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Anita says.....

We dance...
to breathe, to bring the soul to the fore, to be free
to remember, to experience, to imagine, to connect, to share
to include all and leave none, to travel together, to persevere
to lift each other's spirit, to realise possibilities, to transcend boundaries
to inhabit spaces beyond the body, to manifest the extraordinary
to stand in the present and reach out to the future, to conjure the unknown
to be proud in our bodies, to coalesce all parts of our being into one
to wear eyes and ears all over our bodies, to welcome all colours and sounds
to reach the centre from the periphery
We dance to feel alive!
Stand up for dance! Stand up for all!

- Jayachandran Palazhy (Founder, Artistic Director, Attakkalari)

Another month passes. Touch is out. Distancing is in. Tempers run rampant. Patience runs thin. The body passes into numbness, no matter how hard we try to find a rhythm and a routine. Television is a cannibal, feeding on carcasses of dead ideas. In small cozy WhatsApp groups, the elite discuss "serious" issues and weigh in on life and death matters while sipping a "garam chai", filter coffee or a chilled Chardonnay - with coordinated designer masks of course!

How much longer can we continue to hope that things will resume as they were for the live arts? How fervently can we pray for the world to resume its chaotic but recognizable patterns? How many more appeals can we encounter without withering into cynical ennui? For those of us who have donated, supported, purchased and encouraged performers, crafts persons, weavers and creative people across all spectrums, the endless litany of woes does not seem to have a finish line.

Every evening, while the Social Media pages are ablaze with innumerable topics, I turn to a book or a piece of classical music to calm my restless mind. I have been unable to concentrate for long periods, impossible to watch even my favourite movie in one go. My cooking skills have jumped in quality but I hesitate to post food images in the canvas of hungry, hollow eyes. My feet walk 9 kilometres a day, according to my FITBIT. My body pours with sweat in the Chennai humidity. The mind buzzes but....

This body does not want to awaken to the vibration of dance. So I have allowed myself not to push it towards a compulsory movement. I have not been twiddling my thumbs either. Each month, a new digital avatar arrived onto several of your social media platforms, triggering the young minds and bodies across the globe in new and interesting ways. #BOXED has become a runaway hit... but more about that later.

What can we talk about?
As I write, India's borders are rumbling as soldiers face death. The prospect of war is ever present. Police brutality is not something we read about only in the USA. It is very prevalent in my home State.
But this blog is about DANCE and the LIVE ARTS. So however peripheral dance may seem at the moment, I must marshal my thoughts.

Read on...

Iravateswara temple, Darasuram, Tamilnadu
Photo: Lalitha Venkat

Stupendous achievements and kudos to you Anita, and your team for relentlessly supporting and propagating the arts.
- Kiran Subramanyam

In the midst of death, life persists
In the midst of untruth, truth persists
In the midst of darkness, light persists
- Mahatma Gandhi

G Venu: July 1
Mayadhar Raut: July 6
Kalamandalam Venkitt: July 7
Astad Deboo: July 13
Yog Sunder: July 16 (99 years)
Rama Vaidyanathan: July 17
D Keshava : July 18
Sharon Lowen: July 23
Sunayana Hazarilal : July 28
Akram Khan: July 29

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