SPIC MACAY : An inward transformational journey; A Cultural Immersion – Convention 2017

I am very fortunate to undertake the soulful inward journeys laced with the culture pilgrimage of SPIC MACAY every year, all through. For every ambassador of Indian and world culture it has been a very enriching one as always. Here I captured the essence of the pilgrimage 2017, SPIC MACAY international convention 2017 held at IIT Delhi recently. You can check the visual captures, in still form, at my FLICKR stream

The Prime Minister of India, Sri Narendra Modi, inaugurating the International convention 2017, in his inimitable style of eloquence, pays tribute to the movement of SPIC MACAY and also to the founder of the movement, Dr. Kiran Seth. Beseeches the youth to embrace the spirit and purpose of the movement.

The following short video documentary, in five parts, captures the essence of the conventions, the daily schedule followed, the spirit of volunteerism, the passionate facilitation by gurus who have dedicated their lives for the cause of artforms, the earnest desire of every participant to assimilate, imbibe and live the spirit as well as the art forms, as much as they can.

The week long convention is an endeavour to instill the discipline and have a sublime control of ones own life and expose every participant to the mysticism of arts and culture.

The days start at 4am with YOGA, then shramdan to keep our environment clean and tidy, then after a break of an hour for morning ablutions, commences with the intensives. Every participant will undergo an intensive to gain deeper understanding of an art form works with a Guru for seven days, four hours a day. The afternoons after the lunch is devoted the exposing every participant to a variety of genre like not limited to music and dance but also theatre, choir music, folk music and dance, puppetry etc. The evenings are devoted to classical music and dance performances.
Enjoy watching!



The last day is all about sharing the learning during the week gone by, in every art form. .Here are a few of the showcasing I have been able to capture at a couple of venues. I apologize for not being able to cover all the five centres of performances.


Come participate and contribute to the propagation of art forms and the spread of the spirit of brotherhood and composite culture. UNITY in Diversity.

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Iconic institutions and movements come alive at SPANDAN 2016!

If you are interested in performing arts, especially dance, and if you have not been to the exhibition currently underway in the open spaces of IHC, Lodhi Road, then you are missing something! You cannot afford to give this exhibition a go by. It inspires even the uninitiated.

SPANDAN Festival of Performing Arts 2016 brings yet again an eclectic collection of fabulous captures of Indian classical dance forms, but with a difference. The theme of this year’s exhibition is, “Tribute to Iconic Institutions, Movements and Legendary Gurus”. You get a peek into the journey of the iconic institutions and the life within. Many photographs have been displayed publicly for the first time ever in the history of these institutions.

Exhibition @ SPANDAN festival of performing arts 2016 - Nartanam special issues released

R. Sreenivasan, the creator of the festival, which is into its fourth edition, too is one of a kind. How many technologists and alumnus of IIM and that too, a well known entrepreneur, do you come across excelling in the world of arts? Sreeni, a co-founder of CL Educate, while being busy in the corporate board rooms as well as traveling around the country motivating the youth in the universities, feeds his soul in the spaces of performing arts in the evenings. He is an accomplished photographer of dance apart from being a dancer, painter and designer.

For this year’s edition of Spandan, Sreeni digs deep into the archives of the Iconic institutions and photographers to bolster his own exclusive captures. The institutions covered are –

a. Kathak Kendra for Kathak (Thanks to Sangeet Natak Akademi)
b. Kalamandalam for Mohiniattam,Kathakali,Koodiyattam (Thanks to KK Gopalakrishnan)
c. Kalakshertra for Bharatanatyam (Thanks to Kalkshetra Archives)
d. Gotipua gurukuls and Srjan for Odissi (Thanks to Sunny Lamba and Srjan)
e. Kuchipudi Village for Kuchipudi (Thanks to Nartanam and Madhavi Puranam)
f. Sattras of Majuli for Sattriya (Thanks to Avinash Pasricha ji and Sunny Lamba)
g. JN Manipur Dance Academy (Thanks to SNA and JNMDA)

Exhibition @ SPANDAN festival of performing arts 2016 - Nartanam special issues released

Every institution comes alive in the exhibition, with a vibrancy that these photographs have managed to capture. It is a treat to the soul.

