Cultural Outreach Program

Cultural Outreach Programs are a venture brought together by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bengaluru and Infosys Foundation, Bengaluru. Initiated in the year 2015, these programs aim at protecting, preserving and promoting India’s culture and heritage embedded in performing and visual arts such as dance, music and paintings.

This initiative has provided a platform for indigenous artists, be it folk or classical. Held across 11 Bhavan centres in India, a total of 834 programs have benefitted 8299 artists and have reached out to 2,73,849 viewers to date. These numbers continue to grow month on month.

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Bengaluru has so far conducted 89 programs. Over 650 artists from across the state have performed for over 20000 online and offline viewers. Take a look at some of the programs streamed on our YouTube Channel BVBBengaluru.

Taala Maddale

Taala Maddale is a conversational art where dialogues from popular mythological stories are interlaced with puns, wit, humour and philosophy. The style of rendition is borrowed from the same oral texts used in Yakshagana.

The name of this art form has been coined from the usage of two prominent instruments i.e., Taala (cymbals) and Maddale (a type of drum). As a part of our Cultural Outreach Program in November, an Ekavyakti Taala Maddale performance was put together by Shri. Diwakar G. Hedge

Poli Kitty

Dhrushya Theater Events & Performers presented Poli Kitty; a humorous play written by Kannada’s renowned playwright T. P. Kailasam. This play was directed by Dr. Dakshayani Bhat and enacted by an ensemble of child artists.

Through Poli Kitty, T. P. Kailasam sends a strong message that children should gain a well-rounded development and their education shouldn’t be confined to books alone.

Yoga Mallakhamba

A sport eponymous to the Sheesham pole (rosewood) used as the main property to exhibit spectacular gymnastic moves is called Mallakhamb. Parallelly, it derives its name from Malla meaning wrestler and Khamb meaning pole.

This sport was performed by Shri. Siddharuda Hugar, who teaches Mallakhamba to every child in his village shaping them into strong, energetic and healthy individuals. His team has set 3 world records, have appeared in 3 films, 52 television shows and have performed in 8 countries.

Goravara Kunitha

The devout community of Kuruba Gowda dedicates its life to the worship of Mailara Linga and an art form offered to him as their mark of devotion is ‘Goravara Kunitha’.

A fervent art form, young Kuruba men are ordained at a young age in front of Mailara Linga. They commit to this folk art for the rest of their lives. Accessories such as jingles, a bag, blanket, a wooden bowl, a small drum and a flute are presented at the initiation.

Goravara Kunitha is performed during festivals and other occasions

Lambani Folk Dance & Song

The Banjaras, a farming community, are aboriginals of Rajasthan. The idiosyncrasies of this community are unique in terms of language, clothing, food, art and culture. One such entity is the colourful garb of the Banjaras popularly known as Lambani, synonymous with their art form.

This indigenous folk art was presented by artists such as Nandini Bai, Roopa, Susheela Bai, Uma Bai, Lakshmi Bai P, Lakshmi Bai R, Lachchi Bai, Tulasi Bai, Kumari Bai, Lakshmi Bai D, Hanumantha Naik, Srinivasa Naik and Jayakumar.

Karnataka Police Band – Carnatic & Western Music

The Police Band of Mysore was formed by His Royal Highness Shri. Chamarajendra Wadiyar for various needs and pageantries which incorporated both Carnatic and English performances.

The Palace Band was eventually amalgamated into the Police Band in the 1950s and was brought under the Mounted Police Company of Karnataka in the year 1958. They were formed into the Karnataka Government Band which plays western and European music, and the Karnataka Government Orchestra which plays Carnatic Classical compositions.

As a part of the 74th Independence Day, these bands laid out a spectacular musical show for our Cultural Outreach Program

The Police Band of Mysore was formed by His Royal Highness Shri. Chamarajendra Wadiyar for various needs and pageantries which incorporated both Carnatic and English performances.

The Palace Band was eventually amalgamated into the Police Band in the 1950s and was brought under the Mounted Police Company of Karnataka in the year 1958. They were formed into the Karnataka Government Band which plays western and European music, and the Karnataka Government Orchestra which plays Carnatic Classical compositions.

Kodava Folk Dance

An ode to mother nature was offered by some of the most talented Kodava folk dancers and singers surrounded by the lush green hills of Coorg. The Kodava Folk Dance featured two folk groups, Muthunaadu Abhimani Okkuta and Muthunaadu Pommakada Okkuta.

