BIAF is back with a special focus on folk and fusion dance, plus music
Ever since its first edition back in 2008, the Bengaluru International Arts Festival has been quietly doing its bit for the city’s cultural scene. And this year, its ninth edition, is no different.
Conceptualised by Artist Introspective Movement (AIM) which is headed by veena maestro, Dr Suma Sudhindra and renowned Kuchipudi exponent, Veena Murthy Vijay, the event this year will see the participation of over 150 artistes from countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Rwanda and Nepal. Apart from artistes from the home state, Karnataka, the festival will also showcase folk and traditional dance performances by dancers from Odisha, Telangana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Lucknow.
The theme this year is ‘celebration of harmony through arts’ and Vijay informs us that there’s a special focus on dance and movement this time around. “Usually, it’s a mix of theatre and dance, but this year, there seems to be a large number of dancers. The dance forms that will take centrestage include Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Kathak and Kuchipudi, among others,” shares Viajy.
One of the highlights of the festival is a production by Singapore-based troupe, Apsara Arts that is a performance arts collective that seeks to make art more accessible to the public. The group will stage Anjasa — Unravel The Wonder of Buddhist Movements, which blends Bharatanatyam with various Asian dance forms. “Every year, we try to bring a new collaboration to the festival to keep things interesting. In this edition, we’ve brought Singapore-based Apsara on board in association with the Singapore government. Everything from their costumes to their graceful moves will have audiences hooked,” Sudhindra tells us.
Also in store are performances by Rama Vaidyanathan, known for her distinct style of Bharatanatyam, and Madhu Nataraj of Stem Dance Kampni. The city-based dancer will present the audience with a Kathak recital. On the musical front, spectators can head to the Trans Global Music Concert featuring violinists M Lalitha and M Nandini, who will be accompanied by Pedro Carneiro Silva from Brazil, on piano.
The event will be held across seven venues over three weekends, beginning today.
Till September 25.
— Rashmi Rajagopal Lobo