Making music for dance accessible
- Divya Ravi
June 12, 2022
European countries are peppered with arts organizations that associate with a handful of artistes for mutual growth and support. The organization supports the creative pursuits of the artiste (oft addressed as 'Resident Artiste') in a holistic manner, and the artiste reciprocates by working with the 'Home Organization' in myriad capacities.
If one were to look for a parallel in India, the dart lands straight in an alley in the quaint locality of Malleshwaram. Bengaluru based organization Ananya has been the 'Home Organization' to many a 'Resident Artiste', birthing innumerable artistic endeavours over the years. Everyone associated with Ananya, finds a home here, developing their artistic pursuits and spearheading various projects -in the basement studio or over a tea-time conversation in the home of Dr. R.V. Raghavendra and Dr. Pramila Bai, the masterminds behind Ananya.
For thirteen years now, musicians who make dance possible have generously shared their time and creative work with Ananya, a gesture that culminated in audio CDs for dance. Produced under the banner of 'Ananya Nruthya Sangeetha', this is an exemplary instance of "For Artistes, By Artistes, From Artistes". The who's who in the music fraternity including D.S. Srivathsa, Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma, Dr. Shatavadani R Ganesh, Balasubramanya Sharma, G Gurumurthy, H.S. Venugopal, Mahesha Swamy, D.V. Prasanna Kumar, Sugganahalli Shadakshari, have all shared exclusive compositions they have penned and/or composed and these have been rendered in the 26 volumes by almost all musicians of Karnataka. Noted and established dancers-Gurus Dr. Lalitha Srinivasan, Dr. Veena Murthy Vijay, Dr. Sreedhara Akkihebbalu and Dr. Sanjay Shantaram have envisioned and produced some of these volumes.
While 24 volumes are set to the Bharatanatyam format, there is a volume each for Kuchipudi and Kathak dance styles, the latter featuring unique Kannada compositions for Kathak. Some of these volumes are themed with titles 'Shiva Samputa', 'Purusha Vaibhava', 'Marga Taranga', 'Mysore court tradition of Jethi Thayamma','Kannada Geethegalu' (poems of Kuvempu and Da. Ra. Bendre). Interestingly, two of the most popular compositions that dancers perform to, the 'Soorya Kauthvam' and the 'Narasimha Kauthvam', are from the Nruthya Sangeetha series, a fun fact that not many dancers from outside Karnataka are aware of.
It is no secret that dance is an expensive affair, especially when one is navigating early stages and climbing the ropes. Music can be the deal breaker for many young dancers when they finally bag a performance opportunity. Dancing to commercial tracks is often frowned upon and access to exclusive tracks from teachers depends on various factors. Ananya Nruthya Sangeetha series bridges this gap, making good quality, unique music accessible. From this writer's personal experience, these compositions are potent stencils to explore choreographic exercises as well.
These audio CDs are reasonably priced at INR 500/- each, and can be purchased in hard copy or soft copy formats - details of payment modes are available at ananyabengaluru.com or email@example.com. Sample audio tracks and cover photos of the CD are well catalogued on the website, providing insight into what each volume has to offer. Shaale.com too offers all volumes of Ananya Nruthya Sangeetha, but this is available to subscribers only.
Ananya is a self-funded, not-for-profit organization founded by a group of like-minded arts enthusiasts, supported by an enterprising team of artistes. The gamut of initiatives in the dance arena alone are praiseworthy - Ananya Nruthyollasa, Ananya Geethabhinaya and Ananya Nruthya Neerajana (dance festivals), Ananya Puraskara (awards to eminent personalities in the field), Ananya Sangraha (a library of rare and invaluable books on the arts), Ananya Arogyadhara (a health helpline for artistes in need of financial support), Ananya Kalasinchana (a democratic magazine that publishes musings of aspiring writers as well as subject-matter experts). When Ananya Nruthya Sangeetha CDs are purchased directly from Ananya, the monetary proceeds from the sales will go towards supporting all these varied ventures.
Divya Ravi is a performing artiste, choreographer and educator known for her rigour in training and her keen interest in translating the lyrical and the abstract into gestures, emotions and stories - sometimes through movement, sometimes through words.
Topics such as these should be promoted more extensively. As aspiring/upcoming dancers, we still are grappling with availability of good quality music/ recordings. Even my teacher is very happy to learn that such a platform exists for the artists today.
- Anandita Kutum (June 14, 2022)
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