COVID steals sound  of music, anklets in cultural capital
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COVID steals sound of music, anklets in cultural capital

July 6, 2020

Mysore/Mysuru: Our city is popularly known as cultural capital of Karnataka, but ever since pandemic outbreak, art and cultural activities in city have come to a standstill. Most of the auditoriums and music halls have locked their doors while the income of artistes has plummeted.

Not long ago, music halls in city were filled with audiences with celebrated musicians on stage. Auditoriums, which used to stage plays, brimmed with activities. Music, dance and theatre enthusiasts including youngsters and elderly folks spent their evenings and weekends at concerts and other cultural assembles in city.

Now, all these venues including Kalamandira that includes Kiru Rangamandira and Maneyangala, Vanaranga, Bhoomigeeta and Sriranga auditoriums at Rangayana, Sri Nadabrahma Sangeetha Sabha, Veene Seshanna Bhavan – Ganabharathi, Jaganmohan Palace, Town Hall, Rotary auditorium, Indian Institute of Engineers-India (IEI), Sarada Vilasa Centenary Hall, Senate Hall, KSOU Convocation Hall, Madhava Kripa and others have been closed with no activities from the last three months.

Rangayana in Mysuru.

In an effort to help artistes impacted by ongoing pandemic and keep the musicians and other artistes engaged during this unprecedented time, some cultural organisations have been hosting and streaming classical and folk music programmes online. Now a days, most popular platform for airing these activities seems to be Facebook.

Speaking to Star of Mysore, Ganabharathi President Dr. C.G. Narasimhan said, “On every Tuesdays and Saturdays, we are streaming online music concerts. We are getting very good response from local audience as well as from abroad. While recording these concerts, we are taking all necessary safety measures.”

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“In earlier days, people used to assemble in a house and enjoy music concert. As this is a testing time for all of us, all we can do is host such kind of online programmes for general public and art enthusiasts,” opined Sri Krishna Gana Sabha President Sridhar Raje Urs.

Ganabharathi in Kuvempunagar.

“Clapping, no doubt, would encourage an artiste. During online concerts, artiste on stage might not hear claps or cheers, but instead of doing nothing, these online music and dance programmes are immensely helpful to keep us engaged and encourage artistes,” opined Nupura Kalavidaru Samskrutika Trust Founder-Director Natyacharya Prof. K. Ramamurthy Rao.

“Many organisations have been organising online programmes to encourage artistes and students. Also, they are financially helping needy artistes which is commendable,” says Music Patron C.R. Himamshu.

“Due to lockdown, not only cultural events but also training centres have been shut. But some training is being given online. There are over 100 dance teachers in Mysuru. Each dance school has 150-200 students who are being given yoga and Bharatanatyam classes through online mode. This is the first ever such situation I am facing in the past 70 years. We have to stay at home for our own safety and of others as well. But this time can be utilised to learn more,” says danseuse Dr. Vasundhara Doraswamy.

Sri Nadabrahma Sangeetha Sabha Secretary K.N. Prasad says, “A minimum of 20 events were held every month.  Especially in December and January, the number of events would reach up to 30-40. Due to lockdown,  halls remain empty.”

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“Artistes are never inactive. By this time, notes artistes would have gone on a tour to give concerts. But the pandemic has stopped everything. Artistes should not be disheartened by this but concentrate more on learning. Everyone are facing this problem and to contain the virus spread, it is good to follow the Government guidelines,” suggested Vidu. Dr. Kripa Phadke.

“Life is more important. If a artiste dies, it is a cultural loss. But if he is safe today, he can achieve many things tomorrow. So it is necessary to follow the Government guidelines,” said Rangayana Director Addanda C. Cariappa adding the Rangayana  artistes have also donated a day’s salary towards fight against Corona.

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