your gateway to the world of Indian dance

December 2019


"Every day brings you the chance to take a deep breath, kick off your shoes and Dance
When you hit a wall, climb over it, crawl across it or just dance on top of it."
- Oprah Winfrey

We live in an age of crass cacophony. When a 29 year old priest slaps a 50 year old female devotee right in front of the sanctum in the CHIDAMBARAM temple and immediately flees the scene, we are staring at a scenario where there are no safe spaces and no automatic sanctuaries. When the #METOO accused just one year ago are not just roaming around scot free but also performing in several December sabhas and receiving awards, we are facing a dire landscape of broken rules and splintered hopes.

It is not enough anymore for our politics to be separate from our art. No amount of dancing and praying to Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, and Devi can sublimate the anarchy of our times. No shouting and screaming about disrobing Draupadi or humiliating Sita will suffice. The praise of BEAUTY is just not enough anymore. For our art to be in sync with our lives we must embrace the turmoil of our times and find a way to enfold it in our artistic practice..

Read on...

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

Samskriti presented Dr. Anita R Ratnam in 'Million Sitas' on Nov 2, 2019 at Houston, TX
Photos: Amitava Sarkar

Natya Dance Theatre's Hema Rajagopalan and Astad Deboo presented world premiere of INAI-The Connection at the Dance Center of Columbia College, Chicago, on Nov 7, 2019
Photos: Ritam Banerjee, Ravi Ganapathy


Ashish Mohan Khokar's AttenDance, the only yearbook on Indian dance, presented its annual awards on 30th November 2019 at ADA Rangamandira, Bengaluru.
Bharat and Sharat Prabhat - UDAY SHANKAR AWARD for CHOREOGRAPHY
Guru Jitendra Maharaj - LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

After more than 30 years of exhilarating and challenging directorship, Mira Kaushik steps down as Artistic Director of Akademi, South Asian Dance, UK on 31 December 2019 to work in the wider creative sector. Subathra Subramaniam takes over as Artistic Director and Kirsten Burrows as Executive Director.

SHIKHAR SAMMAAN, the highest civilian award of Madhya Pradesh state, was conferred on Bharatanatyam Guru Dr. Lata Singh Munshi on 18 November 2019 at Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal.

Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra presented SUMITRA CHARAT RAM AWARD FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT (2019) to Dr. Sonal Mansingh on November 17, 2019 at Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi.

Chitraleka Bolar and Sujata Banerjee won the Akademi sponsored SOUTH ASIAN DANCE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD and the DANCE EDUCATION AND PARTICIPATION LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD respectively, at the One Dance UK Awards held at the Imperial War Museum, Manchester, on November 9, 2019.

Bharatanatyam dancer Nadhi Thekkek received the MYTHILI KUMAR EMERGING ARTIST AWARD on November 8, 2019 from World Arts West, the producers of the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival.

Geeta Chandran received ANCIENT ARTS AWARD 2019 on October 30, 2019 for her contribution in popularising Bharatanatyam especially among youth audiences. The award was presented to her in Delhi by the Rays of Wisdom Society spearheaded by dance/yoga artiste Reela Hota.

On Dec 3, 2019 Urmila Sathyanarayanan receives NATYA PADHMAM from Brahma Gana Sabha, Chennai.

Tapas Cultural Foundation presents VIDHYA TAPASVI title for 2019 to Dr. Sriram Parasuram (music) and A. Lakshmanaswamy (Bharatanatyam) for their dedicated service towards bhakthi oriented classical fine arts on 8th December 2019 at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai.

On Dec 13, 2019 Pt Rajendra Gangani receives NRITYA CHOODAMANI from Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai.

On December 14, 2019 Meenakshi Chittaranjan receives NRITHYA KALA NIPUNA from Mylapore Fine Arts, Chennai.

On December 18, 2019 Prof A Janardhanan receives NATYA KALASIKHAMANI from The Indian Fine Arts Society, Chennai.


Sampradaya Dance Creations presents
30th Anniversary Year international tour

Dec 2019 - India, Indonesia, Bangladesh

Nandanik Dance Troupe presents
Dance for Cure 2019

Fundraiser for American Cancer Society
Dec 7, 2019 Carnegie, PA

JustUs Repertory presents
What She Said: Six Voices from the Ramayana

Rukmini Arangham, Kalakshetra, 6pm
December 8, 2019 Chennai

Bala Devi Chandrashekar premieres
Padmavati - An Avatar

Dec 14, 2019 - Jan 5, 2020
India and Srilanka

"In dance, the one minute goosebumps inducing acrobatics and gymnastics might garner you a momentary applause, but it never sustains through time and eventually becomes forgettable. Our aesthetic structure requires a balance and never an overdose of anything. This gimmickry is born from the need to be appropriated into a societal system that celebrates one minute wonders on reality shows etc. This must preferably stop and pave way for the sustainable long lasting, deep impact that our art can create, if presented with its presentation systems and structures intact."
- Sonal Mansingh
('Artistes must whet and whip that appetite again,' by Karthik Hebbar, The Hindu Friday Review, Oct 24, 2019)


