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IFAS’s First Talk

The Ipoh Fine Arts Society (IFAS), a society with the vision to play a crucial role in the enrichment of Indian Fine Arts, hosted their first talk entitled, ‘The Inaugural IFAS Talk’ at the YMCA Ipoh recently. Essentially, the prime focus of IFAS’s talk was to inculcate an understanding of the grandeur and vision of Indian Performing Arts to Malaysians.

In attendance was Guru Shankar Kandasamy (pic right), a renowned and established Bharatanatyam dancer in Malaysia, who’s currently pursuing his PhD in Indian Fine Arts in India together with Malika Ravishankar and Dharmen Krishnan. Like Shankar, Malika and Dharmen are accomplished artists where Malika is a professional teacher of the Temples of Fine Arts in Kuala Lumpur and a highly acclaimed artist of all India radio. Dharmen on the other hand was born with an exceptional skill in playing the Mridangam which is a double-sided drum usually found in India.

Rasika, meaning the appreciation of Indian Classical Art was the inaugural talk that evening. The first half of the talk began with Shankar sharing his vast knowledge of Indian classical music where he explained the technicalities in an eloquent yet passionate manner accompanied by the soulful demonstration presented by Malika and Dharmen. The trio’s beautiful performances instantly charmed and kept the audience under their spell. In between performances, Shankar said, “In India, the musical arts tend to be divergent. We aren’t just ordinary performers but true artists who are spiritually in tune with the music.” He also said that music is the best form of yoga to reach God. The first half of the talk reached its finale after a dedication of Malika’s favourite piece to the audience.

The second half featured a talk solely on the Bharatanatyam dance. Similarly, Shankar’s explanation was detailed. He described the significance of the lotus-flower hand gestures and relates the gestures along with a poetic story in praise of Lord Shiva. Shankar’s showcase of the Bharatanatyam was mind blowing, elaborated through a combination of fluid body movements and a series of animated expressions as he dominated the stage which once again captivated the audience.

A question and answer session ensued at the close of the evening.

Lim Hui Teng

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