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November 2015
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Hello November from the crisp air of New York City.

An intense week spent watching so much dance and theatre in my former home town that I have a sensorial overload. Contemporary ballet (Ballet Memphis) exploring many themes including Gospel music; the magical Misty Copeland (the first black prima ballerina with American Ballet Theatre); SANKAI JUKU in contemporary Butoh, modern dance (John Kinzel),  Egyptian tombs, Picasso, Philippine Gold treasures (Asia Society), dancers with robots (Wendy Whelan) and brilliant contemporary music ensembles (Macarthur genius grantee Claire Chase). This is what the fabulous NYC offers on a daily basis to its residents and visitors. And, and, and....THIS is the annually perfect personal RESET AND REBOOT button for yours truly.

However, the more interesting encounters have been with dance writers and dance passionistas. Robert Johnson and Elizabeth Zimmer shared their despair about the vanishing space for honest criticism (we have heard this before right?) and the impatience of today's American youth who don't care about dance. Newspaper surveys conducted in the NYC metropolitan area revealed that less than 2% of the readers care about dance. Meanwhile, there are more and more dance studios and rehearsal spaces opening up in the city. Dancers seem to be everywhere, stretching, flexing, moving… and yet… there is less and less money in the NYC area for independent artistes. New York dance audiences, however, are among the most sophisticated in the USA, guarded with their praise and watching with enthusiasm and not awe. Young dancers are eager to watch as much as they can (and can afford) and that is a welcome change from what I see in India. Major theatres have a policy $29 seats for those under 29 years of age. But what about those in their 30s? When tastes mature and bank accounts wither? Many Big Apple dance lovers are asking questions about how they can continue to support dance if the ticket prices soar each year.

No talk of tickets back home in Madras for the most coveted invitation of the year. The much anticipated Zubin Mehta concert, conducting the Australian Symphony Orchestra on their India tour. I have never been more popular as long lost acquaintances and friends called me for an invite. News of the Music Academy Hall being packed with kanjivaram silk saris and swishing pallus - walking sticks and wheelchairs galore! Zubin thrilled Madras and was reportedly delighted to be in the city whose music knowledge he deeply respects.

Audience demographics make for interesting studies. Mehta crowds were older and noticeably the city’s social elite. A marked change from the youthful electricity at Akram Khan's TOROBAKA tour last month. Having the opportunity to watch the performance in Chennai and Kolkata, I preferred the latter show solely due to the magical presence of B.C. Manjunath! Watching and listening to his impeccable polyrhythms for TOROBAKA was a performance in itself! At times playing unobtrusively in the dark, then stepping into the circular "bull ring" pool of light to dazzle uttering his "konnakkol" pneumonics with the flair and panache of an actor; suddenly breaking into Spanish counting with Uno, Dos, Tres, Quatro, Cinco for Flamenco soloist Israel Galvan - playing mridangam, ghatam, ganjira with aplomb and uttering the Kathak bols for Akram Khan's dizzying spins.. MANJUNATH IS SIMPLY WONDERFUL! Why have Chennai sabhas not featured him more often? What makes this brilliant talent, who has already collaborated with L. Subramaniam, George Maquona and now Akram Khan still relatively   unknown to my city? Could it be that he is NOT TAMIL? Could our sabhas still be so parochial with musicians? Dancers will now be making a bee line for his door but may be tripped up with his phenomenal sense of 'laya' and world rhythms..

Read more....

