Madras Season Reports
One conjecture is that the continuation of the monsoon into the first 10-12 days of December had dampened the spirits of music and dance enthusiasts, not to speak of the practical problem of getting to and from recital halls that the continuous downpour and the resultant waterlogging in many of the areas of the city posed to them. Another is and this is more plausible— is that the copious rains, possibly in combination with other factors related to the state of the nation and the state of the economy, put off many who arrive in Chennai from other towns and cities to savour the seasonal offerings. Over the years, it is the alien invaders who have constituted the hardcore of the audience.
Natya Kala Conference
Centuries of an unbroken past which we Indians are wont to intone about, becomes the common refrain while referring to our classical dances. While reverential Natya Sastra quotes become pointers to a very ancient past in terms of cultural memory, cocksure statements refer to the then in dance which was so rich as compared to the impoverished now. How does one measure this mysterious then which few have seen but everybody waxes eloquent about? Does it go back a hundred, two hundred or a thousand years? The query raised in Leela Samsons lecture for the 17th Natya Kala Conference was a reminder that, in the nostalgia for an unseen past, one tends to forget that concepts like tradition and modernity have no function except in relation to each other. The then we crave for was at that point of time the vital now. Dance lives only at the point of creation and however ancient its core spirit, its contemporary form is shaped by the living inspiration of each age.