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Narthaki Monthly Newsletter

April 2015

Anita says.....

"Success is the best deodorant!"
- Hollywood actress Elizabeth Taylor

It was a strange month. There was so much excitement and OTT expectations from so many quarters. And mostly outside the world of dance.

A family wedding of my favourite niece had me prepped with all guns firing as a producer of several events. Planning and executing weddings today calls for nuanced management and people skills.  Indian women have it as a natural ability and it is mostly undervalued and unappreciated. I have to admit that my many years of producing weekly television shows and later creating and staging my own dance works and festivals over the past 35 years has more than equipped me for the vagaries of human ego, erratic behaviour and substandard vendors.

What was apparent is that we are now a world of voyeurs, consuming almost everything through our hand held gadgets. With the beautiful bride and groom on the elegantly decorated jasmine pandal, the visiting guests from overseas were all glued to the tiny screens on their phones. And so it is in many auditoriums in Chennai when performances occur. Life, as we know it, will be lived only through our gadgets.

Fresh from the exhilaration of the wedding, I ran into a group of businessmen and women who were debating the importance of management experience in manufacturing sectors.  When I offered to join the conversation, a younger cousin, head of a large company, glibly remarked, "You don't have ACTUAL management experience, do you?" This was the opening I needed to take off on how many balls we dancers have in the air. Planning, creating, rehearsing, executing, coming in on deadline, budgeting, distribution of the product via touring and calculating cost of the "product" were only some of the issues that could compare to any global CEO pushing his machines towards "zero defect" results. What we performers have to do besides enduring the sulking musicians and members of our sometimes lazy entourage is no mean feat. And the 'product' we have at the end of it disappears into the blackness of the stage and beyond - out of our bodies into a different stratosphere that cannot be measured by ROI (return on investment) or Profit margins. Needless to say, there was dead silence after my passionate monologue!

Read more....

Roving Eye: A section of impressions, images and inspirations
Curated by Anita Ratnam

This section reflects my inspirations and moods as my feet and mind travel this amazing planet.  Thank you all for the positive response to the earlier editions of Roving Eye.
Enjoy.. If you have something interesting to share, send it to

Slide shows

Astad Deboo at Mehrangar Fort, Rajasthan
on March 20, 2015
Photos: Amit Kumar

Sanjukta Wagh in 'Rage and Beyond'
on March 21, 2015 at Delhi

In the news

- Sanjukta Wagh: Best Actress & Hitesh Dhutia: Best Innovative Sound Design - MAHINDRA EXCELLENCE IN THEATRE AWARDS

- Kathak dancer Sharmistha Mukherji for Social Work & Bharatanatyam dancer Geeta Chandran for Performing Arts - JAI WOMEN NATIONAL AWARDS for 2014


- ‘Sruti’ S. Janaki - woman achiever - Women’s Voluntary Service of Tamil Nadu

- Puja Allepalli - YUVA KALA RATNA; Guru Ratnam Janardhanan and late Guru Adyar K Lakshman - GURU SRESHTHA - Sahitya Kala Seva Mandal

- Anitha Babu - REX Karmaveer Global Fellowship

- Gayatree Panda (Odissi) and Nupur Dhananjay Daithankar (Bharatanatyam) - AEKALAVYA SAMMAN


There are thousands more talented and smarter than us. But when you see us dance what do we bring to you? We bring the belief that this is our life and there is this moment and none other. That's what makes us different. It is not about performing but living another moment. If someone says to me we can't be here at Nrityagram, a part of my heart will just die. It will happen and I am preparing for that moment. When Gaurima died, I used to think that she was pretty indispensable. But then she’s gone and even though for me every single moment she is still alive in a lot of ways, the fact is the place went on and the same way we will go and hopefully the dream will live on. The greatest freedom we have now is that we think of ourselves as utterly dispensable. So that’s how you work. I will continue to do the work I do to the best of my abilities.
- Surupa Sen
(‘Dance conversations with Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy,’ by Suhani Singh, India Today, Dec 13, 2013)


- Sai Arts International presents
Sai Nrityotsav 71

Rangasthala, 5.30pm
April 1, 2015 Bangalore

- Adishakti presents
Remembering Veenapani

At Adishakti
April 5 – 19, 2015 Pondicherry

- Divya Kasturi and Watford Palace Theatre present
Forgot Your Password?