ROVING EYE: A section of impressions, images and inspirations
Curated by Anita Ratnam


- The Sangeet Natak Akademi, in the meeting of General Council held on 25 Oct 2015 at New Delhi has selected 66 artists of India for USTAD BISMILLAH KHAN YUVA PURASKAR 2013 & 2014. The Puraskar is given to artistes below the age of 40 years and carries a purse money of Rs.25,000.
In the field of dance, sixteen recipients of Yuva Puraskar are: Lavanya Shankar and Lakshmi Parthasarathy Athreya in Bharatanatyam; Souvik Chakraborty and Sandeep Mahavir in Kathak; Kalamandalam Arun Warrier in Kathakali; Prateeksha Kashi and M. Jaikishore Mosalikanti in Kuchipudi; Rajashri Prahraj in Odissi; Mridusmita Das and Anwesa Mahanta in Sattriya; Saji Menon in Mohiniattam; Satish Kumar Modak and Lokanath Das in Chhau; Vikram Iyengar in Contemporary Dance; Sangeeth Chakyar in Other Major Traditions of Dance and Dance Theatre (Kutiyattam); Ramamohanan N.N. in Music for Dance.

- Devdasi Nrutya Mandir presented DEVDASI NATIONAL AWARD during its Devdasi Festival from Oct 5-7, 2015 at Bhubaneswar. The awardees are: Sharon Lowen (Odissi), Dr. Sandhya Purecha (Bharatanatyam), Gopika Varma (Mohiniattam), Anupama Mohan (Kuchipudi), Sharodi Saikia (Sattriya), Uma Dogra (Kathak), Dr. Indu G (Koodiyattam) and V. Hemant Kumar (Manipuri).

- Evoor Damodaran Nair Smaraka Trust, Alleppy, conferred the EVOOR DAMODARAN NAIR AWARD 2015 on Ottanthullal artiste Suresh Kaliyath for outstanding young performer in the field of performing arts on October 18, 2015 in Alleppy.

- SUNAINA (Society for the Upliftment of the National Arts of India) conferred GURU SAMMAN AWARD on Radha and Raja Reddy (Kuchipudi), Geeta Chandran (Bharatanatyam) and Uma Sharma (Kathak) at its Indradhanush Dilli Festival at Delhi from October 26 - 28, 2015.

- At IDA 2015: Eka Aneka festival, the LEELA SEKHAR MEMORIAL AWARD will be presented to Churchill Pandian (journalist, director and producer) on November 22, 2015 at ADA Rangamandira, Bangalore.

- Kalamandalam honours the following. Kathakali artiste Mathur Govindan Kutty has been selected for the KALAMANDALAM FELLOWSHIP for 2014. The fellowship carries a purse of Rs.35,000. Koodiyattam maestro Kalamandalam Sivan Namboodiri is to receive the KALARATNAM AWARD that carries a purse of Rs. 10,000.
The other award winners are: Kalamandalam Ratheesan (Kathakali Vesham); Kottakkal Narayanan (Kathakali Sangeetham); Mankulam Krishnan Namboodiri (Chenda); Kottakkal Ravi (Maddalam); Kalamandalam Balan (Chutty); G. Chandrasekharan Nair (Mrudangam); Kalamandalam Pushpalatha (dance); Sankunnikutty Nair (Krishnanattam); Kalamandalam Mohana Krishnan (Thullal); Kalamandalam Sathybhama ( Posthumous- best art book); Mathew Paul (best documentary); Manalur Gopinad (Thullal - Dr. V.S. Sarma Endowment); Kalamandalam Bagyanathan (Kathakali - Bhagavathar Kunjunny Thamburan Endowment); Kalamandalam Sangeeth Chakyar (Koodiyattam- Yuva Prathibha award); and Kalamandalam Gishnu Prathap (Koodiyattam - Painkulam Ramachakyar Award).
The awards will be presented at Kerala Kalamandalam on November 9, 2015.

- Sridevi Nrithya Kendra conferred NATYAKALA TAPASWI on the Dhananjayans on October 25, 2015 at SDM College Auditorium, Mangalore.

Rasika Dance Ensemble presents

ADA Rangamandira, 6.30pm
November 20, 2015 Bangalore

Natya Dance Theatre presented Varna - Colors of White
October 22-24, 2015 Chicago
Photos: Ravi Ganapathy and Amitava Sarkar

Madhu Nataraj and STEM Dance Kampni performed
in Russia, Kyrgyztan and Turkmenistan in Oct 2015

They were the first Indian troupe to perform at many of the venues (stunning opera houses) and received many encore calls and standing ovations.

