Wednesday 27 May 2020

Interview - R Muralidaran: The 25 Varnams challenge

Dancer, choreographer and composer Madurai R Muralidaran wanted to make this lockdown period a useful one for the dance files. And he came up with this unique project. He shares his thoughts and work process for readers of narthaki.

What was the inspiration for this project?
Varnam 25 Challenge happened due to the extended lockdown.  I had requests from many of my followers and young talented singers all over the globe. I challenged myself with self confidence of my 40 years of experience in composing dance compositions. Inspired by Isaignani Ilayaraja's speech, I started this work as soon as the Government announced the lockdown period for 3 weeks. He actually did the whole re-recording in one day for a movie and he composed music for 3 movies in one day. He broke the record of so many music directors. It was in my mind for many years and honestly it was not humanly possible. I don't want to cut and destroy the banyan trees which were planted by the legends starting from Tanjore Quartet, Papanasam Sivan, KN Dandayudhapani Pillai, Madurai N Krishnan, Lalgudi Jayaraman and many great composers. I am trying to plant a small seed that will also grow and give shade for the future generation and I am doing it as a service to the field of Bharatanatyam. I didn’t want to write female oriented themes and I have written most of my Varnams in bakthi bhava and also in Nayaka Bhava.

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