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by Usha Vasanthkumar, Chennai
Feb 23, 2003

Man proposes, God disposes:
This is Marga's answer to all those who quire whether the newborn organization which does not belong to anyone in particular will follow its aims and objectives. The question requires no answer, as Marga cannot even be called an institution. It is a system, a path, a direction, a commitment, a duty and the TRUTH. It is for us to follow specifically in the field we specialize and more widely and generally in our life in all it's totality.

Perseverance and hope fills our heart and runs foremost in our thoughts as we venture with belief and faith that the artistes who need to be seen and experienced by seeking audience in the interest of introspective aesthetic culture should necessarily be brought to the forefront. This however cannot be achieved overnight by individual attempt. It has to be a continued effort requiring understanding and cooperation by all those who care.

At this juncture the need for striving surfaces the wise words of Rabindranath Tagore in our minds.

"Where the mind is without fear,
And the head is held high,
Where knowledge is free,
Where words come out from the depth of truth,
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection,
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the
dreary desert sands of dead habits,
Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake."

These words clearly chart the right Marga. We should carefully heed what Tagore has to say about dead habits. If we launch fearlessly seeking knowledge, with the strength of
truth behind us and the endless courage to strive constantly for the near perfect fills our heart to the brim, and if these qualities are combined with a mind that is ruled by reasoning and not by emotion, the goal is definitely positive and accessible. All our actions will be guided by a force beyond because of the clear intention and goodwill involved. It is for us to be steadfast in our commitment. It is not for us to wander
unsteadily without control.

Marga is that path which can take us to a new generation of sensitive art if we are bold enough to combine force and develop the right philosophy that contains an attitude that welcomes changes that are needed and treasures traditions that are invaluable. Marga is an approach that shuns a mind, which closes all its doors and windows, trapping the stale air within to contaminate the culture and beauty developed over generations, making it impossible for fresh and fruitful development to penetrate and flourish. Hence it is necessary for us to break free of our narrow compartments and understand that art forms are developed to give joy and not to confuse the audience and throw them in a state of bewilderment by a mere show of technical genius lacking love and devotion.

Bharathanatyam dancer Usha Vasanthakumar has choreographed and presented a variety of themes in solo as well as group presentations. She has learnt Manipuri dance, penned the lyrics and composed the music for many of her presentations. Kalakshetra trained Unni Krishnan has learnt Bharatanatyam, Mohiniattam and Kuchipudi. Their joint venture Marga was commenced in the year 2000 to establish the right path of teaching and presenting dance professionally and meaningfully, to unveil the unrecognized cultural treasures of dance, theatre and music and bring them to limelight for the mutual interactive fulfillment of artists and art lovers.

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