Melwin Joy
AUTHOR

Melwin Joy

All stories by: Melwin Joy
Poorvi – Abode of Art

SEVENTH CENTURY LITERARY CRITIC BHAMAHAN SAYS, ART GIVES US FAME AND WEALTH, BECAUSE CREATIVE WORKS WILL BE CHERISHED UNDYINGLY.

“Kavyam yasase arthakruthe Vyavaharavithe Sivetharakshaye Sadya: paranirvruthaye Kantha samvithathayopadeshayuje” Art helps us understand the ways of the world and it removes anything that is not auspicious in us. Art bestows eternal bliss without any delay and it stays with us and directs us, as how a devoted wife would do.

Art encompasses everything in the real world. Art reflects the culture of every society. It expresses, it communicates, it voices and it explores the different attributes of a community at large. It is possible to apprehend the roots and the presence of a society through understanding their art. In a way, Art is the thread that connects Time.

Such is the power of art! For the same reason it is important to safeguard Art and pass it on to the next generation without fail.

To experience Art is even more interesting. Sometimes the aptitude to understand and enjoy an art form is imbibed, sometimes created and sometimes it occurs naturally. What makes this experience more exclusive is the journey taken together by the art, artistes and audience. Indian Traditional Classical Art has been unanimously considered one of the most complete and comprehensive forms of Art in the world.

Poorvi envisions a journey towards the abode of Traditional Arts. Poorvi perceives that traditional Art forms must be genuinely promoted, popularized and rightfully transferred to the next generation.

In that way Poorvi tries to serve as a link between tradition and modernity. Poorvi also tries to establish a bridge between Art and Artistes on the one hand and Audience on the other, for this is also an integral part for growth, sustenance and promotion of Art forms in today’s world.

According to the Director of Poorvi, Mr. Remesan Nambissan, “Poorvi is an organization that aims to create an atmosphere that ignites creativity and artistic ingenuity in art practitioners and rasikas. We focus on exploring the nuances of an art. We strive to aesthetically bring to the fore the different aspects of art forms, via, lecture-demonstrations, intensive workshops, seminars, cultural exchange programmes, as well as by conducting festivals on music, dance and other allied art forms”.

To give life to the concept, Poorvi has come up with a fivefold objective, Pancha Thatwa- a term that outlines its very quintessential existence- to promote and preserve traditional art forms. Pancha Thatwa consists of segments for Creation, Performance, Residential Workshop, Documentation and Aid for the artiste in need.

Facilitating an interaction and profound confluence between artistes and rasikas, Poorvi sets the stage for Performance. In addition to hosting national and international music-dance festivals and concerts, Poorvi also focuses on conducting pre-festival workshops, live dialogues and lecture-demonstrations. Such interactive sessions act as an enabling space for generating and fortifying art awareness among rasikas.

Poorvi’s maiden venture at Chennai, ‘Pakarnnaattam’ in connection with Margazhi Festival saw great talents coming together and sharing. The event saw the convergence of three Padma Bhushan awardees from the field of Bharathanatyam. Padma Bhushan awardee C V Chandrashekhar inaugurated and gave a lecture and demonstration on Bharathanatyam. Padma Bhushan awardees VP Dhananjayan and Malavika Sarukkai shared their experiences in the field of Art.

The event included lecturedemonstration in addition to a Koodiyattam performance by Sooraj Nambiar, also followed by the Bharathanatyam recital by the gifted and deft dancing duo, Renjith and Vijna. Under the segment of Performance, recently, Poorvi conceptualized and coordinated an event, Acharya Devo Bhava where a great Guru, Manu Master was honored. The event was funded by the students of Manu Master and it upheld the ‘Thatwam’ of ‘Guruthwam’. The festival showcased the traditional art forms of southern India, Sopana Sangeetham, Karnatic Music, Koodiyattam, Kathakali, Bharathanatyam, Kuchipudi, and Mohiniyattam.

It also had interactive sessions including seminars, paper presentations and panel discussions. Eminent artistes and scholars such as Padmasree awardee Kalaimamani Chitra Visweswaran, Nattuvanar Tanjavur Herambanathan, Abhishek Raghuram, Rama Vaidyanathan, Usha Nangiar, Venu G and many more, made the event an unforgettable experience. Poorvi also coordinated Kuchipudi recitals of Sreelakshmy Govardhanan at the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The event sponsored by Classic Fashion was organized by the Indian embassy on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the establishment of Jordanian-Indian diplomatic relations.

