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Dancer, presenter, cultural entrepreneur and social activist, Chennai based Dr. Anita Ratnam conceived, edited and published two best selling editions of Narthaki (1992 & 1997) - the directory of classical Indian dances.

When NARTHAKI was published in 1992, it received a rapturous response and came to be called the ‘Bible’ of Indian dance. The second edition in 1997 was welcomed for the continuity it provided. When Narthaki went online in April 2000, the enthusiastic response exceeded expectations. At last, the leverage and consistency for the Indian dance fraternity spread all over the globe.

Technology has truly become a friend of the Arts. The net is the perfect medium to keep pace with quick and regular updates, instantly capable of recording movement, growth, new dimension and offering the ideal connection. It is only when we embrace technology with openness and pragmatism that we can grow, and our art can nurture, survive and thrive. 

An essential networking tool for the dance community, features:
- A comprehensive Address Bank of practitioners and teachers of Indian classical dances worldwide, dance musicians, dance festivals, dance spaces etc
- Performance listings
- Previews
- Reviews & reports
- Profiles of dance legends
- Interviews
- Flash news
- Dance snippets
- Articles
- Research papers
- Quotes
- Health column
- Obits

Special columns by eminent writers and scholars include:
- Taalam by Leela Venkataraman
- Footloose and Fancy Free by Dr. Sunil Kothari
- Eastern Eye by Dr. Utpal K Banerjee
- Soch by Dr. Arshiya Sethi
- Dance Matters by Ashish Mohan Khokar
- Choreographing Between Two Worlds by Janaki Patrik

The highlight of Narthaki is the carefully crafted monthly editorial by Dr. Anita Ratnam and the newsletter that goes out on the first of every month.

Narthaki has also made its presence felt on social media on Facebook and Instagram.

In May 2020, in response to the Covid-19 virus pandemic, Dr Ratnam produced and presented 7 weeks of a digital dance series titled BOXED which had dancers from around the world create 2 minute videos from their locked down locations.

In November 2015, Anitha Guha’s Bharatanjali Trust awarded for its path breaking work in the world of dance. 

In October 2017, Milapfest Selection Committee chose NARTHAKI.COM and Dr. Anita Ratnam as its Founder Director, for the first International Arts Award VISHWA KALA RATNA. The award celebrates and acknowledges the sterling contribution made by dynamic, well established individuals /organizations towards promoting and strengthening Indian Arts globally.

NARTHAKI received the 1st CHINMAYA NAADA BINDU PURASKAR for dance, instituted by the Chinmaya Naada Bindu Gurukula in February 2020. The citation award recognizes organizations / individuals for their enriching contributions and globally unifying initiatives in the field of Indian dance and music.  The citation reads: “NARTHAKI has been chosen for being the first of its kind digital platform, creating a unifying space for Indian dance practitioners, dance-educators, event organizers, critics, scholars, and aspiring young students, from around the globe, and for consistently providing a healthy forum for free and bold debates and dialoguing, without fear of censorship, about issues that concern dancers and the dance community. This Citation Award also offers special recognition to Anita Ratnam as Narthaki’s founder and managing editor both for creating and managing Narthaki, as well as for her other vital contributions to the dance field…”


 I have watched this little, small, madness of mine take wing and become the daily habit of thousands of dance maniacs around the world. How strange and wonderful that a bee-in-my bonnet that stung me in New York twelve years ago could morph from one book, a second edition and finally into its current avatar in cyberspace!

We have relished going techno-savvy, building bridges with new friends, countries and proposals. The way this medium has taken a giant hold of our lives is quite exciting and forced us to acknowledge that we are on a common journey of creative enterprise - we can reach out and share as fast as we can get or give, we cannot be left behind.

We are honored to be able to share this site with our dance network around the globe. We hope you feel this way too.

- Dr. Anita R Ratnam
Founder and Managing Editor


Photo: Potok's World Photography
Anita Ratnam is a celebrated performer of dance and theatre. As choreographer, writer, speaker and mentor, her impact on the Indian performing arts has been recognised with awards and honours. As a Culture Catalyst, Anita's work traverses a wide range - Academia, Youth outreach, Motivational speaker and Digital creator.


A Fine Arts graduate from the Stella Maris College, Chennai, Lalitha Venkat joined Arangham Trust in 1995 as program coordinator for the mega production PURUSH.
She stayed on as manager of the Arangham Dance Troupe.
She was project director of the second edition of Narthaki: A directory of classical Indian dances (1997) and became the content coordinator of once it went online in 2000.

Under Sundari Teacher’s guidance, she was Associate Editor for three books on Kalakshetra stalwarts - Nirmalam: The genius of S Sarada (Arangham Trust, 2005), Sankara Menon Purushothaman (Tapasya Kala Sampradaya, 2007), and Krishnaveni of Kalakshetra (Krishnanjali Trust, 2011).  
She compiled and edited the handbook Did U Know for Arangham Trust (Dec 2014).
She coordinated 2 editions of Natya Kala Conference and 3 editions of Natya Darshan with Anita Ratnam as convenor.  And 2 more editions of Natya Darshan with Malavika Sarukkai as convenor. 

Lalitha Venkat received the Mohan Khokar Award for Dance Documentation from attenDance in December 2023.


With a multimedia training in the field of graphics & animation Sumathi, Saigan Connection (1997) is involved in designing & hosting web initiatives for diverse interest groups.


Raksha Patel joined the Narthaki team in 2010 and her work involves communication, database, administration, back up, and coordination for the various platforms including social media. Prior to Narthaki, she worked for Business India Group of Publications as Assistant General Manager - Administration - managing their southern region offices.


L. Subhasri Ravi, a virtuoso in the world of veena, passionately embraces the musical legacy since the age of 5. With a rich background in classical arts, she has also shared the stage with her father. Subhasri is not confined to the strings of the veena; she has extended her expertise to nattuvangam, contributing her rhythmic skills to eminent Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi dancers.
Over the past 28 years, she has been an integral part of Dr. Anita Ratnam’s Arangham Dance Theatre, wearing multiple hats as a veena player, nattuvangist, stage manager, producer, rehearsal director, and even handling technical aspects like sound and light. Driven by an insatiable curiosity, Subhasri continually seeks to broaden her musical horizons. Her love for challenges fuels her commitment to excellence, making her a versatile artist. Fluent in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, and English, she effortlessly communicates across languages, showcasing her commitment to the art form and cultural diversity.


Mugdha Hasamnis is a classically trained Kathak dancer based out of Pune. Beyond the stage, Mugdha seamlessly transforms into a social media manager, navigating the digital realm with flair. Her passion for dance and expertise in social media converge to create a blend of creativity and connectivity for Narthaki. Mugdha has a nuanced understanding of the intricate interplay between art, emotions, and technology and she skillfully uses it with Narthaki.

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