Grant Period: One year
Shankarappa is a farmer and singer from Gadag district. He is well-versed in folk art forms like Bhajane, Tatvapada, Lavani, Geegi Pada, Kolata and Deepada Nritya. He is an active member of Arunodaya Kala Tanda, a group that contributes to local arts and culture. He has been a passionate theatre performer and has played mainly female characters in many plays. In this project, Shankarappa will involve fifth, sixth and seventh grade students of Government Higher Primary School at Mugali, Ron taluk in Gadag district to expose them to the original tunes of the Lavani and Geegi Pada folk songs.
From the vast repertoire of folk arts in Karnataka, Shankarappa has selected two significant ones, Lavani and Geegi pada. Lavani is an 18th century singing ballad tradition that records local histories and stories of freedom fighters and heroes. In current times, we find Lavani songs about landscape, soil, water reservoirs, health and so on. Geegi pada is another singing form set in particular melodic and rhythm patterns. Apart from devotional lyrics, they also talk about everyday social and political concerns in the rural areas. Shankarappa wants to use these two forms to teach students their lessons from the curriculum. This will help the students remember their lessons better, as well as connect them to their local folk art forms. In addition to material from text books, Shankarappa will also teach lavani songs on freedom fighters and national leaders. Along with the students he is planning to train parents and teachers which will help them to spread this art form in their own schools and in the community. He will encourage students to imagine and write their own lyrics and set them to tune as well.
The outcome will be series of performances. The Grantee’s deliverables to IFA with the final report will be audio-visual documentation of the workshops, images, and a ten to twelve minute video document of the entire project.