Remembering Rukmini Devi – The Hindu
Kalakshetra will host a five-day festival to celebrate the 126th birth anniversary of its founder
It’s a festival to pay tribute to a visionary, who established one-of-a-kind training institution for classical arts. Today, Kalakshetra is popular acorss the globe for its significant contribution to dance and music.
On the occasion of Rukmini Devi’s 126th birth anniversary a five-day festival has been organised from February 25 to 29 at Kalakshetra. This being a leap year, the festival takes significance as Rukmini Devi was born on February 29, 1904.
The event will not only remember her through music and dance performances, it will also celebrate the legendary artiste as a theosophist, animal and welfare activist. She also worked for the revival of the traditional crafts and established printing and dyeing units on the Kalakshetra campus.
The festival will include two dance-dramas, ‘Koorma Avatharam’ and ‘Sabari Moksham’, originally choreographed by Rukmini Devi. It will be presented by Kalakshetra repertory. These productions show how she was ahead of time it terms of choreography, costume, music and sets.
Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan along with his sons Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash will also be performing at the festival. The veteran musician has fond memories of athai (Rukmini Devi) and Kalakshetra since his wife Subbulakshmi trained in Bharatanatyam here. Hence, for the Ustad it will be a personal tribute.
The line up also includes the concert of well-known Carnatic vocalist Sanjay Subrahmanyan, besides a special production titled ‘Vishakha – Offshoots of the Great Banyan’ that will be presented by the institution’s alumni PT Narendra, Shijith N Parvathy and Sheejith Krishna with the Sahrdaya repertory.
Speaking about the festival, Revathi Ramachandran, Director of the Kalakshetra Foundation said, “This festival pays tribute to the legendary Rukmini Devi Arundale and reminiscences her work as an innovator, who preserved the traditional art forms and made it available for the youth of India.”
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