Hot on the heels of the 39th Natya Kala Conference came the 14th edition of The Music Academy's dance festival from 3rd till 9th January 2020 at their spacious and well equipped auditorium with light and sound system. This year's festival had added features: one more slot at 2pm for dancers. There were three interactive sessions with three dancers on three days from 4pm till 5.30pm at one of the committee rooms, where participants were served coffee on the house. Prior registration was arranged and slips were required to be dropped in a box. Those whose slips were selected could attend the session for dialogue with the dancers.
There were panel discussions on three mornings from 8.30am till 10am, followed by 10am and 11. 30am slots for dance. After lunch, the new 2pm slot made it quite taxing and also exhausting! Whatever may be the reason that Academy has planned this additional slot, whereby 6 more dancers could be accommodated, they will have to rethink the timing in order for public to attend the post lunch performance. The evening sessions from 6pm to 7.30pm and 7.45pm till 9.15pm were ticketed as usual whereas all other sessions are free for the public.
This festival has acquired reputation for featuring the best of the classical dancers. Therefore die-hard followers plan to attend well in advance. Some of us ventured to attend all sessions. No wonder, when I am trying to review the performances which I saw during the seven days, I am dead exhausted and my mind is full of overlapping images of endless varnams, padams, tillanas and what have you. The saturation point naturally starts working upon onlookers.
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