‘Lavanya Katta’ depicts evolution of traditional dance form ‘lavni’

The performance, which is in the style of documentary theatre, involves ‘lavani’ and ‘tamasha’
The popular dance form originated in rural Maharashtra.
The popular dance form originated in rural Maharashtra.

Lavani, a popular dance form which originated in rural Maharashtra, has evolved as a tradition over time, and there are still hundreds of lavani performers who continue to light up the stage during performances, says Savitri Medhatul, Creative Director, Kali Billi Production.

Medhatul is in Goa to participate in Lavanya Katta, a theatre performance which has been curated by Quasar Thakore Padamsee as part of the Serendipity Arts Festival 2022.

Savitri Medhatul has written, conceptualised and directed 'Lavanya Katta'.
Savitri Medhatul has written, conceptualised and directed 'Lavanya Katta'.

Medhatul, who has written, conceptualised and directed the performance involving lavani and tamasha in the form of documentary theatre, also said that lavani was an integral part of the tamasha tradition prevalent in several parts of Maharashtra and north Karnataka.

"Lavani is always evolving as it is a live performance. With time and new traditions coming in, lavani has seen some undeniable changes depending on the environment. But lavani has moulded itself to flourish as we know it," she said, adding that the dance form has kept in tune with the changes in the world around.

'Lavani' is unique in its own way.
'Lavani' is unique in its own way.

On being asked whether lavani can be compared to other dance forms, Medhatul insisted that each dance form, lavani included, is unique and comparisons do not tend to do justice.

"There is no need for any comparison. Each dance form is unique in its own way and its own spirit. All dance forms can co-exist and do it beautifully. There is never a need to compare art in any form. We just need to enjoy the unique aesthetic each one holds," she said.

The popular dance form originated in rural Maharashtra.
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The Lavanya Katta was one of the key events which played out on the third day of the Serendipity Art Festival 2022, which also included several diverse dance performances, lilting music, engrossing theatrical performances and culinary tales, among other engaging things.

Organised for nine days and spread across 14 plus venues with over 120 plus programmes, the festival is being held in association with GMR and supported by the Government of Goa; the Corporation of the City of Panaji, the Directorate of Art and Culture, Goa; the Entertainment Society of Goa; the Goa Tourism Department; and the Goa Forest Department along with technology partner Microsoft and logistics partner Delhivery.

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