As the Covid-19 pandemic shuttered the world in March of 2020, I started reading several books on music, dance, literature and poetry. I read with no specific objective in mind, exploring subjects that had long fascinated me, reading in a cocoon of sorts where social and cultural engagements did not intrude or disturb my focus.
After months of this kind of immersion, I emerged to ask myself: what have I been exploring? And magically, everything that I had read was in one way or another linked to the river Kaveri. I was ecstatic!
Previously, for any production that I had planned, I had always come up with the theme first and then planned research into the topic. For the first time, organically, the topic presented itself to me, birthed during a period of isolation. I realized then that I had not been isolated after all. I had lived with the river all along, peeking into the lives of artists and tracing the arc of artistic changes that it had supported.
Whispers Along the Kaveri is a Bharathanatyam dance production that premieres May 22 at the Shiva Vishnu temple at Livermore, California. The program is a fundraiser for the temple’s Maha kumbhabhishekam slated to be held from July 6-10. My senior students and I will be performing in this production.
The program is a unique thematic experience linked to the river Kaveri, tracing the arc of the river from its source at Talakaveri to Puhar where it reaches the Bay of Bengal. We will be using spoken word, music and dance to bring alive stories of art and artists.
The content has been carefully curated to reach audience members of varied interest levels in classical music and dance. There are remarkable little known stories of literature, art and artists that lie along the river’s banks as it makes its way through a large swath of South India.
The prosperity that the river created in the towns along its banks helped in the construction of temples, created communities where artists thrived and where artistic disciplines transformed in ways that endure till the present day.
As an artist, I am excited to share my Covid miracle through this production.
Come and see us bring alive the Southern aesthetic beauty along one of India’s seven sacred rivers through storytelling, music and dance.
Tickets can be bought here. All proceeds go to support the Shiva Vishnu temple at Livermore.