Feet on Earth festival: An ode to Hyderabadi culture

The two-day performing arts festival brought together a host of celebrated artists from different states on one stage.

ByDeepthi Nandan

Published Oct 26, 2022 | 1:50 PMUpdatedOct 26, 2022 | 2:53 PM

Pujitha Krishna at Feet on Earth

The “Feet on Earth” performing arts festival, which was held recently at Salar Jung Museum’s auditorium in Hyderabad, brought together a host of celebrated artists from different states. It also offered a one-of-its-kind experience to the city’s art lovers.

Riveting performances by accomplished Odissi dancer Sharmila Biswas and Yakshagana artiste Keremane Shridhara Hegde, coupled with an exhibition showcasing the history of Hyderabad, turned the festival into a confluence of different forms of art and culture.

A striking feature of the “Feet on Earth” festival was that it showcased both senior and upcoming artists. It also added contemporary and experimental art forms to traditional dance forms.

“Physical theatre is just evolving in India and theatre enthusiasts and lovers are showing interest in it. Unlike traditional theatre, where most of the focus lies on dialogues, physical theatre focuses mostly on body movements and delivers its message through extensive use of body movements,” Nenita Praveen told South First.

“We are delighted to perform an experimental art form on the same stage where veteran dancers like Sharmila Biswas performed. This helps in gaining recognition for physical theatre,” she said.

Along with Pallavi Verma, Praveen delivered a physical theatre presentation.

Dance, theatre & painting come together

Odissi by Sharmila Biswas

Odissi performance by Sharmila Biswas at the Feet on Earth festival. (Deepthi Nandan/SouthFirst)

Besides the dance performance of Sahitya Akademi Award-winning Odissi dancer Biswas, there were Kuchipudi performances by Pujita Krishna, Sannidha RajaSagi and Srividya Angara Sinha.

However, the highlight of the two-day festival was the performance by Keremane Shridhara Hegde, a hereditary Yakshagana artiste from Karnataka.

He came up with “Bayalata”, a varied form of Yakshagana from Uttara Karnataka district of Karnataka.

“It has been a delight to perform in Hyderabad. The city represents a rich history and tradition and also assimilates different cultures and art forms effortlessly. It is a joy for an artiste to connect with Hyderabadis who are connoisseurs of art,” Biswas told South First.

Besides the artistic performances, the “Feet on Earth” festival featured visual artist Naishitha Reddy Kasarla’s paintings, depicting the degeneration of the Musi river and its state of neglect.

An intersection of urbanity-tradition

Nenita Praveen and Pallavi Verma performing physical theatre

Nenita Praveen and Pallavi Verma performed physical theatre at the Feet on Earth festival. (Deepthi Nandan/SouthFirst)

“The ‘Feet on Earth’ festival is an initiative driven by the intent to bring together the worlds of arts, culture, history and ecology. Poised on the intersection of urbanity and tradition, Hyderabad possesses the advantages of a unique landscape and lives with dynamic cultural traditions,” Pujitha Krishna told South First.

“Therefore, we have chosen artists representing different art forms, both experienced and young, to perform during the festival, in tune with the ethos of Hyderabad city,” she added.

Besides delivering a Kuchipudi dance presentation, Pujitha conceived, curated and organised “Feet on Earth”.

“Hyderabadis are open to new experiences and lap up art performances. We have got a good response for the event. Our objective for the future is to present consummate artists from around the country along with those who are up-and-coming,” she explained.

The festival will focus on showcasing lesser-represented performing arts aside from mainstream forms even in the future.

“For instance, Yakshagana from Karnataka was showcased for the first time in Hyderabad in this festival,” Pujitha Krishna said.