Friday 29 June 2012

Article - Nritarutya's performance for the queen - Mayuri Upadhya

I've been into dancing for over a decade now. Growing up dancing on roads, terrace tops, and even with imaginary friends, it was not much of a surprise when I ended up dancing professionally. I like everything to do with this art form. It’s a journey across a live wire. My batteries are constantly charged physically and emotionally and it is totally worth it!

One final call sealed everything from our end and packed us off for an exciting escapade to the UK. My Indian contemporary dance company Nritarutya was going to be part of The Queen of England’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations. We were to collaborate with Raghu Dixit, Indian folk rock phenomenon from India and combine our creative dancing selves with one of his magical tracks –“Mysore Se Aayi.” A special performance was planned with a presentation of over 550 horses as well as dancers, performers and artistes from across the world to celebrate 60 years of the reign of The Queen of England. I was thrilled to bits! I was to choreograph one of Raghu's tracks, backed by a 70-piece orchestra and 550 horses and dance to represent India and for that matter the entire Asian continent. Absolutely NO pressure!

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Interview - Dr. Pappu Venugopala Rao: Natya Shastra workshop in Chennai - Bhavanvitha Venkatesh

Pappus Academic and Cultural Trust in collaboration with ABHAI (Association of Bharatanatyam Artistes of India) is conducting a ‘Natya Shastra Workshop’ in Chennai by Dr. Pappu Venugopala Rao. He is a member of Sangeet Natak Akademi and Secretary of the Madras Music Academy. He has authored 15 books, more than hundred research papers on religion, philosophy, music and dance.

The Natya Shastra workshop is scheduled during July 9-14, 2012 at TAG Center and will be inaugurated by Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam and Chitra Viswewaran. N Murali, President of the Music Academy, will distribute the certificates on the last day.

Read the interview in the site

Friday 22 June 2012

Rina Jana’s Odissi recital - Dr. Sunil Kothari

Under the aegis of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in their Horizon series, Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra’s senior disciple Rina Jana from Kolkata gave a delectable Odissi recital on 15th June 2012.

Trained under Kelubabu’s watchful eye, Rina had from a very young age shown potential of being a dancer of merit. She watched Sanjukta Panigrahi and was much influenced by her dancing. She took lessons from her also and at one point she looked like Sanjukta when dancing. Then it was brought to her notice that she had to develop her own individual style and not imitate Sanjukta. That was enough and since then she performs with √©lan and confidence like a born dancer. 

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Samakala: A Festival of Contemporary Dance - Dr. Sunil Kothari

At the very outset, let me congratulate Odisha Tourism, Dept of Culture, Government of Odisha and Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi, Bhubaneswar, for organizing Samakala, a Festival of Contemporary Dance, from 11th till 13th June 2012 at Rabindra Mandap. And also for arranging a talk on Contemporary Dance by the renowned art critic Sadanand Menon to give a context for the event. For the first time, Odisha Tourism and Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi has organized such a festival. There are few such festivals being held in India for contemporary dance genre and any such venture needs full support. The principal Secretary of Odisha Tourism, Mr. Ashok Tripathi, has won unqualified appreciation for his boundless enthusiasm and meticulous planning of dance and music festivals in Odisha and it has rightly won the epithet that Odisha is a state of festivals. Mr. Tripathi is seen all the time on his toes paying attention to all details of the organization and it speaks volumes for one person whose initiative has brought excellent focus on dance.

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Interview - Ayswaria Wariar: Completely devoted to Mohiniattam - Vijay Shanker,

Vadodara (Gujarat) based Mohiniattam exponent Ayswaria Wariar has established the Nrithyodaya Charitable Trust towards the propagation and promotion of classical arts. She has performed for several prestigious festivals like Mohiniattam festivals in Trivandrum and Bangalore, Uttaradhi Festival organized by the Government of Gujarat, Soorya Festival, Mudra Festival in Tanjore, Hampi Festival, Deepcharika Festival in Indore, Dance and Music Festival in Doha (Qatar) to mention a few. With almost a decade of dedication towards both Bharatanatyam and Mohiniattam, Ayswaria talks about her journey as a dancer, teacher and choreographer.

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Thursday 21 June 2012

Book Review - 'Contemporary Indian Dance - New Creative Choreography in India and the Diaspora' by Ketu H Katrak - Aniruddhan Vasudevan

‘Contemporary Indian Dance - New Creative Choreography in India and the Diaspora,’ by Ketu H Katrak, as part of Studies in International Performance Series edited by Janelle Reinelt and Brian Singleton, published by Palgrave Macmillan, NY, 2011.

Contemporary dance is a much-maligned form and name in some of the circles I move in. Many staunch traditionalists I know jokingly call it "Kandapadi dance" ("any- which-way dance"). Some of the reasons for this dismissal are rooted in the fact that the label "Contemporary Dance" is invoked in very loose and catch-all kind of ways. Once, I watched a piece of contemporary dance set to the much-abused, mediocre song from the film 'Titanic': "Every night in my dreams..." where the dancer really moved any-which- way suited her. Then there was a recent moment when a bunch of dancers in quasi- Bharatanatyam attire spiced up with diaphanous dupattas did kuditthu-mettu adavus, with all their ankle bells resounding across the auditorium, to a movement from Tchaikovsky. To be fair to the program, it was not announced as contemporary dance, but later I heard the dancers refer to it as "the contemporary section." 

Read the review in the site

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Interview - Kambaramayanam: a dance-drama in Bharatanatyam style Interview with Usha Raghavan - Dr. Elisa Ganser

After the success of Maya’s Dream, a dance-drama in Sanskrit on the birth of the Buddha, Usha Raghavan, Director of Kalasagara UK, comes back on the scene with a new production on the Ramayana. This Bharatanatyam version of the grand epic featuring 26 artists was presented on the 6th of April 2012 at the outskirts of Paris, Villebon-sur-Yvette, France. The festival ‘Passeport pour l’Inde’ organised by KaleidanScope has seen the Kambaramayanam -12th century Tamil version of the original Sanskrit poem by Valmiki - come to life on the large stage of the Centre Culturel Jacques Brel, under the patronage of the Embassy of India. The London debut took place on the 29th of April, at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan centre.

Read the interview in the site

Saturday 2 June 2012

Poll - June 2012

How should Bollywood dance be regarded?
Pop, modern, contemporary, or a separate category called Filmi?