Also the exhibition pays tribute to the movement of SPICMACAY for its yeoman service with panels of nation’s stalwarts of Music, Dance, Theatre, Puppetry, Folk etc and the volunteers who contribute to keep the flame of culture alive. The frames portray the spirit of facilitating the children to discover the mysticism embedded within every art form.

“SPANDAN venerates the human spirit, stoking pursuits to unravel the infinite potential within.”

As tribute to Legends, special issues Nartanam on Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, Dr. Padma Subrahmaniam and Sri Avinash Pasricha will be released on May 2nd, 7 pm at Amaltas Hall, India Habitat Centre, by Prof. Lokesh Chandra, scholar and President ICCR. Noted danseuse Rama Vaidyanathan with her Bharatanatyam pays tributes to the legends.

The festival culminates with an evening of World Dance on May 26th in Stein Auditorium. While the exhibition is all about celebrating the icons and legends, the dance evening is about celebrating the future. The evening will feature brilliant young Odissi danseuse Arushi Mudgal, promising young male Bharatanatyam dancer Suhail Bhan, a talented Manipuri duo and a mélange of modern world dance forms all performed by young upcoming dancers.

The exhibition is on till May 10th. You can catch up with Sreeni at the venue.

Inauguration of the EXHIBITION of SPANDAN Festival of Performing Arts 2016 @ India Habitat Centre, Open Spaces – Atrium on April 28, 6:00pm

Theme : Tributes to Iconic Institutions, Movements and Gurus of Art and Culture

Inauguration of the EXHIBITION of SPANDAN Festival of Performing Arts 2016 @ India Habitat Centre, Open Spaces - Atrium on April 28, 6:00pm

Blessed to have had eminent art Connoisseurs, artists, art and dance critics, changemakers, SPIC MACAY torch bearers and rasiks grace the evening to light the lamp, signifying the enlightenment within.

 It was indeed a pleasure to see the excitement among every participant to figure out which photo display they will unfurl and unravel to the world, as part of the inauguration. NO ONE apart from me, not even my better half INDIRA, knew about the photographs in each panel, nor the which panel on which installation.

Inauguration of the EXHIBITION of SPANDAN Festival of Performing Arts 2016 @ India Habitat Centre, Open Spaces - Atrium on April 28, 6:00pm

 As the dignitaries started inaugurating each panel, the dance forms and their bouquet emerged. The glitter in the eyes one should have noticed. As resplendent captures of the “ICONIC Institutions, MOVEMENTS and GURUs” emerged, the beaming faces showed the happiness and pride of Indian Culture.

Inauguration of the EXHIBITION of SPANDAN Festival of Performing Arts 2016 @ India Habitat Centre, Open Spaces - Atrium on April 28, 6:00pm

 It was a memorable start for the Exhibition.  Thanks INNI for capturing such a divine inaugural evening. For photographs of the evening, kindly visit my FLICKR album SPANDAN 2016

Exhibition @ SPANDAN festival of performing arts 2016 - Nartanam special issues released

Narthanam – SPIC MACAY Special, decked with Sreeni’s photo captures

NARTHANAM’s (a respected quarterly journal on Indian Dance) special issue, dedicated to the movement of SPIC MACAY is out!

Sincere bow to the movement of SPIC MACAY (Society for promotion of Indian Classical Music and culture among youth) for kindling the love for music, dance, culture and heritage. The special issue of Narthanam on SPIC MACAY is embellished by hundreds of captures by me, of the movement over the years, as my humble dedication to the cause ..

Narthanam - SPIC MACAY Special, Sreeni's photo captures

Kindly contribute to the cause of spic macay, and also subscribe Nartanam. See the excerpts from the issue at http://www.nartanam.in/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/special-issue-on-s…

Love and regards,

sreeni
http://www.facebook.com/SREENIViews
SREENIViews Photography & Visual arts

Discover yourself – It is all about your inner journey. Excel and help others to ..

