Sunday 31 July 2011

Health Column - Dancer’s diet-Protein - Vishwa Kiran

The average adult only needs about 0.8 grams of protein per kg body weight to stay healthy. To estimate your protein needs, multiply your body weight in pounds by 0.36. For example, a 115 lb (52 kilos) dancer would require about 41 grams of protein a day (115 lb x 0.36 + 41.4 grams of protein). 

It is necessary that dancers maintain a standard intake of proteins on a daily basis. Recommended intake for dancers: protein - 15-20 % of total intake, 20% of protein intake should be essential amino acids (Chicken, fish, beef, pork or nonanimal complimentary proteins).  

Tuesday 19 July 2011

In the land of Kalidasa, the poet of Meghadoota - Dr.Sunil Kothari

Performances by Ramli Ibrahim and his Sutra troupe from Kuala Lumpur, Sujata Mohapatra’s disciple Taissia Shpulnikova from Moscow, and from Bhubaneswar, Bichitranand Swain’s Rudraksha artistes Manasi Tripathy and Rashmi Ranjan Barik, and Guru Durga Charan Ranbir’s Nrutyayan artistes including dancer Rahul Acharya.
 On the last day in the morning, a special lec-dem for dance appreciation was organized during which Ramli’s dancers showed how Odissi is different from Bharatanatyam.

Friday 15 July 2011

Article - Benefits of dance - Rajyshree Ramesh

A recent article in The Hindu about teaching Bharatanatyam for its therapeutic benefits to women and housewives acknowledges the importance of making dance accessible to all genres of participants. Even while dance continues to enjoy a professional standard, with the necessary training being imparted that grooms dancers for a performing career, such an acknowledgment coming from one of the stalwart gurus of Chennai, who is known for the professional dancers he has brought forth, underscores the fact that it is equally important to make the same professional standards of training available to those who may not be aiming at or reaching out for the stage. It exposes the relevance that is being given to its practice in a modern world, where we are looking beyond categorizations and segregations. It is an important step in the right direction. This aspect however also poses challenges to teachers, both in the methods of teaching and the approach to dance in general.

Thursday 7 July 2011

Health column - Dance age - Veena Basavarajaiah

“Young dancers are training at a very vulnerable time in their lives...So train the whole person, not just the dancer."
- Deborah Bull

Formal training in movement requires a very high level of discipline, longer attention span and the maturity to understand its nuances. Forcing the aesthetics of a form on to a child before its mind and body is prepared might result in a situation where the child develops a distaste towards the art form. Children below the age of 8 have limited attention span while their bones are too soft and muscles fragile. Therefore pre-training process is required where the child learns to move freely to music and rhythm and also develops self awareness. One has to let the child explore its creativity through creative tasks and games. Parents have to be aware that it requires a different approach to teaching at this age and must choose teachers with care.

Wednesday 6 July 2011

Interview - Kathak guru Rani Karnaa’s journey of life and dance - Nita Vidyarthi

Kathak guru Rani Karnaa’s journey of life and dance - Nita Vidyarthi

Seemingly endless in the fertility of her imaginative choreographic and literary resources, Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Rani Karnaaa, the outstanding Kathak guru, has been enriching the dance form, resourcefully drawing from her treasure-trove of training under great gurus, integrating the traditions of Jaipur and Lucknow gharanas. Born in Hyderabad, Sindh, this very learned dancer and outstanding teacher has made Kolkata her home. The seventy one year old Guru, who lives for her dance and her students, who love and respect her immensely, managed time to answer some questions.

BSS Rao, art critic passed away in Mysore on July 4, 2011

BSS Rao, art critic, patron of classical arts and secretary of Mysore based Sri Lalithakala Academy Foundation, passed away in Mysore on July 4, 2011 at the age of 82.
Kolkata diary- Dr. Sunil Kothari

By a happy coincidence during my recent visit to Kolkata, I saw two productions quite different in character, one a classical presentation sponsored by The Peerless in Odissi, Sthapatya Satya by Aloka Kanungo in collaboration with four Gotipua dancers at Rabindra Sadan on 21st June 2011 and next day on 22nd June, a contemporary work of Sapphire Creations Dance Workshop as part of their Patton Quarterly Arts Series 2011, supported by Antiquity and adopted by Sanjay Dudhia and Patton, on exquisite wooden floor of the Palladian Lounge at the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Read the article at

Friday 1 July 2011

Best talent of the 5th Naveen Kalakar

Best talent of the 5th Naveen Kalakar
The 5th Naveen Kalakar, an international level individual talent search program for young artists from 7 styles of Indian classical dances besides Kathakali, Indian classical music and instrumental music was held at the Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalay’s mini auditorium from 10th to 13th June 2011 by the Devdasi Nrutya Mandir in association with Samskritiki (an organization run by dance critic Shyamhari Chakra) as well as with the Department of Tourism and Culture, Govt of Orissa.

Artistes from USA, London, Peru and many parts of the country participated for solo performance of Odissi, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Manipuri, Sattriya, Mohiniattam and Bharatanatyam. Young classical singers of Odissi and Hindustani classical music and instrumentalists of flute, tabla and mardal also performed solo.

Click here to read the report

Ranee Ramaswamy: McKnight Distinguished Artist

Ranee Ramaswamy: McKnight Distinguished Artist- Lalitha Venkat
The Mcknight Distinguished Artist is an annual honor that includes a $50,000 cash award and recognizes individual Minnesota artists who have made significant contributions to the quality of the state’s cultural life.

On May 27, 2011 the McKnight Foundation of Minnesota named Minnesota-based dancer / choreographer Ranee Ramaswamy as the 2011 MCKNIGHT DISTINGUISHED ARTIST, in recognition of artistic excellence spanning more than three decades.

Ranee Ramaswamy is the first dance artist to be selected as McKnight Distinguished Artist that is now in its 14th year.

Click here to read the interview 

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