Dipali Das, one of the first Assamese artistes to perform Sattriya internationally in Indonesia in 1975, passed away on November 29, 2019. Sattriya got its first international exposure when President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed took the initiative to showcase Ankia Bhaona and Sattriya during his visit to Indonesia. A troupe of Sattriya artists from Kamalabari Sattra was led by Parmananda Barbayan and included Sharodi Saikia and Dipali Das Bhuyan.


Sapphire Quarterly Series presents
Flying Low Technique
With Prashant More

Dec 4, 2019 Kolkata

Mahagami presents
Seminar and Sangeet Samaroh

January 17 - 20, 2020 Aurangabad
Call for Research Papers / Presentations
Apply by 10 Dec 2019

Sri Sumukhi Rajasekaran Memorial Foundation presents
14th year 'Visesha Kala Poshakam Utsav'

Feb 1 - 3, 2020 Chennai
Apply by December 15, 2019

Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth presents
Winter Arts Intensive
In Music

Dec 22 - 28, 2019 Kolwan, Pune


TAALAM: Column by Leela Venkataraman

October features varying manifestations of dance

Indo-American Friendship Association featured at Habitat's Stein auditorium, an evening of dancers trained under three stalwarts of dance, Pt Birju Maharaj, Sonal Mansingh and Saroja Vaidyanathan.

Arguing for a humanised rather than an idealised body
At Habitat's Gulmohar, the fourth lecture of the Kelucharan Mohapatra series organized by Art Matters, saw Sadanand Menon, Art commentator, speak on Dancing Democracy.

Samyog-Viyog: Good intentions needed better treatment
Kusum Awasthi Gupta's best intentions in wanting to showcase sringar rasa in a poetry / music / dance integration notwithstanding, the evening Samyog-Viyog in a collaboration featuring Asavari with Living Music Society for Arts, ended in mixed feelings.


Rangayan Festival of Arts and Literature: A festival with a difference
Sharodi Saikia has been organizing a multi-discipline festival of dance, music, paintings, poetry reading, lectures, literature, drawing competition, a freewheeling discussion, and get together of dancers, musicians, painters, literary figures.

Vasundhara Performing Arts Centre presented Sapthati
On the occasion of the 70th birthday of Bharatanatyam exponent Dr. Vasundhara Doraswamy, Vasundhara Performing Arts Centre and Guru Shishya Parampara Trust presented a unique celebration on a grand scale organized in a manner which won appreciation of one and all present there to wish Vasundhara a happy birthday.


Vasundhara: Odyssey of a Dancer
Biography by Prof George S Paul

On the occasion of the 70th birthday of senior Mysore based Bharatanatyam exponent Dr. Vasundhara Doraswamy, her biography 'Vasundhara: Odyssey of a Dancer' penned by Prof George S Paul was released on 2nd November in Mysore during the celebrations.
THE EASTERN EYE: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

Other theatres - symbolic, magic
Presented by 'Shilpisangha' with child actors all this side of 18 years, Bir Purush was crafted around Tagore's eponymous poem that has the veneer of a boy's fantasy and is built around the core of his abiding love for mother. Dolls Theatre presented Paths of Truth, a puppet theatre based on the real-life incidents of Champaran peasant movement in Bihar in April 1917.

From Novelty to Eternity
The panache with which the third generation youthful dancer Shashwati Garai Ghosh went about presenting some new concepts of the interfacing of dance and classical music revealed quite a new fašade of creativity... The celebrated Kathak dancer Aditi Mangaldas whose prowess in pushing her classical form to ever new heights of imagination, has now become the stuff of a legend.

Mediating among media
Alongside the ongoing resplendant programme of Kolkata International Film Festival, it is quite befitting to explore cinema's connection with theatre.

DANCE MATTERS: Column by Ashish Mohan Khokar

Dakshin December
Devaniya's tenth anniversary show was a very professionally mounted mega production that started on time, ran seamlessly and finished on time.


Gender, Nationalism: Sitara Devi - The Fiery Queen of Kathak
- Navina Jafa
Remembering Sitara Devi on her birth anniversary on 8th November, the Queen of Kathak dance is as much about her fiery personality as it is about locating the legendary dancer in a wider frame.


