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May 2016

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"The ghosts of our future are unpredictable and out of control."
- Poet Wendy Rose

Hello Dance World! What's APP-ening!

The loudest shout I hear is - MAY DAY! MAY DAY! MAY DAY!

May 1st. A day which traditionally celebrates the final thawing of snow and the advent of flowers, warmer weather and softening hearts, the ritual MAYPOLE dance (resembling the Pinnal Kolattam of Tamils), the term is also used for rescue and relief efforts. Judging by the recent outrage and furor over the national awards given to two Kuchipudi artistes, it would seem that the classical style from pre-divided Andhra Pradesh is now in dire danger. Or as one critic put it pithily on his personal Facebook page, "Kuchipudi is in ICU!"


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



- In celebration of Balasaraswati's 98th birthday and commemoration of the contribution to the arts by the Scripps, the BALASARASWATI/SCRIPPS AWARD FOR ARTISTIC EXCELLENCE will be conferred on Pandit Birju Maharaj by the Balasaraswati Institute of Performing Arts at the Music Academy on May 14, 2016, Chennai.

- The General Council of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama, New Delhi at its meeting held on 20 April 2016 in Agartala (Tripura), decided on the SNA Fellowship and Akademi Awards for 2015.
AKADEMI FELLOW (RATNA): C.V. Chandrasekhar
Ranganayaki Jayaraman (Bharatanatyam), K. Kunhiraman Nair (Kathakali), Aloka Kanungo (Odissi), G. Padmaja Reddy (Kuchipudi), Sharodi Saikia (Sattriya), Mandakini Trivedi (Mohiniattam), Sadashiva Pradhan (Chhau), W. Lokendrajit Singh (Contemporary/Experimental Dance), Rajkumar Bharathi (Music for dance)
The honour of Akademi Fellow carries a purse money of Rupees three lakh and Akademi Award carries Rupees one lakh, besides a Tamrapatra and Angavastram. The SNA Fellowships and Awards will be conferred by the President of India.
Shijith Nambiar & Parvathi Menon (Bharatanatyam), Vishal Krishna (Kathak), Divya Dikshit (Kathak), Kalamandalam Thulasi (Kathakali), P. Bilash Singh from Manipur (Manipuri), Seujpriya Borthakur from Assam (Sattriya), Shilpika Bordoloi from Assam (contemporary / experimental), Boby Chakraborty from Tripura (Kuchipudi).

- The Padma awards for dance: PADMA VIBUSHAN for Yamini Krishnamurthy (BN) was given on March 28, 2016; PADMA SHRI for Pratibha Prahlad (BN) and Gulabo Sapera (Folk Dance), PADMA BHUSHAN for Heisnam Kanhailal (theatre) were given on April 12, 2016 at New Delhi.

- Dr. Lalitha Srinivasan (Bangalore), Revathi Satyu (Dallas, TX) and Asha Prem (St. Louis, MO) were honored with the LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD on April 23, 2016 by Soorya Performing Arts at the 8th Natya Festival in St. Louis, Missouri.

- ABHAI confers NATYA KALANIDHI on the Dhananjayans, GAANDHARVA NIPUNAA on Radha Badri, NARTHAKA NIPUNAA on A. Lakshmanaswamy, on May 1, 2016 at Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai.

- Bharatanatyam has a global accent. Indira Kadambi's American student Komala Kumari Mayshark Patel wins first prize at the Cleveland Tyagaraja Festival competition.


- My mother is my Rock of Gibraltar by Alarmel Valli
Without my mother's courage, wisdom and support, without the relentless discipline, focus and sense of values that she imparted, I very much doubt I would have succeeded as a dancer.

Not just anyBODY - a health and fitness column

- Health recipes by Uma Pushpanathan
Recipe 1 - Grilled Aubergines with Couscous
Recipe 2 - Veggies, Chicken and Prawn in Celery Soup

- 5 things that will happen to your brain when you dance by Rebecca Beris
Dancing is more than just an enjoyable activity to experience with friends or your partner; dancing has the amazing ability to improve the way your brain functions.


The Journey from Kuchipudi to KitschyPudi by Veejay Sai
Kuchipudi dance form's woes seem to never end! Just when you think everything might be going fine, something inevitably pops up exposing the undercurrents within the Kuchipudi fraternity.