- Kathak guru Sudarshan Dheer
passed away on October 3, 2015.

Senior Sattriya exponent Pushpa Bhuyan passed away at her Vasant Vihar residence in New Delhi on Oct 7, 2015.

- Senior Kathak guru and performer Pt. Arjun Mishra passed away
on October 22, 2015 in a nursing home in Lucknow.


- Odissi abhinaya workshops
By Sharon Lowen

Nov 22 - Dec 22, 2015 New Delhi

- Attakkalari
Invites applications for Talent Academy

Deadline: Dec 1, 2015

- Schedule for Studio Abhyas for November 2015

- Kalakshetra

- In The Picture - Honours for Dance by Carmel Smith
More than 40 of Britain’s most renowned dance professionals - from prima ballerinas to local dance teachers, from dance critics to the choreographer of Mamma Mia - gathered for a historic photograph...

- Behind the Scenes of the Moroccan Court Music Series: Astad Deboo and Yukio Tsuji's Eternal Embrace by Julia Rooney
Astad Deboo, a pioneer of contemporary Indian dance, collaborated with New York-based musician Yukio Tsuji to present the world premiere of Eternal Embrace.

- Kathak by Sudarshan Dheer and Rashmi Dheer

- Precarious Balance - Dancing on the Edge .../ Daksha Sheth / TEDxSIULavale
It shows how dance can bring balance to your life.

Meet the artistes -SANCHARI.. More on the arts Articles

Nov 1 - 25, Kolkata, Noida & Agartala
Schedule for Ranan
-1 Nov, Calcutta: U-Turn ....a Ranan initiative to infuse the women around us with creative energy. This unique personalised program rejuvenates and detoxifies the body, mind & spirit drawing on movement, text, rhythm, dance & music. It will lead the women to breathe in new life and re-discover a new-self in them.
Venue: Ranan Workspace, 8 Sultan Alam Road, 2.30pm to 4pm
- 1 Nov, Calcutta: Adda at Ranan with Jhuma Basak (dancer, choreographer and psychoanalyst). Venue: Ranan Workspace, 5pm to 7pm
- 11 Nov, Noida: Junoon Arts Encounter - Ranan will present 'Labbaik '- a collage of Kathak pieces communicating the joy and infectious pulse of Kathak to the children. Performed by Debashree Bhattacharya along with Rhea Dawn and Samila Bhattacharya at Shiv Nadar School.
-25 Nov, Agartala: NRITYA SANRACHNA - a festival of choreographic works oraganised by SNA. Ranan will present excerpts from Shunya Se, performed by Vikram Iyengar, Debashree Bhattacharya, Rhea Dawn, Samila Bhattacharya. Production and lights by Amlan Chaudhuri.
Venue: Rabindra Satabarshiki Bhavan

Nov 3, Bangalore
Sharmila Mukerjee and the Sanjali Dance Ensemble give a lecture/performance on Odissi
At: Bangalore Club Library Auditorium , Lavelle Road, 6.30pm

Nov 3 & 8, Delhi & Jaipur
To celebrate the birth centenary of Swami Chinmayananda, the Chinmaya Mission has initiated the Chinmaya Jyoti - a travelling flame that is travelling all over India catalyzing youth to eternal values. On 3 Nov, Geeta Chandran and Natya Vriksha Dance Company perform for the Chinmaya Jyoti public reception at the Vivekananda Grounds, Chittaranjan Park, New Delhi. On 8 Nov, Geeta Chandran and Natya Vriksha Dance Company perform JYOTI MAHIMA, a specially commissioned performance for the Chinmaya Jyoti public reception in Jaipur.

