Looked at from any perspective, the three day virtual festival Chakshu jointly organised by Kalpataru Arts and Kri Foundation, featuring dance viewed from the perspective of the camera lens, was a clear winner not only in terms of the varied range of viewership it attracted from various parts of the world, but also for its animated, highly informative and educative post-film screening discussions involving the best of film makers, scholars, performers and above all, young enthusiasts making a foray into this hitherto unexplored territory. This event conceived by Sangita Chatterjee (whose organisation Kalpataru Arts since its inception in 2013, has promoted various events mostly connected with Kathak, her medium), a lately committed convert to this field of Dance through the Camera, in collaborating with Kri Foundation, had the advantage of a person like Arshiya Sethi, Founder Managing Trustee of the Foundation to moderate the discussions. Arshiya's Danzlenz vertical events over the last two decades have made her an acknowledged world promoter of dance viewed through the camera lens.
The handsome Indian participation in this festival was particularly heartening, for it threw up a people who till now, held captive by traditionally oriented live performances, have been compelled by the widespread negativity stemming from Covid restrictions, to look at other opportunities the virtual world throws up. Rather than being judgemental, I admire the young minds in particular for not losing themselves in despondency.
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