Friday, 1 July 2011

Stirring a hornet’s nest? - Book review

Stirring a hornet’s nest?
- Kiran Rajagopalan

In October 2010, Mumbai’s Sri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts & Sangeetha Sabha published a special commemorative issue of their quarterly magazine, Shanmukha, on the banis and latest trends of Bharatanatyam. Most of the major banis are adequately discussed in the first half of the issue by leading dancers, gurus and scholars including Kamala Lakshminarayanan, Alarmel Valli, Leela Samson and Ashish Khokar. The Vazhuvoor, Pandanallur, Kalakshetra and Kattumannarkoil banis are each represented through single articles by these authors. Interestingly, the Thanjavur bani is more extensively covered in the four articles on Kitappa Pillai (Dr. Sucheta Chapekar), Sri Rajarajeshwari Bharatha Natya Kala Mandir (Jyothi Mohan) and Dhandayudapani Pillai (Jayalakshmi Alva & Urmila Sathyanarayanan).

A commendable effort by the organization to compile such an exhaustive and informative issue featuring articles by so many different artistes. The editor of this issue, Radha Namboodiri, thoughtfully remarked whether this endeavor would “stir a hornet’s nest.” Hopefully, it will be a starting point for serious discussions about the future of Bharatanatyam.

Click here to read the complete article

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