Saturday 27 April 2013

Utsav’s Unbound Beats of India - Dr. Sunil Kothari

Ranjana Gauhar’s Utsav Educational and Cultural Society activities have included several welcome facets for the past twenty six years. Besides education, preservation, promotion and popularizing classical, traditional dances, in particular Odissi dance and music, Ranjana has endeavoured to offer a platform to young and promising exponents of classical dance to encourage them and bring their talent to the notice of wider community of rasikas. Besides the present festival under review, Ranjana has been presenting Sare Jahan Se Achha festival on 15th August highlighting in various dance forms, the glory of India. In Kalinga Utsav, she presents traditional Odiya dancers, including Gotipua dancers and also organizes seminar on Odissi dance and music.
On 17th April, the festival was inaugurated by Kumari Selja, Hon’ble Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India, at the Habitat Centre. Congratulating Ranjana for her laudable attempts to promote the young generation of dancers, the minister recalled her association with Ranjana for more than 20 years and expressed hope that these artistes would find their place in the sun.

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Friday 26 April 2013

Interview - Prasanna Kasthuri: Keeping Indian art alive

Soorya Performing Arts under the leadership of Guru Prasanna Kasthuri hosted a three day dance festival in St. Louis in the third week of April 2013. All in all, 22 dance performances, 9 ethnic dance styles, more than 150 artistes who had flown in from India, France, United Kingdom and cities from all over the USA were the hallmarks of this dazzling event. Prasanna Kasthuri, Artistic Director of Soorya Performing Arts and chief convener of the 5th St. Louis Indian Dance Festival, shares his thoughts on organizing such mega festivals.  

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Tuesday 23 April 2013

Article - Advaita and Science - Padmaja Suresh

Adi Shankaracharya is the Father of Particle Physics, says Prof. V Suryanarayana Rao, Chairman of Foundation of Vedic Sciences. Shankara's diagram in SOUNDARYA LAHIRI of the PADMA (lotus) has been discovered as the source of God Particle by scientists with the recent accelerator experiment when the thousand-petalled lotus manifested while they brought proton in collision with another proton of the same particle. The Sri Chakra with its pinnacle, Mahameru, the tip of the iceberg, is the representation of the entire process of creation, sustenance to destruction with the triangles being the forces of Shiva (pure consciousness/spirit) and Shakti (energized consciousness/matter). There is ONE PARABRAHMAN (eternal, indescribable, attributeless, Nirguna) which is reflected as the world of MAYA (moving, filled with attributes, Saguna).  A cosmic creative vibration (called sphota or explosion) arises between Shiva and Shakti called Nada. This Nada then gets consolidated into Shabda Brahman (differentiated sound energy), the universal cosmic resonance, symbolized by Om. From this arises cosmic intelligence that is responsible for the creation.

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Sunday 21 April 2013

Book Review - Noopuraagama- 1st Dance Research Journal of India - Vaishnavi

In the present scenario of art research field, bringing out a research journal is understood to be of absolute necessity. In this regard, there is neither any documentation nor internationally registered magazines with media and academic background, to publish the opinions of researchers, or publish their writings. Research papers presented on any special occasion or seminar, if not published in a journal, will not be of any value. For many years the art field has been facing the dearth for a research journal which can give a standard quality, and act as a guiding element for further healthy research. Realizing this lacuna, the Noopura Bhramari Dance Researchers’ Forum has come up with a dedicated endeavor of commitment towards search-research work which gives support and inspiration to the interested research group.  Hence, the Noopura Bhramari Dance Researchers’ Forum comprising of resource persons, experts in the field of education and media has brought out a Registered Annual research Journal with ISSN No. exclusively for researches. 

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Friday 19 April 2013

Obit / Tribute - KP Bhaskar (1925 - April 17, 2013)

KP Bhaskar, a leading light in the Indian dance community of Singapore and former president of WDA Singapore chapter passed away in Singapore on the morning of April 17, 2013 due to heart related illness.

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Wednesday 17 April 2013

Article - Balasaraswati (1918 - 1984) Sketch & text: Ashwini Kaarthikeyan

A few days ago, as a student of this classical dance form, I found myself aching for Balasaraswati's blessings. On the night of 13th of April, as I listened to a classical composition in praise of the Devi - Mother Goddess, my intense longing was transformed into a portrait in charcoal of Balasaraswati, on a 5' x 4' canvas. 

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Article - Bharatanatyam and ballet - Miriam Lamas Baiak

The bodily techniques would be nothing else than the body’s capacity to adapt in front of varied situations, creating one habit that is handed to the new generation and changing accordingly to each nation and each historical period. When two or more techniques meet in some period of history, they can merge, bringing to the future generations a tradition modified by the the influence of other society and culture. Taking in consideration the theories of human development of Gallahue and Ozmun (2001), we are results of our genetics, of the ambient that we live in and the tasks we realize. So, if Rukmini Devi practiced classical ballet, there’s no way that the style developed by her didn’t have influence of western ballet.

So, the West too may have taken from India not only themes for their ballets, but also corporal movements, like Anna Pavlova. Besides rescuing what Europe had forgotten, the beautiful traditions of Indian dances undergo corporal influence in her compositions with the help of a Indian dancer Uday Shankar, and together they put up shows like ‘Radha and Krishna’ and ‘Hindu Wedding’ being a success in Europe, United States and in India itself. Pavlova was applauded for her " modern Indian" choreographies.

Even the role of Bharatanatyam in temples have a totally different dimension to ballet in European palaces (Gaston,1996). We can´t stop thinking of their technical similarities that can be the result of a "rendezvouz" at the end of the 18th and beginning of 19th centuries. To Gaston (1996) the artistic vision of Bharatanatyam will be always diverse and like every art, will continue to adapt and change.

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Thursday 11 April 2013

Sankardev Utsav: a tribute - Dr. Sunil Kothari

Under the aegis of Pratishruti Foundation, Sattriya dancer Prateesha organized Sankardev Utsav, inviting monks led by Adhyapaka Tankeswar Barabayan from original Kamalabari Sattra from Majuli Island, Assam, now shifted to Titabar, near Jorhat, after the floods in Brahmaputra River in mid seventies. 
Though Sattriya dances have been recognized as the eighth classical dance form of India in the year 2000, precious little is known about this dance form in major metropolitan cities, barring the Capital. Fortunately for Mumbaikars, in Prateesha Suresh (Saikia), they have a crusader, who is determined to popularize Sattriya dances by presentations, lec-dems, performances, seminars, collaborating with other leading dancers of Mumbai and bring Sattriya, the classical dance heritage of Assam, within the fold of performing arts in Mumbai.

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