Mysore/Mysuru: After being the hardest hit by COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020 with many of the events migrating to online platforms, the cultural, creative and exhibition sectors are back in action in Mysuru in full flow, albeit with precautions.
With Dasara days ahead, the events are only bound to pick up with people venturing out of their homes armed with the confidence of vaccination and at the same time following COVID-appropriate behaviour.
The opening came days after the city began easing out of lockdown and weekend curfew, but remnants of the pandemic are everywhere. While many museums, exhibition halls and galleries are still closed, an attempt is being made to open a few cultural destinations to adapt to a new reality and find ways to survive until restrictions can be fully relaxed.
Notable among the art and culture venues that have been opened up is the Rangayana where a week-long ‘Bharatiya Rangasangeetha – Natakotsava’ is beginning from this evening. The event marks theatre great B.V. Karanth’s birth anniversary and the events will be held at B.V. Karanth Ranga Chavadi in Rangayana premises.
Apart from events associated with the Natakotsava like Sufi Music by Mukthiar Ali and troupe of Rajasthan today and a seminar ‘Rangabheehmara Rangavalokana’ on the concluding day (Sept. 26), acclaimed writer Dr. S.L. Bhyrappa’s play ‘Parva’ will also be staged on Sept. 25. Another six shows of the mega play are scheduled at Rangayana on Oct. 2, 3, 9, 10, 23 and 24.
For today’s events, Rangayana has been decorated to sport a festive look and B.V. Karanth permeates the entire campus.
The annual Theatre Festival Bahuroopi-2021 will be held at Rangayana between Oct. 25 and 31. Before that, a host of cultural events will be held in the city as part of Dasara, though it is touted to be a low-key one. Of course, the events will be held keeping in mind the restrictions on number of audience.
Apart from Rangayana, B.V. Karanth’s birth anniversary, Rangageethe and staging of Dr. Girish Karnad’s play ‘Hayavadana’ by Sanchalana Theatre Troupe will be open for audience at Natana Rangashale in Ramakrishnanagar today at 6 pm.
Event destinations: A series of events are being held at Vanaranga, Sriranga and Bhoomigeeta auditoriums in Rangayana premises, Kiru Rangamandira in Kalamandira, Sri Nadabrahma Sangeetha Sabha, Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Ganabharathi’s Veene Seshanna Bhavan, Jaganmohan Palace Auditorium, Town Hall, Institution of Engineers, Rotary Hall, Senate Bhavan and also KSOU Auditorium.
Even small events held beyond the city centre in residential areas with limited gathering too are gaining momentum.
The annual ‘Bombe Mane,’ an expo of exquisite dolls from across India, has been opened by Ramsons Kala Pratishtana in Nazarbad and as if an icing on the cake, ‘Gruha Shobhe’ Lifestyle expo in Dasara Exhibition Grounds and several handicrafts expo are underway in city.
Both online and offline
Interestingly, the response from the audience is good. Beyond the number of people who are attending physical events, there is a 95 percent increase in engagement on social media and other online platforms and people around the world are connecting with art.
The COVID crisis has transformed how the cultural scene operates in the long term as more and more people are engaging online and also they are attending physical events.
This means there will be an expansion of the audience to whom the event organisers can reach out through online and offline medium.