your gateway to the world of Indian dance

July 2016
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"I can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee
I am the greatest. The boldest, the prettiest, the most superior, most scientific, most skillfullest."

- American boxing and cultural icon Muhammad Ali (1942-2016)

"Time is the curtain, a walled city with doors that let you in and not out."
- Opening lines of THE RAMAYANA, written and directed by Gopal Sharman, writer, poet, musician, culture catalyst and co-founder of AKSHARA THEATRE, New Delhi (1935 - 2016).

As we mourn two very different individuals, we also mark the power of creativity and conviction. Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali became more than a sporting legend. He was the conscience keeper of the USA, sparring with his government and delivering the knockout punch when he refused to enroll in the army to fight the Vietnam war.

Gopal Sharman was not a sporting icon or a politician. He was the quintessential free spirit - creating, dreaming and manifesting his passion in the arts through the charming Akshara Theatre in the nation's capital. A generous host, many remember his warmth and bonhomie during the numerous plays that were staged or nurtured at Akshara.

Four more giant trees fell late last month. Aruna Sundarlal, the music patron and iconic Bengaluru cultural figure, breathed her last. Nearby, in Kerala, the giant savant Kavalam Narayana Panikker bid farewell in a peaceful final transition in his home. Another renowned artiste, noted Hindustani classical musician Veena Sahasrabuddhe, made the final transition. Odisha lost Odissi guru Kanduri Charan Behera. They are going. Fast. Quickly. Quietly. Our cultural landscape is looking sparse. Retilling the soil is becoming more and more urgent.


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



- Rita Swamy Choudhary is the new Secretary of the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi. She is a PhD in Hindustani music and has been serving as the head of the music department of the Akademi for over a decade.

- Renowned playwright and poet Gopal Sharman passed away on June 16, 2016 in Delhi. He was 81. Along with his wife Jalabala, he founded the Akshara Theatre in central Delhi in 1972.
Sharman has authored fourteen plays and many television programs, but is best known for his dramatised version of the Ramayana written in English for the Royal Shakespeare Company of Great Britain.

- Renowned poet, theatre director and dramatist Kavalam Narayana Panikkar passed away in Thiruvananthapuram on June 26, 2016. He was 88. He has penned more than 25 Malayalam plays and explored the unique folk traditions in Kerala. He was the founder-director of the theatre troupe Sopanam, which formed Bhashabharati, a centre for performing arts and research in Thiruvananthapuram. Panikkar successfully introduced indigenous music of the regional Sopana Sangeetham as an organic accompaniment to Mohiniattam. Panikkar has to his credit more than hundred compositions which are today choreographed and performed by many prominent dancers.
Tribute by Dr. Kanak Rele

- Odissi Guru Kanduri Charan Behera passed away at Kims Hospital in Bhubaneswar on June 21, 2016.

- Aruna Sundarlal, the Founder and Managing Trustee of Bangalore School of Music, passed away in Bangalore on June 23, 2016 after a brief illness. She was 77. Founded in 1987, the school is the country's third formal school for Western music.

Statement from South Asian Dance Alliance on EU Referendum

Members of the South Asian Dance Alliance, said: “Leaving EU may affect South Asian dance and dance in general, but as a sector that is resilient and focused we will pull together to ensure that South Asian Dance remains strong within the UK and continues to build and develop international relationships. We will stand together with the arts fraternity and all those who are committed to celebrating diversity and enriching quality of an inclusive society.”

Below are some responses from industry media and cultural sector:

* One Dance UK's statement on the EU Referendum result

* Dance writer Graham Watts early thoughts on referendum

* The Stage reports on what Brexit will mean for the arts

* Arts leaders call for unity following EU referendum

* Response from the Creative Industries Federation


- Bala Devi Chandrashekar presents
Karna-Destiny's Child

Jun 11 - Jul 30, 2016
Europe, Singapore, India

- Nadam presents
8th Chinna-Kalanadam Festival

ADA Rangamandira
Jul 6 - 8, 2016 Bangalore

- Samved Society for Performing Arts presents
26th Raindrops Festival

Ravindra Natya Mandir Mini Hall
July 16 & 17, 2016 Mumbai

TRENDING by Ashish Mohan Khokar

- Teaching
Teaching is trending this summer season but the emphasis is on learning more and more, from divergent sources


- Navadisha 2016
The recently concluded historic South Asian dance conference in Birmingham NAVADISHA 2016, has elicited a wide range of opinions on social media.

