Ekam could mean many things — one, truth or longing. And all these are inherent to the fourth edition of the Ekam Festival, conceived and curated by Bharatanatyam artiste, Divya Devaguptapu, who is also the artistic director of Suryakala Foundation.
Ekam shows how solo dancing can be as exciting. It allows individual dancers to explore their creativity to find a connect with the art.
The festival encourages them to go beyond the conventional repertoire and express their inner thoughts. What aids the dancer in this process are the training and guidance of gurus, individual experiences and imagination, and of course, sadhana (practice).
Divya came up with the idea of such a festival to provide artistes an alternative space for expression. “Fame and awards are external decorations, yet the one thing artistes long for is a free space for unabashed expression. The social media has to a large extent given artistes a democratic forum, yet, true art isn’t instant coffee and cannot be presented on a medium that caters to a 20-second attention span. There is art and there is entertainment. Though there is much opportunity for entertainment in classical arts today, serious practitioners of Bharatanatyam are always in search of creative, meaningful and thoughtfully curated spaces,” says Divya.
She sees Ekam not just as a festival, but a movement based on the shared love for the art. “Bharatanatyam is beyond physicality. The physical is merely a medium to tap into the inner limitlessness, the source of all movement,” she says.
The fourth edition (non-ticketed) being presented in collaboration with The ARTery will be held from October 14 to 16 (5.45 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.) at Rukmini Arangam, Kalakshetra.
The festival begins with Shijith Nambiar’s ‘Dhi’ (Thoughts). It is about how every thought expands into layers of different forms to create a magical world. It will be followed by Delhi-based Geeta Chandran’s ‘Anantaya – Journeys to Infinity’, celebrating her five-decades in Bharatanatyam.
Day two begins with Divya Devaguptapu’s ‘Paravartana — A personal expression’ followed by A. Lakshmanaswamy’s ‘Ikshana’, where he shares his perspective of Sringara.
Bengaluru-based Sathyanarayana Raju presents Rama Katha on October 16. The festival concludes with Lakshmi Viswanathan’s padams and javalis. Each day the performances will be followed by an interactive session with the artistes.