By Alok S
Mangalore: The Karnataka Sangeeta Nritya Academy (KSNA) held a meet with its members in the city here to listen to grievances and suggestions.
KSNA president Vyjayanti Kashi, addressing the gathering of artistes, said, "After I took charge from August last as the president, I have observed that some artistes get recognized, whereas some do not. All forms of art are dependent on each other. The academy wants a combination of members who are great gurus as well as youngsters who can take the art to the coming generation. To have further development in this field of ours, we need to work unitedly. Instead of thinking what the academy has done for me it would be better if we ask ourselves, what I have, as an artiste, done for the academy."
She also announced the fellowship schemes in music and dance worth a lakh each which can be applied for and said that such schemes should be available to aspirants from all corners of the state. She said "As far as possible, we need to expose the talents among the rural people and provide them with a platform to do so".
She announced that very soon a convention would be organized for young dancers and singers. "Twenty years from now, we'll have our senior dancers complaining of knee and joint pain. Therefore, I feel it is necessary for us to have facilities like health card, bus pass etc." She then kept the forum open for discussion and valuable suggestions for improving the functioning of the academy.
Vishwanath Rai, a member, put forth a demand that Yakshagana be recognized nationally as a classical form of dance.
This year no dance examinations were conducted in schools as there were lack of judges to examine the students and there were no schools to serve as examination centres. Sheela Divakar, a dance teacher, came up with a reasoning that it was perhaps because the judges were paid very low. A maximum of Rs 375 per day for an examination period of 10 days was paid to an examiner or judge. She wondered how rewarding it would be for a person travelling to an unknown place and also having to make own arrangements for food, stay and transport. She also expressed the dire need of security for women examiners who had to conduct exams in distant places.
Tonse Pushkala Kumar pointed out that aspiring students belonging to rural areas were deprived of obtaining the services of good dance and music teachers as no decent salaries are paid to teachers in rural areas. This has led to migration of teachers to urban areas where they could get a decent pay package, he complained.
Senior dancers Ullal Mohan Kumar, Jayalakshmi, Vishwanath Rai , Sarojamma and N Narayan were also present on the dais.