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    Master traditional arts like Oyilattam with DakshinaChitra’s new certificate course

    From classes on puppetry and  dance to workshops that revive and sustain an interest in our crafts and architecture, DakshinaChitra is always trying to keep our history alive. Its most recent initiative is a three-month certificate course in traditional Tamil folk performing arts. “We will be teaching Oyilattam, Devarattam and Silambattam, beautiful dance forms in themselves, but also something that people can pick up quite easily,” begins Lakshmi Thyagarajan, the centre’s education coordinator.
    They had successfully conducted a similar course over three years ago. “The first edition was a six-month course, where we taught Thapattam, too. But this time, we are going with a shorter format as people wanted something quicker,” says Thyagarajan, explaining that the course is targeted at college students and adults, and participants can continue their studies even after the course’s completion.

    The course will be conducted by Kannan Kumar, a folk art specialist. “He’s been with DakshinaChitra for 22 years and he will take both theory and practical classes,” she says, adding that participants will also be given a platform to perform at DakshinaChitra’s festival celebrations.
    While they plan to continue the course next year—with other performing arts—Thyagarajan says there is also a plan to start a three to six month course in glass work, ceramic and terracotta.
    At DakshinaChitra, 11 am to 1 pm, Saturday and Sunday—November 1 to January 31. Rs.3,500. Details: 9884217393

    —Surya Praphulla Kumar

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