Nov 4, New Delhi
In its Festival of the Arts, IIC presents ATEET KI PARCHHAIYAN (Mahabaratha Reinvented) directed by Dr. Shama Bhate, featuring Ramli Ibrahim (Odissi-Yudhishtira), Gopika Varma (Mohiniattam - Gandhari), Vyjayanthi Kashi (Kuchipudi - Kunti), Vaibhav Arekar (Bharatanatyam - Karna), Dr. Kannan (Kathakali - Beeshma), Rakesh Saibabu (Chhau - Duryodhana) and Ameera Patankar (Kathak - Draupadi)
At: At IIC’s fountain lawns, 6.30pm.

Nov 5 - 7, Irvine, CA
Ramya Harishankar and Arpana Dance Company, Ektaa Centre present DANCE CONVERSATIONS 3: Dancing Communities, Dancing cities, UC, Irvine, CA

Nov 5 - 28, Aurangabad
AURA-AURANGABAD dance series conceptualised by Parwati Dutta aims to showcase legends and legacies of Aurangabad Heritage through Indian Dance Heritage. This season, around 25 to 30 unique dance concerts will be held under AURA-AURANGABAD with local as well as artists from various parts of the country and some from other countries - each concert retelling a legend frozen in time in our monuments.  Concerts will be held every Thursday,  Friday, Saturday (Nov 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 & 28) at Mahagami from 7.30pm.

Nov 6 -23, Mumbai
Schedule of Smitalay and Jhelum Paranjape
-6th Nov: Traditional Odissi for Samudra manthan awards function at Hyatt Regency, 7pm
-18th Nov: Lec-dem on Odissi for Celebrate Bandra festival, MCubed Library, 6.30pm
-21st Nov: Manch Pravesh of Smitalay student Swapnil Panchal at Navinbhai Thakkar hall, Vile Parle East, 6.30pm
-23rd Nov: Talk on Odissi for CKP Club, Khar, 3.30pm
-23rd Nov: Dance drama JATAYU MOKSHA for Jayashree Rajagopalan's festival at Mysore Auditorium, Matunga, 7pm

Nov 6 - 29, Dehradun, Odisha, Mumbai, Hyderabad
Schedule for Ileana Citaristi and Art Vision.
- 6th Nov, Dehradun: Ileana Citaristi presents Odissi and Chhau at the VIRASAT FESTIVAL, organized by REACH at Ambedkar Stadium, 8pm
- 15th Nov, Khorda, Odisha: Art Vision presents group Odissi items choreographed by Ileana Citaristi at the Khorda Jilla Lokutsav
- 19th Nov, Bhubaneswar: Ileana presents Odissi dance recital for Association of Schools for Indian School Certificate (ASISC) annual meet at KIIT Auditorium, 7pm
- 27th Nov, Mumbai: Ileana gives a talk on “My journey, a tale of two births” for Mumbai Local organized by Junoon at Somaiya School, Ghatkopar, 4pm
- 29th Nov, Hyderabad: Ileana gives an Odissi dance workshop at Our Sacred Space premises, 10am and Odissi recital at Shilparamam, 7pm organized by ICCR and Our Sacred Space

Nov 7 - 10, China
Jayachandran Pallazhy, artistic director of Attakkalari, will be in China between 7th and 10th of Nov on an invitation to participate in DanceX - a special exchange platform, as a part of the 12th Guangdong Dance Festival.

Nov 8, Vancouver
Mandala Arts and Culture presents Bharatanatyam introduced by artistic director Jai Govinda. Bharatanatyam performances by Kiruthika Rathnaswami, Malavika Santhosh and Arno Kamolika.
At: Alice Mackay Room, Lower level, Central Library, 350W Georgia St

Nov 8 - 18, India
Rhythmosaic tour in November, Double Bill productions SWAN- LAKE REVISITED and BUDDHA - THE 'WHY' WITHIN
- 8th Nov: Nazrultirtha, Kolkata, 7pm.
-12th Nov: Rangashankara, Bangalore, 7pm
- 14th Nov: Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall, Chennai, 7pm
- 15th Nov: Trivandrum
- 18th Nov: Tagore Theater, Chandigarh, 7pm

