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Foundation stone laid for pan-Asian cultural centre

Special Correspondent

Bharata–Ilango Foundation for Asian Culture will come up near Mamallapuram



Holistic approach in art:Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi laying the foundation stone for Bharata–Ilango Foundation for Asian Culture at Pattipulam, near Mamallapuram on Sunday. Managing Trustee of BIFAC Padma Subrahmanyam, Labour Welfare Minister T.M. Anbarasan and Member of Parliament Kanimozhi, are in the picture.

TAMBARAM: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Sunday laid the foundation stone for Bharata–Ilango Foundation for Asian Culture at Pattipulam Village off East Coast Road near Mamallapuram on Sunday and stated that any dance form was not restricted to one particular section.

While stating that he did not dispute that Bharata Muni was the author of ‘natya shastra,' Mr. Karunanidhi said classical dance was not restricted to any particular section and that graceful movements and artistry alone were required “as the language” for an artist.

Stating that he was happy to note that Indian art, especially its dance forms were widely popular and followed in many parts of the world, especially all over South and South East Asia, Mr. Karunanidhi hoped that the centre would serve as a platform for artists from all over the world to come together, research and express their views. The Chief Minister also said the government would extend its support to the project.

Mr. Karunanidhi said a legal tussle surrounded the project and eminent Bharatanatyam exponent and managing trustee of BIFAC, Padma Subrahmanyam had stated that she would resort to legal recourse for establishing the centre. However, he had told her that the issue could be settled and it was resolved when Ms. Padma Subrahmanyam agreed to include the name of Ilango (Tamil poet Ilango Adigal, author of Silappathikaram) in the centre's name.

Kanimozhi, Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament, wanted Ms. Padma Subrahmanyam to include folk arts of Tamil Nadu in the activities of BIFAC. Folk arts, she said, was an integral part of classical arts as well. Ms. Kanimozhi said she was glad at this initiative to promote classical arts. She hoped that the centre would create artists visiting the centre for research and dialogue with a “holistic approach.”

Ms. Padma Subrahmanyam said Ilango Adigal's “Silappathikaram' gave details about the technique of music and dance of Tamil Nadu pertaining to that period and that there were extraordinary links between it and Bharat Muni's natya shastra.” Chief Minister's wife, Rajathi Ammal, Labour Welfare Minister T.M. Anbarasan, Kancheepuram Collector Ashish Chatterjee, were also present.

Later in a brief chat with reporters, Ms. Padma Subrahmanyam said the estimated cost of the project was Rs.15 crore. They were hoping to complete it in 18 months. Reacting to Ms. Kanimozhi's appeal, she said folk arts would be an integral part of the centre's activities.

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