Auroville, can be described as an international township, consisting of people from all parts of the world. It is located in Tamil Nadu mostly, the remaining parts are in Puducherry. It is considered as a place of global unity. Only 1/3rd of population there is Indian. In the past, UNESCO had passed a resolution regarding Auroville as a project of importance to the future of humanity, thereby giving their total support. The city thrives with its art and culture. It is known as a place where the arts will be both a means and an expression of the human progress above the vital, intellectual or aesthetic levels.
Under painting arts, Auroville has a studio, owned by Jocelyn, author of the book ‘Aesthetics of Yoga’. This studio is used to produce quasi-traditional art. This style of art is very famous and has its unique identity. Since the 1950s, the Janaka Art Studio in ‘Ravena’, one of the settlements in Auroville, has been buzing with artists from north and south America, Europe and Asia. They work together, enjoying the peaceful ambience of the place, studying about art of different origins by using south Indian techniques. This heavenly place is the perfect platform for creation, and is constantly seeing growing number of visiting artists from abroad and elsewhere in India
Auroville is also rich when it comes to music culture. There is a very popular singing class called ‘Chanting the Rainbow’, where songs that preach worldwide unity are sung in groups. These may be songs from any part of the globe. Another form of music practiced here is the Kirtan, where holy spiritual chants of Om are performed by people, holding hands and sitting in a circle. Participants here aim at devoting themselves to these chants and feeling calm and content inside.
Indian classical music is more frequently performed, in all its diversity. Sometimes even by internationally known musicians. Occasionally, Sunday night Jazz CafÃ© is held. Here, musicians are provided a platform to meet other musicians, and to jam along. Musicians from all parts of the world play their own compositions here, and music shows are held almost throughout the year.
Auroville is no stranger to dance, as we see Bharatnatyam and Oddisi dances held here. Students of all age groups enrol themselves and later on perform on stage, quite often. The city also has many dance groups, few of those who have performed at different cities in India. Few dance works produced here are, Amravati – by Peter Morin, Crossroads by Anu, 989 The Aspiration and the Call by Aryamani and Paulo, Savitri by Paulo and Joy, and a few others. Several dance groups from other states also visit Auroville and perform in festivals here. The Challi dance is a vary popular style practised here. Performances are mounted in varied locations such as well-equipped theatres, open-air spaces, black boxes, and makeshift stages.
Theatre is also a very popular performing art here. In 1969, an American set up a theatre here, and since then, theatre has been a prominent feature in Auroville. There have been lots of local theatre groups as well as international drama groups coming down to perform here. Acting classes also are held in order to help actors in improving their skills, Auroville’s actors, directors and designers from India, the United States, France, Brazil, Italy, Russia, Switzerland and Germany have also collaborated and delivered performances of great depth and beauty in Auroville.
This charming tourist hub is known very well for its handicrafts, ceramics, ikebana, sculptures, calligraphy and many more art forms.
Auroville is known as the city of dawn. It spreads human awakening to unity, and is meant to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony. It is heart-filling to see the cultural traditions followed here, and the expressions that run through each piece of art, and the happy, peaceful smiling faces of the people living here. It sets an example to every country on how to live life peacefully and love one another, and remains a ‘must-visit’ spot for all of us.