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7th International Arts Festival brings together music and dance – A connection between the soul and the mind

7th International Arts Festival brings together modern and traditional scholars who demonstrate the scientific basis of traditional art for a healthy and well-balanced life.

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The 7th International Arts Festival/Symposium to be held on 30th and 31st October this year acknowledge and understand the therapeutic benefits of dance and music in restoring individual health and harmony. The festival will witness scholars and artists from across the globe; Germany, England, and India. Festival Director and founder member of Rays of Wisdom Society, Odissi danseuse and spiritualist Reela Hota says, “If you see ancient cultures, the symbols, instruments, languages, and customs have so many similarities as they were made by intuitive wisdom developed by contemplation. By bringing them together in an interesting way, we hope to showcase this commonality.”

Art in any form is therapeutic; be it dance or music. There is a deep-set connection between the soul and the impact dance or music has on it. Music helps keep your brain engaged throughout the aging process, listening and playing music is great tool. It provides a total brain workout. Research shows that listening to music can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, memory, etc.  Dance as an art form has immense physical health benefits; improved condition of your heart and lungs, increased muscular strength, weight management and reduced chances of Osteoporosis.

The focus of the festival is to bring together the traditional and modern scholars and artists to demonstrate the scientific basis of traditional arts and their integration in our day to day life and also highlight how music and dance can achieve a more balanced lifestyle as well as a well-rounded personality in a common man’s life; which is clearly very hectic and stressful.

Day one of this year’s multi-arts festival will be starting with a performance by Reela Hotta, an eminent Oddisi performer, educator, producer and credited for adding a new dimension to Odissi Dance. The festival will kick start with her performance on Vedas; meaning Vidya the ultimate embodiment of ultimate knowledge.

The second performance of the day will be Raga-Jazz; soul-stirring fusion music by Grammy winner Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and German guitarist Matthias Muller. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, also known as V. M. Bhatt (born 27 July 1950), is a Hindustani classical music instrumentalist who plays the Mohan Veena (slide guitar). He believes, “Classical Music soothes your heart and takes you to Go. The manner in which a musician travels from one note to another can be so heart touching that it can give you a sense of spiritual trance. The listener and practitioner will forget his tensions and troubles and will be purified.”

It is scientifically proven that listening to Jazz can actually have a positive effect on the type of brain waves you produce – which can be stimulating and relaxing. Jazz music can help avoid the aid in stroke recovery, provide pain relief and lower blood pressure considerably.

Day two of the festival will be commenced with a play Rakt-Kalyan by acclaimed theatre director Santanau Bose. Director Santanu Bose says ‘“Art and Spirituality are synonymous. They mean and work in the same way. Music does heal not only the emotional scar but also psychosomatic pain. The event would leave an indelible mark on the mind of the coming generation” The play is a story spanning a few weeks that shows how a vibrant, prosperous society is plunged into anarchy and terror. Written by Girish Karnad in 1989 in the backdrop of mandir-mandal conflict, the drama draws a parallel between the Socio-Religious Political and Economic conditions of existing times and southern India in 12th century A.D. during Bhakti Movement.

The roots of drama therapy go back to the ancient Greeks where the theatre was part of life; an opportunity to express social impacts on life and change. The play will be followed by a lecture-demonstration on “Music and the Mind” and how Music Therapy aids in improving mental Health by Dr. Margaret Lobo, FRSA, Founder of Otakar Kraus Music Trust (OKMT), U.K. She has worked tirelessly in the field of music therapy for over 30 years to help some of the most vulnerable people in society in the UK and India. Margaret is one of the named mentors for the ‘ASHA Foundation, “Inspirational Women from Around the World” and in 2003 was nominated for the Beacon prize & The International Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship Award for their 30 years of volunteer service to their music therapy work in the UK, India, and Nepal.

The grand finale of the evening will be a performance by none other than the veterans of classical Indian vocal music Padma Vibhushan & Grammy winner, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt.

No festival is over without some celebrations, Geeta Chandran, Dancer/Choreographer, and Founder President, Natya Vriksha will be felicitated at the festival. She is a universally celebrated artist, a celebrity and a star performer. She was awarded the prestigious National Award in 2007’ Sangeet Natak Akademi Puruskaar in 2016 and Tagore National Fellow 2017- 2018.



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