Lakshmi Parthasarathy Athreya presented 'Aprameyah Padmanabha'
at Tamil Nadu Iyal Isai Nataka Manram, Chennai, on April 3, 2016
Photos: Chella Photos


- Mahagami presents SADHANA
Intensive Training Gurukul camp

May 1 - 15, 2016 Aurangabad

- Sri Sumukhi Rajasekharan Foundation organizes
Bala Gurukulam - value based traditional summer camp

May 2 - 14, 2016 Chennai

- LshVa presents
Summer Workshop for Kids

May 2 -15, 2016 Bangalore

- Nataraj Music and Dance Academy presents
Kuchipudi workshop
By Manju Bharghavee

May 4 - 14, 2016 Visakhapatnam

- Nadam organizes
Abhinaya workshop
By Bragha Bessell

May 8 - 14, 2016 Bangalore

- Sparsh presents
Bharatanatyam workshop
By Malavika Sarukkai

May 14-16, 2016 Kolkata

- LshVa presents
Tai Chi workshop
By Sonika Vickraman

May 21 & 22, 2016 Bangalore

- Nrityayatri presents workshops
Abhinaya: Bragha Bessell
Nattuvangam: Sheejith Krishna

May 21 - 25, 2016 Pune

- The Bhavan and Kadam/Pulse present
Odissi workshop
By Ileana Citaristi

May 24 - 30, 2016 London


- Canadian Government Earmarks Nearly $1.9 Billion for Culture and the Arts in New Budget by Karen Bliss

- Performance by Nritarutya at Pro Kabaddi League Season 3

- Tongues on Fire - Annual Asian Film Festival
Profoundly deaf Kathak dancer Nehal Bhogaita, Kathak choreographer Sonia Sabri and composer Sarvar Sabri create a contemporary dance on camera piece with Jason Elberts on the mythological character Sita for the 18th London Asian Film Festival marking International Women's Day.

- New mobile app to replace smileys, expressions of Kerala art forms
Kerala Tourism has developed a unique app for promoting Kerala art forms internationally among travelers. This is a mobile app, available only in Android for the time being. The idea is to use micro videos of art forms to replace smileys.

- Artists from India and Japan transform the walls of a Bihar school into stunning exhibits of Art

- Off the beat and into a Museum: Art helps police officers learn to look by Sarah Lyall
Amy E. Herman, author of "Visual Intelligence," uses artworks to sharpen the visual acuity of law enforcement agents, medical students and others.


It's such a difficult path to follow to be an artist, to be really true to your artistic core. And the calling of an artist is a very, very potent call. If you don't heed it immediately, chances are, you won't feel fulfilled in the future. But at the same time, the arts are not about money. So, for young people who want to do it for money, or as an easy way out, you're definitely in the wrong place. Everyone struggles to have a nice home, a nice car etcetera, but true artistes have always suffered for their art. Think of Van Gogh, who struggled terribly even until his death - but people benefit from his work after his passing. This isn't really just a Malaysian problem....
Most artistes are struggling with this worldwide. And one of the most difficult ones is being a dancer. Because you don't get to dance the way you usually do when you're 30, your career ends quite early, but that's the reality of it. That's the problem with the world now. The main prize is the money; everyone wants to be a big financial success, instant gratification when it comes to money.
- Ramli Ibrahim
('On his toes: An interview with Ramli Ibrahim,' March 30, 2016,


Vol.XVI No.1 January - March-2016 / ISSN 2455-7250

The latest issue of Nartanam with about 200 pages of Black and White and Colour pictures is a special issue with rare photographs from the archives of Avinash Pasricha. This issue ushers Nartanam into the 16th year of its publication. Read the elaborate reviews of Leela Venkataraman on Chennai season, and Kadamb and other reviews.
To read the editorial and the entire review section please visit

Meet the artistes -SANCHARI.. More on the artsArticles

May 1, Mumbai
Dr. Shashikala Ravi will be performing at a unique International Dance Day celebration program titled BECOME THE POEM organized by Dadar Mumbai chapter of International Dance Council (conceptualised by Guru Lata Surendra) where eminent gurus and dance practitioners will be coming together.
Venue: Mysore Association Auditorium, Matunga East, Mumbai, 1pm onwards

May 1, Chicago
Natya presents Priyadarsini Govind and T. M. Krishna in SAAYUJYA, presented in honor of late Guru Kalanidhi Narayanan. The performance combines Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam.
At: The Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago, 10915 Lemont Road, Lemont, 5pm