Glad that one of my journeys that I will continue till my last breath has been yielding the results that is of value to others.

One of the things I have been pursuing passionately is photography, along with various other passions. I love performing and fine arts and as a contribution towards keeping this alive and inspire many more, I do serious documentation of these, including visual through photography. You can visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/sreenivasan/collections to enjoy this journey of mine.

For the movement of SPIC MACAY (Society for Promotion of Classical music and Culture Among Youth) an initiative by inspiring mentor Dr. Kiran Seth, another inspiring volunteer guru Ms Rupi Mahindroo from Dehradun got a few students to create this video. I am glad that many of the photographs that I captured of life on stage, of eminent artists, of enthusiastic rasiks including children are found strung meaningfully to create this video, like pearls in an ornament adorning the beautiful movement of SPIC MACAY.

Get inspired, Get into Action… Help others get inspired.

Love.

THE HINDU : Three of Sreeni’s photos appear in “Celebrating selfless service” by Madhavi Puranam – June 28, 2012

“THE HINDU article “Celebrating selfless service” by Madhavi Puranam

The HINDU article carries three photos taken by Sreeni at SPIC MACAY convention, Surathkal

The HINDU article carries three photos taken by Sreeni at SPIC MACAY convention, Surathkal

SPICMACAY made the spirit of volunteerism a highlight at its recent national convention.

Declaring 2012 as the year of volunteerism, SPICMACAY, during its recent 27 national convention at Surathkal near Mangalore, celebrated the spirit of contributing selflessly to the movement.

Socrates enunciated the importance of musical and poetic education for the youth that could penetrate deep into the soul, more than anything else. He would surely have commended the efforts of the Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth (SPICMACAY).

The queen of HINDUSTANI from Brahmaputra Valley, Guru Parveen Sultana

The queen of HINDUSTANI from Brahmaputra Valley, Guru Parveen Sultana

At the gathering, a variety of art forms by noted artists were staged and seen at their resplendent best and it included Malavika Sarukkai, Madhavi and Arushi Mudgal, Margi Madhu and Chintale Ramachandra Hegde. In vocal and instrumental music, Hindustani and Carnatic maestros such as Begum Parveen Sultana also performed.

Some disagreed with Socrates as was seen by the sardonic remark of an influential connoisseur of arts, who said, “Please! Do not give me that inanity! Do you for one moment, believe that dance and music actually lead you to experience divinity in today’s world?”

On the other hand, a young participant after a long recital of classical music, exclaimed, “What a piece of divine art!” The boy is quite a subject of concern in his family of doctors who are worried about his artistic inclinations. “To keep my parents happy and prove that I have talent, I participate in and win a couple of film music competitions. But my dream is to learn Hindustani vocals from a maestro,” said the teenager.

The "PIED PIPER" Dr. Kiran Seth, with Socratic Vision

The “PIED PIPER” Dr. Kiran Seth, with Socratic Vision

Dedicated team

While one juggles with these questions, SPIC MACAY diligently continues with its firm belief that aesthetic experiences improve the soul and establish universal harmony in one’s being; and that every child has a right to experience the rare heritage of his arts.

Over the years, the activities of SPIC MACAY bear testimony to the efforts of Dr. Kiran Seth and his dedicated team of selfless volunteers. They have continued to provide India’s youth with the very best in classical arts and by the maestros. Kiran Seth, a man with a Socratic vision of utility of arts, leads by example. His infectious zeal is the spark that ignites the fire in the thousands of volunteers across the country. At the convention, his nada yoga sessions at 4 a.m. drew the young participants in droves. Amazingly, their hectic schedules would end quite late each day, after the performances in the evening. A thundering Baba Amte urging the youth to stoke the fire of idealism, in a rare documentary, was an inspiration. The week long convention also had rare film screenings in the afternoons. The meticulous workshops on dance, music and craft introduced the young volunteers to the rich art forms.

