your gateway to the world of Indian dance

April 2020


Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
Like an ever spinning wheel

Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of its own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone

Like a door that keep revolving
In a half forgotten dream

Pictures hanging in a hallway
Like fragments of a song

And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

- Theme song from the film THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR

The freewheeling lyrics of this 1968 Oscar winning song has been stuck in my head for the past few days. Contrasting images, opposing words, a conundrum that seems endless without a clear denouement.

Despite my smiling face at the top of this editorial, there is NOTHING to smile about.
It has been a bewildering month and a devastating month. This COVID-19/CORONA pandemic that has upturned our lives, dashed our plans and slashed our existence is going to change the way we live and see the world forever. Who knew that a virus from one country, one city could infect and affect so many lives across the planet!

At this time, it seems inappropriate to talk about DANCE. I recognise the thousands and thousands of artistes whose livelihoods have been threatened, whose annual plans have been trashed and who are now scrambling to find alternatives. Amidst the catastrophe of half finished projects, international collaborations and more, I also recognise the many inventive ways via technology that several dance artistes are seeking to continue the practice and teaching of their art. It seems like Armageddon - the doomsday scenario that many ancient seers have spoken about. Amidst the current ruin of canceled shows, tours and what seemed like sure-fire itineraries down the drain, performers are scrambling to simply SURVIVE in the midst of what seems to be a year of ruin.

If only we can hit the RESET button for the year 2020. But it is upon us. The biggest pandemic and the most significant crisis to hit the arts sector. Unemployment and loss of income is the most immediate fall out of this pandemic. But the consequences are far greater. It feels like an acid that is eating away- past the surface of our skin to the very bones and marrow of our creative fires.

So, how can I write about DANCE? What more can I say about the dark mood and depressing landscape that stretches before us.

It is ironic that this month, NARTHAKI.COM enters its 21st year online. We had many plans to mark the ADULTHOOD of my baby - infant - toddler - adolescent - teenager - fully grown adult.
Our small team of Lalitha Venkat, Sumathi and Raksha Patel join me in thanking you all for the confidence, trust and faith that you have placed on our portal and hope we can continue to serve and illuminate the global Indian dance community through our various articles and information that are featured.

In the light of adding new phrases to our vocabulary -

With the extraordinary circumstances of the moment, we have chosen to share the views of some of our faithful members and close friends across the world. Dancers, choreographers, dance advocates - both performers and supporters. 21 voices. To mark year #21 that NARTHAKI.COM is beginning.

Read on...

ROVING EYE: A section of impressions, images and inspirations
Curated by Anita Ratnam


Theatre personality and renowned light designer Jaydev Das passed away in Cuttack, Odisha, on March 27, 2020. He was 60.

RIP Jaydev Das: The master illuminator of Odissi dance's darkest spaces
- Ratikant Mohapatra

TAALAM: Column by Leela Venkataraman

Scintillating Kathak capturing aroma of Dilli's great poets
Prerana Shrimali's Kathak recital, based on Delhi's legendary Urdu poets, at the Deshmukh auditorium was one of its kind. She began with a verse of Amir Khusro, a renaissance man wearing many hats as poet, warrior, musician, royal courtier and a Sufi.

THE EASTERN EYE: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

Looking anew at the dance scene
An evening of dance was presented on February 20 in Kolkata by Kalavaahini Trust in collaboration with Sparsh Studio for Performing Arts under Suman Sarawgi, featuring two Bangalore-based talented Bharatanatyam dancers, Jyotsna Jagannathan and Aditya P.V.

Classicism alongside regional flavors
Presented on March 8 under the joint initiative of Sharmila Biswas, Darshan Shah and Alka Jalan, Meenakshi Medhi took the stage first with Sattriya dance... Presented on March 13 by SNB Foundation, the petite Sujata Mohapatra's was a picture-perfect performance...

SOCH: Column by Dr.Arshiya Sethi

Antakshari and dance memories in the times of Corona
As we are almost all homebound by the need for social distancing and further curtailed by extreme social distancing, social media is buzzing with ideas on how to spend this time.


Gat Palta as a Kakshya Vibhajan tool in Kathak
- Sunil Sunkara
This essay looks from a 21st CE perspective, the principles of Kakshya Vibhajan as given by Bharata in the Natyashastra, while also trying to identify the principles which trickled into Kathak.

Choreographing between two worlds: India and the United States:
Column by Janaki Patrik

New York City, Dance Capital of the World
Moving to New York City in summer 1971, I enrolled at the Merce Cunningham Studio. A few weeks later the Studio held scholarship auditions. I was offered a work-study scholarship, and for the next seven years I took two Cunningham technique classes, six days a week.


Parva: Celebrating 25 years of Abhinava Dance Company
Kathak dancers Nirupama and Rajendra celebrated silver jubilee of their institution for two days on 14th and 15th February at Chowdiah Hall, Bangalore. On the first evening was the presentation of their mega production Rama Katha Vismaya a la Disneyland...

Bhaanotsav: Reconstructing of Rupaka and Uparupaka
Piyal Bhattacharya, Chidakasha Kalalaya, Kolkata's aim is to undertake research and practice of Bharata's Natyasastra as prayoga, presentation, reconstructing of Rupakas, which are Rasatmaka, and Uparupakas which are Bhavatmaka.

Song of the Nymphs directed by Ratan Thiyam
There is always a buzz about a new play by Ratan Thiyam, the celebrated writer, director, designer, musician, and actor. His latest LAIREMBIGEE ESHEI, Song of Nymphs in Manipuri, as a closing play at 21st Bharat Rang Mahotsav at Kamani Hall, Delhi, attracted a large crowd.



'The Four Swans' by Itzik Galili - Dortmund Ballet

Pandattam - Mohiniyattam dance performance
Performed by Sajina Arun, Saraswathy Lakshmivaraham and Uma N Mooss, choreographed by Pallavi Krishnan inspired by Guru Bharati Shivaji's original adaptation.

Sangai Festival 2019's choreographic work 'Manipur - Jewel of India'
Choreography by Sinam Basu Singh

Gazal | G.Srikant, Suma Rani, Shruti Gopal

Masaka Kids Africana dancing Tweyagale by Eddy Kenzo

Dance performances that have gone online

Exquisite Corps (42 choreographers, 1 dance)

Capturing grace and elegance of ballet dancers on city streets around the world
- Sara Barnes
We often think of dancers as performing just for the stage, but their awe-inspiring moves bring a fresh new perspective when brought to the city streets.

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