Chennai siblings hold cultural shows to promote fresh talent

B Yogasremanasvini and B Jayabhuvaneshwari

Chennai: Many people learn classical art forms, but not many get an opportunity to showcase their talent or become a professional in the field.

So, to provide the next-gen artistes a platform and enhance their opportunities, city-based siblings, B Yogasremanasvini and B Jayabhuvaneshwari, successfully conducted an event titled ‘Women’s Era Culturals’ that showcased the talent of women artistes, recently in Mylapore.

When asked how they decided to organise such a programme, Jayabhuvaneshwari, the younger sibling, who just completed schooling, said, “The brainchild of this project is Sri Muralidhara Swamigal, who is our spiritual leader. The main motive to start this was a lot of young girls are learning many art forms and are talented but do not get a stage to showcase it. This sometimes even forces them to stop practising the art form. So his vision was to promote the classical art from to the next generation and wanted to provide young practitioners of the art a stage to showcase their talent. He wanted us to organise this event completely on our own, without his backing,” she said.

The inaugural edition of the Women’s Era Culturals was held from 24 May to 2 June, spanning 10 days, at Lakshmi Giri Convention Hall, Mylapore.

Totally, 40 slots were given for the performances and it was conducted for two hours in the morning and evening daily. Some of the art forms showcased during the event include vocal Carnatic performance and solo performances on violin, keyboard, veena, flute, drums, mridangam and classical dance. “Two women also made their debut stand-up comedy performances,” she added. The entry was free.

Speaking about the participants, Jayabhuvaneshwari said, “We tried to empower women through this, as all the artistes on stage were women. We gave opportunities to new artistes. We spread the word through social media and people willing to participate contacted us through it. We ensured the participants are experienced enough to render performance on stage and we set the age of 10 as the minimum limit. We also gave mementoes and certificates to the participants.”

Both Jayabhuvaneshwari and Manasvini have a background in the art forms as they can sing, play the veena and are also Bharatanatyam dancers. “We are still pursuing music; we also learnt dance for nine years and are planning to resume training soon,” they say.

Since the siblings are organising such a big event like this for the first time, when asked about the challenge they faced, Manasvini said, “It was very challenging. We are very new to Chennai itself as we grew up in the Middle East. Only for the last three years, we have been living in the city. So, Chennai itself is pretty new for us and doing an event of this kind was a mammoth task. However, the exposure that we gained through this was huge and by god’s grace we were lucky to have things done in a smooth manner. It was a tough task but we had guidance from the right people.”

Asked about their future plans in terms of the event, Manasvini said, “The event was a success this year as we already have 20 slots filled for the next year, most of them not getting an opportunity this year. Next year it is happening in the same place during the month of May and we are looking out for fresh talent. In future, we hope to take it internationally as our classical art forms are not encouraged in many countries. We want to make more artistes benefit through our initiative.”

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Aaditya Anand M