April 14 – June 5, 2015 UK

- Kalashraya presents 
3rd Annual Kalashraya Dance Festival

Kreeger Auditorium, 7pm
April 25, 2015 Rockville, MD

- Natya Vriksha celebrates
World Dance Day

India International Centre Auditorium
April 25 & 26, 2015 Delhi

- Alliance Francaise/Ashish Khokar celebrate
World Dance Day

At Alliance Francaise de Bangalore
April 26, 2015 Bangalore

- Sadhya celebrates
World Dance Day

Kamani Auditorium
April 29, 2015 New Delhi

Workshops & Announcements

- Sri Sumukhi Rajasekharan Memorial Foundation celebrates
Balar Chithirai Kalai Vizha

Competition: April 25 - May 2, 2015 Chennai
Registrations: March 15 - April 20, 2015

- Antara Artists’ Collective organizes
Beyond frames without masks
Workshop by Pushpanjali Sharma

April 4 - 9, 2015 Bangalore

- Nandanik Dance Academy presents
Odissi abhinaya workshop
by Dr. Sonal Mansingh

April 5, 2015 Pittsburgh, PA

- Chinmaya Naada Bindu presents
Summer Arts Intensive

April 26 - May 2, 2015 Kolwan, Pune
Apply by April 5, 2015

- Jiva Performing Arts presents
Art of Abhinaya workshop
By Indira Kadambi

April 10 - 12, 2015 NYC

- Mahagami hosts
17th Residential Gurukul Camp

May 1 to 15, 2015 Aurangabad
Deadline to register: April 20


- Pratidhwani: Echoes of Mahabharata voices through two art forms by Dr. S. D. Desai
A young painter and a reputed Kathak dancing couple, along with their four well-trained disciples, came together with their insights into six major characters of the Mahabharata.

- Silver Jubilee edition of Pt. Durgalal Festival by Shyamhari Chakra
The festival was hosted by Kathak exponent Uma Dogra in honour of her guru and mentor, late legendary Durga Lal, who passed away a quarter century ago at the young age of 42.

- Shades of blue.... by Poornima Gururaja
‘Krishna Premi,’ a two day thematic presentation was presented at Seva Sadan in Bangalore on the 19th and 20th of March 2015.

- Gandhari’s gaze by Diwan Singh Bajeli
“Rage and Beyond” on the first day of the META festival in New Delhi dazzled but did not disturb the audience.

- Nrityanjali Festival 2015 by Poornima Gururaja
Poornima Ashok hosted the Nrityanjali dance festival at Seva Sadan, Malleswaram, on the 22nd and 23rd February 2015.

- Guru Krupa Nrutya Samaroha by Nita Vidyarthi
Senior Odissi dancer Gayatri Chand and Debaprasad Nrutya Pratisthan, mounted this first Odissi dance festival on Feb 16, 2015 at Jayadev Bhawan, Bhubaneswar.

- Ramya Ramnarayan’s tribute to her Guru SK Rajaratnam Pillai by Usha Rk
Setting a bar that can raise the level of consciousness through a subtle and sublime Bharatanatyam performance was probably the USP of Ramya Ramnarayan’s recent performance in Bangalore.

- Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company: Bayadère - The Ninth Life by Maggie Foyer
La Bayadère is an evocative name in the ballet world and eminently suitable for cultural re-appropriation by Shobana Jeyasingh. 


- Keremane Shambhu Hegde Rashtriya Natyotsava 6 by Sudha Sridhar
The sixth edition of the annual Natyotsava organized by the Idagunji Mela, Keremane, had many firsts to its credit.

- Nayika: national seminar and dance festival
Nayika was organized by Bangalore based Shambhavi School of Dance at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai, on 7th March.
- Mata: a novel initiative by Kalasagara UK
A celebration of Mother’s Day titled ‘Mātā’ was presented under the banner of Kalasagara UK on March 15 at Patidar House, London.

- Two rivers meet in an ocean of dance by Shveta Arora
This vibrant arts scene in Delhi brought with it Vasantotsav organized by Kalashram on the 25th, 26th and 27th of Feb at Kamani Auditorium.

Base Notes by Shanta Serbjeet Singh

- “Sastric Tradition in Indian Classical Dances”
Chetna Jyotishi Beohar is an aesthete, an administrator of the arts and an avid scholar.  Her new book Sastric Tradition in Indian Classical Dances deserves notice for all these reasons as well as the singular one that she is well versed in both Kathak and Sanskrit

TRENDING by Ashish Mohan Khokar

- Collaborations
Collaborations, that's what's trending. Collaborations between forms, dancers, organizations, cities, universities, institutions. 


