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Release of Ashish Mohan Khokar's
Attendance 2023
Alliance Francaise de Bangalore, 6pm
June 30, 2023 Bangalore
May 28, 2023

Release of Ashish Mohan Khokar’s Attendance 2023

The 24th edition of attenDance in 2023 (although started in last century -1998- but one year was lost in Covid) India's only yearbook on dance is now ready for release in various cities starting with Bangalore, its HQ.

After launch in Bangalore it is launched in Bombay on 2 July, Sunday @Nalanda 4pm, then Delhi @Habitat Centre on 17 September at 7pm, in Bhubaneswar on 25 October... Ahmedabad, Pune, Chennai in round two.

For a dance book to sell full stock within few months of launch every year, is itself a big achievement as who publishes dance books (except Shubhi Publications and has collaborated with attenDance this year too) and who even buys? Internet has also destroyed the printed word and lessened book sales, unless digital.

attenDance was hailed by India Today twenty years ago as “a Bible of Indian dance” and the Times of India said “attendance is compulsory!” It was “a trendsetter” Indian Express held while the Hindu called it unique. It is all this and more, says its creator Ashish Khokar, who with wife Elisabeth Hall has undertaken this labour of love, every year for almost 25 years now. Next year, the dance couple and patrons aver, “We complete our silver Jubilee with a sense of satisfaction.”

Dancers like it because it educates and informs. It is not about one form or region. It is pan Indian. It is also a standard work for Ph.D content and film scripts. Many have been based on past issues. Each issue also had rare archival photos from the Mohan Khokar Dance Collection, now gifted to the nation @IGNCA.

While each issue is packed with delight, the most unusual issues were on Bharatanatyam (2000) with Anita Ratnam on cover; Choreography (2002) with Daksha Sheth on cover; Gujarat issue in 2004 with devadasis in Baroda Durbar on cover - a rare photo gifted by the Maharaja of Baroda. Traditions of East (2007); top ten (2010); Classical Dance in Transition (2015) all have been seminal.

attenDance also focused on lesser known dancers and institutions. It  discovered new writers and gave them space and respect. It also gave weight to the not-so-well off artiste or the marginalized. By instituting the ATTENDANCE awards in its 15th year, attenDance has till date awarded over 35 whom the state and system had never. Complete list on portal and

The ATTENDANCE awards are unique as the awardee goes as intern to a dance company abroad! Imagine what a professional boost. Five top names of today have benefitted. Many careers have been made in last two decades through all these initiatives. On elders, a short film or biography is made.

The current issue again is unique as it gives credit to those mothers who motivated, managed and mentored dance careers. About 30 professionals share their story from stars Alarmel Valli, Asha Uttara Coorlawala, Padmini Ravi, Rama Vaidyanathan, Urmila Satyanarayanan, Praveen Kumar to younger ones Shivangee Vikram, Gokulsree Das, Yamini Reddy, Sanjeev Das and others. A must read. Ranee Kumar had helped copy edit. Order your copy from  Amazon or

Or if free and really interested, attend a launch in a city nearest to you! Bangalore first on June 30 @Alliance Francaise, Thimmiah Road, Vasant Nagar. It promises to be another memorable evening where many dancers of the city come together and connect. Attendance is a must!

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