Not just anyBODY - a health and fitness column

Taking responsibility, staying accountable
- Dr. Sheela Nambiar

Health Recipes 3 - URAP SAYUR
- Uma Pushpanathan


She showed me the way
- Vinay Kumar


- Dakshina organises
BN & Odissi intensive
By Rama Vaidyanathan & Madhavi Mudgal

July 1-5, 2016 Yogaville, VA

- Chinmaya International Foundation organizes
Kalayoga - The Heart of Indian Art

July 2 - 11, 2016 Kerala

- Jiva Summer Dance Intensive
Bharatanatyam, Yoga, Music

July 25 - 29, 2016 NYC


- Alarippu Maurice Bejart

- Bharatanatyam fusion dance by Poonam & Priyanka Shah

- Nude song for justice of 'Kathakali' movie

- 'Kathakali' director moves HC against censor board
The director of the Malayalam film 'Kathakali' approached the Kerala High Court against the demand of three cuts by the Centre Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for issuing certification for the film.

- How two lower income Mumbai boys became extraordinary ballet dancers who could put India on the map by Preksha

Meet the artistes -SANCHARI.. More on the artsArticles

July 9, Bangalore
Sunatya Academy of Performing Arts presents its annual event NIRMITI II.
At: JSS Auditorium, 1st Main Road, 8th Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore 560070

July 10 - 19, Mumbai
Schedule of Smitalay and Jhelum Paranjape for July 2016
-10th July: FARM TO JUNGLE dance performance for “Tender Roots” for The Banyan Tree at St. Andrew’s Auditorium, Bandra, Mumbai at 11.30am.
-17th July: SAVITRI VADATEY for Keshav Gore Smarak Trust & Swadhar’s “Mrunaltai’s Gore’s Smrutidin” at Govind Dalvi Sabhagriha, Goregaon East, Mumbai at 5.30pm.
-19th July: Odissi dance performances by students of Smitalay for Guru Purnima at Smitalay, Sane Guruji Arogya Mandir, Santacruz West, Mumbai at 7pm

July 14, 19, 20, Delhi & Gujarat
Attendance - the dance annual of India, edited and published by Ashish Mohan Khokar
The 18th anniversary issue is a journey of how our costumes evolved and changed, in major forms. How textiles played a part and tailors! Why some forms like Kathakali aharya have truly stood the test of time and others have taken flagrant liberties with the aharya of the form, like say in Kuchipudi.
100 rare photos from Mohan Khokar Collection, plus all regular features; 2015 overview and benchmarks; highlights obits, awards, rewards, battles and books.
Delhi launch: July 14 @Habitat Stein
Baroda launch: July 19 @ Srjan Centre
Ahmedabad launch: July 20

July 16 & 17, Pune
Amritanjali Festival of Classical Dance & Music will be held in Pune.

July 21, NYC
Jiva Dance will perform in one of off-Broadway's iconic theaters this summer, New Victory Theater as part of its Victory Dance series alongside the Limón Dance Company and Lar Lubovitch Dance Company.
At: New Victory Theater, 209 West 42nd Street, NYC, 7pm

July 24, Palo Alto, CA
PARAMPARA - A tribute to the legendary Gurus of Odissi, performed by Odissi teachers in Bay Area (including senior students) with live orchestra from India.
Dancers: Jyothi Rout, Niharika Mohanty, Gayatri Joshi, Bidisha Mohanty, Sima Chakraborthy, Shalini Patnaik, Vishnu Tatwa Das, Revital Carrol, Dipti Mallik
Venue: Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto, CA, 5.30pm

July 25, New Delhi
Studio Performance concluding summer Odissi Worshop with Guru Sharon Lowen
Ashtapadis, Viniyoga, Pallavis and Mokshya in Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra style
At: Manasa Studio, E-133 Amar Colony, Kalka Devi Marg, Lajpat Nagar IV, 7pm


July 2, New Delhi
Archana Shivan, disciple of Geeta Chandran, Natya Vriksha
At: India International Centre, Lodhi Road, 6.30pm

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