Day 1: Utsav sways Bangalore art lovers
- Veejay Sai, Bangalore
Photos: NDUB

November 27, 2011

The spirit of art is indomitable and uncompromising. This was proved on the launch night of the week-long international dance-centric festival, the ‘Namma Dance Utsav, Bengaluru.’ The city’s most popular lifestyle landmark, the UB city sprang to life with over three thousand people in the audiences who came to attend the grand inaugural extravaganza bearing the unexpected torrential rains. The dancers of the Natya STEM Dance Kampni and their collaborators presented a one-of-its-kind impressive opening for any dance festival the city had ever seen.

Bangalore’s who’s who turned up in large numbers to witness the launch of the festival. From music and drums by Praveen D Rao to some fascinating shama sangeet by Tara Kini, the dance of light by STEM dancers, Ganesh Vandana by Maddhu Nattraj and her fabulous Kampni, the line up for the evening was more exciting than any Broadway show could offer. The chief guests for the evening, ace athlete Ashwini Nachappa and Karnataka’s most efficient officer loved by every performing artiste, Shri Vitthal Murthy, launched the DVD of ‘Maya to Matter,’ a lecture series on Kathak and choreography by the legendary dance diva Maya Rao, and a dance calendar for the coming year filled with some of the most stunning dance images.

The evening came to a thunderous climax with a dhimsa dance performed by the dancers who pulled up enthusiastic members of the audience. Never in the history of a place like UB city would this have occurred that its corridors would resonate with the earthy songs of dhimsa. So what if the rain gods played havoc, the organizers of the festival managed to welcome him also with their dance in the right spirit and grace. As the eager dancers and audiences formed endless long chains and danced to ‘maa palle paalinchu vaana devudaa,’ a packed UB city sat awestruck clapping in ecstasy. It was a proud moment for the all encompassing cosmopolitan culture of Bangalore to celebrate art in its own style, like no other city does.

Veejay Sai is a writer, editor and a culture critic.