Friday 14 February 2014

Article - Breathtaking theatre workshop - Ashwini Kaarthikeyan

In November 2013, I enrolled myself quite unexpectedly for my first workshop for actors, at Adishakti Laboratory for the Theatre Arts & Research, in Puducherry. Amongst many luring subjects like the traditional martial arts of Kalaripayattu, voice and breath work inside the salt water swimming pool, exercises for the eyes, traditional drumming lessons on native drums, etc., what really caught my eye was the mention of experiential studies on the Source of Performance Energy, involving a 2000 year old research based on the breath techniques used by performers of Koodiattyam, an ancient classical dance form, from Kerala.
As a Bharatanatyam dancer, I enrolled in this workshop meant for actors, with much trepidation. And now looking back, those ten long and intense days at Adishakti with its extraordinary faculty and research work, leave me transformed, inspired, rejuvenated, 'whole', in every cell of my body, mind and spirit! 

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Thursday 13 February 2014

Sarangadeva Samaroha in Aurangabad (17 - 20 Jan 2014) - Dr. Sunil Kothari

Organized by Mahagami Gurukul under the guidance of its director, Kathak and Odissi exponent Parwati Dutta for the past three years, Sarangadeva Samaroha and dance festival have by now acquired an important academic benchmark.

Read the review in the site

Monday 10 February 2014

Article - Clothes too have stories to tell - Ashwini Kaarthikeyan

For four days, I had the privilege to attend the master class conducted by internationally renowned, revivalist fashion designer, Sonam Dubal, entitled, ‘Clothes tell stories’ at Adishakti Laboratory for Theater Arts & Research, in Puducherry.
My preoccupation with redesigning the Bharatanatyam costume began a couple of years ago, when I began sharing my art as a soloist through the classical dance form of Bharatanatyam. Through this workshop, I felt a kinship with Sonam’s rich cultural heritage and childhood. Watching me work with the saree to help redesign my dance costume, during this workshop, he astutely observed and told me, “As a first step, begin to write in as much detail, all that restricts your dance in the present costume. 

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Sunday 9 February 2014

Interview - A performance giving voice to the voiceless - Dr. S. D. Desai

Art expresses pain more poignantly than the reality staring in your face does. It pinpoints suffering to the exclusion of the paraphernalia of reality. In this unusual and telling multimedia production The Damned, the concluding compact one-hour piece in Darpana Academy’s trilogy on displacement at  InterArt 2013-14, the 38th Vikram Sarabhai International Arts Festival, demonstrates a modern process of rasanishpatti through an ensemble of choreography, videoscapes, music, sounds, silences, lights and even costumes.

Prompted by the disturbing sudden disappearance of groups of people working on the riverside, turned into a riverfront now, and finding them officially ‘resettled’ in an  inhabitable area far away, The Damned seeks to create empathy among those who have the voice in the ‘sanitized’ mainstream of life for those who have no voice and suffer silently. In keeping with the concept of rasanishpatti in Indian aesthetics, the painful experience the piece creates becomes sadharanikrit (universalized). With no text, which could tend to make the central event specific, the experience comes across as one shared by those displaced by war, riots, industrialization, natural calamities and the like.

 Naomi gets the performers of Darpana so infused with intensity that they were seen hugging one another with tears at the end in something of an inconsolable state of mind. Being a temporal art, unlike literature, dance vanishes the moment it comes into being. Yadavan Chandran partly makes up for this limitation. He gets moments of high emotional intensity frozen in time with the camera charged with his own craft and commitment. The focus of the performance remained on the cause. Anonymity about its makers enhanced its impact. No names were announced at the end. Someone was heard saying it was Naomi’s conscious decision.
(The trilogy of performances is scheduled to travel to the capital next month.)

The interview with Naomi Deira below seeks to unravel her approach and process:

Read the interview in the site

Friday 7 February 2014

Seen & Heard by Lakshmi Vishwanathan - A Special Visitor

The Margazhi season in Chennai brings many visitors. Some friends, some acquaintances, artists, writers, and a host of enthusiastic concert goers. The visit of one friend is special because he is not only a great artist and choreographer but also a witty observer of our arts scene. Guiding Mark Morris through concerts and dance performances is a pleasure. But what is more engaging is our discussions over dinner on music and dance.
For those who do not know of him, Mark Morris is today the biggest name in Modern Dance. He has a wonderful group, and a fabulous school in New York. He is a genius. He has created something of a revolution in using classical music for his modern dance choreography.

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Monday 3 February 2014

Obit/Tribute - IDA and Leela Sekhar - Revathi Ramachandran

To project the various styles and innumerable efforts of choreography, IDA has been an unbeatable forum. Bestowing care and affection, Leela Sekhar has been a catalyst for this institution. No artist would have the heart to say ‘no’ to her requests. Such were her powers of persuasion. Ever the “girl guide,” Leela Sekhar believed in serving the cause of dance.

Read the tribute in the site