May 1 - 30, California
Schedule for Ramya Harishankar
- May 1 @ 1pm: International May Day Festival, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, CA
- May 7 @ 2.46pm: 15th Annual International Festival, Soka University, Aliso Viejo, CA
- May 26: Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, CA
- May 29 @ 4pm: Dance beyond Arangetram - Preethi Selvan & Nikeeta Shah in concert, Campus Theatre, Fullerton, CA
- May 30 @ 4pm: Arangetram - Swathi Balaji, Godinez High School, Santa Ana, CA

May 2, New Delhi
Spandan Festival of Performing Arts along with Nartanam dance journal celebrates an evening of living legends. Prof. Lokesh Chandra (President, ICCR) releases special issues of Nartanam dedicated to Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam and Avinash Pasricha and the book 'An Indian analysis of aesthetics: The dance, dancer and spectator' by Madhavi Puranam (ed, Nartanam). The evening culminates with a Bharatanataym performance by Rama Vaidyanathan. Evening conceived by Dr. Sunil Kothari
At: Amaltas Hall, IHC, 7pm

May 7, Bangalore
Nadam is organising an abhinaya presentation VINARA by Bragha Bessell.
Venue: ADA Rangamandira, JC Road, 6:30pm.

May 7, Mumbai
Rama Vaidyanathan performs TAMIZH MARGAM for the Mumbai Tamil Sangam. Nattuvangam by Vasudevan Iyengar, vocal by Satish Venkatesh, mridangam by Sumod Sreedharan, flute by Rajat Prasanna
At: 215 Tamil Sangam Road, Sion East Mumbai, 6.30pm

May 14, Glen Allen, Virginia
For 16th Apsaras Arts dance group Annual Day, all Apsaras students and teachers (director-Uma Chetty) present the 16th APSARAS ANJALI.
Venue: Short Pump Middle School Auditorium, 3pm to 6pm.

May 17 - 27, Italy & UK
Schedule for Ileana Citaristi.
- 17th May, Rome: Ileana Citaristi presents Odissi performance in "Paesaggi Indiani" at Teatro Tordinona, Rome, as part of two days mini festival dedicated to Indian dance and music organized by Argilla Teatro.
-24th - 30th May, London: Odissi workshop on 24th, 25th, 26th, at The Bhavan Centre for beginners and intermediate, 6.30/8.30.
Odissi workshop on 28th, 29th, 30th, at Rambert Studios and Academy Mews for advanced
- 27th May, Oxford: Ileana Citaristi performs Odissi for Oxford Odissi, a Festival of Indian Classical Dance, at Grove Auditorium, University of Oxford, 6.30pm

May 18, Irvine, CA
Workshop in classical Manipuri dance by Sohini Ray along with Manipuri Dance Visions Youth Ensemble.
At: Department of theater, University of California, Irvine, 11am

May 19, Mumbai
Odissi by artists of Smitalay & Jhelum Paranjape for NCPA, at Experimental Theatre, 7pm.

May 19, Mumbai
ANURATI (Love) will explore the various dimensions - togetherness, love for self (body, mind, soul) through the physicality of movements (nritta), romanticism, love for nature, love for the almighty, love for the community. Anurati will be reflected through Kathak, Bharatanatyam and Indian Folk Dances, by the young dancers of Dr. Tushar Guha's Nrityanjali and Dr. Anonna Guha.
At: NCPA, 7pm

May 21, Birmingham, UK
At INTERNATIONAL DANCE FESTIVAL BIRMINGHAM 2016, Hembharathy Palani of Attakkalari presents TRIKONANGA & TWINE (India) & Subhash Viman MORPHED (UK) in The Patrick Centre, 6pm

May 21 & 26, NJ & NYC
- May 21: Srivari Sri Balaji Temple and IACRF present Bharatanatyam KARNA - DESTINY'S CHILD by Bala Devi Chandrashekar
Venue: Cross Roads South Middle School,195 Major Rd., Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852, 5pm
- May 26: Lec-dem by Bala Devi at the FBI, New York, as a part of the Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage celebration Series, 11am

May 27, 28, 29, London
ACROSS, NOT OVER performed by Vikram Iyengar and choreographed by Preethi Athreya
Venue: South Bank Centre. London as part of Alchemy 2016

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