Ten-minute bharatnatyam performances, a music score that includes drums, and costumes that range from ghagras to western attire—the second edition of Battle of the Anklets is here. An initiative by Aalaap, the city-based performing arts company, it is about bringing innovation into classical arts. Open to all dance schools, this year will see participation from cities like Kolkata and Bengaluru, besides an entrant from Malaysia. It was created last year and founder Akhila Krishnamurthy says, “The idea came from good storytelling. We wanted performers to think out of the box and tell powerful stories, but with brevity. ”
With interesting themes like #IamMadras, Love in the Now, Hasya and Antagonists from Mythology, dancers have complete freedom of expression—as long as they stay true to the dance form. “Last year, the winners danced to poet Kabir’s folk songs and dressed in ghagras. This year, with a theme like Love in the Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone danced in jeans and a tee,” laughs Krishnamurthy. With 25 teams (group and solo) participating, expect both Bharatnatyam and Kathak performances. “The need of the hour was also to encourage collective sharing of ideas; to get dancers see how the others are interpreting ideas,” she adds. With an illustrious six-member judging panel—including names like Anita Ratnam and Malavika Sarukkai—the winners will be awarded cash prizes.
Sunday, at Sree Krishna Gana Sabha, from 9 am to 5 pm.