Seen and Heard by Lakshmi Vishwanathan

- Performing Gurus
In the olden days there were no performing Gurus. At least not in Bharatanatyam.

Book review

- The spiritual dimension of Indian classical dance by Padma Jayaraj
The Yoga of Indian Dance authored by Mandakini Trivedi is a booklet primarily on the spiritual aspect of Indian classical dance forms.



- Education in spiritual values through Bharatanatyam: Part VI - Bharatanatyam and Yoga by Chandra Anand
Indian classical dance has been equated to yoga. The practice of Indian classical dances and other classical arts is said to be akin to meditation.

- The Natyanjali circuit by P Praveen Kumar
Shivaratri is a celebration time for dancers. As dance and devotion are intermingled with each other, so it is with dancers and Shivaratri. 

- Can Dance Therapy help you dance your anxiety away? by Iris Bräuninger
How Dance Movement Therapy is used to treat anxiety.

- The aesthetics of preserving tradition by Geeta Chandran
For dancers who perform at different venues, memories are often a blur. 

- How dancers learn their steps: music, muscle memory and mystery
When ballerina Jenifer Ringer took on a new role at the New York City Ballet, she had to train her ear for the composition and her body for the moves – then let her imagination take flight.


- Unknotting, Uncrossing by Joshua Muyiwa
Sadanand Menon in a telephone conversation about the diverse aspects of contemporary dancing-making and spectatorship.

- No apologies for Sari by Kaona Pongpipat
Daksha Sheth's latest production breaks away from traditional Indian dance, but a little controversy won't stop her.

New Release

MY JOURNEY; A TALE OF TWO BIRTHS by Ileana Citaristi tells about her two avatars. Growing up in the times of hippie culture, Ileana’s life is a fascinating story of a rebellious soul which migrates across continents from the small town of Bergamo in the mountainous ranges of north Italy to bustling Cuttack on the east coast of India. In the second avatar she takes a gigantic leap of faith, when she embraces an alien land and language as her own and surrenders everything at the feet of her Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra to learn Odissi.
Published by Manohar, New Delhi / Pages 280 / Price: Rs.950


Look out for

- Dance competition in ‘Konjum Salangai’ (1962)
Kamala and Kuchalakumari in competition.

- Rhythm Divine II - The River Runs Deep
By Astad Deboo Dance Company

- East Indian Nautch Dance
Ruth St. Denis in August 1944


- Child star dancer Vilasini Ramachandran, daughter of legendary Guru Gopinath, died of prolonged terminal illness on 5th March 2015 in her home in Trivandrum. She was 62. An IAS of Gujarat cadre, she did much for art and handled many portfolios. As a child, had acted in films Moodupadam, Kadalamma,   Laila Majnu, Bhaktakuchela,  Lilly, and Chilampoli.  

- Bharatanatyam Guru Udupi Laxminarayan (Sept 17, 1926 – March 17, 2015) passed away in Chennai.
More about him

- R. Krishnaswamy, Secretary of Narada Gana Sabha, passed away in the early hours of March 18, 2015 in Chennai, aged 78.
More about him

- The last surviving dancing mahari Shashimani Devi passed away at Puri on March 19, 2015 aged 93. She was a fine exponent of abhinaya and a true sevika of Lord Jagannath.
More about her

- Bharatanatyam guru Leela Ramanathan passed away (Sept 8, 1927 - March 22, 2015) in Bangalore.
More about her

Meet the artistes

- A teacher at heart by Lakshmi Venkatraman
Uma Anand is continuing to keep her father’s unique style alive.
- Where words fall short by Sowmya
Geetanjali Lal chose Kathak over medicine way back in 1969.

- I learned to live dance by Shashwati Garai Ghosh
I hail from a family of artists: My father is a sculptor, my mother paints, and my brother is an architectural sculptor.
- Her dance dreams by Anasuya Menon
Young dancer Tulasi has travelled a long way to Kalakshetra to find her true calling.

More on the Arts

- Into the roots of dance by Archana Nathan
Nirantara Narmada hosted two lectures that explored the relationship between dance, Tantra and Yoga.

- Youngsters steal the show by Kausalya Santhanam
Amazing performances and an interesting narrative were the highlights of ‘Draupadi Kuravanji’

- Unstoppable explorer of the dance gravity by Kasturi Ray
Ileana Citaristi doesn’t get bogged down by difficulties in dance. She believes in innovating.

