e-mail: arangham@gmail.com
If one has been around in the dance world for 40 years, has travelled to four continents and tread stages more than 1000 times in a lifetime, that should make for an interesting life. That is my life. Having experienced dance and performance through the many prisms as organizer, presenter, performer, writer, documentarian, speaker and interviewer, I now wish to share my views through a monthly column on this site.

Narthaki.com has grown in size and dimensions but the overall nature of discussion remains by and large bland. It seems that people only want to hear praise and any dissenting voice is quickly muffled with allegations of betrayal or 'anti-culture.' Even the greatest of gurus encouraged questioning from their sishyas. Today, there is a terror wave spreading in dance where all moderate voices are being silenced. Why should this be different from life itself? Are we not seeing it in politics? Goonda-giri is the order of the day. The media space for dance around the world is shrinking with editors more concerned with celebrity gossip, sports and politics.

This monthly column on narthaki.com called FRIENDLY FIRE will speak about my travels, performances, conferences and encounters with dancers and artistes. Through these words I hope to share with you many of my thoughts and concerns that may or may not resonate with readers. As always, I will try to be direct. My words are not that of a scholar, critic or crusader but of a performer / presenter / observer! I would like to hear from all of you who spend so much time discussing on private phone lines and personal emails about the chaos that plagues our dance today! The skies of cyberspace come in a variety of wallpaper shades! And this space is democratic for all. To those who say that dancers should not speak or write but only dance, I cite the recent example of singing diva Barbra Streisand, who in a political skit during her recent New York music concert shouted to a Bush supporter, "Shut up and get out if you don't like it !"
FRIENDLY FIRE begins with my experiences at the Chicago dance conference. Read on!

Anita Ratnam
November 5, 2006
The awards tsunami
Waiting in the wings
Modeling and choreography
ART(y)FACTS only
featured in expressbuzz.com
The Padma Awards
Where are the culture warriors?
The America Diaries
Chapter Four: DC and decadent living!
Chapter Three: SoCal - Dancing among SigAlerts and Forest Fires
Chapter Two: New York, New York
Chapter One: Waiting in the wings
While we are here we might as well dance!
The Chicago Toofaan!