Modi-Xi summit: Kalakshetra students to perform at Mamallapuram

Chennai: A cultural programme will be held on Friday evening by students of famed dance group Kalakshetra in the honour of Chinese President Xi Jinping who arrived in Chennai to initiate a two-day informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the coastal city of Mamallapuram.

Kalakshetra, the world-renowned school of fine arts founded by the legendary Rukmini Devi Arundale in the city, has rehearsed and readied an ensemble of its signature ballets to enthral Prime Minister Modi and his guest, the Chinese President Xi and his official delegation, at Mamallapuram.

Modi and Xi would stroll around the premises of the Shore Temple, an eighth-century rock Temple built by Pallava ruler Narasimhavarman II, before settling down for the Kalakshetra show.

MS Education Academy

The cultural group has prepared for various dance performance such as Alarippu, Purappadu, Sethubandhanam and Shanthi Nilava.

‘Alarippu’ is a dance performance that symbolises the offering of respect to God and teachers. It will be accompanied by the recitation of Sol-fa syllables, a music education method used to teach aural skills, pitch and sight-reading of Western music.

The second performance will include Purappadu, whereby the dancer expresses himself through various hand gestures and facial expressions to dramatise stories which have been mostly adapted from Indian epics. The dance performance, a component of the initial part of a ‘Kathakali’ and is marked by high tempo, quick foot movements, and vigorous drumbeats.

Meanwhile, ‘Sethubandhanam’, an excerpt from Rukmini Devi’s six-part series on ‘Ramayana’, and depicts teh building of the bridge across the sea to Lanka.

Shanthi Nilava Vendum is a prayer for global peace- a cherished objective of Mahatma Gandhi.

Xi has been accompanied by China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Politburo members on his visit.

Among the engagements planned for the visiting dignitary are visits to Arjuna’s Penance, Panch Rathas and the Shore Temple.

Prime Minister Modi will also host a dinner for the Chinese president today evening.

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