interview with K.S.R. Anirudha
of music have you scored for Spatika? Is it classical or a kind of fusion?
The soundscape uses the depth
of Carnatic music, the lilting tunes and traditional recitations of folk
and the flamboyant spirit of new age music. The individual identity and
classicism of each style is maintained throughout.
have you given the most stress…on melody or rhythm? And why?
Basically, I believe that "rhythm
is fragmented melody", but if some plebeian in music were to answer this
question after listening to the music, he might say that rhythm was one
up, probably because I, as the composer of most of the soundscape, am basically
a percussionist and rhythm will overtly show up in whatever I compose (even
if it is a
is known for its traditional dance style. What inspired you to break away
and do a contemporary work?
Firstly, this is not a Shree
Bharatalaya production. It is my humble attempt with dancers of Shree Bharatalaya.
I think it is not difficult for professional dancers grounded in a classical
art form, who are exposed to different styles of dance, to experiment like
this. We haven't still 'broken-away', this is just another form of expression.
has it been to venture into experimental work? Have you done any other
experimental work before, or is this the first one?
It has not really been very arduous
as I personally have worked with Anita Ratnam and that has helped me to
think contemporaneous. Of course, I only composed certain pieces
of the soundscape for Ratnam, but this is our debut as an individual work.
Fortunately for me, all the dancers of Shree Bharatalaya have been exposed
to modern dancing (Martha Graham technique) and calisthenics, which was
learnt by guru Sudharani Raghupathy from Jose Limon (Randolph Macon's Women’s
College, Virginia, USA-1965). The students have also undergone routines
and master classes in the aforesaid.
choreographed Spatika? Or is it a group effort? What type of movements
have you used?
The choreography is a group effort,
wherein I have conceived the idea and directed them. Vibrant movements
of classical Bharatanatyam, the inner strength of tai-chi, the suppleness
of kalari and yoga together with the Graham technique have been combined
to present this palate.
Do you intend
to present Spatika during the Chennai December season?
Of course, apart from the 6th
of Dec. at The Other Festival, I look forward to at least two more stagings
of Spatika during the season and the organizers whom I've approached seem
Do you think
your work will go down well with the Chennai audience who are too used
to seeing you do traditional Bharatanatyam?
The composition of audience matters
when we make the above statement. Those who are more informed and
look forward to experimental work are the ones who compose the audience
for these presentations and I’m sure they'll like it.