Thursday, 29 July 2021

Fond remembrances of selfless Guru of Jaipur Gharana Guru Kundanlal Gangani - Taalam: column by Leela Venkataraman


Conceived and organised by Jaipur Gharana Kathak dancer Prerana Shrimali, as a 
Kalaavart initiative, virtually observing the Punya Thithi (death anniversary) of Kathak guru Kundanlal Gangani, was one of its kind, rising above mundane thanksgiving to a departed guru. It was one of those rare events when not one person in the painstakingly selected panel of shishyas, hogged the mike by going beyond allotted time. Intelligently moderated by Prerana, the brief, but telling homages, evoked a real feel of a Guru who had left behind fond memories of not just his teaching expertise, but more, his rare human qualities.


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Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Dance Matters and how! - Dance Matters: Column by Ashish Mohan Khokar

Dance is centre stage once again. Thanks to the concerted efforts of a few. Topping that list or making it are a few who kept the flame going in Karo-Na Kaal. My terminology for Corona/ Covid Times. Just keep the candle lit with news, views and tidbits. This portal for one. It has kept us informed who did what or even died, in the last few months. Not just dancers but musicians too. I lost three dear dosts of 40 years standing: doyen of Delhi Chand gharana Ustad Iqbal; editor-author Alka Raghuvanshi, and doctor to many K.K. Agarwal, he of the TV fame, with stethoscope on his shoulder. These were known names so got a mention elsewhere too but what of thousands, nay lakhs, who lost out to this deadly virus? In our lifetime, this is the worst ever phase, for those of us who saw and survived wars with China and Pakistan in 1965 and 1971. This portal made space for most artistes. It even told us who won an award or a title. An impresario from Delhi calls to ask, "Season is starting, hall is getting bookings, where to advertise, which is best dance portal of all?" And without hesitation I say "Narthaki." Reason: not because I've written for it for 20 years now but because none others have had consistent standard fare or basic substance. Add credibility. For 20+ years, Narthaki has carried on, just like the dance yearbook attenDance (attendance-india.com). 2 decades is an eon, an era. Especially in this age of nano seconds. Some die-hard dancers, gurus and institutions too carried on tirelessly in the worst of times we have seen and been through. For many teachers, online classes stopped as parents said their kids suffered from internet fatigue studying online for regular school. How did dancers manage in these times? Individuals may have helped their favourites but did anyone come to their rescue officially on a national platform?


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Monday, 26 July 2021

Article - Labeling Guru Gopinath's dance style - Vasanti Gopinath Jayaswal

 


Lately, during these stagnant Covid times I have seen on YouTube, videos of classes and dance routines, labeled as Guru Gopinath's Kerala Natanam. They have modified it and sadly added Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam in the stances and movement patterns. It is important for the current public and art enthusiasts therefore to know the following facts. I have itemized them for better understanding.

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Sunday, 25 July 2021

Article - Radha Krsna: The Eternal Couple - Seema KS


Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa have been a source of inspiration to innumerous poets and authors due to which numerous works are available describing the everlasting relationship of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa and other themes revolving around them such as love, separation, sorrow, mischief, pastimes and so on in the form of poems, stories, dramas, operas and so on in Indian literature. Some of these literary works have been touched upon in this article.

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Saturday, 24 July 2021

Surrender to the Supreme - The Eastern Eye: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

 


Kanhopatra featured in the online Geeva Arts Festival 2021, is a digital work-in-progress of the UK-based Bharatanatyam dancer Divya Ravi, in collaboration with her musician husband, Dr. Sharan Subramanian. Observations of Divya, a senior and widely travelled artiste, about Kanhopatra are revealing. "She was the daughter of a courtesan in the 15th century, who refused to follow her mother's path of luxury. She remained a solitary woman to have treaded the path of enlightenment uninstructed. Kanhopatra's matrilineal origin and her refusal to serve as an accessory to a male saintly figure, placed her at the periphery of our patriarchal society and she was habitually brushed off as insignificant by both scholars and laymen. An autonomous, solitary woman, unattested by androcentric norms, was a threat and hence ignored."

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Thursday, 22 July 2021

Obit/Tribute - Ace sets and lighting designer passes away - Vijay Shanker

 


Thane based ace sets and lighting designer Pathikrit Mukherjee, left for his heavenly abode on 27th June 2021. Pathikrit was diabetic and was hospitalised due to certain health issues. He leaves behind his wife Odissi exponent Nivedita and son Aritra. He was 61.

For more than three decades, Pathikrit provided sets and designed lights for several dance and theatrical productions. He was associated with some of the leading organisations of Mumbai like the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), Nehru Centre, Amita Banerjee's Udayan, Shahana and the Durga Pooja festival. He worked with some of the leading dancers like Menaka Thakker (USA), Uma Dogra, Daksha Mashruwala and was closely associated with the 'Ekaharya' presentations of singer, actor and composer Shekar Sen for over thirty five years, in the enactment of Tulsidas, Kabir, Vivekenanda etc. Along with Shekar Sen he toured around the world for his productions.

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Monday, 19 July 2021

Mahatma through dancers' prism - The Eastern Eye: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

 


Trust the ace Odissi dancer Sharmila Biswas of the eastern metropolis to think "out-of-the-box" whenever chance comes! She has spent a lifetime already in teaching talented students and choreographing on several unusual themes, besides researching on Odisha's indigenous culture of singing, musical instruments, life of Devadasis and sundry other Odisha related subjects.

And, as a conscious citizen, she kept a note of some of the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi over the past couple of decades. Mahatma's political, social and spiritual journey through life, his constant quest for truth and his steely determination never to make a compromise - even under the most adverse circumstances - had made a deep impression on her thinking self as on every conscientious Indian. She had often toyed with the idea as to how she could bring them to bear upon a dancer's performance persona.

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