There is no part of the world today that has remained untouched by the essence of Indian Art and Culture, especially in the recent times when Indian artists have shown tremendous presence online, providing spiritual and mental comfort to the listeners and admirers across the globe. This need to preserve and promote India’s unique classical art forms led to creation of a global forum being launched this Navratri. The Art of Living, under the guidance and vision of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar, presents the launch of the World Forum for Art and Culture. The flagship festival of the forum, Kala Arpan, a first of its kind online festival, will showcase more than 40 maestros of Indian Classical Performing Arts. The festival will highlight performances by stalwarts from their respective field of arts including – Pt. Birju Maharaj (Kathak), Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam (Bharatnrityam), Dr. Saroja Vaidyanathan (Bharatanatyam), Dr. Kanak Rele (Mohiniattam), Pt. Debu Chaudhuri (Sitar), Dr. N Rajam (Violin), N Ravikiran (Chitravina), Pt. Vidyashar Vyas (Hindustani Vocal), Pt. Wasifuddin Dagar (Dhrupad), Pt Bhajan Sapori (Santoor), and Darshana Zaveri (Manipuri).
Kala Arpan, will be a 9-day festival in tandem with Navaratri celebrations in India that will reach millions of viewers in more than 150 countries through live webcast. Navaratri in India is a celebration of the Shakti, the feminine energy, the source of creativity. WFAC festival showcases 9 female artists, each being an icon in their own right including Sankari Krishnan (Carnatic Vocal), Dr. Lata Surendra and Dr. Rajashree Warriar (Bharatanatyam), Shubhada Varadkar (Odissi), Jayanti Kumaresh (Veena), Sumitra Guha (Bhajan), Dr. Anupama Bhagwat (Sitar), Paullumi Mukheerjee (Kathak), Prateesha Suresh (Sattriya Nritya). International Icons of Indian Dance The knowledge of these indigenous art forms have been passed on through both, the centuries-old Guru-Shishya tradition as well as a university based arts education. WFAC brings together maestros like Parshwanath Upadhyay (Bharatanatyam), Sikkil Gurucharan (Carnatic Vocal), Piyal Bhattacharya (Nayashastric Music Tradition), Lalgudi GJR Krishna and Vijayalakshmi (Violin), Dr. S Karthick (Ghatam), Pt. Rattan Mohan Sharma (Haveli Sangeet), Pt. Ratikant Mohapatra (Odissi), Kalapini Komkali (Kabir Vani), Pt. Kalinath Mishra (Tabla) and Sharma Bandhus (Ramayan Geet) who will shape the future of Indian performance arts. Also, masters who work on ancient arts research like Dr. Puru and Dr. Vibha Dadheech will feature along with popular media celebrities and actors like Vineet Radhakrishnan and Prachee Shah Pandya.
Pt. Pratap Pawar from London and Rathna Kumar from USA who have spent decades living away from their homeland, will also perform, their art being a testament to passion for the timeless traditions of Indian culture. Moving forward, the WFAC will become a global congregation of artists working together as an action group to promote educational and community building initiatives worldwide. The Art of Living has always worked to provide a common platform for artists to come together, as we witnessed at The World Culture Festival in 2016, where more than 36,603 artists from around the world over came together in celebration of indigenous art and music. The WFAC will be a melting pot for thousands of artists representing various art forms to come together, exchange ideas and move together as one artistic community shaping the future global of art and culture.