Kutiyattam, the Sanskrit theatre tradition of Kerala has been proclaimed as "Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. It is for the first time that select art forms have been given this recognition as part of its effort to safeguard expressions of oral heritage and traditional culture, which are in danger of disappearing due to the effects of globalisation. UNESCO has until now only recognized built heritage such as monuments, sites of exceptional value and landscape as part of heritage.
The first international student at the Lalit Kala Kendra of the Pune University Ms.Susha Dominikova who passed her BA in Kathak dance scoring a first class. She studied Kathak intensively under well known danseuse Yogini Gandhi for the past three years. A ballet and modern dancer from Moscow Susha plans to stay on and pursue her studies in Kathak. The Lalit Kala Kendra in Pune offers graduate, post gradute and doctorate courses in Music dance and theatre combining the traditional gurukul system of teaching with the modern syallabus oriented format. The Head of the Department, eminent playwright Dr. Satish Alekar has been very encouraging towards foreign students and must be lauded for the wonderful work he has been doing at the Centre.
In memory of his Guru Shri Pathagudy Ramaswamy, Bijoy Anand Shivram started a school Preksha Dance Centre. As its first student, he took Niketa Ghiya, a dialysis patient, and started teaching her dance mainly as a therapy. She already had initial training in Bharatanatyam and did her arangetram in 1985. In the same year she lost her kidneys, her mother donated one kidney and she lived on that for ten years....that failed too and for the past 4 years she has been going for dialysis every alternate day. She does not have a father but her uncle who is well-off is taking care of her and her mother. Niketa wants to do something for the other dialysis patients. She spends about 6 hours at the hospital, talking to a lot of them and feels the need to help them as she herself is fighting for life. Bijoy Shivram and Nikita have given shows in Junagadh, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Vapi and Valsad....7 shows in all and have collected almost over 75 lakhs for the patients.The money is taken directly in the name of the Nadiad hospital where Niketa undergoes dialysis. People interested in the noble cause kindly contact Bijoy Shivram to stage more shows, the proceeds of which will go to the patients.
On the pillars of Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda, on the temples of Bikkavolu, Palampet and Draksharam, and in the caves of Undavalli near Vijayawada are etched dance poses, which are as ancient as they are exquisite.
The term Andhra Natyam encompasses 3 aspects of dance performed by the devadasi community. One was Aradana - the dances executed as part of the rites of worship at a temple. The second was Asthana performed for connoisseurs at durbars, kutcheris etc outside the temple. The third was Prabandha - dance based on puranic themes and which was encompassed in parijatham-s, kalapam-s and similar productions aimed at educating and entertaining the common people.

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