- Andhra Pradesh govt plans academy for promoting Kuchipudi
Looking to revive Kuchipudi, the AP govt is planning to set up an academy dedicated exclusively to the promotion of the iconic dance form both at home and abroad.

- Of vibrant colours and stylish expressions by V. Kaladharan
Lasyotsavam, a three-day dance extravaganza in Thrissur, celebrated the artistry of poetry in motion.
- Expressions of life by Lakshmi Ramakrishna
Ananda Shankar revisited ‘Navarasa’ with her disciples at a 3-day dance fest at Telugu University.

- Pride comes before a fall by V. R. Prabodhachandran Nayar
‘Dakshayagam’ is a captivating Kathakali play that narrates how the powerful King Daksha’s ego was crushed by Lord Siva.
- - Intense portrayals by Madhavi Ramkumar
The recitals of Jyotsna Jagannathan and Sathyanarayana Raju brought to stage the charm of the traditional repertoire.

- Fiesta of classical dance moves by Hareesh N. Nampoothiri
Kalabharathi National Young Dancers Fest 2015 was a platform for young talent in Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Mohiniattam.

- Pages from Bharata’s masterpiece by Meena Banerjee
Kalamandalam Piyal has been presenting a range of spectacular shows woven around the ancient forms of music, dance and drama as mentioned in Natya Shastra.

- The rasa went missing by Ranee Kumar
Sammohanam did not live up to the standards expected by artistes of high calibre.

- Blend of rhythm and melody by Rupa Srikanth
Sathvikaa Shankar, disciple of Anita Guha, is quite the all-rounder.

- Foot forward
Neha Seshadrinath’s Kathak recital was crisp and neat.
- Feast of four by Gudipoodi Srihari
Kathak Kendra presented a feast of all major dance forms, much to the delight of the audience.

- A time to kill by V. R. Prabodhachandran Nayar
‘Keechakavadham’ was staged in the capital city by artistes who breathed life into each of the characters in the play.


April 5, Bangalore
Drishti Art Foundation and Satya Foundation present KALAPOORNIMA, a unique Moonlit Art Utsav. Hindustani and fusion music concert by Praveen D Rao and Faiz Khan and ensemble; Mohiniattam by Gopika Varma; Veerabhadra Kunita and Nandi Dwaja Kunita (popular folk form of Karnataka) by Janmabhoomi Janapada Kalasangha, Mandya.
At: Satyashri, The Cottage in Sampigehalli, Jakkur Post, Bangalore North, from 5.30pm.

April 6 - 30, Kerala, Odisha, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata
Programs for Ileana Citaristi and Art Vision for April 2015
- 6th April, Puthur, Kerala: Odissi solo for PUTHUR DANCE AND MUSIC FESTIVAL at Devi Bhagavati temple.
 - 8th April, Bhubaneswar: Art Vision organizes REMEMBERING GURUJI. Odia writer Manoj Das releases Ileana’s autobiography. MAANA BHANJANA performed by senior students of Kelubabu and Art Vision, Rabindra Mandap, 7pm
- 10th April, Mumbai: Ileana and disciple Upasana Mohanty perform abhinaya compositions for  ANUSARAN, at Sangeet Mahabharati, 6,30pm
- 17th April, Jajpur, Odisha: Ileana’s solo Odissi for SAMARPANAM, organized by Biswa Nrutyam Dance Institution at Sanskuti Bhawan Auditorium.
- 20th April, Kolkata: Italian Consulate & ICCR Kolkata chapter, present solo Odissi by Ileana, release of her autobiography, Ileana in conversation with Oindrilla Dutt, ICCR Auditorium, 7pm.
- 27, 28th April, New Delhi: Ileana’s Odissi lec-dem for Spic Macay series at Sardar Patel Vidyalay on 27th, D.A.V. Public School, Noida on 28th, 10am.
- 29th April, New Delhi: Kri Foundation’s Arshia Sethi hosts release of Ileana’s autobiography. Dr. Kapila Vatsayan will introduce the book, Leela Venkataraman in conversation with Ileana, Ileana’s solo Odissi. At IIC Auditorium, 7 pm.  
- 30th April, New Delhi:  Ileana chairs an illustrated talk FROM MENAKA TO MALLIKA: THE JOURNEY OF DANCE IN INDIAN FILMS by Ratnottama Sengupta, organized by Kri Foundation. At India Habitat Centre, 7pm

