Saturday 6 April 2019

Tribute to Kalanidhi Maami and Rasa Purna Festival - The Eastern Eye: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

Kalanidhi Narayanan (1928-2016) - 'Maami' to one and all - has been a legendary figure in Indian classical dance. An early non-devadasi girl to learn the dance form and showcase it on stage in the 1930s and 1940s, she had a brief performance span in the 1940s; but her return to dance in 1973 after 30 years and a full married life -- to become the most notable teacher of abhinaya - was nothing short of phenomenal. She had trained more than 1000 students in her cherished art of abhinaya till she was alive. Her sporadic, yet much sought after appearances in Delhi for lec-dems at India International Centre or intimate soirees at the Defence Colony premises of Jamuna Krishnan, the Bharatanatyam exponent and aesthete, would be the most cherished moments with 'Maami' recalled by this critic......

Rasa Purna Festival
Presented at ICCR Kolkata on March 25 and 26 by Natyanova Performing Arts Centre in collaboration with Kri Foundation and Sparsh Studio, this was a two-day gala with workshop, seminar, guest performances and Natyanova repertory's new production. Bharata's Natya Sastra around the 2nd century had described bhava and rasa in performing arts, but it was left to the insight of Kashmir's Shaiva philosophers who analysed the Rasa Sutra with philosophy and literature and it was Abhinavagupta among them who had elaborated Rasa theory with clarity. Indeed, the Rasa Sutra provides an underlying unity in all Indian art forms.

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