The National Museum Institute (NMI) has embarked on a major exercise to develop an archive of the performing arts across India’s diverse cultural landscape. The idea behind the initiative is to document each and every one of these art forms in painstaking detail so that their survival can be better ensured for the benefit of future generations.
According to National Museum Director General, Mr. Venu V. “The projects, being undertaken in different parts of the country, will take time. The NMI wants to develop a robust format and is creating a few models (to ensure better documentation and study).”
As the first phase of the project, the NMI has commenced the documentation exercise in Meerut as well as in Jammu and Kashmir. The NMI hopes that its work in documenting the intangible heritage of these two regions will serve to provide the required formats and case studies for the project to be rolled out to other parts of India as well.
The management of the NMI stated that it understands that the effort to document all of these performing arts along with their superbly detailed aspects will be a Herculean task, however it is optimistic that once the framework is established particularly in the challenging terrain of Ladakh, Western UP as well as Jammu and Kashmir, the study can be easily replicated across the country.
The NMI hopes to involve local communities as well as elders in villages across India thereby ensuring that the project gets the necessary support and quality input on the ground.
To keep interest alive in the project, the NMI will continue conducting studies at the community level and during specific events around the year, where traditional artists are more likely to participate thereby ensuring comprehensive cataloging of Indian indigenous performing arts as well as other cultural heritage.