SUMMER SCHOOL 2016
Kalāyoga, a workshop on Indian art and aesthetics was jointly organized by Chinmaya International Foundation, the Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth and Karnataka Samskrit University(KSU). Indian Performing Arts is a core subject offered by the Vishwavidyapeeth and this workshop was a precursor offering insight into the richness of Sanskrit that the University promises to unravel to the world, thereby bringing back the hoary knowledge tradition of India that was pervasive once.
The focus of the workshop was the philosophy of Rasa, aesthetic experience, which is the undercurrent of all classical art-forms. The art-forms ranged from classical versification, dance, music, theater, sculpture, painting to Indian and Hollywood movies. The transformation of the specific emotional states, i.e., the bhāvas, which are portrayed by the artists into universal aesthetic experience, i.e., the Rasa, which is a manifestation of Bliss – was the underlying theme that was elaborated upon.
‘Vakrokti’, or oblique expression, which an erudite and a talented artist employs, both in structure and substance of the art, make the art more suggestive and subtler in nature. The artist needs to give a detailing of basic human emotions and nature through different art media, for the art to be recognized ‘classical’, thereby making it eternal and universal. These are perceived by an equally erudite connoisseur (a ‘heartist’), which give him the aesthetic experience. Thus, the artist and the ‘heartist’ are seen as two facets of the same fundamental principle of the sublime experience of Bliss.
Other Resource Faculty
Smt. Nirupama Rajendra and Shri T.D. Rajendra, the exponents of the Kathak, Bharatanatyam and the classical ‘mārga’ tradition of the Nātyashāstra, gave a lecture demonstration on the curvilinear movements of the body for aesthetic communication (Abhinaya). They shared their experience in choreography of solo pieces and group productions and the creative process behind the same. Dr. T.S. Satyavathi, a Carnatic musician and a musicologist gave a demonstration of the employment of lyrics, the importance of rhythm and melody in music and on elaborating a ‘rāga’ without monotony.
Smt. Ramaa Bharadvaj, an exponent of Bharatanatyam, gave an insight into interpretation of lyrics for abhinaya in dance and the creative usage of music for dance. Dr. R Shankar, a Sanskrit poet and a scholar, demonstrated how the Sanskrit language, in its very form, can bring out beauty through ‘Chitrakavitā’ and alliterations. ‘Bhojaprabandha’, a collection of anecdotes and legends related to many poets of the past was also dealt with.
Dr. S.R. Leela delivered talks on Sanskrit theater, along with the screening of plays performed in the classical theatrical style. The workshop also had presentations on classical Greco-Roman and renaissance sculptures, painting, mosaics and architecture.
Sanskrit Learning Opportunity
The days began with sessions on Yoga-Samskrutam (Dr. Vinayak Rajat), which covered ‘āsanas’ & ‘prānāyama’ and Kāvya-Samskrutam (Dr. Shivani, Asst Prof, KSU & Shri Arjun Bharadwaj, Independent Scholar), which gave basics of appreciating and speaking the classical Sanskrit language.
Artist Workshops & Performances
Dr. Ganesh’s talks on the theory of art creation and art appreciation, was embellished with performances of different Kathak and Bharatanrityam pieces by Smt. Nirupama and Sri. Rajendra, a full length ‘bānika’ on the theme of Sudāma and Krishna, called “Mitra” by Smt. Ramā Bharadvaj, Sanskrit plays like Karpooramanjari by the students of Rashtriya Samskrit Sansthan,RSS, Sringeri, to name some of the rich events. A documentary by Prof. S R Leela on ‘ashtāvadhānam’, a literary sport involving spontaneous versification performed by Shatāvadhāni Dr. R Ganesh, was also screened. There also followed a demonstration of ‘pratimāla’ in Sanskrit poetry with some spontaneous compositions by Dr. R. Ganesh and Dr. Shankar Rajaraman.
Visits to Art Villages and Centers of Dance Forms
Participants visited Kalāmandalam, to witness the training that students of different art forms such as Mohiniāttam, Koodiyāttam and Kathakali undergo as well as the traditional manner of teacher-student living in Gurukula conditions that added great value to both the teacher and the taught.
The program was assisted by a grant from The Indian Council of Philosophical Research and Dr. S. R. Bhatt, the Chairman was the Chief Guest at the Valedictory Function to give his presidential address.The DVDs of the Lectures and Lecture-demonstrations by the Faculty and the Resource faculty of Artists is available at chinfo.org/publications
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