Launch of Attendance 09/10
- P Praveen Kumar, Bangalore

June 11, 2010

The evening of June 5, 2010 was a historic day for the male dancers of Karnataka, for 7 of them came together at Alliance Francaise. 'Attendance,' one of its kind, dance annual of India, edited-designed-published by well known dance critic-scholar Ashish Mohan Khokar, featuring male soloists of Karnataka in this year's issue, which was also one of its kind, was released at a grand function which the dance fraternity attended in droves. The function was organized by Alliance Francaise and BSM (Bangalore School of Music).

Officially releasing the book, the guests of the evening, Chiranjeev Singh, President of Alliance Francaise and former Principal Secretary, Govt of Karnataka and our Ambassador to UNESCO, doyenne of Kathak and choreography Guru Maya Rao and arts patron Vimala Rangachar spoke about their association with Ashish Khokar and his father, late Prof. Mohan Khokar. An interesting video presentation on Mohan Khokar's work was shown, wherein his various facets and his concerned work for the art field came across in that short film on him. This was followed by performances by all the male dancers who have been featured in the book (Tushar Bhatt, Sheshadri Iyengar, BP Sweekruth, Satyanarayan Raju, K Murali Mohan, Sridhar Jain and I). All of us danced individually and collectively in the end.
Personally, more than dancing, it was a great day for me, as I have always admired the great Mohan Khokar and his son Ashish Khokar, for being instrumental in showing the previous generation artists' work to the next / following generations, so that we all get some inspiration from their dance, pictures, interviews and so on. So, for me to be featured in this book / collection is a big achievement. I will always cherish this day.

A well organized function, it had some of the stalwarts from the art field of Bangalore in attendance, like Guru MK Saroja, Guru May Rao, Gurus Bhanumathi, Padmini Ravi, Vyjayanthi Kashi, Lalitha Srinivasan, Chitra Venugopal, the Kirans, Padmaja Suresh, Jayachandran of Attakalari, Madhu Nataraj, Keerti Ramgopal, STEM dancers, authors Akumal Ramachander, Subba Rao, musician Aruna Sunderlal and many more.

It was a unique evening and shall remain in the memory of the audience and artistes for long. Hail Attendance!

Praveen Kumar is the director of Chithkala School of Dance in Bangalore.