Tuesday 30 June 2015

Roses & Thorns - Whines and Wails

He is the ‘bete noir’ of Carnatic music. T.M. Krishna, TMK to his legions of fans, dropped a bombshell stating on FACEBOOK that he will no longer perform during the December Chennai season. The brouhaha that erupted outside his native Tamilnadu brought up the tired arguments of caste, class and exclusivity all over again. In his home town of Chennai, he is being roundly criticized for his statements and both audiences and presenters are moving on, without missing a step. 

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Monday 15 June 2015

Article - Education in Spiritual values through Bharatanatyam – Part IX "Audience and the Art" - Chandra Anand

An Indian classical performing art plucks at the heartstrings of spectators, by presenting an emotional human experience that is universal in nature. This aesthetic theory is the underlying belief and philosophy of all Indian classical arts called rasa theory.
The rasa-sutra
The goal of any natya is only to create rasa.  Rasa is the enjoyment of an aesthetic bliss derived through witnessing or reading a dramatic or literary piece of work. “Vibhava anubhava  vyabhichari  samyogad  nishpattih” is the famous rasa-sutra of Bharata, which is a formula-like, succinct statement about how rasa arises. …..In formulating the sutra, Bharata is explaining the factors of art creation; he is also suggesting that an emotion or an emotional experience, which is content of art-presentation, cannot be stated in words or narrated; it has to be poetically constructed in order that it conveys not merely information or knowledge of the emotion but also produces an appropriate emotional response.  The factors or components of this art construction are the determinants and the physical and mental consequents, which the sutra states.  It is also suggested that an emotional experience constructed through the art components can alone reach the reader or spectator, evoke an emotional response in him and lead him to enjoy it. This is rasa; and the sutra, in a way, presents to us an anatomy of rasa-experience.”[1] Therefore, the success of the art-presentation depends on the audience response (relish of rasa) to the dominant emotion (sthayibhava); or their identification with the idea i.e., content of art-presentation.

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Tuesday 9 June 2015

Book Review - Ashish Mohan Khokar's attendance: The Dance Annual of India 2014-15 - Bhavanvitha Venkat

The feel in the hands of this edition is the same as it is of the expectation as compared with that of attendance 2013-14 ‘Telugu Traditions.’ The pleasant surprise is in the difference of the content and in the emphasis this time around. Yes, the content is of different bandwidth and presentation altogether. Attendance 2014-15 focuses in this edition about numbers, about significant milestones, on some memorable dancers, and wonderful institutions as they approach important anniversaries.  The cover mentions the importance of numbers vis-à-vis the above topics (of 100+ years of Zohra Sehgal or the golden jubilee of SPA Mauritius so on).The  editorial is a simple note, Ashish’s wish and appeal to the readers to encourage more reading of the dance annual and his acknowledgements to the various contributions of individuals. I observed that in the previous version edited by Ananda Shankar Jayant, there was no section on male dancers and I am glad to have found that the male dancer got his due attention by way of a detailed article this time. The “opportunity-taboo and the career-dilemma" angles are covered nicely and Bharatanatyam dancer Praveen Kumar and Kathak dancer Muralimohan Kalva contributed their thoughts on how it is being a male dancer.

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Thursday 4 June 2015

Interview - Yamini Saripalli: Doctor and dancer - Bhavanvitha Venkat

US based Yamini Saripalli is a Kuchipudi dancer trained under legendary Kuchipudi guru Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam. She is a regular performer in both the US and the Chennai Marghazi Season. At present she is learning from Vempati Ravishankar, son of Dr Vempati. Yamini is a practicing physician as well. She also organized several dance programs for charitable organizations. Being a direct student of an illustrious guru who shaped the art form to the entire world and whose choreographies continue to attract more students from different walks of life, I felt that her dance and her thoughts would prove to be useful for many a Kuchipudi dancer.
Yamini, please let us know how your dance life started.
I come from a family of doctors and engineers. But then, I have always loved music from my childhood. My mother says that I would make my parents record songs with certain ragas I liked so that I could listen to them over and over. Any kind of music has always moved me to dance.

My introduction to Kuchipudi was through my first dance teacher Sujatha Vinjamuri in my home town of St. Louis, Missouri. I then seriously started learning Kuchipudi in high school after being inspired by my guru’s dance drama Hara Vilasam. Once I started learning under Master and his son Vempati Ravi Shankar, I knew that this was what I wanted to pursue for my lifetime and from that point on, I have never looked back.  

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Monday 1 June 2015

Roving Eye by Anita Ratnam - June 2015

Anita says - June 2015 message

Sizzle, Snap, Pop.
The summer heat may have fried some of our brains with 45 degree scorching days, (America - get with it! work out the burning temperatures from Fahrenheit into the global norm) but the dancing feet did not stop. Like THE RED SHOES of the famous Hans Christian Andersen's  children's story that never stopped its wearer from moving, Indian dancers and musicians were leaping and twirling across the oceans to one nonstop gig after another. Premieres, reviews, previews, contests - we received so much information this month on our news desk that it did not seem like a summer vacation was taken by any dancer!

Read the message in the site