Sunday, 24 June 2018

Roses and Thorns - Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards 2017: Is the process mechanized? - Bhavanvitha Venkat


Sangeet Natak Akademi awards announced and congratulatory messages pouring in the social media is now the order of the day. During this time of the year it has also become essential to critically analyze the results. No doubt there are many complaints, some justified though. It has become a practice to ignore one classical dance art form, set more as an authoritarian assertion about prerogative of the body. There is no base for this. 

This time they did not consider Mohiniattam... "What's wrong with our dance?" exclaimed a Mohini! Is there logic? Yes, there is the mechanics of it coming to the fore. Previous year they omitted Odissi, remember?? The new phenomenon though is about self-promoting lobbies this year. The good thing about the lobbies is that they clearly put the selection committee to alert and the not so good thing is that their main objective is their very own benefit. Often you sense this informal and tacit understanding that they are ok with balance of mutual interests! 

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Saturday, 23 June 2018

Obit/Tribute - Guru Thokchom Brindashabi Devi (1934-2018) - Sinam Basu Singh

Manipuri dancer and singer, Guru Thokchom Brindashabi Devi, daughter of (late) Th. Thaobi Singh and (late) Th. Atolshija Devi , born on 31st March 1934 at Thangmeiband Hijam Dewan Leikai, Imphal, passed away on June 10, 2018. 

At the age of 4 she started to learn Manipuri Opera (Gouranggalila, Sansenba, Udukhol etc.) from various gurus of Manipur.

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Friday, 22 June 2018

Ravaged land, scarred psyche - The Eastern Eye: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

KI-TA-RE-BA presented on 6 June in Kolkata by Sapphire Creations, was a tribute to the rich cultural mosaic of Sylhet in a filigree of dance, theatre, music and narrative. The title of the program came from Sylhet's customary term of addressing each other to mean 'How do you do?', especially for the youth, and had a strange resonance with 'Kitareba' that is used in distant Japan endearingly to mean: 'to arrive, to be forthcoming, to come'! The occasion was the launch of 'Subijoya Dance Foundation' in remembrance of the late parents - both belonging to Sylhet - - of Sapphire's director Sudarshan Chakravorty, who also conceived and choreographed the present program.

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Thursday, 21 June 2018

Measuring the SPIC MACAY experience - Taalam: column by Leela Venkataraman

How does one measure what Spic Macay has achieved by way of actually opening up young minds to the richness of India's art disciplines? Over the years having watched how youngsters respond to the annual International convention (the sixth this year) gives some idea into how successful or otherwise the efforts of this movement have been. This year's Convention venue at the IIT Kharagpur (June 3 - 9) was special in more senses than one. If the keen interest taken by the Director and his staff in this entire effort was unusual, it was also because of the very significant past connections when the father of Dr. Kiran Seth, the founder of this movement, taught at Kharagpur with little Kiran roaming and playing on the historic grounds of this institution located at the Hijli Detention Camp where those taking part in the non-cooperation movement against the British Raj had been detained - because no prison could accommodate them, with two unarmed detainees also being shot by the British police in 1931. Closed down in 1937 but reopened in 1940, it was in 1942 that the camp was closed down for good, with the IIT township established in 1951 over its 2100 acres. Organised with an undreamed of efficiency, the entire week's events were like a fairy tale. 

Apart from the main performances with over 300 artists giving off their best, for me the real involvement lay in the other events built round these main performances, through workshops, intensives, and the packed schedule with youngsters being woken up in the wee hours of 3.30pm every day. 

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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Article - Indian spirituality in Western modern dancing - Pallavi Verma

India is a land of ancient wisdom and spirituality. While the west is a golden gate to technology and prosperity, today, Yoga in the west is all over the place just like their fast food. It has 20 million practitioners in the U.S alone. The number of high profile people involved in yoga, their adapted trendy gypsy dresses, popular henna tattoos, the display on a magazine or album covers, the culture has taken a fancy to Indian spirituality and fashion, the hot pursuit of a body beautiful. This cross-culture fertilization between two cultures has been like a long distance affair, caught in their blush of infatuation. Yoga has thus been led to its watershed version. We can see some of the catalyst events in the past.

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Sunday, 17 June 2018

Portrait of a tortured artist - The Eastern Eye: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

Taray Taray presented on May 29 by Swapna Sandhani – on their 26th anniversary – was a wonderfully vivid filigree of the Van Gogh saga encapsulated at multiple levels. At one level, it is young Ritwik (essayed very well by Riddhi Sen) suffering from hallucinations that he is the torch-bearer of the past legacy of Van Gogh. Lovingly looked after by wife Sharmila (Surangama), he is undergoing treatment by a psychiatrist Ruksana (donned most competently by Reshmi Sen).  In recapitulating Holland and France as the artistic milieus of the 19th century, Van Gogh is seen as the suffering, struggling painter – remarkably brought alive by the brooding acting style of the thespian Anjan Dutta – with whom Ritwik’s life is entwined as his younger brother, Theo, who has a love-hate relationship with sibling Vincent, while supporting him financially all through his years of gnawing penury. 

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Monday, 11 June 2018

Interview - Aditi Mangaldas on 10 x 10 - Shveta Arora

Kathak exponent and guru Aditi Mangaldas recently had younger dancers of her Drishtikon Repertory Company, present short thematic pieces as part of a production called Ten By Ten. Aditi Mangaldas elaborates on how a theme becomes several different concepts and pieces and how it all goes from idea to staging.

Read the interview in the site