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Meera Srinivasan, The Hindu representative in Srilanka has given a comprehensive report on our latest sojourn of travel events.
Meeting old friends and making new trails
- Meera Srinivasan, The Hindu, 21 Oct 2017
Immediately after the USA trip, the next day we left for Colombo,
performed our dance drama "Kaadal Valli Kanda Murugan & one
thevaaram of Thirugnanasambadar on Thirukkedeeswarar" on 14th October at
New Kadiresan auditorium. On 15th early morning we drove to
Yaazhappanam and performed there in front of almost 7000 very receptive
and emotionally charged audience. On our way back to Colombo the next
day, we visited Thirukkedeeswarar koil in Manar. The temple resurrection
work is going on in full swing and amidst the new constructions our
artistes performed few items on Shiva-Nataraja while all the
silpis-sthapathis and construction workers watched us awe struck.
On 17th Oct, all artistes undertook a sightseeing trip, especially the
elephant sanctuary . After that all of us watched a special show of
Srilankan dances specially got up for us by the University of the Visual
& Performing Arts.
Photos of the sightseeing
After that both of us left for Istanbul (Turkey) for a continued
shoot for Vodafone advertisement. Istanbul seems to be a very
interesting country with an amalgam of Asian and European culture.
Monuments are fabulous, people are courteous and the place so neat and
clean. We had two days of hectic shooting schedule in the city and in
the outskirts - country side. Thoroughly enjoyed 4 days stay in the
Hotel Hyatt International. Got back home on 23rd Oct.
Students' feedback about the trip
This is my 2nd time abroad - journey with Bharatakalanjali,but this time
we were 20 people travelling together including master and akka.In our
group most of the dancers were below 25 years. So, their excitement was
more than us.
12th Oct morning, we have reached colombo. nice feelings-- the place is
very clean but almost look like Bharat (specially southern India).We
were staying in two flats --one for men and one for women. Pure south
indian food was served for us from restaurant called Dwaraka. So, no one
had food problem, except sushmitha,.but she also managed without non
veg. That ws the great thing in this group. All age mingled so easily,
that lit seemed we knew each other for long time. We had morning yoga,
going to near by marine drive beach. In the beach we did adavus,we jumpe
randomly, we got bitten by crab, we saw fishing, we took selfy, photos,
video and more fun.
We had good rehearsal season on 13th,where all members were so
responsible including young stars in our groups. We cleaned the stage
and did rehearsal. Next day we had good show. and we got best compliment
from Padmanabhan sir and Kanna sir--they said this group looks like
bharatakalanjali's old group. They requested us not to leave natya, to
continue like this. We all are so happy. We had great sessions of
chatting every night. One day, Satyajit anna also joined us. We came to
know our group more closely.
Next trip was to Jafna. Great performance experience. More than 5000
people (mostly young stars) .Great fun on stage,nice experience. We had
nice hospitality in Jafna and also Colombo. Me, Susmitha and Madhav had
great time in swimming pool at Valampuri hotel.
We had fixed 14 seater van. During the travel we enjoyed good
music,either Srilankan Tamil radio or great music by our group. All are
good in music, so really very good musical trip. We had visited
Auradhapuram, historical place-- beautiful Budhha stupa, Mahabodhi,and
beautiful nature. Great experience. KETHISWARAN TEMPLE--Natural
surroundings, no crowd to disturb its peace. Beautiful architect help to
enhance this temples beauty. We were lucky to get a chance to
perform at Shankarasrigiri... and to see master's performance, feeling
we wre out of the world,where no problem could touch us, ever (though
this temple was destroyed by the Portuguese).
Last day, we were invited by Colombo University to see their dance form
called Sabaragamu, low country dance and Kandy. Great experience and we
had another great experience at Pinnawala ,elephant orphanage . Will
never forget this experience.
we enjoyed good shopping too.
I have got great energy from this trip and nice to know this group very closely.
Thanks to master, akka,satyajit anna and anupama akka for giving me the chance to be part of this group.
Sushmita Raj Thilak
As young artists, performances mean a great deal of exposure and
learning experience to us. The international show at Colombo and Jaffna
proved to be so for us. We not only learnt about the various aspects of
Naatya, Co-ordination, stage presence but also team work, co-operation,
attentiveness, awareness, discipline and being independent. We also
learnt how to adapt on spot to the different types of stages, the
atmosphere and the audience. Overall we had tremendous fun. The sight
seeing and other new ventures made our Naatya tour one of the best tours
that we would cherish forever.
Naatyam performances and learning:
Bharatakalanjali offers a whole new dimension to teaching and we as
disciples have a unique way of perceiving it that makes each one of us
distinct. We as upcoming artists have the freedom to express our
ideologies and beliefs through Naatya. Bharatakalanjali provides a great
platform to bring out the skill set in us and also enhances all round
development not only as a Narthaka or a Narthaki but also shapes us to
be a good human being and lets us think out of the box to face any
The journey that we artists had taken towards such a cause by and itself
was an initial step towards exploration and learning, set aside the
learnings from the Natyam performance. From the group work in training,
aiding during the programme, splitting responsibilities to delivering a
day was a new experience, teaching us more than just natyam.
The performance at Jaffna was nothing similar to our performance at
Colombo, which was well-rehearsed on stage with markings, precisions and
an audience the hall could hold. The show at Jaffna made us explore the
spontaneous and dramatic aspects in all of us. The confidence that we
Master, Akka and Satya anna mentoring us gave us the support we needed.
To reach an audience of thousands demanded a lot of exaggeration and
quick thinking on our part, which I have had only very limited
experience. This performance made me learn of the possibilities that lie
within all of us.
The long travels between the cities interspersed with our tour plans
also made us gain experience on time management, discipline to do what
we were assigned to do and yet to be there for each other in the group,
until the moment we landed back here. To me this was a holistic
experience helping me learn not just Natya but aspects required in
everyday life too.