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NARTHAKI MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
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is the season for "Paddu Akka" all over again. Padma Subrahmanyam is
being featured on two magazine covers in the same month. DRISHTI, an
initiative of dancer Anuradha Vikranth and NARTANAM edited by scholar
Madhavi Puranam. Finally, a long overdue assessment has begun of Paddu
Akka's pedagogy, scholarship, costume innovations, choreographic and
musical imprints, solo dance theatre inventions of BHARATA NRITYAM and
finally her ambitious vision for BIFAC- Bharata Ilango Foundation for
Asian Art and Culture, a centre outside Chennai. At 75, this compelling
dancer-actor continues to win audiences in the various avenues she
continues to explore.
A generation before her was the dance maker, iconoclast and pioneering
genius MRINALINI SARABHAI. Her final breath, at age 97, was heard around
the world. With her passing on January 21, 2016 several generations of
dancers and scholars felt bereaved. Her brilliance seemed to have no
limits. Choreography, writing, poems, environment, women's rights,
scientific enquiry- the questions were endless and the themes were
poured into choreography. Daughter Mallika Sarabhai wrote on her
Facebook page, “My mother has just left for her eternal dance,” thus
announcing Mrinalini “Amma's” moment of transition. At her funeral
Mallika performed the beloved song KRISHNA NEE BEGANE, a favorite of
Mrinalini “Amma”. Accolades continue to pour in from across the globe,
with an overwhelming accumulation of personal memoirs and anecdotal
recollections of how she influenced thousands and thousands through her
dance and ideas. This portal was honored to have featured her column ASK
MRINALINI for 7 years. Until she was no longer able to, Amma patiently
answered all the questions, no matter how banal or trivial. This month
we feature some archival questions / answers from the past.
Mrinalini Sarabhai- what a life! What an artiste! At 97, she had seen so
much. But most importantly, the birth of a nation, 15 Prime Ministers,
13 Presidents, the infamous Emergency in 1975 and numerous changes of
government. Still, the artiste continued her journey… creating, sharing,
performing, inspiring and educating..
|ROVING EYE: A section of impressions, images and inspirations
Curated by Anita Ratnam
LATEST UPDATE IN THE SITE
IS SINKING" came the cryptic Whats App message at 10 am on Thursday
morning, January 21. I was on my way to a dance conference and had to
stop to call my friend who had sent it to me from Ahmedabad. Minutes
later, the end had arrived.
"AMMMA HAS PASSED" my phone read. For 80 years, Mrinalini Sarabhai held
her own on the centre stage of dance. The person who unlocked for me the
intellectual potential of Bharatanatyam in the mid 1970s, her approach
to dance, performance and allied visual arts was unparalleled. More than
19,000 students have been trained at DARPANA, the academy she started
in 1948. Celebrated, awarded, honoured and praised, Mrinalini, lovingly
called AMMA by thousands of dancers, is irreplaceable.
Her guest column ASK MRINALINI will forever carry her thoughtful replies to sometimes banal and irrelevant questions.
- Anita Ratnam
- Guru Vazhuvoor Ramiah
Pillai's senior most disciple Padmini Ramachandran, director of
Natyapriya, passed away on January 17, 2016 at Bangalore. She was 71. In
her younger days she has made appearances in films like Dil Hi To Hai
(Hindi), Iruvar Ullam (Tamil) and Narthanasala (Telugu), mostly as a
dancer in song sequences. She has also made an appearance in Ang Lee's
Life of Pi. She has choreographed many dance dramas, apart from TV
serials. Padmini was a recipient of Rajyotsava Award and Shantala Award
- Annabhattula Krishnaveni (c. 1925- Jan 16, 2016) was a senior dancer and
musician in the Kalavantula community. She started to train at the age
of five. She gave a number of performances before things changed
drastically in the 1950s.
The Padma awards: PADMA VIBUSHAN for Yamini Krishnamurthi
(Bharatanatyam), PADMA SHRI for Pratibha Prahlad (Bharatanatyam) and
Gulabo Sapera (Folk Dance), PADMA BHUSHAN for Heisnam Kanhailal
New York Times lists the duet of Bijayini Satpathy and Surupa Sen at
the Temple of Dendur in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in January as one
of the best performances of 2015. "Surrounded by the rigid lines of the
temple, the sensuous curves of their Odissi dancing and their great
artistry were even more ravishing than usual," writes Brian Seibert.
the inaugural evening of the Music Academy dance festival,
Bharatanatyam dancer Alarmel Valli received the NATYA KALA ACHARYA title
and award on January 3, 2016, Chennai.
- Suganda Iyer received ACHARYA DEVO BHAVA AWARD from Sri Datta Sai temple, at San Ramon, California, on January 16, 2016.
