Saturday 19 December 2015

Article - Contemporary Nayikas: An innovative approach - Shruti Patki

When we ask dancers why they dance, we get to know many perspectives. Some say they do so for their happiness and peace; some do so as it is their first love; and some consider it as a pathway to connect with the Divine. Speaking for myself, I find it important to connect with my audience; but most importantly, to connect with my students while teaching them.
Recently while teaching Bharata's Nayika descriptions to my students, I realised that they had a very different mindset about the whole situation the Nayika was in. While the traditional Virahotkanthita was engrossed in great sorrow due to the separation from her Nayaka, my students felt that she should develop her own life/career and a circle of friends rather than mourning over the estrangement. After giving it a fair thought myself, I too came to the conclusion that maybe new areas of abhinaya need to be explored.

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Monday 14 December 2015

Book Review - ‘My Journey: A Tale of Two Births’ by Ileana Citaristi - Nita Vidyarthi

Acclaimed Odissi dancer Ileana Citaristi’s third book My Journey: A Tale of Two Births is a gripping piece of literary work where she elaborates her mountain stream like journey to success. Though termed an autobiography, her lucid style and recounting of her life has a fictional hue that interests and tends to push the reader to complete the book at one go. The writing is an honest account and candid outpour of emotions and feelings with a cluster of images that reveal the strength of character of the dancer-writer.
The first part of the book that is redolent with the beautiful land of her birth, where she grew up and spent her early years, does not shrivel her account of her quest for a meaningful life in an alien Indian atmosphere, as a matter of fact Odisha and the Odias with whom she has had the closest harmony. The details of the Bohemian, reckless and aimless colour of her lifestyle devoid of social scaffoldings (punctuated with personal loss of dear ones), stimulate the reader’s curiosity to run to chapter 6, ‘The second beginning’ when she landed at Mumbai airport. 

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Friday 11 December 2015

Roses & Thorns - After the Chennai floods: To perform or not to perform?

Article - When will I break free? - Rashika Ojha

This India's Independence Day, the Battery Dance Festival "Erasing Borders" in New York had a grand show, followed by 'Swarna Utsav' by disciples of Guru Rajee Narayan for the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Nritya Geetanjali on 16th in Mumbai and much later Ranjana Gauhar's ‘Sare Jahan Se Accha’ exploring ultimate freedom in Delhi. India's spirit and happiness of Independence echoes all over the world and as always multiplicity prevails.
With technology one has the privilege to be everywhere in the world at any given time. I can get a glimpse of a festival taking place in London or Tokyo or Bangalore when I am actually sitting at my place in Abu Dhabi sipping tea. Yes, the world has turned into a global village and this healthy shrink happened to the world of Indian classical dance and music. Today we see a mushrooming of Indian dance and music festivals all over the world. And these festivals touch me and also others through Facebook, Google, YouTube and many more digital mediums and bring us all together into a close network. Dwelling deep into this phenomenon especially in the sphere of Indian classical dance I felt a turbulence of queries and I wish to share this entangled state of my mind with my fellow artists and readers. This I feel is important to understand the state of Indian dance in totality. 

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Tuesday 8 December 2015

Profile - Kadamb’s Suvarnotsav: Anchored by tradition, the impulse is to explore - Dr. S.D. Desai

Kumudini Lakhia has remained a mugdha nayika of the form of Kathak she has evolved. Her Katha-k has retained its etymological meaning even as she has added nuances to it. Past the initial stages of virtuosity display, traditionally romantic narratives and stray explorations in themes relevant to the time, her choreography now, by 2015, when Kadamb Centre of Dance and Music is all set to celebrate Golden Jubilee with ‘Suvarnotsav’ (December 11, 12, 13), tells what beautiful is in temporal art – time-bound in its expressional mode and of this earth in sensory appeal.

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Tuesday 1 December 2015

Roving Eye by Anita Ratnam - December 2015

Anita says - December 2015

As I write this column on the last month of this year, I have a confession to make.
It is increasingly difficult to feel optimistic about art and its location in the larger discourse of public life. Everywhere I look there is discord, unease and unrest. Opinions are freely dispensed by babes with thumbs stuck in their mouths and elsewhere anxiety is on the rise. Stuck as hundreds and thousands of Chennai-ites were in their homes with the furious rains and subsequent flooding last month, my son recommended that I watch a documentary called WINTER ON FIRE. This true story of the Ukrainian public resistance to Soviet bullying had brilliant interventions by pianists, singers and artists. Music in the midst of bombs and rubble, passionate voices lifting frigid bodies in the relentless winter was tremendously moving. Risking their lives and standing on the front lines facing police bullets, these artists stood arm in arm with their fellow citizens, “speaking out” as best they could - through their art.

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