Panel Discussion – REAL ESSENCE

Post inaugural speech, Crescita 2014 continued with a panel discussion on “Real Essence”, the main theme for the three-day event. The panel consisted of four members –

  1. Dr. Radha Bhaskar – A brilliant vocal musician and musicologist with a doctorate degree in music and he is presently the Editor of the prestigious art magazine ‘Samudhra’.
  2. Mrs. Vrindha Ramanan – The director of Bala Kala Vidhanam, an Academy for Cultural Arts. She is a trained dancer and mountaineer.
  3. Mr. Ramanan – A renowned architect who has designed various architectural projects in India and abroad. He is also a trained mountaineer.
  4. Mr. Abhishek Kumar, our beloved professor who teaches Leadership and Brand Management at Bharathidasan Institute of Management, Trichy was the moderator of the discussion.

The Panel

Professor Abhishek opened the discussion by speaking on how the field of management can derive knowledge from the fields of music, dance, and architecture, which are all manifestations of beauty and experience. He posed various questions to the audience on whether the beauty of products emerge from their form, or their essence, or from a merger of the two. He stated that these differences exist in every field and are interesting to look into.

Dr. Radha Bhaskar enthralled the audience next by opening with a beautiful Carnatic rendition. She gave a brief note on the long and rich history of music and how it predates language as a form of communication. She pointed out the essence of music – the melody and rhythm which combine in several ways to form a beautiful experience to the listener.

Ms. Radha Baskar


She demonstrated the same by singing some impromptu phrases by varying their pace and complexity. The form of music she portrayed was peculiar – an oral picture, whose subject cannot be described. In her speech she highlighted differences between art and music and in process she emphasized importance of the composer, who brings essence of music to the audience. The audience were mesmerized with her music and appreciated that the artistic relevance of music is more psychological than functional and it must be contemplated, with conscious effort, to get to its true essence.

Mrs. Vrindha Ramanan initiated her views on the topic with a poem describing the movements and rhythm inherent in nature; which, she indicated is also inherent within us. She spoke about the origin of dance and how the Indian art forms as the Natya Veda, gave back peace to the world when it was in disarray. Mrs. Vrindha Raman emphasized that the simple sublime goal of the complex art form of dance is “Bhakti” – devotion to the Lord. What followed was a demonstration by Mrs. Ramanan’s student, Smriti.

Ms. Smirthi

The concept of adavus (individual units of dance) combining to form theermanams was shown beautifully. We were able to observe the ‘Saathvika’, or calmness of mind, and bhakti, or devotion to God, is infused into a dancer as he or she performs. This is the essence that is steeped into a form of beauty. She stated that learning the form of dance makes one a finer, more spiritual person and hence necessitated that everyone in pursuit of growth must strive to learn the Indian art forms as it would help us achieve that purpose.

Mr. Ramanan began his discussion on a lighter note. He then moved on to state that architecture has both form and essence (function). He posed a question to the gathering as to “Whether form follows function, or function follows form?”. He gave a splendid example of the pyramids to emphasize the importance of form in history. He stated that following the industrial revolution, form and function became equally important. He pointed out that the present trend stresses on function shifting from the emphasis on function.

Mr. Ramanan

He re-iterated that the essence of architecture was ultimately to live in harmony with nature, which tends to be forgotten in today’s chaotic world. In  his closing remarks, he was hopeful for a renaissance in the field of architecture which would help them return to their basic essence.

The panel discussion closed with a question answer session. Some interesting points of note, in relation to spontaneity, range, and gender, came up. Concerns on how range and variety are getting lost today in music, dance and architecture as t

The intricacies of the classical arts are being replaced by the modern, popular forms were discussed. Another interesting thing that popped up in the discussion was the difference between masculinity and femininity in art forms (not very prominent in music, while it is definitely felt in the field of dance, even though it is not important).

On the whole, in the course of the discussion, the theme of “Swarupa” was thoroughly explored with respect to the fields of management, music, dance, and architecture, and it was an enlightening experience for the audience.

………so reports – a HAPPY BIM’ite! :)