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To mark International Day of Yoga on 21 June, several events, including art exhibitions, talks and workshops, along with dance and musical performances, are being organized in the Capital.

The Sangeet Natak Akademi is organizing “Yog Parv", a week-long festival, which starts on 21 June. It will feature over 300 artworks, dance and musical performances by more than 150 artistes from India and abroad.

“Performing arts is understood in the context of yoga as Naad yoga, asanas, mudras, Pranayam, bandhas, kriyas and dhyana. In both disciplines (performing arts and yoga), the practice combines physical exercise and has meditative and spiritual pursuits that connect humanity," says Helen Acharya, secretary, Sangeet Natak Akademi.

The festival at Rabindra Bhavan is divided into three sections. A multimedia art exhibition, Yoga Chakra—Tradition & Modernity, will be hosted at Lalit Kala Akademi. Yoga And Performing Arts, at the Meghdoot Theatre, will feature dance performances, music concerts, theatre shows, lecture demonstrations, discourses and consultations with yoga experts. An organic and wellness section at the Rabindra Bhavan lawns will have cafés and interactive sessions and an open platform for dialogue and consultancy.

While Yoga Chakra brings together works by artists such as S.H. Raza, Tyeb Mehta, F.N. Souza and Seema Kohli, the performance section will feature classical dancer Banashree Rao and Bharatanatyam artistes Geeta Chandran and Vasundhra Doraswamy, among others.

“Dance in itself is called Naat yoga. I will be performing Bharatanatyam that showcases various asanas and mudras of yoga," says Chandran. Classical dancer Sonal Mansingh will deliver a speech on yoga and also present a dance at the inaugural session on 21 June at Meghdoot Theatre.

“This is the first time we are putting up contemporary and ancient works together with a common binding theme of yoga. We sourced antiques from museums around the country as well as asked contemporary artists to create fresh works. We are getting 50 works from the National Museum and a lot of contemporary painting and sculptures from Lalit Kala Akademi," says Sushma Bahl, the curator of Yoga Chakra. “The 300 multimedia expressions in the exhibition and project rotate around concepts of gyana, karma and Bhakti yoga," she adds.

New Delhi-based artist Kohli will showcase metal sculptures, video performances and paintings depicting yoginis and matrikas at Yoga Chakra. “It is both the iconography as well as the philosophy of the yogini cult that inspires my work and my life. Yoga is also a way of life and expression," she says.

Dancer and yoga exponent Navtej Johar will also be performing during the festival. “I will use yoga vocabulary (various asanas) during my dance performance," says Johar.

Johar will also conduct a workshop on yoga on 21 June at Kaapi LILA, a gathering of artistes and practitioners from diverse fields at Nasheman in south Delhi, where he will focus on asanas, alignment of joints, muscles, breathing techniques and chanting and mindfulness.

“Yoga is our ancient knowledge which is still relevant. It is good that now there is a much bigger dialogue about it," he says.

“Yog Parv" will be on from 21-27 June, 9am-8pm, at Rabindra Bhavan, Mandi House. For the complete schedule, visit www.sangeetnatak.gov.in. To attend Johar’s workshop, call 9654397753.

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