Indian classical arts have been passed on from generation to generation through an oral and aural system of learning, wherein the disciple learns through a direct and intensive interaction with the teacher. Very little importance has been given to creating or maintaining written or any other records. Needless to say, in the process of evolution (as is bound to happen in any system of art), there has been constant change in grammar, content, style and presentation. Sadly, many of these details have been lost due to the absence of records.
Chennai is the hub of Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam and a multitude of other classical and folk-art systems, not to mention a rich culture of theatre and recently, independent music. It is absolutely essential to create systematic archives of a cultural order that dates back centuries, so that future generations can trace the origins and development in an organized manner. And that is MOPA’s chief initiative.