Thursday, September 11, 2014

Special Display - Portable Shrines and Dances of India

Portable Shrines

‘Portable Shrines’ are representatives of enduring strands of faith that have their origins in hoary past of folk mythology.

A bare torso, colourful swathes of clothes around the waist, dots of kumkum and turmeric filling the face, whip in a hand and the precious portable shrine skillfully balanced on his head. This is Jogappa carrying Durgimurgi in the box on his head. An exquisitely painted palanquin with the figure of Marikamba is taken around followed by a retinue holding flags, parasols and standards. Both these traditions are from Karnataka. Elsewhere, a painted wooden box unravels its many doors, every inch of it painted with stories from  epics, whose divine ballads are vocalised by minstrels  – this is Kavad of Rajasthan. Painted tapestries of Phad, again from Rajasthan, depict visual episodes from the myths of Pabuji and Devnarayan. While Kalamkari cloth hangings of Srikalahasti sum-up  Indian epics, the ‘Mata-ni-Pachedi’ kalamkaris of Gujarat extol the virtues of Mother goddesses. The painted ‘Pata-chitra’ scrolls of Paschim Banga colourfully depict the legend ‘Mansa Mangal’. These are shrines that move, that travel! Amongst the  men and women carrying these shrines, some sing, some dance but all of them tell tales from the treasure trove of epics, puranas or folklore.

For this special display, Dharmanna Chitragar has created the Durgimurgi shrine, Kistappa and his son Ashok Chitragar have created the palanquin, parasols and standards while the figure of Marikamba within the palanquin is created by Ekappa Chitragar. Ranganatha Rao has created the three Soma masks while the bronzes of Lakshmi, Saraswathi and Durga are by Shilpi Mayachar. Subramaniam and his son Narasimhalu have created the Kalamkari of Sampoorna Ramayana. Ravi has created the clay tableau of Sri Rama’s Durga Puja and Navadurga dolls. Murugesh has created the golden palanquin and the silver chariot.

Dances of India

Human body reacts to extreme emotions through different degrees of movement. Rhythmic movement of feet and body to musical notes is ‘dance’ which manifests to communicate extreme joy, happiness and sometimes anger as well. India is home to myriad dance forms, both folk and classical. In fact, Shiva, one of the trimurti is the king of dance and is called ‘Nataraja’.

Major classical dance forms of India are Bharatanatya, Mohiniattam, Kathak, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Sattriya and Kathakali. Each dance form is characterized by its own costume, jewellery, music, hand gestures, stances, movements, expressions, props and some times spoken language as well. But the common thread that binds these classical dance forms together is the philosophy of expression also called as ‘Navarasa’ or nine essence of expression which are Shringara (love or romance), Hasya (comedy), Karuna (tragedy), Veera (valour), Raudra (anger), Bhaya (fear), Beebhatsa (disgust) Adbhuta (wonder), and Shanta (peace).

Beautifully crafted dolls strike various dance postures complete with costume and make-up at the second section of special display at this Bombe Mane. Smt. Jayalakshmi  has created stuffed dolls of dancers depicting Navarasa for this exclusive section. Highly detailed costume dolls of Kathakali, Mohiniattam, Kathak and Odissi have been created at the famous Shankar Doll Museum, New Delhi. The bronze Nataraja in cire purdue (lost wax process) method has been created by Shilpi Thiagarajan.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Article in Star of Mysore


‘Bombe Mane’ was inaugurated by Music University VC Dr. Sarvamangala Shankar at Pratima Gallery of Ramsons Kala Pratishtana on Nazarbad Main Road today at 6.30 pm. The expo will be open to public between 10 am and 7.30 pm everyday till Oct. 26. Entry is free. Special display section was inaugurated by Ganabharathi Hon. Secretary Vidu. Kripa Phadke.

The tradition of displaying dolls during the nine-day grand festivity is so embedded in the minds of those celebrating the festival in city that putting on show the ‘Dasara Gombe’ means a carnival in itself to many. And as always, the age old tradition that emerged to be a part of the Dasara festivities hundreds of years ago is being celebrated a big way in city, this season too, by the famous Ramsons Kala Pratishtana which has made its exclusive Dasara dolls expo — Bombe Mane, a tradition of Mysore.

But this time it’s all special unlike its previous versions. The expo has entered the 10th year of its commencement, thus promising to be richer and beautiful than all its previous editions. Overwhelmed about it, Raghu, designer at Ramsons Kala Pratishtana gushes, “It has been ten years since this beautiful show commenced at our gallery and we are pleased. We have come a long way and now, Bombe Mane is more of a Mysore tradition than just a simple Dasara dolls expo. It makes us happy that we have received a great response towards it ever since we first started it.”

And the hosts are leaving no stone unturned to make the show vibrant. This season, 10 special types of dolls have been exclusively designed and created to be displayed and sold to mark Bombe Mane’s 10th year celebrations. Explains Raghu, “this time, we have 10 new types of dolls made out of different kinds of materials, exclusively to commemorate our 10th year celebrations. All these are associated either with Mysore or the Dasara festival and only limited editions of them are available. For the first time there are exclusive, limited edition collectors pieces, representative of the quaint rituals of Mysore Dasara festivities, that have been commissioned and exquisitely hand-crafted by master artisans for the discerning few. This special collection is a reflection of the city’s cultural, social and religious heritage.

What’s more, this edition of Bombe Mane will also feature ‘Portable Shrines’ traditions. Many portable shrines are representatives of enduring strands of faith that have origins in folk mythology. Durgamurgi shrines of Karnataka, Kavads of Rajasthan, Pallakki and Jogathi traditions of Karnataka, Kalamkari tapestries of Andhra Pradesh are few representations that are featured for display at the venue this year.

And having been offering so much in the name of dolls show, the expo has succeeded in earning for itself, a few very valuable and dedicated connoisseurs, says the proud designer. “We have developed such great rapport with some of them that we eagerly wait to meet and chit chat with them while we also call a few of them to say certain specific types of dolls are available for sale, in case they would have asked for some custom made toys the previous edition. This makes Bombe Mane all the more special for us since customers are the soul of this expo.”

“And it feels great to say that the interest among people towards the tradition has been increasing and not declining with time. People visit us and purchase more toys and dolls, also asking us to showcase and sell some special forms of toys at times.”

The vibrant tradition which commenced with just the display of ‘Pattada Gombe’ at homes ages ago, has turned special with time, with people showing special interest in collecting and displaying a variety of colourful dolls, creatively each year, which has continued to keep the glory of the festival glowing as ever. — Ambika Nagaraj

Monday, September 1, 2014

Bombe Mane 2014 - Invitation

Ramsons Kala Pratishtana
Invites you to the inauguration of tenth edition of

Bombe Mane
exhibition of dolls

Inauguration of Bombe Mane
Dr. Sarvamangala Shankar
Vice-Chancellor, K.S.G.H. Music & Performing Arts University, Mysore

Inauguration of Special Display
Vidushi. Kripa Phadke
Hon. Secretary, Ganabharati, Mysore

Thursday, 04 September 2014. 6.30 pm

Pratima Gallery
91, 1 Floor, Above Aamrapali Sarees
Nazarbad Main Road, Mysore 570010
M: 9880111625

Exhibition: 5 September to 26 October 2014
10 am to 7.30 pm