Responses to 'Carnatic musicians and Naatya' by V P Dhananjayan: A response by A Seshan

October 25, 2009

I read the response to my article from Mr. Seshan. His article is very interesting and informative. In the last Cleveland Aaradhana, VV.Sundaram made some of the concert singers sing for my Nandanarcharitam (some of them have not even seen a Bharatanaatyam performance, let alone a male dancer) that was a big revelation to Vidushis like Suguna Purushottaman, Suguna Varadachari. I am glad there is some improvement in the situation and my clarion calls have some results.
- VP Dhananjayan

October 26, 2009

I thank Shri Dhananjayan for his appreciative response to my article. We shall soon see the start of the music and dance festival in Chennai. May I make a suggestion in this connection? If it is not too late in relation to scheduling the concerts, at least a few of the music sabhas could arrange for leading dancers to be accompanied by equally eminent musicians - vocalists, violinists, vainikas, flautists and mridangists. It may be easy to engage those who have already done this. Besides, a few more may be approached. It will serve three purposes: one, it will prove to be a magnet to attract audiences to dance programmes; two, it will provide a healthy competition between the artistes on the stage to their advantage and that of the rasikas; and three, it will be a welcome change and provide some respite from the strenuous concert schedules of vocalists and instrumentalists who give several performances during the season. If someone objects to the idea on the ground that it will shift the focus from the dancer to the musician, it is not supported by the experience in Samyuktam in New Delhi to which I have referred in my article.
- A Seshan