- Dr. Ileana Citaristi
(significant contributions in promoting Odissi dance) and Saswat Ranjan
Joshi (significant achievements in Odissi dance) received the NALCO
KHARAVELA AWARD during the 36th Foundation Day Celebrations of Nalco
(National Aluminium Company Limited) on January 7, 2016 in Bhubaneswar.
Ileana Citaristi also received a purse of Rs. 1 lakh while Joshi
received a cash prize of Rs.50,000.
- At the Drishti Dance
Festival, DRISHTI PURASKAR 2016 was bestowed on Bharatanatyam Guru Radha
Sridhar and dancer Priyadarsini Govind on January 16, 2016 at Chowdiah
- SARNGADEVA SAMMAN was conferred on Guru C. V. Chandrashekhar by Mahagami on January 17, 2016 at Aurangabad.
- The Sruti Foundation confers the E KRISHNA IYER MEDAL on Bharatanatyam
Guru Indira Rajan and VELLORE GOPALACHARIAR MEMORIAL AWARD on musician
Suguna Varadachari on February 6, 2016 at Chennai.
- Ananda Shankar Jayant
Performance and lecture tour
February 5 - 24, 2016 USA
- Chinmaya Naada Bindu presents
6th Naada Bindu Festival
Feb 12 - 14, 2016 Kolwan, Pune
Apart from my dance gurus, 'Panchabhuta' is my guru. Dance is beyond
creed, class or colour. I learn movements from the earth, sky, fire,
water, wind. Everything is in dance. I try to relate to them in dance
using my five senses of seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting.
It is like visiting a temple where you see its architectural beauty,
you get the aroma of the flowers, incense, hear the chants and the sound
of the bells, you touch your head to the foreground and taste what they
give you. You have to experience all the five senses to be able to
understand the form.
- Kumudini Lakhia
('Moulding each dancer differently' by Tapati Chowdurie, The Hindu Friday Review, Jan 1, 2016)
DRISHTI MAGAZINE returns with a fresh, full-colour edition. Some of the
articles featured in this issue: An exclusive interview with Dr. Padma
Subrahmanyam, "Padam and its connotations" by scholar / musicologist Dr.
Pappu Venugopala Rao, "Arts in times of frenzy" by art historian Ashish
Mohan Khokar, "Abhinaya in Ashtapadi" by Dr. Sonal Mansingh...
NARTANAM - Volume. XV - No.4 (Oct - Dec 2015):
completion of 15 years with this "Special issue on Dr. Padma
|Meet the artistes
||-SANCHARI.. More on the arts
Feb 5, Mumbai
MAHABHARAT REINTERPRETED...ATEET KI PARCHHAIYAN is an aesthetic blend
of Indian traditional dance forms, conceptualised and
choreographed by Shama Bhate, featuring Ramli Ibrahim (Odissi),
Vyjayanthi Kashi (Kuchipudi), Gopika Verma (Mohiniattam) and
Vaibhav Arekar (Bharatanatyam).
At: Tata Theatre, 7pm
Feb 5 - 23, Mamallapuram, Odisha
Schedule for Ileana CItaristi
- 5th Feb, Mamallapuram: Ileana CItaristi presents solo Odissi recital in Mamallapuram Dance Festival, 6.30pm
- 12th Feb, Bhubaneswar: Presentation of Ileana CItaristi's book 'My
journey, a tale of two births' at Bakul Library, 6pm.
- 19th-23rd Feb, Koraput: Ileana Citaristi conducts 5 days of Odissi
workshop demos in Koraput dist. for Odisha Govt residential tribal
schools, under the auspices of Spic Macay Bhubaneswar chapter.
Feb 6, Mumbai
Dr. Tushar Guha's Nrityanjali presents inaugural creative dance NAANDI
for the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival followed by HUM EK HAIN that weaves the
cultural magic through folk dances from different provinces of India,
popular dance and quintessential Bollywood. Kaikottikali from Kerala,
Dhunuchi from West Bengal, Maharashtra's Koli and Kathak on 'Chalte
Chalte' from Pakeezah and the closing dance 'Hum Ek Hain' depict
Feb 6 - 14, Japan, Mumbai
Schedule for Sadhya
- Feb 6 - 14: Santosh Nair, Artistic Director of Sadhya is invited by
the Japan Foundation Asia to the Performing Arts Meeting (TPAM) in
Yokohama. TPAM is one of the important international platforms for
contemporary performing arts in Asia.
