Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Of dancing gene and Varnam mime - The Eastern Eye: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee


Did man's not-too-distant animal forefathers have a sense of rhythm and like to dance to music? It would certainly seem so, as the latest research at Kyoto University suggests, from their experiments with seven chimpanzees who, incidentally, have as many as 93 per cent (perhaps more) of genes in common with their human progeny. Although none of the primates had been taught to groove and received any rewards for doing so, they still broke out into spontaneous movement -- by clapping hands, tapping feet and swaying along - when played bursts of tunes on piano!

The consummate way in which both nritya and nritta of Indian classical dances are linked to the geetam and vadyam of the land, appears to recognize this heritage, in being beautifully integrated in their conceptualizations and aesthetics, as well as in their manifestation, as it struck this critic once again, while watching some of the recent dance performances in the eastern metropolis.

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Article - Bhamakalapam: The quintessence of Kuchipudi - Dr. Tadepalli

(Translated from the original Telugu into English by Sreelakshmi)

The one work of literature that effectively brings home the quintessence of Kuchipudi is the iconic Bhamakalapam. In the vast and powerful repository of Telugu literature, this is the very first drsya prabhandha kavya (visual poetic treatise) composed, a gem of undying brilliance in its diadem.

On the 9th of January 2020, one witnessed the presentation of Bhamakalapam under the aegis of Sri Sai Nataraja Academy of Kuchipudi dance. Organized in the Ravindra Bharati auditorium, Hyderabad, the role of Satyabhama was played by Dr. Rama Devi (Director, Sri Sai Nataraja Academy of Kuchipudi dance). The rest of the cast included Rajeshwari (student of Dr. Rama Devi and currently pursuing MA in Telugu University) as Krishna and the role of the sutradhara (narrator) was donned by Dr. Pasumarthi Seshubabu. The program was well supported by a capable orchestra.

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Sunday, 19 January 2020

Kalavaahini's Margazhi offer of 'Dance for Dance' - Taalam: column by Leela Venkataraman


Initiated in 2013, Malavika Sarukkai's Kalavaahini Trust in its effort at positive and successful support for dance, which represents a critical part of India's cultural heritage, has worked at creating a platform for art which has excellence as its guiding principle, which motto extends to the organisational effort to ensuring hassle- free conditions for the artiste so as to enable the best contribution.

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Profile - Srivatsa Shandilya: Multiple images frames is like a painting - Sangeeta Cavale


Bangalore based Srivatsa Shandilya has been a performing arts photographer for almost 35 years. With an Engineering in computer science background, he worked in the technology media space as a photographer and was instrumental in showcasing the Indian IT growth. From 1995, he was a photographer for a technology magazine. The ever versatile Srivatsa is also a well known glamour and fashion photographer. He has clicked virtually all cine stars of the Kannada film industry and several of these images have been published in leading newspapers like the Times of India.

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Saturday, 18 January 2020

Commendable recitals - Footloose and fancy free with Dr.Sunil Kothari


Anita Ratnam in association with Brahma Gana Sabha presented her A List Series featuring three artists - Shanmuga Sundaram, Indira Kadambi and Mansavini Ramachandran - on January 2, 2020 in Chennai. In an attempt to create among fellow artists and public, awareness to support artistes by making it a paid program, the series received good response.

Currently under mentorship of Chitra Visweswaran, Shanmugham is developing finer and subtle nuances of Vazhuvoor bani. He has been performing for past twenty years and has a sound grounding in the said bani under the legendary K.J. Sarasa. For the evening he had carefully selected from Shaiva and Vaishnava repertoire in Tamizh, choreographed by K.J. Sarasa. This was re-visited and re-edited by Chitra. It comprised of two Theva Padhigams - Kunitha Puruvamum of Thirunavukkarasar. It was followed by Thodudaiya Saviyan of Thirugnana Sambandar in raga Gambeera Nattai and adi tala.

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Friday, 17 January 2020

Interview - Sandeep Dutta: Dancers should attend workshops on lights - Shveta Arora


We begin from the end of the performance, after the audience is moving out, when you see the lights being dismantled, the wires being wound and all the equipment being taken apart. And in the middle of this, you see this inconspicuous person who's directing the entire thing, and all that you have seen of him is when he comes on stage at the end for the credits. It is then that you realize how the special effects in the performance were brought out using the lights, how the dancer's emotions in her solo were so wonderfully clear to you, how the spotlight followed the dancer and the colours of the lights changed with the hues of the rasas.

Lights designer Sandeep Dutta is one of the most well-known names in Delhi's cultural circles. He has worked on shows for some of the eminent dancers and musicians, both those from Delhi and those performing in Delhi. Light design is integral to creating the right mood and atmosphere in a performance. My photographer husband and I interviewed Sandeep Dutta to find out how he designs the lights for different productions, the challenges for light design in the Indian scenario, and the prospects in the profession.

How did you get started in the profession?
We came to Delhi in 1986 from UP. My father was a doctor and we had a house in Delhi, so when he retired, we shifted to Delhi. After schooling, I did Electronics from IETE. I was looking for something constructive at that time. Fortunately, I met Gautam Bhattacharya, who became my guru and mentor. We stayed in the same colony and would meet often. He suggested taking up light designing as a career. But at that time, my parents had not heard of light designing. So initially, my father refused.

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Monday, 13 January 2020

Nirikshana: Natya Kala Conference marks its 39th year of celebration-2

Alarippu Adventures was an exciting session offering an excellent example of youngsters pushing the creative envelope with discoveries, egged on by their unbound curiosity. And they have found an excellent fellow traveller in Ramamoorthy Ganesh, the mridangist, who provided the ideal rhythmic arithmetical springboard. The Alarippu has within its rhythmic frame the versatility of accommodating different ideas in different nadais and talas, with a few like the Mayur Alarippu already known. Preeti Ramaprasad made it the Navarasa Alarippu, with the nine emotions. Christopher Guruswamy's Misrajati chemba talam Alarippu was based on Garuda, the choreography influenced by what he saw in the Ram Gopal Dance Museum in Indonesia and Rukmini Devi's Jatayu Moksham in the Ramayana Series. The ' Dhit Tam' with the eyes of the Garuda looking hither and thither and the arms in a wide wing spread were very fitting. Harinie Jeevitha's Nritta Keli wherein she showed different games in Alarippu in chatusrajati dhruva talam, was another fine effort. Radhe Jaggi in a khanda jati Alarippu drew the outlines of a temple with entrance, gopuram and sannadhi. It is the working of the various minds which was very invigorating to behold!

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