Saturday, 15 May 2021

Obit/Tribute - Jacques d'Amboise: Ballet Master Extraordinaire - V.P. Dhananjayan

Jacques d'Amboise, esteemed New York Ballet choreographer, passed away on May 2, 2021.

Jacques d'Amboise was an iconic Ballet dancer, acclaimed choreographer par excellence, a Ballet master with relentless energy who at the ripe age of 85-86 left a legacy by saying adieu to the world of classical dance. Jacques's life was an open book for the male dancers of the entire world starting with obscure beginnings and reaching Himalayan heights. Jacques reaching the top position in the Ballet world is providential. He was one of the sons of a lift operator residing in the Harlem area of New York (then considered as the slums of NY). His father, while attending to his duties, admitted his sons in a nearby Ballet class to while away their time, like a play school. His father would not have dreamt that one of his sons would become a celebrity in the performing art field, and that too in New York City - the cultural capital of the world. Destiny has its own course!!

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Monday, 10 May 2021

Article - All roads lead to dance - Samyukta Ninan


"Many people have said many things. I can only say I did not consciously go after dance. It found me."
- Rukmini Devi Arundale

There are not many moments in life when opportunities knock at your door. This I have discovered. But when they do, I should say embrace them and not let them go. About three years back, as an educator teaching history for nearly 11 years in a private school in Delhi, I believed that my relationship with my students was merely based on content transaction. Today I have completely changed this view, and that happened when dance found me.

Being a student of history, I attach a huge importance to the origin of everything. The past appeals to me much more than the present. And this has helped me immensely in understanding dance. 

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Friday, 7 May 2021

Obit/Tribute - Critic Bhanu Kumar is no more - Vijay Shanker

Mumbai based dance and music critic Bhanu Kumar left for her heavenly abode, early morning on 20th April 2021 leaving behind her retired engineer husband C.S. Kumar, son Kartik, daughter-in-law Purnima, dancer daughter Sukanya Kumar and grandchildren. She was 68 and was on a ventilator for a few days at the non-covid Jupiter Hospital in Thane. Bhanu was diabetic and was suffering from pneumonia as well.

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Wednesday, 5 May 2021

A triptych of femininity - The Eastern Eye: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee


Sharmila Biswas, the acclaimed Odissi dancer of the eastern metropolis, has produced an engrossing study of the woman's psyche in her latest dance production. This is a portraiture of the feminine mood reimagining three stock approaches from Indian literature. The first is from a social viewpoint of a mother, who lets loose her offspring into the future, by gradually cutting the apron strings binding them together. The second one is a royal model where the Patta Mahishi (the reigning empress) has to fall back on her baffling situation with her trusted husband foisting a new consort on the royal household, unannounced and unsolicited. The third one is a mythic woman who has been a quintessential lover all her life and is simply unable to come to terms with the permanent separation of her mon amour.

Antaranga Festival, the online show organized on April 23 by Sangeet Natak Akademi, featured the three highly innovative items of Sharmila over around 46 minutes. Another fascinating aspect was their being placed in three time horizons; future, present and past, in the reverse order.

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Saturday, 1 May 2021

Anita says...May 2021

 I cannot write

Of death tolls and fires
Of slow tsunamis
Of puzzlement and pandemic
Of street side funeral pyres

I can only paint
The riot of white hibiscus blooms
On the stoop
How you strain towards the sun
How you droop
Without water, how you wither
How you fall
How then you're on your own
How we'll all
Be the same in the end

DENIAL by Akhila Ramnarayan

India has descended into COVID HELL.

"I CANNOT BREATHE" has become the chant as gasping citizens collapse as our health care system is overwhelmed by the crisis.

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Roving Eye curated by Anita Ratnam - May 2021


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