Mellifluous Six Days at the 11th Naada Bindu Festival 2021

The 11th Naada Bindu Festival (NBF) in February 2021 went online this year and was available to around 2560 registered participants from the comfort of their homes. There were registrations from 42 countries, around 71% from India, 17% from the USA, 3% from the UK and the balance from other countries. 70% of the registered members were women.

A 7-day event with three sessions every day, scheduled from 10 to 16 February 2021, the content from the festival was accessible from 10 February right up to the end of the month, keeping in mind those who had to juggle with various other commitments to be able to relax with talks, meditation and games besides the core music and dance evenings.

Swami Swaroopananda (Chancellor, Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth (CVV) and Global Head of Chinmaya Mission) lit the inaugural lamp and Prof. Nagaraj Neerchal (Vice Chancellor, CVV) declared the festival open. Swami Swaroopananda appreciated the innovativeness and creativity shown by the NBF team in organising the 11th NBF online instead of postponing it to a later date.

Featuring the best of the best from performances and artist-reflections by globally acclaimed artists who have graced the NBF stage over the last decade, this presentation, carefully selected from our archival footage, recreated the NBF-Magic not only through performances but also snippets of wisdom harvested from interviews and Art-Talks.

The evenings were dedicated to the performing arts. The ‘Music Encore’ sessions featured 25 classical Hindustani and Carnatic clips covering both instrumental and vocal genres of music, which were selected from a collection of over forty music concerts. The ‘Dance Encore’ evenings, with an array of nine performances of themed montages, excerpts from grand productions, dance-theatre, and remarkable solos from Bharatanatyam, Kathak, and Odissi repertoires, were presented by Smt. Ramaa Bharadvaj with entertaining anecdotes and illustrative back-stories.

The afternoon sessions had three days of commissioned talks, titled ‘Kala Drishti – A multi-dimensional insight into the arts’. ‘Navarasa in Ramayana’ was the topic chosen by Shri Dushyant Sridhar, a young prolific public speaker (Upanyaskar) on topics related to Sanatana Dharma, where he cited interesting instances where the various rasas were displayed by the characters in the epic. Smt. Mandakini Trivedi, Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardee for Mohiniyattam, spoke and demonstrated postures that go to prove that the body is a Yantra in her talk, ‘The Yantra Dances—A look at Classical Indian Dance as a parallel Yoga’. Pt. Dr. Ritwik Sanyal, an outstanding Dhrupad singer, composer and writer as well as an academician, researcher, and guide, spoke on ‘Dhrupad: Musical Substance, Style and Spirituality’, where he clarified that Dhrupad is meant for reaching out to the ‘Unmanifest’.

The other three afternoon sessions were filled with fun and excitement, with games like Music Quiz, Dance Quiz and Bhajan Antakshari. These were excellently conducted by volunteer-friends of Chinmaya Naada Bindu.

Three mornings served as Food for the Soul and were dedicated to discourses on ‘Shri Rama Hare Stotram’ and ‘Rasa, Rasika and Rasagna’ by Swami Tejomayananda, the inspiration behind the Chinmaya Naada Bindu Gurukula. The remaining three mornings were called Day Energisers and were therapeutic, with a meditation session by Swami Swaroopananda; music meditation by Acharyamitra Paroksh Sujay, a seeker, guide and friend for youngsters and a Yoga teacher, and Sargam Meditation by Smt. Pramodini Rao, Director at Chinmaya Naada Bindu Gurukula.With spiritual discourses, scholarly talks, meditation sessions and games scheduled during the day, along with the evenings dedicated to performing arts, the 11th NBF catered to all the personality layers of viewers.