Monday, May 17, 2010

KalaAnantarupah Art Center's Steps to Promoting Folk Art

              Promoting Folk Art

Heritage Matters:- Folk art needs  better respect and visibility

They might lack marketing initiatives and glamour, but folk music and literature have delighted so many of us through the ages and they continue to do so. If we are to ensure their survival and popularity, it will be good to think about what we can do to ensure better visibility and respect for folk art. Let's get to it. 

Colors Tv’s India Got Talent program provided a platform to us.   So via the program we are aimed to promoting the folk arts of india which is not getting much attention from the urban people. The rich culture of India should grow and we are intiated a step towards preserving the culture by promoting via this platform.

Let us try to restore the dying Art of our own

Karagam is a folk dance with musical accompaniment, performed balancing a pot on the head. Traditionally, the villagers in praise of the rain goddess Mari Amman and River Goddess, Gangai Amman, performed this dance with literature with water pots balanced on their heads. In Sangam literature, it is mentioned as 'Kudakoothu'. This dance has two divisions - one, Aatta Karagam and the other 'Sakthi Karagam'. More often it is danced with decorated pots on the head and is known as 'Aatta Karagam' and symbolizes joy and merriment. The former is performed only in temples, while the latter is mainly for entertainment. This is one of the more popular rural dances of today. Earlier it was performed only with the Neiyandi Melam but now it also includes songs.

Karagam were once performed for mulaipari ceremony when the dancer carried a pot of sprouted grains on his/her head and danced, balancing it through intricate steps and body/arm movements. Today, the pots have transformed from mud pots to bronze ware and even stainless steel in modern times. The pots are decorated with a cone of flower arrangements, topped by a paper parrot. The parrot rotates as the dancer swings along. This dance is very popular all over Tamil Nadu, though its birthplace is said to be Thanjavur. Most artistes hail from Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Ramanathapuram, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Pattukottai and Salem. This dance most is often a solo or a duet. Both male and female performers participate in this. Acrobatics similar to circus are included – such as dancing on a rolling block of wood, up and down a ladder, threading a needle while bending backwards and so on.

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