Thursday, 1 September 2016

Anita says...September 2016

"When the whole world says "MOVE"
You plant your feet firmly like a tree
And say

Lines from the film CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

These thoughts come to you from a month of watching, absorbing and reflecting on a variety of performances, venues, cities and people I have met and interacted with.

I started this editorial on the flight to Colombo, continued it in Singapore and completed it in Kuala Lumpur. In all three cities/countries, I was starkly reminded of the fascinating history and achievements of the Tamil communities. Their long struggle under colonial rule through generations of oppression and marginalisation forced them to find cultural moorings for their own psyche. The answer for many lay in music and dance. It was not just in the building of temples and shrines, but in their steadfast loyalty to the Tamizh tongue via the cultural conduit of Bharatanatyam, ritual hymns and of course, movies that buoyed the millions of diaspora immigrants through their dark and brutal early years. Today, dance and music lives on in the homes and lives of the Tamil people around the world, the Sri Lankan Tamils being among the most faithful and active.

However, it was not Bharatanatyam that I watched in the month of August. In fact, there was not a single performance of BN that I attended, although festivals and premieres were occurring almost every single day somewhere on the planet and in my home town of Madras/Chennai.

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