The LAMBADA and other handicraft techniques were learnt by the youngsters

The LAMBADA and other handicraft techniques were learnt by the youngsters

The joy of a young girl, who had never danced before, knew no bounds when she discovered her innate talent for it. A restless youngster found spinning on the ‘charkha,’ a meditative experience. The crafts village bustled with activity with workshops on Kalamkari, Phad, Madhubani, Saura, Pattachitra and the tribal Gond paintings, Mooj grass and Bamboo crafts, Leharia dyeing and Lambadi embroidery, to name a few.

Many of the participants might not become enthusiastic converts to classical arts right away, but one cannot take away the high probability that the seeds have been firmly sown in the young minds. The rigorous dance and music classes of the maestros showed how high art is made and the discipline with which the skills are cultivated even as one grows spiritually. Each volunteer is an architect of the unique movement of preserving and propagating their very own heritage. With competition and materialism marking this era, one does marvel at the spirit that made people martyrs for the cause of their country such as during the freedom movement. Indeed that was volunteerism at its best. In the context of high art and elite spectators, Roman aesthete Cicero’s view is significant. He said that even an uneducated crowd can perceive charm and elegance in the arts through an amazing power of nature; one could judge art without any formal training in its artistic principles. Cicero’s words proved true when one saw children enjoying classical art forms at the convention.

SPIC MACAY’s ambitious vision to reach out to every student in the country by the year 2020, seems a worthy strategy to nourish young minds and turn them into ideal citizens and rulers that Socrates had envisaged.

Keywords: SPICMACAY, Hindustani music, Carnatic Music, Kiran Seth, Kalamkari embroidery

In Media – SPIC MACAY 27th National Convention, NITK, Surathkal : My humble contribution

It has indeed been a honor and privilege to contribute to the cause of the movement of SPIC MACAY, through my passion for Photography. Capturing all performing arts and activities during the convention has been of value in propagating the cause of SPIC MACAY. While the convention was underway, every evening, photographs taken there, flew into the media offices! Even after the convention, there have been many an article, feature and review in media wherein my photographs accompanied.

I am trying to put these things together here… Thanks to Tiwariji and Manoj, NITK student volunteer for media, who were tailgating the media to publish. My sincere thanks to Leela ji and Manjari ji for carrying my photos to accompany their reviews; also kind of them for sending across the links to and copies of the articles.

FOR READING ANY ARTICLE, CLICK ON THE RESPECTIVE PHOTOGRAPH…You will go to the larger versions or to the article directly that is easily readable…thanks
For my daily reportages that I did from the venue, kindly go to SREENI on SPIC MACAY Stage. You will be able to go through every day reportage by choosing the respective day of the convention, from the series of articles there.

The Hindu – Leela ji’s Friday Review in Delhi, e-paper and other editions

My photo of Sugreeva appears with the article here
My photo of Sugreeva appears with the article here

 
 

[the photo has been labelled wrongly in The Hindu edition – The character shown in the picture is Sugreeva and not Bali, and the performer is not Margi Madhu. Madhu was Bali]

Here is the photo from my series…

Sugreeva trying to enlist Rama and Lakshmana for his cause : Bali Vadham
Sugreeva trying to enlist Rama and Lakshmana for his cause : Bali Vadham

 
 

Jansatta – Manjari ji’s article in Delhi

Guru T N Krishnan's inaugural concert
Guru T N Krishnan’s inaugural concert

 
 

Here is the photo from my series…

Guru T N Krishnan's inaugural concert
Guru T N Krishnan’s inaugural concert

 
 

The Statesman – Manjari ji’s article in Delhi

My photo of Padmashri Shri Chittani Ramachandra Hegde..Yakshagana with article
My photo of Padmashri Shri Chittani Ramachandra Hegde..Yakshagana with article

 
 

Here is the photo from my series…

Padmashri Shri Chittani Ramachandra Hegde..at 79, still going strong
Padmashri Shri Chittani Ramachandra Hegde..at 79, still going strong

 
 

The Times of India – Mangalore and Bangalore

Though Times of India published a longish column with two of my photographs, I wish I had written the column too… Look at the headlines “Musical Extravaganza” and “Six Music groups enthralled”, while we had six of the most prominent and celebrated exponents of the Indian Classical forms of the nation performing! It is insensitive, ignorant and of course hilarious for those who are serious about the purpose and the vision! In the era of paid reportage, this is the standards so called ‘national newspaper’ dishes out!

