Sunday 28 January 2024

Simple tale of 'Arisi: Rice' spins lavish cross cultural entertainment - Taalam: column by Leela Venkataraman

The occasion under the aegis of the Music Academy was the Usha Marti Subrahmanyam Endowment Dance Program on Jan 15, 2024, with a packed hall of Chennai's socialites, treated to Singapore-based Apsaras Arts Dance Company's presentation of a lavish multidisciplinary production, innovatively conceived by Artistic Director Aravinth Kumarasamy, designed on what is taken for granted as a mundane everyday part of life - namely ARISI:RICE! Sharing the stage were Bharatanatyam dancers of Apsaras Arts, guest dancers from India, and Balinese dancers from the GEOK Ensemble....

The Narthaki Studio Series held amidst the very special ambience of Anita Ratnam's home has over the years, offered performance space for off-beat programs not attracting conventional Sabha patronage, during the Chennai Season. Hailing from a powerful musical tradition, wherein the reason-to-be for the Dance, is the Music, Aniruddha Knight, as performer, while remaining faithful to the musical heritage, (expressed in movement improvisation in Bharatanatyam through gestures and abhinaya) has shown himself to be a fine teacher....

Seldom has a Lifetime Achievement Award evoked such a warm response of total approbation, as when Bragha Bessell received one bestowed on her by Prof. M. Ekambaranathan Educational and Charitable Trust on an evening arranged at Tag Centre....

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Saturday 6 January 2024

India's biggest annual dance conference: The Natya Kala Conference - Dance Matters: Column by Ashish Mohan Khokar

The Natya Kala Conference is an annual feature of the Krishna Gana Sabha. For those outside Tamil cultural landscape (and this portal and column travels far in the virtual world) sabhas are basically registered art bodies /societies from last century that serve the cause of the arts and culture. What began as a guild is now gold in terms of land and location; power and pelf. Trustees and members are either eminent citizens or families and they are pillars of the art eco systems. They dispense patronage while creating trends. Each may have preferences and power structures, yet, most are genuine and totally devoted to the purpose it was set up for.

So, the Krishna Gana Sabha (KGS) has for 40 years held the NKC (Natya Kala Conference). The current head Y Prabhu (son of R Yagnaraman who started and steered it for decades) with daughter Saashwathi are in-charge and do their duty with finesse, advised by stalwarts and icons in the field.

Rama Vaidyanathan needs no introduction to Indian dance audiences worldwide. A Delhi-based Bharatanatyam dancer, she is now also a star with substance and spunk. A student of Bharatanatyam's benchmark icon Yamini Krishnamurti, Rama is now herself a benchmark in dance and NKC convenorship. This year was dedicated to 'Swarna Saroja' in memory of her mother-in-law, Saroja Vaidyanathan, a veteran Delhi based Bharatanatyam dancer guru who started the Ganesa Natyalaya, whose 50th year anniversary too was being celebrated. 

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Monday 1 January 2024

Anita says...January 2024


LET’S GO 2024!
Happy New Year
We have done it!

Navigated through the past 12 months to replace our calendars and look forward to a brand new year.
The year 2024 is the Chinese year of the Dragon.
The United Nations has declared this year to be the year of CAMELIDS, a cluster of animals that include Llamas, camels, Alpacas and others who are vital to the indigenous peoples and local communities.

In 2023, some may have sailed through. Others trudged... some soared... or crawled... or limped... does not matter... we have all reached the starting point of yet another year... and it is a leap year!

What does it mean for us as a creative community?
What can we do to make our lives and our immediate world safer, more harmonious and more vibrant? What can we do for ourselves and our emotional well-being?

Coming to you from Chennai, I know what a roller coaster year it has been. And how strange the fluctuating moods of the final month were for my city and myself.

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