Chennai Season Schedule

Dec 1, Mumbai
For Morn to Dusk, Celebrating 50 years of NCPA, Aditi Mangaldas presents IMMERSED (extracts) at Tata Theatre, NCPA, Mumbai, 1pm.

Dec 1 - 29, Aurangabad
Schedule for Parwati Dutta and Mahagami.
- 1 Dec: Aura Aurangabad concert at Mahagami
- 8-14 Dec: DEEKSHANA Cultural Immersion Programme by Parwati Dutta at Mahagami for IIM Bangalore students
- 14-15 Dec: VAYAM DANCE FESTIVAL at Mahagami featuring solo Odissi and Kathak performances by Parwati Dutta and her senior disciples.
- 16-21 Dec: Natyashastra workshop
- 28-29 Dec: SUTRAATMAN: Luminous threads of Gandhi, with concept and choreography by Parwati Dutta.

Dec 1 - 29, Odisha, Secunderabad
Schedule for Ileana Citaristi and Art Vision for December 2019.
- 1st Dec, Bhubaneswar: Ileana Citaristi receives Odisha Excellence Award 2019 (in Dance category) intituted by Odia Media Private Limited, at GKCM Odissi Research Centre, 4pm.
- 2nd Dec, Cuttack: Ileana Citaristi performs for a TEDx event at SCB Medical College, around the theme 'Resonating Ripples' (Small efforts bring huge changes), 6pm
- 5th Dec, Bhubaneswar: Ileana Citaristi performs Odissi dance for Virasat series under the auspices of Spic Macay, Bhubaneswar chapter, at IIT, Argul, 6pm
- 15th Dec, Bhubaneswar: Art Vision performs Odssi dance on the inaugural day of the 14th Toshali National Crafts Mela, Janta Maidan, 6.30pm
- 19th-20th Dec, Secunderabad: Art Vision performs REFUGEE as part of the XXII International Conference on 'Global South Cultural Production and Dialogue' organised by Forum on Contemporary Theory at 6pm at SVIT Auditorium, Sarojini Devi Road. The performance will be preceded by a conversation between the artiste and Dr. Ketu Katrak, convenor of the Conference. On the next day Ileana performs solo Odissi for the conference delegates at Hotel Minerva Grand, S.D. Road, 6.30pm
- 21st-22nd Dec, Secunderabad: Under the auspices of Our Sacred Space in collaboration with Anubhav Centre for Performing Arts, Ileana Citaristi presents a performative Lec-Dem on 'Shades of Love' in Odissi dance. The performance will be preceeded by a conversation between the artiste and Anupama Kylash. At Our Sacred Space, Sardar Patel Road, 6.30pm. The following day Ileana conducts a Chhau dance workshop from 10am to 2pm.
- 29th Dec, Bhubaneswar: Dibya Supakar and Kashish Bharati of Art Vision Dance Academy perform duet Odissi for Odissi International festival, organised by Dept. of Culture, Gov. of Odisha, Rabindra Mandap, 6.30pm

Dec 4, Kolkata
Sparsh Studio for Performing Arts presents Sharmila Biswas in ANTAR YATRA at G D Birla Sabhagar 7pm. Music by Srijan Chatterjee, lights by Dinesh Poddar.

Dec 4 - 20, Konark, Los Angeles, Hyderabad, Delhi
Schedule for Raja-Radha Reddy and Natya Tarangini
- 4th Dec: Raja - Radha Reddy and Group perform at Konark Festival, Odisha.
- 7th and 14th Dec: Bhavana Reddy performs at Walt Disney Concert Hall alongside the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in their production of Stravinsky's 'Rite Of Spring.' This will be the first time an Indian classical dancer, especially Kuchipudi, will perform at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA.
- 8th Dec: NT Hyderabad, anniversary celebrations
- 14th Dec: Raja-Radha Reddy are chief guests at Hillwood Academy School, Delhi
- 20th Dec: Rangapravesham of Sahira Chugh, Kamani Auditorium, Delhi

