Dancers are athletes of the spirit.
- Martha Graham, American modern dance icon
And so, we have arrived at month #18 of our confined existence. April 2020 to August 2021.
Do not believe the stories that the world has opened up and that people
are running around the beaches without masks. It may be happening in the
USA where rules rarely seem to matter when it comes to personal
liberty, but everyone is steeling themselves for the Delta or Lambda
variant and the Third Wave.
Many eyes turned away from dance platforms to watch the stunning opening
ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. And, of course to cheer the brave
efforts of Manipuri weight lifter Mirabai Chanu who scored India's first
silver medal. How many more honours will come our way is not the only
question. Besides cricket, does our country actually care about any
Dance gurus are exhilarated as so many of their students have shone
brilliantly in their school final exams. What a double delight to have a
good dance student who also excels in academics! The turning point
arrives when girls turn 18, and leave for brighter financial horizons!
The only hope is that the experience of 10 years in a dance environment
has sensitized them as individuals and future rasikas.
So, this editorial is about the lesser revealed and not so glamorous
work that some dance advocates are immersed in. While thousands are
rehearsing, filming, posting videos of themselves in warm up sessions
and weight training, I am sidestepping this nonstop barrage of videos to
write about what caught my eye and mind space.
Sattra presented RASHESWAR SAIKIA BARBAYAN SATTRIYA AWARD for 2021 to
Dr. Dilip Ranjan Barthakur (tabla artiste), Gobinda Saikia (Sattriya
artiste) and Nani Baruah (musician) at Sangeet Sattra auditorium,
Guwahati on July 8, 2021.
CHICAGO'S CULTURAL TREASURES announced $14.4 million in grant funding to
40 organizations that contribute to the history, culture, vibrancy, and
identity of communities of color in greater Chicago. Hema Rajagopalan's
NATYA DANCE THEATER is one of the organizations selected for this
Delhi's IGNCA moves from sprawling 25 acre campus to 4.4 acre hotel space amid Central Vista plan
The refurbished building of the Indira Gandhi National Center for the
Arts (IGNCA) was inaugurated earlier this month in Hotel Janpath.
Located in Telangana, RAMAPPA TEMPLE, a 13th century temple (located in
the village of Palampet about 200 km north of Telangana's capital
Hyderabad) named after its architect Ramappa, gets WORLD HERITAGE
recognition. The decision was taken at the 44th session of the World
Heritage Committee of UNESCO held on July 25, 2021 in China. The
temple's sculptures of high artistic quality illustrate regional dance
customs and Kakatiyan culture. Dr. Nataraja Ramakrishna, who recreated
the glory of Perini dance, and poet Dr. C Narayana Reddy, showed the
uniqueness of this temple to the world.
Ramappa temple, Telangana (Photo: Veejay Sai)
Recently UNESCO certified the Rudreshwara Ramappa
Temple in Telangana as a world heritage site. Built in the 13th century
in Palampet, on the outskirts of the city of Warangal, the Ramappa
Temple is one of the finest examples of the Kakatiya architectural
heritage. Inscriptions date the temple to 1213 AD built by a general
Racherla Rudra Reddy under the reign of King Ganapati Deva. The inner
sanctum is dedicated to Lord Shiva while there are several smaller
shrines around the temple complex. Some of the best preserved sculptures
of dance can be found in this temple. It was in the Kakatiya kingdom
that Jayappa Senapati authored the famous 'Nritta Ratnavali', a
comprehensive treatise on classical dance. The exquisite dance
sculptures in different parts of the temple complex tell us about the
thriving culture of patronage towards dance in the Kakatiya kingdom.
- Veejay Sai
Tribute to Guru Pt Anupam Rai
- Vijay Shanker
Mumbai based veteran classical music and Kathak dance mentor,
choreographer and composer Pt Anupam Rai left for his heavenly abode,
early morning on 27th June 2021 following a cardiac arrest. He was 62.