Nov 13, West Chester, PA
BHARATANATYAM FOR NEW AUDIENCES in its 7th season, by Jaan R. Freeman, disciple of Nandini Ramani & Priyamvada Sankar (senior disciples of T. Balasaraswati)
- Performance: Nov 13, 6 - 7:30pm
- Workshop on Fundamentals of Bharatanatyam : Nov 14, 4pm to 6pm
At: Sama Center, 1240 West Chester Pike, West Chester, PA 19382

Nov 13 & 14, Lexington, MA
TRINETHRA festival of dance features musicians from India and Greater Boston area.
- Nov 13: Dancers from the Bharathakalai School of Dance (6pm), MAD AND DIVINE by Rama Vaidyanthan (7pm)
- Nov 14: Bharatanatyam by Janani Swamy (6pm), DWITHA - THE DUALITY OF LIFE by Rama Vaidyanathan & Dakshina Vaidyanathan (7pm)
Venue: Scottish Rites Masonic Museum, 33 Marrett Road, Lexington, MA 02421

Nov 13 & 15, Basel, Switzerland
Schedule for D Keshava and Kalasri
- Nov 13, 8pm: Indian evening, Solo Bharatanatyam performance by Sumitra Keshava, Rest. Papiermühle Basel
- Nov 15, 5pm - 8pm: Diwali celebrations with pooja ceremony, bhajans singing by D. Keshava, Bharatanatyam by Anjali and Sumitra Keshava, at Studio Kalasri

Nov 17, Berlin
Culture Department of the Embassy of India presents Diwali Special of Bharatanatyam - Kuchipudi - Mohiniattam by Natyasaraswathi Bangalore led by Dr. Saraswathi Rajathesh.
At: Auditorium, Indian Embassy, Tiergartenstr. 17, 6pm

Nov 19, NYC
Jiva Performing Arts presents its annual gala in NYC. Featured artists include Richard Bennett on piano, Indrajit Roy-Choudhry on sitar, Shivalik Ghoshal on tabla and Bala Skandan on violin / mridangam. Dance performances features Jiva Dance, and the students of Jiva Performing Arts, as well as DJ sounds by Globe DJs.
At: Liedenkrantz Foundation, 6 east 87th St, NYC 10128, 6.30pm

Nov 20, New York City
Rajika Puri, in Danced, Sung & Narrated STORIES FROM INDIAN MYTH: Ganapati, Ganga, Hiranyakashipu, and Kaliyamardana. Accompanied by multi-percussionist Sayun Chang.
Venue: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 6 - 8:30pm

Nov 21 & 24, Mumbai
-Nov 21: Uma Dogra and her group perform in Nrityathsavam, Kathakars of Jaipur
For the Fine Arts Society, Chembur, at Sivaswamy Auditorium, 7.30pm
-Nov 24: For Bharat Soka Gakkai’s cultural event, at Tata Theatre, NCPA, 7pm

Nov 22, Thirukurungudi, Tamilnadu
The annual all night performance of KAISIKI NATAKAM will take place at Thirukurungudi Nambi temple from 6pm onwards. It is the 17th year of revival. Anita Ratnam, through her cultural foundation Arangham Trust, has taken the responsibility of reviving this 13th century ritual performance, unique to this temple.

Nov 24 - 26, Chennai
Srinidi Cultural Trust in association with Brahma Gana Sabha presents its 10th Year Arts Festival dedicated to late Guru Udupi Laxminarayan.
-24th Nov: Inauguration @ 6:45pm by Nandini Ramani and Nalli Kuppuswamy Chettiar
7:15pm- Bharatanatyam by The Dhananjayans with their Bharatakalanjali group
-25th Nov @6:45pm: Bharatanatyam by A. Lakshmanaswamy
-26th Nov @6:45pm: Bharatanatyam by Prof C.V. Chandrashekhar
Venue: Sivagami Petachi Hall, Mylapore, Chennai

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