In a past article we mentioned how particularly thrilled we are to witness the emergence and the evolution of multidisciplinary arts in India, where various segments of the art and the music industry converge to create unique experiences. Exciting ideas that fuse technology, music, art and the rich culture India has to offer are being born and nurtured across various locations throughout our vast nation.
How does the idea of a traditional folk dance fused with electronic music and some video game visual elements thrown in, sound ? Pretty intriguing, unique and interesting you’d think right?
Well that’s what Antariksha Sanchar is, a Bharatnatyam Dance opera with live Carnatic-electronic music and visual elements from a video game based on the same concept.
It is conceptualized by visual arts director Avinash Kumar and electronic music producer/dj Murthovic and brought to life by Red Bull India
As a first of its kind cross-platform-multi-disciplinary cultural project it tells a story that is part reality and part fantasy. One of a math genius Srinivasa Ramanujan as he hopes to travel from his home in early 20th Century Madurai to visit other planets in the Solar System. Scored by the Antariksha Sanchar Ensemble; a team of Carnatic-electronic musicians, it featured three shows accompanied by stunning visuals from India's first cultural adventure video game Antariksha Sanchar: Transmissions in Space.
Avinash Kumar, (Ceo of Quicksand Studios, Thiruda and Co-founder of BLOT), is the mastermind behind the entire Antariksha Sanchar concept that started off as a video game. Hence they are mostly elements derived from the game itself. Avinash also happens to be the son of Jayalakshmi and this mother-son relationship and perhaps adds to the uniqueness of this project The visual style explores a steampunk theme in conjunction with various elements inspired by the history and richness of South Indian culture and forms the core part of this fantasy venture.
(Photo : Ali Bharmal/ Red Bull Content Pool)
The dance opera is choreographed and led by veteran Bharatanatyam exponent Jayalakshmi Eshwar. The show brings together modern media across multiple platforms to tell a story rooted deeply in ancient Indian culture as it touches upon culture, spirituality, natural creation, science, and the unending desire of human beings wanting to take flight.
Antariskha Sanchar Video
The dance opera is scored by classical Carnatic musicians along with electronic artists led by Sri Rama Murthy of Hyderabad. Murthy aka Murthovic has been a pioneer of the electronic music scene in Hyderabad, having been an integral part of the scene for close to two decades.. He leads a team of classically-trained Carnatic musicians in collaboration with his own electronic band as they produce a fusion of ancient Indian music with a modern touch in the live performance.
The collaboration has also spawned two albums: a set of eight originals first heard in the dance opera and a corresponding set of remixes by some of India’s most forward-thinking musicians. _RHL, FILM, Folic State, Madboy, Oceantied, The Sine Painter, Spryk and Todh Teri.
Check out the Vice Asia feature
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This article has excerpts from Red Bull India’s coverage. Head over to their site to read the entire concept.