Art for peace

Peace and harmony are the overriding themes in two different forms of art- painting and dancing, seen in the city recently.

The Karnataka Chitra Kala Parishat is hosting an exhibition of selected collages, oil paintings and writings of late Dr. Venkatraman Balu, artist and peace activist, from December 26 to 30. Eminent poet and MLC Chandrashekara Kambara inaugurated the exhibition and released Peaceful Images, a special book on Dr. V Balu. The book is a visual feast, and presents a collage of his work and its impact on people. It is a compilation of articles, artifacts, tributes and reactions that provide an overview of Dr. Balu’s personality.

Peace from the horse's mouth

Peace from the horse’s mouth: art by Venkatraman Balu

This exhibition saw 60 of his popular and effective collages which denoted peace and indicated his special liking for horses and peace doves. Some of his intriguing exhibits included Heralding the Era of Peace, From Darkness to Light, Chariot of Sun God and Babudan.

The exhibition also had a ‘Ganesha series’ which had paper collages and oil paintings showcasing creations of Lord Ganesha. Pieces like Tree Ganesha stand out among others. His ‘Speed Series’ had oil paintings which depicted animal as the first oil, man as the second and machine as the oil that concludes the series.

For the art lover, there is also a collection of his books ranging from Rs.50 to Rs.100.
Dr. Balu also writes childrens books. His books including Peace lollipops meant for tiny tots are also on sale.

Dr Balu’s dedication to peace through his collage art has been hailed by innumerable persons, including the Dalai Lama.

Dallying with the classic and contemporary

Vivarta, a dance programme presented by Airtel’s Manthan Arts and Culture series and Bangalore International Centre was simply a visual treat for dance lovers. This dance programme, which was performed by artists from a Toronto based Canadian company called Sampradaya Dance Creations, was a creative collaboration of the contemporary and classical forms of dance.

The comapany was founded by internationally acclaimed Bharatanatyam exponent Lata Pada. Originally from Bangalore, she has been living in Canada for 44 years. Lata has choreographed both the pieces of this performance- Vivarta and Howzzat!

Vivarta: An exhilarating Bharatnatyam recital depicting the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu’s preserving, protecting powers have been manifested to the world in a variety of forms, called Avatars, possessing great and sometimes supernatural powers. Vivarta narrated these avatars in clear manner.

Howzzat! a performance from Sampradaya dance company

Howzzat! a performance from Sampradaya dance company (Pic: Sampradaya website)

Howzzat!: A new take on the sport of cricket which celebrates the physicality of the sport. Lata interprets cricket as a metaphor of reverse colonisation; from its journey from England to countries like Australia, South Africa, India, Pakistan etc. Lata was inspired to use this theme because she, like most Indians grew up watching cricket. Her personal experiences where she found the attachment to the sport a reflection of being deeply rooted to India, made her choreograph this dramatic spectacle. This act was also an effort to promote harmony between India and Pakistan through cricket.

The dance acts were accompanied by live music by well known musicians from Bangalore like Praveen D Rao.

Lata Pada and her team are currently on an eight-city tour of India which started on December 3rd in New Delhi, and ends in Chennai on the 3rd of January. Even though Lata is deeply rooted in the classical form of dance she believes that contemporary dance is not a dilution and that both forms are parallel and co-exist. Her innovative dance productions give a vivid demonstration of this perspective.

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