July 22, 2012

Cosmopolitan Chennai!

An interesting production is on the cards at AMM Matric School in Kotturpuram.
Well known dancer Nirupama Nithyanandan who grew up and learnt classical dance in our city, then moved to France to learn and perform and is now an international artiste is leading this project at the school.
V. R. Devika of Aseema Trust broached the idea after she watched Nirupama lead a project while working with senior school students in France.
The duo are trying to get the teenagers at AMM express themselves on the theme of 'Cosmopolitan Chennai'.
Where are you from and what brought you to this city? What are the influences that the city has had on you and what have you assimilated and what have you bypassed ? Who are your friends and neighbours and how do you relate to them?
The process and the final presentation in mid-August is bound to be interesting and educative.
Since we have also set the ball rolling for the 2012 edition of 'Madras Week' celebrations which celebrate the founding of the city and all that it stands for, we are hoping that Nirupama's work at AMM can be staged at a few venues later in August.
At one level, Madras Day / Week ( www.themadrasday.in) is about events. At another level it may also set the tone for something more substantial.
Nirupama's effort is in that direction.
There are others too.
Writings on the city have begun to get published. The city has been the stage for a few books of fiction and non-fiction. A book titled 'Chennaivasi' is just being launched. Bishwanath Ghosh's 'Tamarind City' got published some months ago.
A few music bands have over the years composed songs with threads based on the city, its life and its idiosyncracies. A compilation of these songs and some fresh ones on a CD sponsored by a city-based business would make a nice gift or a memento.
Elsewhere, a script is being readied for a short film on an Anglo-Indian family of Madras.
There is also an increasing volume of photographs on this city. They remain on Flickr or in Seagate hard drives. Perhaps, it is time to collate them for coffee table books or direct them to online data banks.
Perhaps this is the time for you and your group to do your bit for the city.

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