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Natyarambha presents
Yearlong series of learning rare Annamacharya Sankeerthanas
July 2021 to June 2022

June 28, 2021

Over the last one year, Natyarambha, the online platform and Bharatanatyam practice app founded by senior dancer and guru Dr Ananda Shankar Jayant, has been creating a multitude of unique and creative online initiatives.

From March 2020, Natyarambha has been busy inspiring artists across the globe, through many online initiatives: #The5pmNamaskar that had hundreds of dancers offering gratitude through dance, #WithMe & Natyashala - online workshops, Punarnava inspirational talks, JeeLe! a fun motivational video, and of course the globally popular 55 episode Kutty Kahani series for kids; creating quality online artistic productions for adult and child alike.

Natyarambha is back once again with a unique learning series - Tamrapatra- Yearlong series of learning rare Annamacharya Sankeerthanas, from India's leading classical dancers across dance styles
Annamacharya or Sri Tallapakka Annamayya, born in 1408, was a great Vishnu Bhakta and vaggeyakkara, who is said to have composed as many as 32,000 sankeerthanas in praise of his beloved Lord Venkateswara. Spanning the spectrum of the narrative, evocative, temporal, philosophical, social and moral genres, Annamacharya Sankeerthanas are at once, incredibly simple, yet immensely powerful, and were written on Taalapatra or palm leaves, and later engraved on to Tamrapatra or copper plates.

Dr. Ananda Shankar Jayant (Photo: G Murali)

Of the 32000 sankeerthanas composed by Annamcharya- around 12,000, un-notated sankeerthanas, etched on copper plates, were discovered at Tirumala in 1922, which are now available as Taallapaka Pada Sahityamu, a 29-volume set of Shringara and Adhyatmika Sankeerthanas published by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD). Around 1500 of these Sankeerthanas have been set to music by maestro composers such as Nedunuri Krishnamurthy, Dr. Mangalampalli Balamurali Krishna, Srirangam Gopalarathnam, Garimella Balakrishna Prasad , and made popular by leading musicians, and continue to form the repertoire of musicians and dancers alike.

In 2010, Sathiraju Venumadhav, a bright and rising star on the firmament of Carnatic Music, composed 108 as yet uncomposed Annamacharya Sankeerthanas, in 108 ragams. Released as a book and CD named Annamayya Padamandakini that was produced by Sujanaranjani, Venumadhav's musical compositions, that laid great emphasis on the Bhava of the poetry, were soon performed by musicians and adapted for dance by senior dancers and Gurus. Unfortunately, Sathiraju Venumadhav, attained the feet of Sri Venkateswara in April 2019, leaving behind a young family, and for all of us, a treasure of his compositions.

"A treasure of exquisite compositions - that we at Natyarambha thought, must be a part of every dancer's repertoire, and thus was born Tamrapatra' says Ananda Shankar Jayant, founder of Natyarambha. 'My own two dance productions - Shringara Darpanam and Taalapatra hymns from the hills, were based on Venumadhav's exquisite compositions. Having partaken of the beauty of the poetry of Annamacharya, I wanted to share with dancers across dance styles these beautiful poetic and allegory laden Sankeerthanas of Annamacharya, that lend themselves wonderfully to dance. We structured Tamrapatra as a yearlong series of learning rare Annamacharya Sankeerthanas composed by Sathiraju Venumadhav with abhinaya envisioned and taught by India's leading classical dancers across dance styles, alongside an in-depth scholarly delineation of the song."

Over one year, from July 2021 to June 2022, Tamrapatra workshop attendees will learn 12 rare Annamacharya Sankeerthanas.

Renowned dance scholar, Dr Anupama Kylash, will lead us into the sankeerthana with her in-depth analysis of the literature of the songs, and its many metaphors. Adds Dr. Anupama Kylash, "I will be exploring the literature of the sankeerthanas from the different perspectives of context, imagery, paradox and analogy, Annamacharya's unique style and language and its immense possibilities and adaptability to expression."

Dr.Anupama Kylash

Dr.Anita Ratnam

Leading dancers and gurus from the firmament of Indian classical dance, Dr. Alekhya Punjala, Dr. Ananda Shankar Jayant, Dr. Anita Ratnam, Dr. Anupama Kylash, Bragha Bessel, Deepika Reddy, Geeta Chandran, Gopika Varma, Dr. Methil Devika, Rama Vaidyanathan, Sharmila Biswas, Vaibhav Arekar across the dance styles of Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Mohiniattam and Neo Bharatam, will create and teach their unique abhinaya and choreography, exclusively to registered participants of Tamrapatra.

The songs taught are courtesy Annamayya Padamandakini produced by Sujanaranjani.

Taamrapatra- yearlong workshop series - Details
When: 12 monthly online workshops - July 2021 to June 2022.
Every month - Second Saturday and Sunday - 7.30 to 9pm IST (extendable by 30 minutes)
Where & How: On the Natyarambha platform through Zoom online sessions, through paid registrations that will also help support artists in Hyderabad.

Unique takeaway for attendees
* Add 12 rare Annamacharya Sankeerthanas to your repertoire
* Unique opportunity to learn from some of the dance legends of India
* Lyrics and transcreation of the sankeerthana
* Access to the music composed by Sathiraju Venumadhav, which can then be adapted to dance styles and individual dance performances

Add on:
Tamrapatra Conversations - Natyarambha Instagram Live - 1st Saturday of every month, 6pm

Tamrapatra sessions start from July 2021. Ananda Shankar Jayant will kick start Tamrapatra Session1 on 10th and 11th July 2021, with an exquisite Annamacharya sankeerthana Kaalamuluarunu - Could the Goddesses' emotions and attitudes, become the six seasons for The Lord? Yes! says Annamacharya!


Natyarambha'sTamrapatra - Bringing the world of dance together
Promo video

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