In the last decade, the kshetra that is Kalakshetra has opened its doors to many Bharatanatyam artists to come in and perform, lecture, demonstrate and so on. Leela Samson did quite a few programs giving "chances" to aspirants. This season the doors were opened wider with Priyadarsini Govind organising a Baani festival inviting a number of gurus, teachers and practitioners (YES, gurus are different from teachers!). What took place was very interesting, sometimes intriguing too, and altogether engrossing. I hope that soon Kalakshetra will put together a team to look for hidden and forgotten aficionados of some antique Baanis. They, who have a trunk full of "sarakku" - dance treasures, like original compositions (the disciples of Dandayudhapani Pillai to name one traditional Nattuvanar), and old nrtta compositions (Muthuswamy Pillai) need to be researched, studied, seen and archived. It augurs well for Bharatanatyam, the form of dance that has grown the most to get such a widely seen focus. The web streaming.....ah!....what a lovely age we live in... I was delighted to get responses immediately from Aravinth in the east, Hari and Hema in the west, and many more cool browsers! Future such seminars could lead to the expansion of this public funded dance school in a significant manner. Under THIS banyan tree, all Baanis of Bharatanatyam should be nurtured (taught), archived, revived and made the bench marks for a comprehensive Bharatanatyam form in the new age.
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