Thursday, 4 August 2022

Article - Stepping out of the ordinary - Archana Kaul

True consciousness and spiritual growth have a connotation of giving more and expecting less. But I got more than I gave. The pleasure and fulfilment I got through my work, also provided me with a creative outlet. I had no idea how an opportunity to teach dance, incorporating basic techniques of Kathak to girls at an NGO would help these children grow confident and provide a gamut of rich experience to life. Interaction with these children made me step out of the ordinary and humdrum existence.


It was at the turn of the century, 26th of January 2000, that I visited and met the children of the NGO. At that time I did not even know the name of this NGO. I went along at a friend's suggestion, just for the heck of it. I didn't even know what I would be doing there, or if I was needed there. Most of my work experience had been in the field of teaching History to undergraduates in Delhi University, writing reviews on music and dance, and working as a researcher. I had worked in a small school in a Delhi village, as part of an educational experiment. After their disinterested response for studying their academic subjects, I decided to give some input of music and dance, as an icebreaker, having knowledge of Kathak.

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Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Dance in Delhi after the Pandemic - Taalam: column by Leela Venkataraman

The first live stage performance this critic was experiencing after a two year pandemic lock was at the Habitat auditorium, featuring a Bharatanatyam recital by Sudhana Sankar, a long time student of Saroja Vaidyanathan, who however, with the Guru not in the best of health, has very recently come under the grooming of the successor and next in family line, Rama Vaidyanathan....

Nadasutra Arts and Resonance, a performing arts centre based out of New Delhi, presented yet another evening of dance, with rains playing spoilsport, at the Stein Auditorium under the title of Ananta (The Unconstrained). Akash Mallick (Artistic Director), Swarnali Kundu, a dancer who completed her M.A in Bharatanatyam from Rabindra Bharati University, and Kuchipudi dancer Amrita Singh who received training under late Dr. Sobha Naidu, work with the stated aim of 'taking Indian art to a larger audience in a comprehensive and yet contemporary presentation.'...

At Rabindra Bhavan's Meghdoot 3 auditorium, the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi held a special event as homage to late Kavalam Narayana Panikkar - 'A National Treasure' as he has been referred to....

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Monday, 1 August 2022

Anita says...August 2022

The future belongs to the young
We must not only trust them with responsibility
But must thrust it upon them
Whilst they are still young and full of energy, zest, hope
And even illusions

- JRD TATA, Industry Icon


It is the sheer force of young India that caught my eye last month. The papers are full of catchy images of dancers reshaping the idea of classical performances. Affluent 20 and 30 somethings who are spending extravagantly for that exclusive AHA moment (not on the Arts!) to notch one over their neighbours. Mixologists blending strange flavours like Basmati rice, cake and Tamarind with beer (?????) and the IN YOUR FACE images of Chess boards. Yes, Chess boards.

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Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Interview - An imaginary interview with Guru Gopinath - Part 13 - Tapati Chowdhurie

Master, what are the Kathakali veshams you performed after becoming a dancer?

At the request of Poet Vallathol Narayana Menon, I performed in the role of Duryodhana in Utthara Swayamvaram in full Kathakali vesham at the literary conference (Sahithya Parishad Sammelanam) in Kizhuthani. I performed in the birth centenary celebrations of Mathur Kunju Pillai Panicker aasan at Nedumudi Kottaram (palace). On the Chairman of Kerala Kalamandalam D.H. Nambudirippad's request, I performed in Kerala Kalamandalam. At the request of Abhedanandaswamy I performed in his ashram in Thiruvananthapuram. I have also performed at a program in the Kathakali club of Thiruvananthapuram and at the Karthika Thirunal theatre on the request of TR Sukumaran Nair. I did the role of the handsome Brahman (Sundara Brahmanan) of Rukmini Swayamvaram.


All in all, I have performed five times in Kathakali veshams. Though many a times I have been invited for a Kathakali show, I haven't accepted those requests.

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Sunday, 24 July 2022

Transformative Transitions - Dance Matters: Column by Ashish Mohan Khokar

Rarely it happens that a show or space leaves one transformed. Please understand for some of us, watching 300 shows a year, in different cities, for last 50 years is a huge palette to even be coming from or compare with. So when one says two shows stood out for their transformative quality then believe me, it is true.


First was an innocuous, small hall, very popular of late in a traditional neighbourhood of namma Bengaluru. Seva Sadan in Malleswaram (the first half Mal is what makes Malgudi Days of R.K.Narayan fame, the second half - gudi - coming from another very old and traditional area called Basavangudi) is actually part of a school / orphanage. Many shows take place here in the last ten years.

When Arundhati Patwardhan and Manasi Jog performed here, arranged by singer-dancer Padmini, an ace student of dance icon of Bharatanatyam in Maharashtra, guru Sucheta Bhide-Chapekar, then the hall was spellbound. Was it theatre, was it dance, was it a musical? It was natya in totality. And the two were in total sync, art wise.

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Friday, 22 July 2022

Profile - Kalpana: A Bharatanatyam dancer in Paris - Éliane Béranger


From an early age, Kalpana was influenced by the spirit of tradition, the western one. Both her parents were musicians, amateurs with a high level. Kalpana's birth name is Martine Métayer, and she was born in Paris. She duly learned flute for several years in a conservatoire. Her sister is a professional cello player.


When Martine discovered Bharatanatyam by taking part in Malavika's workshop (1977), she faced a totally new and unexpected form of art where dance, theatre, music and poetry merged and offered a full aesthetic and intimate experience. After some classes with Malavika and Shakuntala she felt she had found the path she would follow for life. Moreover, starting from this moment she could explore the subtlety and the tiny nuances between two ways of practicing the same style.

At first, she managed to afford on her own, a short stay with Guru Muthuswamy Pillai (1980). She gained confidence that Bharatanatyam was the place where she felt alive. Two years later she obtained a scholarship (ICCR India and Ministry of Foreign Affairs - France). She could finally stay for several years in India, during which she was lucky enough to learn singing with Kamakshi Kuppuswamy and abhinaya with Kalanidhi Narayanan.

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Wednesday, 20 July 2022

Interview - T Reddi Lakshmi: It was either money or contentment and I chose the latter - Vijay Shanker


New Delhi based Kuchipudi exponent T Reddi Lakshmi is one of the foremost disciples of renowned Kuchipudi exponents and mentors, Gurus Jayarama Rao and Vanashree Rao who have trained several students. Lakshmi holds the distinction of being among the most brilliant and has already performed in 17 countries. Lakshmi talks about her devotion to the dance form and her varied experiences as a performer and teacher.


Lakshmi will be performing in Mumbai for the Raindrops Festival for young dancers at Nalanda's Kanak Sabha in Juhu on Saturday July 23rd at 6.30pm.

What attracted you to dance?
Learning classical dance was my childhood dream. I was always attracted to classical dance and music naturally and my father T.S. Viswanadham made my dream come true by finding an institute to learn classical dance when I moved to Delhi for higher studies.

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