The upcoming project of Poorvi is ‘Lochanam’- Koodiyattam Conference and Festival, in December during the Margazhi season of Chennai. Artists, art enthusiasts, scholars and connoisseurs from different parts of the world flock to Chennai during that time of the year.

In the segment of Creation, Poorvi attempts to aesthetically choreograph new productions that suit the tastes of the modern audience. This is achieved through choreographing novel dance, theatre, and music productions, taking both inspiration and elements from traditional classical art forms. One such major initiative was to conceptualize and present a production for the events in connection with ‘NaMo in Dubai’ the visit of Honorable Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. It was after a period of 30 years that an Indian Prime minister was visiting the UAE. Poorvi choreographed a production around the theme, National Integration, and presented it to an audience of more than 50000 and it was telecast live worldwide.

Poorvi also supported the creation of a solo production ‘Radhee’ by Sreelakshmy Govardhanan in the idiom of Kuchipudi which dealt with the Ten different psycho physical states of love expressed between Krishna and his Gopis, especially Radha.

Poorvi’s segment on Intensive Workshop provides the space for aspiring artistes to learn from the connoisseurs of various art forms. Nrutya Gurukulam the five day intensive residential camp on Bharathanatyam led by Manu Master had participants from all over India.

Such activities help to preserve the traditional methodology of learning classical arts, especially in today’s changing cultural scenario. Prior to Nrutya Gurukulam, Poorvi conducted an intensive workshop on Nrithya Yoga for dancers led by International Yoga trainer, Sudheer Uralath. Praveshika-an introduction to Kuchipudi Yakshagana music, a lecture-demonstration by DSV Sastry and Mudrakhyam- an initiation to Mudras, a weeklong training on the Mudras used in Koodiyattam led by Sooraj Nambiar, are some of the efforts undertaken by Poorvi in this juncture.

Poorvi preserves an everlasting wealth of archives and documents – a plethora of art forms, art-related talks and discussions that serve as reference to many enthusiasts and students of art. According to Remesan, “each initiative is a step towards our goal of offering a space where art is refined with meticulous study and devoted research. To preserve our culture and values for posterity, we are archiving and digitizing several cultural and research works of different legendry artistes”.

The aforesaid endeavors apart, Poorvi attempts to enrich its multimedia archive by video documenting artistes and scholars and publishing them online. It is a sad truth that thousands of artistes and their artworks enter the creative landscape, only to exit without being recognized, sometimes due to ill-health and depleting resources. Honoring such artistes, who have dedicated their lives to various art forms, Poorvi extends a helping hand through financial support as well as by promoting their works.

Remesan adds, “Poorvi takes an effort to help aspiring and amateur artistes grow in their respective fields of art. We groom and help them step into the mainstream industry. Many a time, lack of funds has incapacitated varied talented artists from going places and showcasing their work. Understanding the plight of such artistes, we extend our support by sponsoring them and letting them concentrate on honing their skills’’.

A two year old organization, Poorvi, has tried to reach out to different areas of Art that needs to be addressed. With a few core group members Sreelakshmy Govardhanan (Kuchipudi artiste) Sandeep Menon (Director, Cochin Herald) Sooraj Nambiar (Koodiyattam artiste) Aniyan Mangalaserry (Art Coordinator) and with the voluntary support of like-minded artistes and rasikas, Poorvi caters to an enormous world of creative arts.

It will be invaluable if ingenious rasikas also join this mission by providing precious time, distinct expertise, suggestions and finance when in need. Mahakavi Vyloppilli Sreedhara Menon says “Marthya soundarya bodhangal petta makkalalle…” Surely art is the child of man’s aesthetic instinct. Art is the vehicle that breathes value and life into society, directly or indirectly… and according to sages and scholars Art is the surest way to attain Moksha… Art is what brings together and binds a society… Poorvi is a small step taken towards that bigger mission.

Melwin Joy
AUTHOR

Melwin Joy

All stories by: Melwin Joy