Friday 29 November 2019

Dakshin December - Dance Matters: Column by Ashish Mohan Khokar

Dakshin means south. I'm qualifying it, as Hindi can be perceived as an onslaught or an infliction, by some in South India too. December is the month when majority of the dance scene and scholars, critics of national (even notional) relevance move South. Some of us who live there in South India anyway see this seasonal influx; like Siberian cranes, NRI birds and bees fly in to partake of the spread that Madras has to offer. Shows from morning to evening, many fighting for attention. Some sold out, some with 10 people in hall.

Dakshin school of Kathak sounds novel, especially in a city, where no Kathak exists. Why Kathak? Not even a tabla player or ghungroo stringer (Kathak ankle bells are strung together, 108 for each ankle, not stitched on cloth or leather) exists. So when someone trains over a 100 students and presents them at a full and overflowing Narada Gana Sabha on the last Sunday of November, then bells have been rung for a mad, mad, MADras December season, the famed Margazhi maasam or month. That someone is Jigyasa Giri.

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