Yet, we all should be happy that the news appeared in one of the most followed ‘colorful’ newspapers… It is another story to figure out how many read this article in this ‘colorful’ daily!

NITK sways to nightlong musical extravaganza?!
NITK sways to nightlong musical extravaganza?!

 
 
and here are the photos that appeared in the above articles. Click on the photos to see the larger versions on FLICKR
 

Pt Rajan Mishra and Sajan Mishra setting the pace for the overnight
Pt Rajan Mishra and Sajan Mishra setting the pace for the overnight

 
 

Friends from pakistan giving final touches to their work in the intensives
Friends from Pakistan giving final touches to their work in the intensives

 
 

The Times of India 31st May

Guru Margi Madhu as Bali in Bali Vadham, Koodiyattam!
Guru Margi Madhu as Bali in Bali Vadham, Koodiyattam

 
 
and here is the photos that appeared in the above articles. Click on the photo to see the larger versions on FLICKR
 

Guru Margi Madhu as Bali in Bali Vadham, Koodiyattam
Guru Margi Madhu as Bali in Bali Vadham, Koodiyattam

 
 

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The Deccan Herald, Indian Express and Udayavani

SPIC MACAY 27th national convention coverages in the three newspapers
SPIC MACAY 27th national convention coverages in the three newspapers

 
 
The Deccan herald covered reasonably well about the convention, still if you go through the text, you feel, as a participant you would have produced a much better reportage. Scribes do only superficial work. Rush to the venue, catch hold a few and ask some random questions and make a ‘pulao’ of it in half-an-hour! After all they all are doing their ‘job’! Why do not the newspapers really ask the participants to write about?

Even after mentioning clearly in the text that went along with the photographs, about the details there in, they publish in a way that can add ‘sensation’! In India Express, instead of “Students (from Pakistan and India) of Guru Dhananjayans performing Bharatanatyam during the intensive presentations” it appears “Pakistani artists performing Bharatanatyam during ……”.

And the article in Indian Express should have spoken about Gandhi Smriti that facilitated charkha spinning!

The Udayavani

Pt. Rajan and Sajan Mishra and the Bharatanatyam intensive presentation
Pt. Rajan and Sajan Mishra and the Bharatanatyam intensive presentation

 
 

Here are my photographs that you can see in the aforesaid newspapers –

Discussion time at Hatha yoga session; Yoga starts at 4am!! It is magical
Discussion time at Hatha yoga session; Yoga starts at 4am!! It is magical

 
 

Gandhi Smriti facilitated the students to learn Charkha Spinning and creating yarn
Gandhi Smriti facilitated the students to learn Charkha Spinning and creating yarn

 
 

Students (from Pakistan and India) of Guru Dhananjayans performing Bharatanatyam during the intensive presentations
Students (from Pakistan and India) of Guru Dhananjayans performing Bharatanatyam during the intensive presentations

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Indian Express and Prajavani

The guru sishya duo - Madhavi ji with Arushi Mudgal performing
The guru sishya duo – Madhavi ji with Arushi Mudgal performing

 
 
The photograph is here…
 

The guru sishya duo - Madhavi ji with Arushi Mudgal performing
The guru sishya duo – Madhavi ji with Arushi Mudgal performing

 
 
 

The puppetry intensive performance practice
In prajavani – The puppetry intensive performance practice

 
 

The photograph is here…
 

The puppetry intensive performance practice
The puppetry intensive performance practice

 
 
 
I also gather that in may cities and towns, we have used the photos and reports to keep the media abreast of the happenings in SPIC MACAY national convention. I will be delighted and obliged if you could send across links or reports that have appeared in your city or state with my photographs.

Kindly feel free to use any photo from the SPIC MACAY stream (link given under) to use it in your city – for media, SPIC MACAY publications and collateral..

I hope you enjoyed the journey as much as I did, bringing to you….the live action
 
Thousands of captures of SPIC MACAY conventions, see on my Flickr collections
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