12th Jivan Pani Memorial Festival
Padma Vibhushan Awardee Dr.Sonal Mansingh and her centre for Indian Classical Dances brought together some of the finest Indian classical dance and music talent on stage at the 12th Jivan Pani Memorial Festival, 2015. The festival was started by Sonal Mansingh right after her Guru passed away in 1998 to remain grateful and respectful to the memory of her Guru. This year, the festival was dedicated to Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan of which Padma Vibhushan Dr. Sonal Mansingh had the honour of being one of the NAVARATNA’s announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This time the festival’s theme was Abhilaasha – ‘Aspiration’ and was spread across two days- 18th and 19th March, wherein the first day had three solo dance performances by male dancers in Manipuri, Sattriya and Kathak. On the second day of the festival, the audience witnessed choral singing by children of Shubhendra and Saskia Rao Foundation and later in the evening, Shubhendra Rao and Saskia Rao-de Haas mesmerised the audience with their Sitar and Cello duet performance. The Festival commenced by awarding Dr. Priyambada MohantyHejmadi, the undisputed torch-bearer and scholar of Odissi dance, with Jivan Ratna Award.
In an exclusive conversation with us, Sonal Mansingh spoke about the festival and also, how important it is to keep our surroundings clean and neat. “It is important to secure our own environment before starting with other states. We are also going to start with solo theatre which is slightly different from street play and this idea, one of the key member gave us. We would have trained actors with us who would go to different places and talk about the issues persisting there.”
Continuing further, Sonal Mansingh said, “It is important to understand each ones problem. We would also ensure audience participation during the solo theatre. It would not be in the day but in evening when every member of the family is back home. So, apart from dance and music, solo theatre is also a medium through which we are aiming to spread the message of cleanliness in us and around.”
Sonal Mansingh talking about the performances said, “The performances are not a solution to anything. Solution is a very big word. We are focusing on spreading the message and it is up to the mindset of the people if they want to take anything from it. Getting solution is a big and long task; things will not change in a day or in couple of performances. We have to change our lifestyle, mindset and so on, which can take a lot of time. Our tagline encapsulates our initiative and motive- SwacchSwasth Shresht Bharat. We all have to work together; there is no space for ego here. The performances would happen as frequently as you want. My entire life is dedicated to dance and presenting dance form as a message. I don’t think there is any other way I can spread the message across.”
The chief guest for the concluding day is Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Honorable Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. Guests of Honour include Prof.Lokesh Chandra, President ICCR and Padma Shri Awardee, Hon. Secretary General of the Indian Medical Association and President, Heart Care Foundation of India- Dr K K Aggarwal.