August 10, 2020
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T.M. Krishna

Carnatic artiste T.M. Krishna on Svanubhava, the travelling performing arts festival

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T.M. Krishna
T.M. Krishna

What does Svanubhava stand for?

Its philosophy is the creation of a sense of ownership and pride among performing arts students and enthusiasts for Indian art forms.

So who does the festival belong to?

It does not belong to any person or group; it belongs to all who want to contribute to the future of the cultural diversity of this country.

What is the focus of the festival?

The main focus is on community building.

How does it empower your students?

When arts students and young enthusiasts meet like-minded people, they feel empowered and enthused to make a difference.

From just music, this year, the festival has opened out to the performing arts as well.

Most performers, including myself, don’t have an understanding of many other art forms in this country. The best way to change this is to create forums of exposure and understanding.

What are the highlights this year?

This year’s line-up includes Qawwali, Baul, Thevaram (Tamil temple hymns), Yakshagana, folk music from Malwa, theatre music, Tamil theatre, Natya Sangeet, Odissi, Carnatic and Hindustani music, Bharatanatyam, documentaries, eminent speakers and panel discussions.

What is your involvement in the festival?

I make suggestions on artists, art forms and consult bigwigs in the performing arts.

Why take Svanubhava to Delhi this year?

I know the incredible work the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya has been doing. It would be an honour to partner with them.

How did Gandharva Mahavidyalaya respond?

Shri Madhup Mudgal, the management and students said yes instantly. It’s their festival.

In Chennai, you are collaborating with Kalakshetra. Tell us about it.

When we began in Chennai in 2008, we spoke to Kalakshetra director Leela Samson. She said, “Go ahead and do it.” In many ways, it was her backing that’s got the festival where it is today.

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