Celebrating Tamil Nadu through its capital city Chennai was the core idea behind organising Mixtura 2023 by Shreya Nagarajan Singh Arts Development Consultancy in association with KM Music Conservatory, Greater Chennai Corporation, Chennai Smart City Limited and Chennai Metro Rail Limited.
Nine performances featuring traditional acrobatics to rap, poetry, dance and music happened on the same day, same time across three different venues (Dr. Visveswaraya Tower Park in Anna Nagar, Gandhi Mandapam on Sardar Patel Road, and the MGR Central Metro Station) were a treat to every citizen who passed through these venues between 5-7 pm on 18 July 2023. SNS also had an interesting and innovative audio installation on Spotify which featured experiences and anecdotes from Chennaivasies.
The pavement near the Chennai Central Metro was buzzing with lights and music. Starting the show with The Sunshine Orchestra, Brass Ensemble, the stage featured Thisram, a fusion Carnatic band and dancer Preethi Bharadwaj. Learning music during their free evenings at KM Music Conservatory, The Sunshine Orchestra played foot-tapping numbers, making every passer-by stop and cheer for them.
A trained Bharatanatyam dancer, Preeti Bharadwaj intelligently weaved in jatis, a Dikshitar kriti, a Bharatiyar poem and a Surdas bhajan to get the message across on the topical garbage issue. Preeti’s performance was a classic example of how art can reach a common man. A bunch of youngsters who transformed into the Thisram, Carnatic fusion band, had a catchy mix of Carnatic fusion and film numbers.
Brindha Manickavasakan’s music touched the hearts of several Chennaites at Tower Park, Anna Nagar. Oru Orula - Gabrial Gladson’s gripping love stories had a melange of emotions-blended music of acoustic and gaana. From Mast kalandar to Khwaja mere Khwaja, KM Music Conservatory’s Sufi ensemble had the crowd swaying to their melodies.
The highlight of the events at Gandhi Mandapam was the Malar Kambam, an ancient sport which combines gymnastics and aerial yoga using a sturdy post. Within minutes, the boys and girls of Tamizhan Mallarkhamb Academy struck a beautiful formation which had the audience in awe.
Influenced by the struggles in their life, Rapmad Uday and Young Castel Praveen used their narratives to rhythmically deliver stories from their love failures to Sri Lankan Tamils. This was followed by an operatic presentation by Subin Sebastian Mathai, a trained opera singer, accompanied on the piano by Gerardo Sanchez Lara. With seamless mastery of high notes, the pair chose poems from Spanish and French literature, transporting the audience to another world. Perfectly complementing each other, it was an evening to remember.
Most performances showcased
by SNS Arts Development Consultancy at Mixtura
2023 are usually witnessed in a closed auditorium and performed to an elite
audience. To break this norm and have artists perform in public spaces was a
welcome change. Can art reach the common man is an oft-repeated question; in
this case, it did. Mixtura 2023 was
successful in every sense that it proposed to be. Developing the concept as a
blind date, as the audience was clueless about who was performing at which
venue, and to create an eclectic mix of performances that gave a taste of what
this city could offer to its citizens, Mixtura
had it all. Every venue, every performance was a hit. Every performance started
with just a handful of people watching, and by 7 pm, the venue was overflowing
with the audience from every walk of life and not one was distracted to check
their Whatsapp or a missed call!