A festival that shines spotlight on the next generation of performing artists—KNMA brings to you Centre Stage Festival. "The is no dearth of talent in all genres of the performing arts and our effort is to showcase these young artists who are not only excelling but carving out their own unique paths in the world of performing arts. We hope to be able to make this an annual festival in our calendar," shares Aditi Jaitly, Senior Curator Performing Arts, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art. She shares more about the festival with us.
Firstly, could you tell us a little about how you got introduced to art and what excites you about it the most?
I began learning Bharatanatyam when I was about 6 years old and have been dancing ever since. Bharatanatyam engages one with the physicality of movements, rigour and the details of the process on the one hand and the rich body of the mythology, poetry, music and tradition on the other. Personally, the performing arts and my bond with my guru, Leela Samson, have been the defining pillars of my life and I have always wanted to share the joy and deep satisfaction that I received from them, with others. At first through performing on stage, then through teaching and now here in my position as a curator, by bringing the entire gamut of the performing arts to as wide an audience as possible and supporting the artists community through our work at KNMA. All the cliches about the arts having the ability to heal our spirits and uplift us from the mundane into the extraordinary are true!
Personally, what sort of art do you most resonate with?
Having been involved with dance personally for the beKer part of my life, of course, I have a deep connection with all kinds of dance from all parts of the world. But then music has such an important part to play too. One dances to music and rhythm and there would rarely be a person in the world who doesn’t listen and respond to music! Rather than choose between art forms, I would say that when one experiences the excellence and true sensitivity of any kind of artist, it will always resonates deeply.
Why did you choose Sunder Nursery for the fesr and is it going to be at the same spot every year?
I would have to give the credit to our patron, Mrs Kiran Nadar for this. In our early conversations with her about the upcoming expansion of KNMA into the performing arts arena, she spoke of the idea of making the arts accessible to one and all. Placing the festival in a park like Sunder Nursery and other public spaces, creates the possibility of newer audiences having access and opportunity to experience the arts. Last March, we had organized the Lodi Art Festival over two days in the heart of the Lodi Art District. Not only did people attend in large numbers, residents of the area were welcoming and enthusiastic about hosting such a festival in their midst. As far as Sunder Nursery is concerned, as you say, it has the perfect atmosphere and ethos for cultural events and Mr Ratish Nanda and his team have been very helpful and supportive partners of KNMA’s activities here and we definitely intend to continue this relationship in the coming years.
How did you curate the list of artists?
I cannot overstate that there are so many young artists all over our country that are talented and deserving of platforms to perform, so the challenge of curating artists for a festival like this will always be a problem of plenty! I believe that the arts are rich and all encompassing. They give artist the wings to fly and follow their own special path of creativity and each of the artists featured in this festival is doing just that – drawing from the bedrock of their many years of training and dedication and exploring their own unique journey.
And lastly, what’s next for you?
KNMA is planning more cultural events in the new year. A focus on multi-generational families of performing artists, with conversations and performance, a festival celebrating Spring featuring, theatre, music and dance, a festival of contemporary theatre and much more. Do stay tuned!
Words Paridhi Badgotri