Monday 9 June 2014

Seen & Heard by Lakshmi Viswanathan - Master Class or Workshop?

I was once riveted by a play on Broadway (New York City of course) and ever since, have been wanting to sit down and write a similar script. Any assistant script writers out are welcome to come help me! It was called MASTER CLASS, and it was based on facts and worked for theatre in a clever way. The chief character in that play is one of my favourite personalities in world music - Maria Callas the opera singer. When I wrote my book on M.S. Subbulakshmi, I think somewhere I have mentioned Callas. The play as you may have guessed from the title was set in a master class conducted by Callas. What a treat the whole play was! It was a close encounter with the artist as mentor, and revealed a lot about her self-worth, her personal vulnerability, her imperious confidence in her art...... And more!
Recently, I dropped in to see the fabulous one and only Vyjayanthimala Bali conduct a workshop for ABHAI. She was amazingly sprightly and so correct about what she taught. The small details such an expert artist can show students are difficult to catch in a big class. However, she was on her feet to show the finer points in a simple Thillana and I sat by her side, feeling privileged to see the real thing. The smallest details in postures and movements had a touch of correctness. ANGA Shuddham is more often than not simply bandied about as a catch phrase. We see today, more and more ANGA distortions than ever before. What to do?

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