thankfully,even though it took a whole year for all four of us to find time to work together,its happening, says Govind.
Bhargava will take the festival to the Chennai Music Festival at the end of the year. But before that,there are plans to take it to Paris,London and Montreal to give the global audience a taste of the experimental tradition.