Sri Krishna Gana Sabha presents
37th Natya Kala Conference
Sringaram
December 26 - 30, 2017 Chennai

October 26, 2017

The 37th Natya Kala Conference, presented and hosted by Sri Krishna Gana Sabha is scheduled between December 26 and December 30, 2017. The convenor for this year's conference is Bharatanatyam exponent Dr. Srinidhi Chidambaram.

The 2017 edition of the Natya Kala Conference will focus on Sringaram, the King of Rasas, and all its hues and layers. It is an attempt to celebrate Sringaram in all its glory, and to explore why this Rasa, one of the Navarasas, has enjoyed the privilege of being hailed as the supreme Rasa, capable of constant innovation in creation and expression.

After a very successful conference last year, titled Sthiti Gati, that focussed specifically on all aspects of Bharatanatyam, Dr. Srinidhi has now moved on to another realm, exploring a sensitive and delicate Rasa that is common to all genres of dance, yet interpreted and presented in numerous ways across all forms.

"It is through my own journey in Bharatanatyam that the thought that one could delve deep into Sringaram as a theme sparked off," says Dr. Srinidhi Chidambaram. "I learnt numerous Sringaram oriented pieces, initially from my guru, that I later reinterpreted as I grew into a more mature artiste. While learning Carnatic music with Suguna Purushotaman, I could see the way music could evoke Sringaram effortlessly. I started then trying to reflect the musicality and poetic beauty of Sringaram through incorporating poetry or other musical pieces that fit into the emotions of the padavarnam. For example,  the pasurams of Andal or the romantic padams of Swati Tirunal were blended into the 'Sakiye' varnam and 'Sumasayaka' respectively, of course without tampering with the original works. No practitioner of the Indian classical arts, especially dance, can be immune to or ignorant of the immense beauty and magnitude of this Rasa. Hence the idea that one could build the entire Natya Kala Conference 2017 around this rasa."

This year, exponents from across all classical dance forms including Lakshmi Viswanathan, Alarmel Valli, Devdutt Pattanaik, Vairamuthu, Guru Sadanam Balakrishnan, Sharmila Biswas,  Vaibhav Arekar, V Sriram, Geeta Chandran and Anita Ratnam, amongst others will present their insights into Sringaram from their own explorations of the Rasa in their respective journeys in art. The conference is also hosting an exclusive workshop by Priyadarsini Govind on Performing Sringaram, in a parallel venue for students of dance.
 
As a second-time convenor and an observer of the conference for over three decades now, Dr. Srinidhi says, "I do not want the conference to be only an erudite, highbrow gathering of scholars. I want the Natya Kala Conference to be accessible to all. I am keen for the knowledge and insights of the eminent speakers to reach everyone beginners, young and upcoming students, scholars, established artistes and gurus and above all, rasikas and lay people. At the conference, I am keen to gather dance enthusiasts together and encourage discussion and interaction between them. We have a limited time frame of 9.45am to 1pm on all 5 days but we do have sessions in formats that range from solo speaking sessions, demonstrations, debates, duos, a workshop and also a dynamic presentation curated by Rajika Puri, where we hope to capture the spontaneity of expression of Sringaram."

Srinidhi hopes that this year also the conference will draw the younger artistes who can learn a lot in a short time, by being present at these kinds of conferences, where some of the best minds in art would be sharing their knowledge and insights. The 2017 edition of the Natya Kala Conference will have something exclusive to offer to everyone related to dance in the remotest way. It is open to each and every one to partake of its rich content, and undying energy.

Convenor: Dr Srinidhi Chidambaram
Dates: December 26 - 30, 2017
Venue: Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, 20, Maharajapuram Santhanam Road, T. Nagar, Chennai  600017 
All are welcome.
Info: natyakalaconference2017@gmail.com

*All sessions will be followed by a ten minute Q and A with the presenter
*There will be a short break between 11.10am and 11.25 am everday

December 26
9.30am - 10.25am: Inauguration of the conference.
Guests of Honour - Lakshmi Vishwanathan (Bharatanatyam exponent) and Leela Venkataraman (Scholar, Historian and Commentator on Indian Dance)
Keynote Address by Dr. Srinidhi Chidambaram
Conferring of award, "Natya Kala Visaaradha" on Ashish Mohan Khokar
10.30am 11.10am: LOVE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD: Devdutt Pattanaik
11.10am - 11.25am: Tea Break
11.25am 12.05pm: SRINGARA LAHARI - A CONTINUUM: Geeta Chandran
12.10pm 12.50pm: SAMYOGA - DEPICTING LOVE IN KATHAKALI: Sadanam Balakrishnan

December 27
9.30am - 10.15am: HUES OF SHRINGARA IN KATHAK: Rajendra and Nirupama
10.20am 11.05am: KAADALIN MOZHI AN EXPLORATION OF TAMIL LOVE POETRY: Poet Vairamuthu
11.10am 11.25am: Tea Break
11.25am 12.10pm: IS SRINGARAM RELEVANT TODAY? THE BIG DEBATE: Bragha Bessell, Aniruddha Knight, Swarnamalya Ganesh, Christopher Guruswamy, Sheela Unnikrishnan, Rajeshwari Sainath; Moderated by Dr Srinidhi Chidambaram

4.30pm - 6.30pm: PERFORMING SRINGARAM - A workshop by Priyadarsini Govind (Special session at The Folly, Amethyst)
(To register, write to natyakalaconference2017@gmail.com)

December 28
9.30am - 10.15am: DROWNING IN BLISS: A PERFORMATIVE PAPER EXPLORING GENDER FLUIDITY IN THE VAISHNAVA TRADITION: Dr Anita Ratnam
10.20am - 11.05am: SRINGARAM - A MALE PERSPECTIVE: Vaibhav Arekar
11.10am - 11.25am: Tea Break
11.25am - 11.55am: PALUKU THENALA THALLI - SRINGARAM EXPOSITION IN THE BANI OF DR VEMPATI CHINNA SATYAM: Jaikishore Mosalikanti

December 29
9.30am - 10.20am: GEETA GOVINDAM - INVOKING RADHA: Sharmila Biswas (Odissi) and Vidhya Subramaniam (Bharatanatyam)
10.20am - 10.50am: ALARSARAPARITAPAM - SRINGARAM IN THE COMPOSITIONS OF MAHARAJA SWATI TIRUNAL: Dr Neena Prasad
11.10am - 11.25am: Tea Break
11.25am - 12.10pm: ATHIMOHAM - THE SENSUAL AND THE SACRED IN METAPHOR AND MOVEMENT: Alarmel Valli and Arundhathi Subramaniam
12.15pm - 1pm: SRINGARAM - THROUGH THE EYES OF SAINT  TYAGARAJA: V Sriram

December 30

9.30am - 10.15am: ENTHATI KULUKE - WIT AND HUMOUR IN THE WORLD OF SRINGARAM: Lakshmi Vishwanathan
10.20am - 11.05am: MUSICALITY IN SRINGARAM: Sid Sriram
11.10am - 11.25am: Tea Break
11.25am - 12.20pm: IMPROMPTU - OF IMPROVISATION AND SPONTANEITY IN EXPRESSING SRINGARAM: Harinie Jeevitha, Nrithya Pillai, Srividya Ramachandran; Vocal: Radha Badri. Moderated by Rajika Puri

Creative Collaborator: Aalaap

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