April 7, 12-17 & 26, Trivandrum, Calicut & Bangalore
Deepa Sashindran with Kuchipudi Parampara Foundation ensemble
- April 7, Trivandrum: Noopuradhwani Nrithyolsavam 2015- Thirthapada mandapam, 6.30pm
- April 12-17, Calicut: DIVINITY IN KUCHIPUDI workshop series, Swathi Thirunal Kalakendram, 9am-7pm
- April 26, Bangalore: World Dance Day - inaugural presentation at Alliance Francaise, an Ashish Mohan Khokar initiative,10.40am  

April 7 - 19, Mumbai, Thane
Schedule of Smitalay & Jhelum Paranjape.
- 7th April, 5.30pm: SHRADANJALI to Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra at Smitalay, Sane Guruji Arogya Mandir, Santacruz West
- 10th April, 6.30pm: Jhelum, Debi & Daksha present ANUSARAN in memory of Kelubabu. Performances by Ratikant & Rajashri, Ileana & Upasana, Jhelum & Rupali, Daksha & Namrata, Debi & Anu at Sangeet Mahabharati, Juhu
- 17th April, 7.30pm: FRIDAY SERIES by Hemangi Pisat at Sane Guruji Arogya Mandir, Santacruz West
- 18th April, 7.30pm; Students of Smitalay’s Babulnath branch celebrate ANNUAL DAY at Aditya Birla Centre for Perf Arts, Babulnath
- 19th April, 11am: Debi, Daksha & Jhelum perform in SINDHU FESTIVAL at Gadkari Rangayatan Sabhagriha, Thane.

April 8 - 30, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Orchha, Chidambaram
Schedule for Geeta Chandran and Natya Vriksha
- 8 April: Geeta Chandran’s solo Bharatanatyam at Stein Auditorium, New Delhi
- 13 – 16 April: Geeta presents illustrated lec-dems on Bharatanatyam for SPIC-MACAY, Ahmedabad Chapter
- 19 April: Natya Vriksha Dance Company performs for Prerana NGO at Air Force Auditorium, Subroto Park, New Delhi.
- 22 April: Geeta performs in Orchha, Madhya Pradesh
- 24 April: Foundation for Universal Responsibility hosts the Delhi premiere of VARA – A BLESSING. Geeta plays the role of devadasi Vinatha. Her disciples also star in this film. At Stein Auditorium, 6.30pm
- 25 & 26 April: Natya Vriksha’s WORLD DANCE DAY CELEBRATIONS at IIC Auditorium, New Delhi
- 30 April: Geeta Chandran and Sharanya Chandran perform for Mahakumbhabhishekham in Chidambaram.

April 10 - 12, Chicago, IL
Ragamala Dance Company presents SONG OF THE JASMINE created by Aparna Ramaswamy, Ranee Ramaswamy, and Rudresh Mahanthappa.
April 10, 7:30pm / April 11, 7:30pm / April 12, 2pm
Venue: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

April 11, Bangalore
Natyasaraswathi Bangalore presents KUCHIPUDI VAIBHAVA, organised by ICCR, Bangalore.
Venue: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 6.30pm.

April 11, Chicago, IL
Natya Dance Theatre presents EXPLORATION OF TRADITIONS.
At: Washington Park, 5531 S Martin Luther King Drive, 6 – 7pm.

April 12, Palo Alto, CA
Abhinaya Company of San Jose presents a special 35th anniversary event BHARATANATYAM – TEMPLE LEGACY with lecture, demo and performance by Guru Indra Rajan and Nandini Ramani from Chennai.
At: Cubberly Theater, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, 5pm

April 15 - May 12, 2015 USA
Kuchipudi exponent Dr. Saraswathi Rajathesh tours USA for workshops and performances.

April 20, 2015 Ahmedabad
SURUCHI …ALL ABOUT DANCE! marks the release of a compilation of papers presented during the six-day National Classical Dance Festival organized by Rasadhwani in Nov 2014. Introduction by director Dr. Uma Anantani, release of booklet, Bharatanatyam performance by Shivangee Vikram,  Payal Ghodadra and Koral Adenwala.
At: Hiralal Bhagavati Sabhagruha, 5.30pm

April 30, Bangalore
Nadam presents an evening of abhinaya by Bragha Bessell from Chennai.
At: Seva Sadan, Malleswaram, 6:30pm

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