Sunday 21 April 2024

Article - 4th Edition of MOVE 2024 International World Dance Day Online Festival - Michelle Jueney

As I sit and pen my 4th media release for this passionate global dance project, I cannot believe we have achieved 4 years and hopefully counting.

The challenges of dreams to bring international artists to perform in my country Malaysia with the exorbitant production costs, immigration, red tape and going through people’s land mines and minefields has opened up a different beauty and opportunity I celebrate exploring avenues in film direction and creativity, connectivity amongst more creative fields, collaborations with worldwide talents with similar visions and audiences of kindred spirits, for now we share our Art with all of you as best we can within all sorts of unimaginable restrictions financially and support to keep going online. I am not funded till today even with the support of the global dance fraternity and legacy dance institutions.

The 4th year brings us another huge milestone with legendary historical icon and dance figure Trisha Brown to be part of our family. Trisha Brown (1936) and Pina Bausch (1940) are actually the first creators of site specific performances. 

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Interview - Piyal Bhattacharya: I believe in totality - Vijay Shanker

Kolkata based Piyal Bhattacharya is the recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for his unique and outstanding contribution in the field of classical dance and Sanskrit theatre. After extensive research, Piyal has introduced Marga Natya based on the Natyashastra that explores the music and dance attributes of Geetam, Sangeetam, Vadyam, Nrityam and Natyam with the underlying philosophy of reaching out to the supreme, through the interaction of jivatma with paramatma. After formal training in Kathakali, being inspired by Dr Padma Subrahmanyam, Piyal studied the Natyashastra and introduced Marga Natya and choreographed dance dramas with the usage of vachika abhinaya and varied other aspects of the performance technique to combine entertainment and education with a spiritual and holistic approach. In an exclusive interview, Piyal Bhattacharya explains the significance of Marga Natya, Sanskrit theatre, characterisation and the usage of some rare musical instruments to enhance the artistic and aesthetic sensibility of the performance and much more.



What induced you to do research and introduce Marga Natya, based on the Natyashastra?

As it is known, Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam is the pioneer in the research of applied Natyashastra who first brought forward Bharata's prescription of 108 Karanas as stated in the Tandava Lakshana Chapter. I was mesmerized by her performance at the Swarna Samaroh of 1997. It is this performance that inspired me to pursue Performing Arts seriously. After a very fulfilling seven years of training at Kalamandalam, Kerala, it was Dr. Subrahmanyam's research that propelled me to get to the roots. During my training in Kathakali Theatre, I discovered many Sanskrit Naataka-s, which were based on the doctrine of Natyashastra as informed by my Guru-s. My quest was to reach this foundation of knowledge. The discipline, ethics, and ethos of my training at Kalamandalam have worked as the primary resource behind my attempt to revive Naatya of these Sanskrit Naataka-s based on Bharata's principle. For this I first started studying Sanskrit and its theories intensely. Also, a thorough knowledge of Indian worldviews was instrumental in my pursuit. 

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Wednesday 17 April 2024

Article - Brahmanical interventions in Kerala's musical legacy - V. Kaladharan

I have often wondered what prevented Kerala, the south-west tip of the Indian sub-continent, from embracing the oceanic grandeur and profundity of the classical Karnatic music till the dawn of the 20th century. King Swathy Thirunal and his court musicians definitely did have an influence in Thiruvananthapuram and in its immediate precincts in the 19th century when it comes to Karnatic music. The untimely demise of Swathy sounded the death knell of Karnatic music too in the capital city of the erstwhile Travancore. This was but an ephemeral state of affairs.

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Wednesday 3 April 2024

Anita's Andal - Dance Matters: Column by Ashish Mohan Khokar



Andal is a five lettered word, so is Anita. Andal mystified, Anita demystified. Andal left a mark for aeons; Anita has left a mark by recreating Andal for the modern era. Naachiyar Next is one production that'd go down in history of Andal lore, as one of the handsomest offering in recent times. Anita Ratnam has also made it accessible to the rest of India. Southern traditions are steeped in these tales but for the rest of India, this is a good entry point to a rarefied and layered culture.

It is also accessible as Anita uses English to communicate. So the story and its core content reaches all. That Delhi audiences, who often know very little of the rest of India, connected easily shows Anita succeeded in making a very, very Tamil cultural icon reach all. The audience gave Anita Ratnam and team a real, long standing ovation proving yet again that Delhi may be dili-tante in deeper cultural moorings - especially of southern traditions - but it still retains its heart by giving generous claps all through the 70 minute rendition of the life and times of Godha, as Andal was also known. 

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Monday 1 April 2024

Anita says...April 2024

"TO A MAN WHO ONLY HAS A HAMMER

EVERYTHING HE ENCOUNTERS
LOOKS LIKE A NAIL"
- American psychologist Abraham Maslow



Hmmm- sums up how harsh and shrill the tone has been amongst some cultural and social circles.

Sitting in Chennai where the temperatures are rising every second, there is much to talk about - and the two main events in the dance and music world DID NOT reflect much positivity. MOST of the action was OFF STAGE... and social media was the battle ground for much of the tussle of words, egos, ideologies and theories.

What am I talking about?
I will get to that
But first... the good news... no, the GREAT NEWS!

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