- Feb 8: Sadhya performs THE MYSTICAL FOREST in Kala Ghoda Festival in Mumbai at Cross Maidan at 8:30pm
Feb 6 - 27, Maharashtra
Schedule of Smitalay & Jhelum Paranjape
- 6th Feb: BAHINAAI & JANAAI for the Marathawada Women Literature
Meet at Umarga
- 7th Feb: BAHINAAI & JANAAI for the Marathawada Women
Literature Meet at Usmanabad
- 20th Feb: HARMONY, an Odissi performance showcasing religious harmony
and secularism for CSSS - Centre for Study of Society & Secularism
at Ferozeshah Hall, University of Mumbai, Kalina, 5pm
- 27th Feb: SAVITRI VADATEY - showcasing importance of education for
Marathi Dept, University of Mumbai on the occasion of Marathi Bhasha Din
at Marathi Bhasha Bhavan, University of Mumbai, Kalina, 3pm
Feb 7, Kolkata
Conceptualized by Suman Sarawgi & Sangeeta Dudhoria, Chapter One of
TAAL CONNECT features percussion music by Manojit Dutta and
Bharatanatyam by Rama Vaidyanathan followed by interactive session with
At: Azimganj House Rooftop, 7 Camac St, 6.30pm
Feb 11 - 21, Australia and Udaipur
- Feb 11-14: Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company - The Drishtikon Dance Foundation present WITHIN at PERTH INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL
Venue: Heath Ledger Theatre, Perth
- Feb 21: Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company - The Drishtikon Dance Foundation present UNCHARTED SEAS at KUMBHA MAHARANA, Udaipur
Feb 13, Mumbai
NRITYA SHAKTI (Kathak Dance Theatre) at the KALA GHODA ARTS FESTIVAL,
explores the role and function of dance in modern times. Led by Anonna
Guha & Girish Dalvi, it weaves together various aspects of Kathak -
history, geography, tradition, music, emotion, physics, mathematics
& culminates into portraying the Kathak and Bollywood linkage. The
script in Hindi and English is written by Guru Tushar Guha and
choreographed by Anonna Guha under his guidance.
| Feb 13, London|
Divya Kasturi performs as part of Pancharatnanjali event by Sunandalayam at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 6.30pm
Feb 16 - 26, Mumbai, Maheshwar, Chennai
Astad Deboo's schedule.
- 16th Feb, Mumbai: Solo performance of DANCE EXPRESSION at the Asiatic Library, a fund raiser.
- 19th Feb, Maheshwar: Solo performance of DANCE EXPRESSION at Sacred River Festival
- 26th Feb, Chennai: RHYTHM DIVINE II - RIVER RUNS DEEP with Manipuri drummers for Kalakshetra Festival.
Feb 17, Mumbai
Dr. Tushar Guha's Nrityanjali perform SWACHHA BHARAT ABHIYAN for the
Make in India Festival. Choreographed & directed by Guru Tushar Guha
it depicts the concept through series of current episodes in a mix of
humour, creative dance, energetic music and social issues, and gives the
solution and methodology to bring Swachha Bharat dream come true. The
idea has its roots in the Prime Minister's vision of 'Swachha Bharat
Abhiyan' with short but powerful messages.
Feb 19, Chennai
Switzerland based dancer Sumitra Keshava presents a Bharatanatyam
recital in Mysore style for the KJ Sarasa memorial festival at Bharatiya
Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore, 5pm
Feb 19 - 21, Santa Barbara, CA
Kiruthika Rathanaswami (Canada) performs Bharatanatyam with choreography
by Jai Govinda, at the HH11 Dance Festival presented by Nebula Dance
Lab at the Centre Stage Theatre.
Feb 21, Khajuraho
Madhu Nataraj and the Stem Dance Kampni perform at KHAJURAHO DANCE FESTIVAL.
Feb 21, Middlesex, UK
Chinmaya Mission UK presents HE DID IT on the life and vision of Swami
Chinmayananda in dance form, during Swamiji's birth centenary year.
The performance takes us through the life journey of Balakrishna Menon
(Balan) from an atheist, freedom fighter, journalist, to one of the
greatest spiritual Masters of all times. A thematic dance performance
choreographed and performed by Usha Raghavan along with her dance troupe
and live orchestra.
Venue: The Beck Theatre, Grange Road, Hayes, Middlesex, UB3 2UE, 6.30-8.30pm
Feb 25, Liverpool, UK
Sannidhi is Milapfest's Institute for Indian Arts based at Liverpool
Hope University. SANNIDHI DIALOGUES offers a chance for Indian arts
enthusiasts, academics and students to engage with artists off-stage to
learn more about music, dance and more. This new series of open talks
will feature eminent performing artists and scholars who will talk about
their craft, while sharing inspirations and challenges as artists and
will also explore history and important stories too.
The inaugural lecture in the Sannidhi Dialogues series will be given by Dr. Anita Ratnam.
At: The Great Hall, Liverpool Hope University, 17 Shaw Street, L1 6HP, 2.30pm to 4pm
Feb 26, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
Khajuraho Dance Festival concludes on 26 Feb with a special choreography
by two disciples of Geeta Chandran. Sharanya Chandran and
Amritashruthi Radhakrishnan present SAMYUKTA, which means "united" or
"together." The dancers will showcase new-age Bharatanatyam choreography
for two bodies.