Dec 4 - 31, Odisha, W Bengal, New Delhi
Schedule for Guru Gajendra Panda and Tridhara.
-4th Dec, Konark: Tridhara group presents Odissi dance drama PRAHALAD at KONARK FESTIVAL, 7.30pm to 8.30pm. Live telecast on DD Bharati.
- 5th Dec, Bhubaneswar: Odissi dance drama INCARNATIONS at Ruchika, on the occasion of Indo Japan Friendship, 7.30pm to 8.30pm.
- 6th Dec, Chhatrapur: Dance drama LAXMI NRUSINGH for GANJAM MAHOTSAV at Sports Stadium, 7.30pm to 8pm.
- 9th Dec, Puri: Dance drama KRISHNAYA TUBHYAM NAMAH at Sri Krishna Temple for BYANJAN MAHOTSAV, 7.30pm to 8pm.
-12th -15th Dec, Angul: Aarya Nande presents DURGA TANDAV at open air, Sabhaghar, for 18th SURTAAL UTSAV, 9.30am onwards.
- 14th /15th Dec, Boudh: Duet Odissi dance ARDHANARISWAR at Town Hall, 7.30pm to 8pm, for 2nd NATIONAL SEMINAR and DANCE FESTIVAL.
- 20th -24th Dec, Purba Vardhaman, WB: GANANAYAK, 7.30pm to 8.30pm, for 22ND BHARAT SANSKRITI UTSAV, at Town Hall Maidan Auditorium and Angikar Hall.
- 25th - 30th Dec, Bhubaneswar: Disciples of Guru Gajendra Ku. Panda present solo and duet Odissi dance for INTERNATIONAL ODISSI DANCE FESTIVAL at Rabindra Mandap, 10.30am to 9.30pm.
- 25th - 31st Dec, Kolkata: DEVI DASABIDHAM for 22ND BHARAT SANSKRITI UTSAV, at Open Air, Deshapriya Park and Sarat Smruti Sadan, Triangular Park, 7.30pm to 8.30pm.
- 26th -27th Dec, New Delhi: Dr. Gajendra Ku. Panda, Prabhutosh Panda, Ankita Kumari, Pt. Birju Maharaj, Saroja Vaidyanathan, Jayarama Rao, Ramli Ibrahim and Dr. Sangeeta Gosain, present JOGINI JOGA ROOPA for GURU DEBAPRASAD NRUTYA PARAMPARA, from 7pm to 8.30pm, at Stein Auditorium. Organized by Debadhara,New Delhi.

Dec 6 - 25, New Delhi and Bhubaneswar
Schedule for Madhumita Raut and her Odissi ensemble.
- Dec 6: Youth Festival 2019, Central Park, Rajiv Chowk, New Delhi, 6pm.
- Dec 9: Ayyappa Temple, R K Puram, New Delhi, 6.30pm.
- Dec 22: India International Centre, New Delhi, 6.30pm.
- Dec 25: Chausathi Yogini Mahotsav, Hirapur, Bhubaneswar, 6.30pm.

Dec 8, New Delhi
DRISHTIKON HOME-STUDIO BAITHAK: SEASON VII presents Bharatanatyam by Rukmini Vijayakumar and Kathak by Diksha Tripathi.
At: Drishtikon Dance Studio, 6.30pm

Dec 8, Thiruvananthapuram
Chitra Arvind and Rhythmotion ensemble present VIVIDHA - Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Contemporary dance, as part of Soorya Jugalbandhi Festival.
At: Ganesham, 6.45pm

Dec 8 - 30, Tirukurungudi and Chennai
Schedule for Anita Ratnam and Arangham Dance Theatre
- Dec 8: Arangham Trust conducts the annual KAISIKA NATAKAM at Tirukurungudi.
- Dec 13: Solo lec dem UNI-VERSE (The many worlds and words of poetry) by Anita Ratnam for NATYA DARSHAN pre-event series of Kartik Fine Arts at British Council space, 7pm.
- Dec 22, 7.15am: Arangham presents AWAKENING, featuring music by Anil Srinivasan accompanied by flute.
- Dec 23: NAACHIYAR NEXT for Krishna Gana Sabha, 7pm
- Dec 25: ARANGHAM STUDIO SERIES presents a morning of abhinaya with Geeta Chandran from 10.30am to 11.30am.
- Dec 27: NAACHIYAR NEXT for Brahma Gana Sabha, Sivagami Petachi Auditorium, 7pm
- Dec 30: NAACHIYAR NEXT for Kartik Fine Arts, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore, 5.30pm

Dec 21 and 27, Jaipur, Chennai
- Dec 21, Jaipur: Drishtikon Dance Foundation presents SAMVET at Neemrana Fort Palace, Delhi- Jaipur Highway
- Dec 27, Chennai: Aditi Mangaldas performs FOOTPRINTS ON WATER (extracts) at Dance for Dance Festival.

Dec 26 and 30, Chennai
Disciples of Ramya Harishankar, Arpana Dance Company, perform under the aegis of Anusham Arts Academy, at Rasika Ranjani Sabha, Mylapore.
Dec 26: Solo performance by Visalini Sundaram @ 4.30pm
Dec 30: Solo performance by Shreya Patel @ 4.30pm

Dec 20, New Delhi
Sahira Chugh, disciple of Raja-Radha Reddy, Natya Tarangini
At: Kamani Auditorium, 7pm (Kuchipudi)

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