37th year Art festival 2011
Day 25 - Kartik Fine Arts can proudly call it a DAY! As L Sabaretnam, Chairman of the sabha proclaimed, "We decorate ourselves by decorating the veteran dancer, the legendary Vyjayanthimala Bali."
There could not have been, a better artiste to honour, a better occasion than December arts festival for that, a better situation than the conclave on Divine Madness, a better month than Margazhi amidst the Mallipoo fragrance and in the traditional flavour filled Mada Veedhis of Mylapore.
People who spoke on the occasion, thought about it that way and the participants seconded it too!
Vyjayanthimala, the multi faceted person, was honoured with the 'Life Time Achievement Award' by Kartik Fine Arts, hours before the dance seminar was drawing to a close. For the dancer in her is always conceived synonymous with Goddess Aandaal, a life size Aandaal poo malai and Andal's kili image had come down from Srivilliputhur Andal kovil straight, as an additional honour to decorate her. A memorable day for the fortunate audience. Do we get to experience such precious moments so often in life!
It turned out to be an emotional moment too for those who were present, when Vyjayajthimala herself became emotional, finding it difficult to talk, during her acceptance speech. The joy doubly suffocated the audience, when her pleasing performance on the stage for a sloka from Sri Krishna Karnamrutham came as a surprise.
Dr Anita Ratnam, the convener of the fest, quickly took Vjayanthimala in and the dancer reappeared on the stage with some additional embellishments of finer iewellery like hip chain, that made her look more beautiful as a performer.
Anita also caught Vyjayanthimala in an informal chat. Filmdom and sastriya Bharatanatyam for her, were two things vividly apart always, and she never mixed an iota of one in the other, Vyjayanthimala explained. In a lighter vein, the legend shared her experiences, including the rigmaroles of her dance training as a child and the strict instructions of her paati that she had to obey. Ultimately they made what she is today!
A few other eminent dancers, Prof Sudharani, Prof C V Chandrasekar in their felicitation speeches, spoke their hearts out about this great woman.
Earlier, danseuse Chitra Visweswaran gave a soulful performance for compositions of Meerabai following an Introduction to the third day of the dance fest by Dr Anita Ratnam.
Later, Madhureeta Anand made a presentation of images and words about Sadhvis, while in conversation with a Swedish Sadhvi settled in India. A plenary session was coordinated by Dr. Ketu H Katrak (USA) on Creative representations of Madness accessing the Divine Nirupama Vaidhyanathan (USA) spoke on Meerabai and St. Teresa of Avila - Lives in parallel worlds
Pallabi Chakravorty and Scott Kugle (USA), briefed about Dancing for a divine beloved - Mah Laqa Bai and Mira Bai between Hinduism and Islam Closing remarks were made by Dr. Ketu H Katrak and an interactive session followed.
Anita Ratnam rounded up the happenings of the three day seminar, with an announcement of the next year's conference, titled Epic Women, to happen between Dec 21 and 23, 2012.
Later in the evening, dancer Zakir Hussain's depition of Aandaal, had its own charm as a male dancer, and the audience loved it. 'Vanamalai - The Garland of Love' was the theme, while, Meenakshi Chittaranjan's dance featured Thirunavukkarasar as 'The Lord, my Lover'. Verses from his works - Thevaram were chosen for her Bharathanatyam dance. It was a graceful presentation filled with Bhakthi.
Rama Vaidyanathan, had come down from Delhi. In two parts, she danced for a few abhang compositions by Janabai and vakhs by Lalleshwari. The former part was done with Marathi costumes on, and for the other, she donned the Kashmiri style. It was a enjoyable performance.
With that the curtains came down on Natya Darshan.
The theme was unique, and was handled brilliantly with interesting contents - as L Sabaretnam rightly said, who else could think of such a topic, except Dr Anita Ratnam! Hats off to Anita.