Diversity is the art of thinking independently together, and a new vibrancy is created when this action results in linking different forms of cultural events under one roof – particularly when they bring about unison of different countries.
The International Ancient Arts Festival/Symposium (IAAF) being held in the Capital in March is aimed at achieving this difficult task by bringing together various forms of dance and music and dance in a single event.
Slated for March 10 and 11 at The Ashok Amphitheatre, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, the event will show how music and dance are vital therapeutic tools in traditional systems of healing. Adding to the value of this event is the fact that it will have artists from Guinea and Switzerland along with those from India.
According to the festival Director, Reela Hota, who founded the Ray of Wisdom Society, "This is the only multi-arts event of its kind which tries to educate while entertaining." The danseuse, who started a new chapter in Odissi dance and its spiritual aspect, said that the event will highlight how dance can help achieve a more balanced lifestyle and rounded personality in a common man's life filled with stress and strain.
The Rays of Wisdom Society is organizing the festival with the support of the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with ITDC and The Ashok. The event consists of lectures and discussions on various aspects of dance, music, allied arts and their relevance in urban life, proceeded by actual performances.
There will be performances by the World Music Group, Nandighosha from Switzerland, Djembe player Babara Bangoura from Guinea and a Kathak performance by Guru Shikha Khare. Odissi Dance on Vedas by renowned dancer and spiritualist Reela Hota with a fashion show on healing colours is one of the highlights of Day 1.
Yoga and dance meet in Reela Hota's Odissi recital whose theme is self-liberation. The age-old exercises are presented in the dance form. 'The Vedas: Eko Ham Bahu Shyam' showcases the different aspects of the Vedic culture and lifestyle as Vedas are the scriptures of ultimate knowledge that show the path to purge negative past karmas and fulfil all human desires while maintaining the harmony in society. It will depict the nature and philosophy of Vedas, human desires, the ashram system and the realization of the ultimate truth –that is Advaita – in Odissi.
Dr Prerna Kohli, a Clinical Psychologist, and Sonia Bhandari, Consultant Art Therapist at Vimhans Hospital, will speak on 'Arts and Healing'. Some of the subjects that will come up for discussion are – the psychotherapeutic use of movement and dance to support intellectual, emotional, and motor functions of the body and the unique and life-enhancing benefits of music available to many vulnerable, marginalized people.
Since the dawn of creation, tantriks and yogis have realized that in this physical body there is a potential force. It is not psychological, philosophical or transcendental; it is a dynamic potential force in the material body, and it is called kundalini. This Kundalini Shakti is a source of great peace, bliss and the awakening of this potential force is the goal of every individual. Based on this ancient practice, Reela Hota will present 'Vishwasya Beejam-Kundalini' at the festival.
The finale would be an award presentation to cultural impresario Churchil Pandhian from Chennai.