Six performances which included four dance forms namely Bolak-Aat, Ummat-Aat, Kathi-Aat and Valaga-Aat were performed while Thalipaat and another song were rendered by artists.

Mandolin concert by Shri. Vishnu Venkatesh

Vidwan Shri. Vishnu Venkatesh is a disciple of Padmashri Mandolin U Srinivas and U Rajesh. He has performed across the world and has been conferred with many awards. It was an opportune moment for music lovers of Bengaluru to watch him live on Bhavan Bengaluru’s YouTube Channel, BVB Bengaluru

Seetha Kalyana – Hari Katha

In India, Hari Katha or Katha Kirtan is a prominent form of story-telling. Translated to ‘Story of Lord Hari’ (Hari – Lord Vishnu & Katha – Story), Hari Katha is one of the oldest forms of narrative where a ‘Hari Katha Dasa’ entwines an entertaining format of dance and song, filled with humour and messages of righteousness, with stories of Lord Vishnu.

‘Sita Kalyana’, the celestial wedding of Lord Rama and his consort Goddess Sita was presented by eminent Hari Katha artist Shri. Sirsi Narayana Das. Click on the link below to watch this indigenous art form.

Dasaru Kanda Krishna

Santha Purandara Dasa is known for dedicating his life to the worship and praise of his cherished deity Lord Krishna. He is deeply revered for having introduced Raga Mayamalavagowla as the beginner’s scale in Carnatic Classical Music.

A befitting ode to this venerable figure of the Bhakti Movement was given by Vidushi Smt. Bharati Venugopal and her disciples. A versatile artist, Vidushi Bharati Venugopal’s proficiency extends to singing, dancing and dramatics as well.

To listen to poignant compositions such as Ranganyaake Baarane in Raga Janjuti, Naanena Maadideno Krishnayya in Raga Brindavani and others, click on the link below

Togalu Gombe Aata – Sudhanva Kalaga

Shadow Puppetry is an ancient art form found predominantly in the southern part of India. Known as Togalu Gombeyaata in Karnataka, the process of making these puppets involves washing, drying and dying goat or deerskin. They are then cut into intricate designs resembling the characters of a story.

Most puppeteer families start this process with a prayer. They go into seclusion to carve their work of art and finally celebrate a metaphorical naissance of these puppets with song and dance.

A talented artist, Shri. Ramesh from Nagamangala, Mandya who learnt this art from his forefathers, showcased Sudhanva Kalaga with his team comprising of Shri. Dev Raj, Shri. Suresh and Smt. Nagamma.

Ranga Sangeetha

Ranga Sangeetha finds its roots in stage productions of the yesteryears, where songs would act as tributaries to a plot to increase the lushness of its presentation. Eclectic in nature and lucid in style, Ranga Sangeetha’s mesmerizing compositions tug at your heartstrings like first love or the first drops of rain on parched land.

The fortune of hosting Padma Shri Awardee, actor, singer, and director Smt. B. Jayashree and her team of accomplished musicians proved to be an unforgettable experience. Granddaughter of the gifted thespian Late Shri. Gubbi Veeranna, Smt. B. Jayashree is a popular name and has been an irreplaceable part of theatre and celluloid.

Watch the mesmerizing rendition of Ranga Sangeetha below.

String Puppet Show – Narakasura Vadhe & Bhakta Markandeya

For centuries now, puppets or marionettes have been impactful storytellers. Draped in colourful costumes, these dolls lure the audience with their innocent beauty whilst being skillfully anthropomorphized by puppeteers.

Two mythological plays Narakasura Vadhey and Bhakta Markandeya were expertly presented by Rangaputhali Puppeteers. Shri. M. R. Ranganath Rao started Rangaputhali Puppeteers to carry forward the legacy of his forefathers and has now handed the realms of this four-decade-long passion to his sons Shri. M. R. Srinivas and Shri. M. R. Vijay.

Vrushasena Kalaga – Yakshagana

One of the two major epics of India, Mahabharata’s embedded narrative has piqued the interest of many artists, and its various tales have been widely enacted, sung, and danced to on many occasions. One such tale ‘Veera Vrushasena Kalaga’ was brought to life by Yakshakala Academy.

