As theaters remain closed due to the pandemic-induced restrictions, several performing arts festivals stand canceled this year. However, organizing committees of some big events such as the Bengaluru International Arts Festival, and SwaraZankar Music Festival have moved their events online so that they can bring art and culture into the lives of people during these dark times.
Parampara Series - National Festival of Music & Dance, a 23-year old Delhi based performing arts festival, is also going the digital way this year and will commence online from October 27, 2020. Organized by Natya Tarangini, and famous Kuchipudi dancers Dr Raja Radha Reddy, and Kaushalya Reddy, this event will stream performances by classical music stalwarts like Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia (Flute), Pandit Viswa Mohan Bhatt (Mohan Veena) and L Subramaniam (Carnatic vocalist-violinist) as well as dance performances by Raja Radha Reddy (Kuchipudi), Vyjayanthimala Bali (Bharatnatyam) and Kumudini Lakhia group (Kathak).
"Art is like a stream, it should never stagnate -- that has always been our aim with the Parampara series ever since it started in 1997. We have changed and grown with encouragement from our audiences, and continue to do so even during this pandemic, by going digital," said Kaushalya Reddy in an interview to News18.com.
"I wouldn't say it is an easy task because we as classical dancers are very attuned to our audience, they are our inspirations and they motivate us to persevere for excellence. So, it is a strange feeling to perform without any interaction or connection with the audience," she said, adding that they have still decided to move forward with the help of technology to touch more people's lives with music and dance.
As a part of this event, Reddy said that they are opening a treasure trove of archival footage, and streaming the performances by maestros of the past, like Kelucharan Mohapatra, and Carnatic vocalist M. Balamuralikrishna, who were instrumental in taking Indian performing arts to the world stage.
The event is free for all and can be watched on the YouTube Channels of ‘United Nations India’ as well as Raja Radha Reddy. The Launch on October 27, 2020, which also marks the United Nations Audio-Visual Heritage Day, will see Inauguration by the Vice President of India, Venkaiah Naidu. Other dignitaries expected to attend the event are Minister of Culture Prahlad Singh Patel, Chairman of GMR Group G Mallikarjun Rao, Former Assistant Secretary-General, UN Lakshmi Puri, UNRC in India Renata Dessallien and Bharatnatyam dancer Vyjayanthimala Bali.
Talking about the impact of COVID-19 on artists' lives, Reddy said, "It has been a tough year for the entire artists' community. But, it is especially hard for the newcomers and those who are dependent on art for their bread and butter. This pandemic has not only affected their lives today but also set their career back by several years."