The two-day Feet on Earth Festival brings together dancers of varied forms at the Salarjung Museum auditorium

The two-day Feet on Earth Festival brings together dancers of varied forms at the Salarjung Museum auditorium

Cultural events are making a comeback in the city, in innovative ways. The Feet on Earth Festival, curated and organised by Kuchipudi dancer Pujita Krishna is meant to honour arts, culture, ecology and history motifs. Pujita says, “The festival is envisaged as a space for bringing elements of arts — predominantly performing arts, since I am a dancer myself — and allied activities into focus within the city with calendar events.”

Pujita traces the journey of Feet on Earth from when it began as an idea over ten years ago; it sought to underscore the importance of the intimate relationship that the dancer shares with the earth. “Within the very act of paying obeisance to mother earth is the idea of reverence to Nature that is so deep-rooted in our culture. The name Feet on Earth signifies that.” 

Over the last few years, Feet on Earth developed into a dance space and studio where workshops, lecture demonstrations and dance shows are conducted regularly. “At the core of everything we have done, we have always valued artistic integrity, respect for tradition and learnings of history and appreciation and reverence for nature,” she adds.

Amalgamation of forms

The current festival will comprise performances in various classical Indian styles like Kuchipudi, Odissi, Yakshagana as well as Physical theatre, in keeping with this year’s motif: apah (water).

On day one of the festival, Pujita will present new pieces choreographed by her. The invocation to Lord Ganesha will have a surprising ending in the form of a short excerpt, taken from 15th-century poet Allasani Pedanna’s  Manucharitra. She will also be presenting an Annamacharya kirtana, ‘Poddika nennedu podichenu’  in the padam format.

Odissi dancer Sharmila Biswas will be presenting two pieces — ‘Vilasini’ an Odiya story of an old devadasi, who’s believed to have even composed it and ‘The Divine Puppeteer’, her adaptation of an Annamacharya kirtana.

Dancers Pallavi Verma Minnaganti and Nenita Praveen have put together ‘Leher’, a Physical Theatre presentation especially for this festival, bringing together movement, theatre and live music by Trilok on handpan.

On October 23,  Kuchipudi artist Sannidha Rajasagi will open her performance with an invocation to Lord Ganesha and conclude with an Annamacharya kirtana that describes the love between Alamelumanga and Venkateshwara.

K Shreedhar Hegde will present Yakshagana or Bayalata (meaning ‘play in the open’). A sixth-generation artiste of the Keremane family from Idagunji, Karnataka that performs the hereditary Keremane shaili , he will present a story on Kama deva, also known as Maara, who is anhilated by Lord Shiva.

Kuchipudi dancer Srividya Sinha Angara will present ‘Mandodari Shabdam,’ a popular piece believed to have been composed by Jayappa Senani. She will conclude with a tarangam ‘Krishnam Kalaya Sakhi’, a composition by Narayana Teertha’. 

Feet on earth festival will take place on October 22 and 23 at the Salarjung Museum auditorium, 6.30pm onwards.

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By Dipak

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