The show-stealer, Ms. Panchami, aged 8 portrayed the role of Vrushasena and caught the audience spellbound by her performance. To watch this child prodigy in action, click on the link below.

Vachana Namana

On the auspicious week of Basava Jayanti, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bengaluru and Infosys Foundation presented Vachana Namana, as a part of the 91st Cultural Outreach Program. Renowned musicians Mrutyunjaya Doddavada and Shwetha Prabhu performed some of the most well-known Vachanas by Basavanna, Akka Mahadevi, Devara Dasimmaya and a few other composers. 

Vachanas such as Kalabeda Kolabeda, Yennanataranga Neevayya, Aaneyanerikonduhodire by Basavanna, Kayakadalli Niratanadare by Ayadakki Marayya and Usirina Parimalaviralu by Akka Mahadevi were performed and the concert came to a close with Jnanada Baladinda Agnanada Kedu, a Basavanna Vachana by a group of singers. 

The audience was left moved and wanting more. The musicians were felicitated by Shri. H. N. Suresh, Director, Bhavan Bengaluru along with Vidushi Nagalakshmi K Rao and were congratulated for a spell-bound performance.

Film Songs Fiesta

An ode to some all-time favourite film songs was given at the 90th Cultural Outreach Program by Bhavan Bengaluru in consortium with Infosys Foundation on Saturday, 30 April 2022. The ‘Popular Film Songs Festival’ featured renowned singers Smt. Ramya Vinayanth and Shri. Inchara Praveen Kumar. Accompanying them were Shri Rajkiran and Shri Suprith on Keyboard, Shri. Ravikiran on Tabla and Shri. Shrusti Srinivas on Rhythm Pad. 

The event started with Shri Inchara Praveen Kumar’s ode to Lord Ganesha with Ajam Nirvikalpam followed by Teredide Mane O Baa Atithi, a poem written by National Poet Kuvempu, featured in the film Hosa Belaku, sung by Smt. Ramya Vinayanth. Popular songs such as Ee Hasiru Siriyali from the film Nagamandala, Neera Bittu Nelada Mele Doni Saagadu from Hombisilu, Yeh Raatein Yeh Mausum Nadi Ka Kinara from Dilli Ka Thug, O Saathi Re Tere Bina Kya Jeena from Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, and Naguva Nayana from Pallavi Anupallavi entertained the audience. 

Shri. H. N. Suresh, Director and Vidushi Nagalakshmi K. Rao, Kendra Committee Member, Bhavan Bengaluru congratulated the performers and said that the concert had a spell-biding effect on the audience.

Shri. Suresh and Vidushi Nagalakshmi felicitated the singers and the musicians. 

Gurubhyo Namaha - A Thematic Presentation by Bharatanjali Ensemble

To pay a tribute to three cardinal philosophers of India, Shri Adi Shankaracharya, Shri Ramanujacharya and Shri Madhvacharya, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bengaluru in consortium with Infosys Foundation presented Gurubhyo Namaha, a thematic presentation by Bharatanjali Ensemble as a part of the 92nd Cultural Outreach Program. This presentation was choreographed by Guru Seetha Guruprasad and was held on 29th May 2022.

The disciples of Guru Seetha Guruprasad presented a spectacle, befitting an ode to the supreme masters of Vedanta. Their costumes, designed by Guru Seetha, were saffron in color embodying the renunciation and robes of the Acharyas. They even wore simple jewellery as opposed to the conventional gears worn by Bharatanatyam dancers, to reflect the sanctity and simplicity of the Trinity.

The recital began with a ‘Pushpanjali’, a salutation to Lord Nataraja, the Guru, the musicians and the audience. The disciples performed Varnams for every Guru along with Jathiswarams. The audience were left spellbound by their performance.

Hindustani Vocal & Kuchipudi Recital

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bengaluru in association with Infosys Foundation conducted the 94th Cultural Outreach Program on 9 July 2022 at KRG Hall, Bhavan Bengaluru at 10:30 am.

Hindustani concert by renowned classical and playback singer Smt Chaithra H G followed by Kuchipudi recital by Smt. Sree Veena Mani was held.

Smt Chaithra H G was accompanied by Shri H S Gopinath on Tabla and Shri Umakanth Puranik on Harmonium.

The artists were felicitated by Kendra Committee Member, Shri Suresh B K Naidu.