Author: Sumati Mehrishi

Why You Cannot Leverage Indian Soft Power Without Producing Indic Art

The 1960s and 1970s were times of profound journeys for Indian art. The 1920s and 1930s were even better, perhaps. The constant struggle to find arts in the right spaces and space for the arts got the best out of artistes and collaborations. That wondrous era of remarkable 1960s — conversations in culture and revival of the arts had also seen Milena Salvini, who was awarded the Padma Shri for kathakali last month, get drawn to the Indian dance forms and become a part of a great period of cultural mutation in aesthetics. Contributing to her journey was well-known Bharatanatyam exponent and guru M K Saroja. What made world artistes, such as Salvini, leap to India — back and forth? What inspired them to establish not only a vast audience across generations, but also centres for the learning of Indian arts? Salvini went back to France. Centre Mandapa was established in Paris, to see students pick up and learn dance forms. In north India, Rishikesh received the Beatles. A lot happened here, some say. What …