Over the last few years, Chennai has witnessed the coming together of several different art forms – from theru koothu to parkour.
Carnatic and gaana have shared the same stage, as have folk and hip-hop.
The Urur Olcott Kuppam Vizha, Chennai’s popular cultural festival which started a few years ago, has contributed to this melting pot of arts in a big way.
And now, its latest initiative, Kalai Koodam, is hoping to house different ‘kalai’ (arts) under one roof (koodam).
Singer Monali Sanyal Balasubramaniam, who is a part of this initiative, shares that the classes will be held at Thiruvalluvar Community Hall in Thiruvalluvar Nagar, very close to Olcott Kuppam in Besant Nagar.
The weekly classes will be held on Sundays and anyone from absolutely anywhere can sign up.
“The classes are very affordable at Rs 100 per month. But, of course, those who can contribute more can surely do so and this will be used to run the koodam,” says Monali.
Kalai Koodam currently offers vocal music, Bharathanatyam and Parai Attam. The idea behind Kalai Koodam springs from the same ideology that powers Urur Olcott Kuppam Vizha.
The privileged class has perhaps wondered where to learn the Parai Attam and also many from the Kuppam itself are harbouring the interest to learn Carnatic and Bharathanatyam. Kalai Koodam intends to answer these questions. We plan to expand and include more art forms in the near future.Singer Monali Sanyal Balasubramaniam, a participant in the initiative, to TNM
Kalai Koodam will officially begin its first class on 15 April. Vocal music classes will see a combination of Carnatic and Hindustani music, in addition to other diverse music styles. Classes will be taught by a panel of artistes. The first session of vocals will be mentored by Monali herself. Deepan will be teaching Parai, while the Shreejith Krishnan group will teach Bharathanatyam.
(The story was first published on The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)