Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Dance to recorded music?

The unwritten rule for artistes at the Natyanjali is that they must avoid playing recorded music; rather get musicians along.
But dancers are forced to choose the easier option - bring CDs along. This may be an anjali but musicians have to be transported and renumeration paid.
Rukmini Vijayakumar from Bangalore got upset when the hosts asked her to end her recital in the given time. 
She performed to recorded music for her recital and had one more item planned.


  1. Im not sure what exactly this blogpost is aimed at doing? But, I'd like to comment on this since it mentions me in the post.

    The dance itself is the offering. The fact that dancers take time to come to the temples for Shivaratri and perform there to be a part of the festival of Lord Nataraja is offering and "Anjali". I don't believe that dancers need to spend money, transport musicians, and bear other costs to increase the value of their dance. Live musicans are definitely an advantage to any dancer, but considering that the costs are huge to perform outstation with no monetary support from organisers is quite difficult.

    That being said, its a huge effort from the dancers even to spend 5 days, in all the festivals, driving many hours and taking many days off to be there. The fruit of the travel and effort lies only in being able to be a part of the festival, 'dancing' , for the limited time that the organisers offer.

    In Chidambaram, the program was delayed by about 2 hours because the inaugural of speeches went overtime.

    No organiser came backstage and explained the unexpected delay, or even asked that my piece be shortened.
    I was given 30 mins and i prepared for exactly 30 mins. After driving all the way from bangalore, I would have liked to dance for the full 30 minutes. Recorded or not.

    I finished my first piece of about 20 mins and was ready to get on again for the second one of 10 min, and was asked not to enter for it. It was very abrupt. I was reasonably upset.

    If there was some explanation/ request before I began, I would willingly have revised my choice of items to present to make up for the delay. But there was a lack of any explanation.

    When dancers come all the way, with no support from organizers, out of their own will, to offer their dance on Shivratri, I think that the one thing that dancers expect is hospitality, punctuality and respect. When, the dance is trivialized, it will upset anyone.

    The organisers ofcourse explained after i got upset and were very apologetic about the delay. The Natyanjalis will always be a wonderful festival to dance in.
    The fact that so many artists come every year to present their work itself is very heartening and that the tradition of celebrationg Shivaratri with music and dance lives on is inspiring.

    It seems quite unnecessary that this incident be posted on a public blog. Either way, I had to post and explain the comment since it seemed out of place and ambiguous.

    1. I am with you Ms. Rukmini Vijayakumar. When the program does not start at the announced time, there is no harm in staying with the commitments made to the artistes and run late if need be.
      As for recorded music, I'd rather have it live. Having said that, if the purse does not permit live orchestra it is OK to have a decent recorded music. It is like karaoke. But the organizers knew it beforehand and permitted it. They should have stayed with the 30 min commitment.

      Good luck Ms. Rukmini!

  2. Thank you for the advice. This is needed so that future dancers can plan to bring their live orchestra and perform. Of course some exceptions can happen but it is better to know those unwritten rules through this kind of fora.