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Kathakali maestro Madavoor Vasudevan Nair (7 April 1929 - 6 Feb 2018) collapsed in the middle of a Kathakali performance (he was doing the role of Ravana) at Agasthyakod Mahadevi Temple at Anchal in Kollam, Kerala.

Kuchipudi guru Pasumarti Sitaramayya passed away on February 9, 2018 (1927-2018). 

The prestigious KALIDAS SAMMAN bestowed by the Govt of Madhya Pradesh for this year goes to Lakshmi Viswanathan for Bharatanatyam, Darshana Jhaveri for Manipuri, Pt Jitendra Maharaj for Kathak, Radha and Raja Reddy for Kuchipudi.

Anita says.....

The arts of Asia are blessed with the syncretic traditions of interior monologues and societal change. Not so the European models of performance that relegated myth and the human spirit in the care of the Church and performance to only reflect secular themes. This dismissal of stylization and a relaxation into naturalism has caused so much of Western performance traditions to be lost.
- Joseph Campbell
The Ecstasy of Being

It was a month of tumultuous words and events that left many of us heart sick and exhausted. The volume and velocity of hate against women who are no longer with us to defend themselves or have their stories heard - vicious and unrelenting attacks against female performers and poets -  in my home state of Tamilnadu has seen the ugly head of MISOGYNY and HYPOCRISY surface in the very first month of the year.

2018 is the Chinese year of the DOG - an animal that is considered intelligent, faithful and intuitive. It is also a synonym for CUR - a pejorative for a dumb, idiotic, addlebrained MAN who devours and demolishes creative women as “immoral”. The D word continued to haunt the cultural and political space all through December and January. D for Devadasi. D for Devouring. D for Destruction. D for Desecration.

Between the headline grabbing comments of musician TM Krishna about Carnatic musician MS SUBBULAKSHMI and film lyricist Vairamuthu against mystic poet-goddess ANDAL, the Tamil community around the world was up in arms and social media was afire with the most foul and vitriolic stream of diatribe.

Women today who dance, sing, sculpt, act, paint and write have all been inspired by those incredible women who held their own in a man’s world conscripted by Kings, Nobles and  Zamindars. To use these creative women as a deck of cards to be dealt and gathered up at will is both cruel and dangerous. To use caste again and again to either demean or insult other communities only reveals how little India has progressed in its 70th year of independence. What is even worse is to use the D for DASI word to slander not only the women featured in the speeches but also to tarnish an entire community of hereditary women as foul and tainted. How terrible and troubling this is!

It was also a month of revelations. That mystic poet/goddess ANDAL has power and commands collective devotion amongst ALL TAMILS who gathered in many cities and towns in protest of Vairamuthu’s comments came as a surprise to many. For a week ANDAL became among the top ten searches on Google! The protest against TM Krishna’s comment about MSS was contained to the dance and music community and relatively more niche in comparison.

Read on...

First edition of Kalaashish Dance Festival: Nritya Ganga

National seminar on Music and Dance and Kathak Museum

Delectable Kathak recitals in Delhi

NEW (in the) YEAR

From the foothills of Dhauli a bouquet of arts for peace and cooperation

The making of Mahagami

Rediscovering a scholarly legacy

Classical and contemporary conundrums

Sarasalaya presented Sarasa Natya Mala 2018

Photos: Chella Videos

Kathak Museum, Lucknow

Photos: Dr. Sunil Kothari

Birthday wishes
Kapila Venu: Feb 3
Saskia Kersenboom: Feb 3
Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam: Feb 4
Pt. Birju Maharaj: Feb 4
Pushkala Gopal: Feb 9
Radha Reddy: Feb 15
Madhu Nataraj: Feb 24
Ashish Khokar: Feb 29

You can buy sponsors, you can buy critics, but you cannot buy an audience.
- Dr.Padma Subrahmanyam (Panel discussion at Music Academy, Jan 4, 2018)

Thank you for transmitting the newsletter like clockwork!
- Linus Aloysius

Parshwanath temple, Ranakpur
Photo: Lalitha Venkat

Akademi presents

The Troth - Usne Kaha Tha

Jan 26 - Mar 16, 2018
India & UK

Prakriti Dance presents
Amba Shikandi

Feb 12, 18 & 25, 2018
Vishakapatnam, Chennai, Mumbai

RasaBodhi Arts Foundation presents Evam 2018
Feb 23-25, 2018 Mumbai

Nandanik presents
Vilaya: The Confluence

April 13 & 14, 2018 Carnegie, PA

Natya presents
Rama Vaidyanathan's Vivartana

Apr 29, 2018 Naperville, IL

G. M. Sarma (1936-2017): A tribute
-Madhavi Puranam

Vempati Ravi Shankar: A complete artist 
- Shantala Shivalingappa

Dancing the distractions: In a lighter vein
- Bhavanvitha Venkatesh

Lanka Lakshmi
-Padma Jayaraj

An evening soaked in bhakti
- Shilpi Aggarwal

Bhagirath Nritya Utsav
-Nita Vidyarthi

Nilima, the true "blue" dance film in Mohiniattam
- Purnima C Menon

28th Pandit Durgalal Festival
-Anupma Harshal

Celebrating the K.J. Sarasa legacy
- Jitendra Krishna

Sandhya Raman: More dancers should get serious about costumes
- Shveta Arora

Adiyal Vinnappam (A Devadasi’s Appeal)

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Founder and Managing Editor - Dr. Anita R Ratnam
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