'Hybrid events will continue this season'

Carnatic violinist Shreya Devnath had a few concerts during the Margazhi season. “A few upcoming concerts in January are getting cancelled or postponed. I think we might have to wait and see how the live performances are going to be held,” says Shreya.
Shreya Devnath, Dr Lakshmi Ramaswamy, Saketharaman
Shreya Devnath, Dr Lakshmi Ramaswamy, Saketharaman

Chennai

With the Omicron variant of COVID-19 spreading widely in the state, artistes in the city are in a dilemma whether to cancel or postpone their live performances. Dancer Dr Lakshmi Ramaswamy says, “There is uncertainty around. It is also a social responsibility about safety. not only for us but also the audience. There is no second thought about presenting live art in front of a live audience. But having a sense of responsibility, we adhere to the directions of the Govt. There are performances planned for live audiences. We may perform with a limited audience. In case that changes, we will still choose to perform virtual than cancel a performance for which we have practiced.”
Carnatic musician Saketharaman tells us that it’s a huge dilemma for artistes to go back to virtual or continue with live shows. “I had a pretty good turnout this Margazhi until the time the restrictions were enforced. But now there is a huge question mark. I think the future is going to be a hybrid model. In these two years, people are conditioned to the luxuries of listening from home. I am continuing with my Thirukkural series in the virtual platform. Live concerts with restricted audiences will continue. There is no replacement for the energy of a live concert, as music is co-created by artistes, along with the audience in person. That said, the music fraternity has adapted well to the changing needs of the situation. The digital medium has to be embraced in a slightly different way - content has to be thoughtfully curated and presented using state-of-the-art technology. Let’s hope that things will be back to 100 per cent normalcy from the second half of this year,” opines Saketharaman.
Carnatic violinist Shreya Devnath had a few concerts during the Margazhi season. “A few upcoming concerts in January are getting cancelled or postponed. I think we might have to wait and see how the live performances are going to be held,” says Shreya.

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