Monday, 29 February 2016

Interview - When I dance, I am at peace: Shanta Ratii - Vijay Shankar

Singapore based Kuchipudi exponent Shantha Ratii performed for the multi-arts Kala Ghoda Festival that concluded on 17th Feb in Mumbai. Shanta reveals her growth as a versatile dancer performing three distinct classical dance styles, her experience as a performer, film maker, choreographer, teacher and the setting up of Shanta Ratii Initiatives in Singapore for the promotion and propagation of classical arts of India and Antara for the underprivileged and much more.

Read the interview in the site

Friday, 26 February 2016

Obit / Tribute - Remembering Maami: an Abhinaya Sudha student’s perspective - Dr Annapoorna Kuppuswamy

Cycling from LB Road in Chennai, in the vicinity of Ganapathyram theatre, to Shastrinagar to attend dance, music, theory, nattuvangam and abhinaya classes at Abhinaya Sudha is by far the most lasting memory of my childhood and one person who is undeniably associated with all these classes is Kalanidhi maami. Yes, maami did not just teach abhinaya, but a select few had the privilege of being trained entirely at Abhinaya Sudha where maami, who had the foresight to see the importance of holistic training, brought in the best teachers around town and abroad to train us in all aspects of Bharatanatyam.

Read the tribute in the site

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Obit / Tribute - Kalanidhi Naryanan (1928-2016)- Ashish Mohan Khokar

She was universally known as Maami. As though the word was her name. In Madras dance circles, this name stood for Kalanidhi Narayanan (1928-2016) and for no other ordinary maami of Mylapore or Mambalam. She was the quintessential dance aunty, teacher, friend, guru.  She was amiable, affable and admirable. Amiable to all, affable to many and admirable because she didn’t dance for half her life professionally but when she returned to stage, even if for abhinaya items, she made a huge impact.

Read the tribute in the site

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Article - Education in Spiritual Values through Bharatanatyam - Part XIII (i) The maxims of teaching and training of margam - Chandra Anand

This article is based on the identification of the use of the simple device of Maxims of methodical teaching for giving training in dance. It is seen that the use of “maxims of methodical teaching”[1] help organize and grade teaching matter according to the age, background and psychological make-up of the students to be taught. The judicious and ingenious use of these maxims also helps expedite the teaching-learning process of the students in the academic curriculum.

The researcher has attempted to expose the use of these maxims in giving training or teaching Bharatanatyam by using as a model the curriculum design of Sri Rajarajeshwari Bharatanatya Kala Mandir (the Alma Mater of the researcher, therefore the progression of lessons is as learnt by the researcher then). The researcher has been fortunate to learn under all the gurus of the institution and observe their teaching methods at close quarters; particularly of Late Guru G. Karunambal, the co-founder of Sri Rajarajeshwari Kala Mandir, Mumbai, who taught at the Chembur branch. There, with her, the researcher has worked as trainee, assistant teacher and teacher for nine years. By observing and analyzing her mentor’s teaching methods as a trainee, the researcher attempts to document the commonly used teaching methods of Bharatanatyam under the varied techniques as per the list of maxims of methodical teaching.)

Until now, the students have been learning the basics of the art form of Bharatanatyam. They have learnt the adavus and basic theory like hastas, viniyogas, talam and a little historical background. Still, embarking on the learning of margam appears to be a new chapter in their life.  With awe and wonder, they must have observed the seniors perform the items of the margam. So, this makes the learning of margam look all the more challenging to them, as their seniors have set standards while performing their arangetrams. And thus they look forward to learning the margam with excitement and thrill.  

Read the article in the site

Friday, 12 February 2016

TRENDING by Ashish Mohan Khokar - Make in India! Dance

Make in India! That's major focus now. And on Feb 13th, as the PM with 5 other PMs (of other countries), inaugurates this huge focus on India, what’s the dance component? Forget all the Padmashris and self tom-tommed great ones with big names and titles. It is two sisters under 35 from Bangalore - Mayuri and Madhuri Upadhya - through their group Nritarutya that has been commissioned to choreograph the Opening Ceremony in an Ammchi Mumbai stadium. 85 dancers, drawn from Pune, Chennai, Delhi and of course its main company Nritarutya from Bangalore. Watch it live on most channels that day and I’m sure later for eternity, on social media. This shows where real talent lies and counts. Chennai is not. Delhi is not. Bombay is not. Not a single choreographer or dance company from any of these big cities, just good old simple Bangalore. 

Read the article in the site

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Health & Fitness Column - Fitness for dancers - Ranee Kumar

By and large, when reviewing a dance performance, on principle, I make no mention of the age or physical appearance of a dancer as I see her on stage. Generally, this is a part of journalistic ethics; personally age factor has never appealed to my mind unless I find a tender artiste emoting a rather tough abhinaya with spontaneous ease. The second factor, the physical appearance, of course, this I curb myself from making a mention of it, more so when it is far from being complimentary to the artiste in question.  But I must own up, that bloated figures on stage, young or old, are a disturbing sight to the audience, leave alone a critic.  Not to stir a controversy, I would like to briefly explain that it is not mandatory that a dancer needs to have a gym-toned body. On the other hand, I don’t quite agree that if one is an exquisite, excellent dancer, well her figure, no matter how uncouth, shouldn’t worry us. Well, a weighty body is not light on the feet to that extent, and the nritta has to be scaled down. Then comes the TINA (there is no alternative) factor where you make do with matured, excellent abhinaya and minimal footwork or at times no footwork at all. This critic has been a witness to both and much more. Can a dance be complete without nritta complimenting abhinaya and vice-versa in a balance of both?  

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Monday, 1 February 2016

Roving Eye by Anita Ratnam - February 2016

Anita says - February 2016

It is the season for "Paddu Akka" all over again. Padma Subrahmanyam is being featured on two magazine covers in the same month. DRISHTI, an initiative of dancer Anuradha Vikranth and NARTANAM edited by scholar Madhavi Puranam. Finally, a long overdue assessment has begun of Paddu Akka’s pedagogy, scholarship, costume innovations, choreographic and musical imprints, solo dance theatre inventions of BHARATA NRITYAM and finally her ambitious vision for BIFAC- Bharata Ilango Foundation for Asian Art and Culture, a centre outside Chennai. At 75, this compelling dancer-actor continues to win audiences in the various avenues she continues to explore.

Read the article in the site