Monthly Newsletter
December 2020


Heal yourself
With the light of the sun
And the rays of the moon
With the sound of the river
And the waterfall
With the swaying of the seas
And the fluttering of the birds
Heal yourself with mint, neem and eucalyptus
Sweeten with lavender, rosemary and chamomile
Hug yourself with the cocoa bean and
A hint of cinnamon
Heal yourself with the kisses that the wind gives you
And the hugs of the rain
Stand strong with your bare feet on the ground
And with everything that comes from it
Be smarter every day by listening to your intuition
Looking at the world with your forehead
Jump, dance, sing, so that you live happier
Heal yourself with beautiful love
And always remember

You are the medicine

- Advice from Mexican healer and poet MARIA SABINA

At the last month of the year, a year that has tested and tried us in many ways, we have arrived at a SANKOFA moment. The mythical symbol of the Akan people of Ghana - the image of a bird with its head turned backward taking an egg from its back. It expresses the importance of reaching back to knowledge gained in the past and bringing it into the present in order to make a positive impact and to move forward.

What have these 9 months of lockdown and forced isolation given us? What have we learned about ourselves and the art that we hold so dearly? How have we faced the idea of our own mortality? How have our memories and the past bolstered or weakened us?
Read on...


Following the resounding success of Devi Diaries, ANITA RATNAM and NARTHAKI.COM present ANDAL'S GARDEN - A series of curated performances celebrating the spirit and poetry of the only female Azhwar, Godai. Don't forget to soak in the ambience of Andal from Dec 16, 2020 for thirty days every morning., @narthakiweb @anitaratnam

NEO NARTHAKI presents DECODE, a two-week online campaign that unravels Margazhi 2020, through behind-the-scene glimpses from daily lives of performing artistes, and spotlighting contemporary issues in dance through powerful narratives. The campaign will run from Dec 1 - 14, 2020.
Look out for engaging and thought-provoking content! @neonarthaki

NATYARAMBHA in association with NARTHAKI.COM, presents a widely appreciated daily series of short videos, where talented young storytellers from across the world present their KUTTY KAHANI - short inspiring stories from India, using their own performative talent from Nov 20 to Dec 31, 2020. Cheer on the young, budding artistes! @natyarambha @narthakiweb


THE MINISTRY OF HOUSING AND URBAN AFFAIRS has sent eviction notice to at least 27 eminent personalities, including dancers, musicians and other artistes to vacate the flats allotted to them by the government in Lutyens' and South Delhi, by Dec end. The artistes (Pt Birju Maharaj, Jayarama Rao & Vanasree Rao, Bharati Shivaji, Kanaka Srinivasan, Dr. Sunil Kothari, Faiyaz Wasifuddin Dagar etc) say that this sudden eviction notice is inhumane as it has come amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Madhya Pradesh Govt has chosen Manipuri dancer BIMBAVATI DEVI for the RASHTRIYA KUMAR GANDHARV SAMMAN in the field of dance. The award will be given by the CM of MP at a ceremony to be held in Bhopal in December.

SASKIA KERSENBOOM's book NITHYASUMANGALI first published in 1987, has gone into its sixth edition in 2020!

Among the 2020 BESSIE nominees for Outstanding Performer is BIJAYINI SATPATHY for 'Kalpana - the world of Imagination' by Kelucharan Mohapatra and Surupa Sen, at A.R.T. New York Theatre for the Drive East Festival.

METHIL DEVIKA has been included in the Panel of Research Guides for PhD scholars of the Kerala Kalamandalam Deemed University for Art and Culture.

VIJI RAO stars in COLORS OF TRUTH, an award winning documentary on abuse of Indian women, a short movie by Rabinder Parasher.

Arts writer SHYAMHARI CHAKRA has been granted a Film Research Fellowship from the National Film Archive Of India, Pune under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting of Govt of India. The Fellowship is to conduct research on 'Parallel cinema movement in Odia film industry.'

The Dance Studies Association awards the 2020 de la Torre Bueno® Prize to ANURIMA BANERJI's DANCING ODISSI: PARATOPIC PERFORMANCES OF GENDER AND STATE (Seagull Books/University of Chicago Press, 2019).

The 2020 de la Torre Bueno® First Book Special Citation reads: "HARI KRISHNAN's 'CELLULOID CLASSICISM: EARLY TAMIL CINEMA AND THE MAKING OF MODERN BHARATANATYAM' is an invaluable addition to scholarship on Bharatanatyam in the crucial period between the 1930s and 1950s, offering an impeccably researched and well-argued revision of the common recounting of this phase of the dance's history which has it that devadasis, if they kept dancing, went into film while Brahmin women dominated the stage, and discourses on caste and morality kept the two realms separate."

SHILPIKA BORDOLOI / BRAHMAPUTRA CULTURAL FOUNDATION have opened their own theatre in Jorhat, Assam. Located in a quiet residential neighborhood in the midst of a vegetable garden and made with bamboo and hay, NOI has gathered and created a community of learners who work with deep-rooted love for community participation and Art.

School children in the Tirunelveli area of southern Tamilnadu have taken to the SILAMBAM, the martial stick fighting art of South India. The leader of the movement to popularise this ancient art form is Sankaran Asan and his family.


YOG SUNDER DESAI, founder of Indian Revival Group, passed away peacefully on November 27, 2020, in New Delhi. He was 99. Connected with the national movement, he ranks amongst the pioneers who ventured into the world of Indian dance in the pre independence era. Yog Sundar was born on July 16, 1921 in Limdi as the son of Darbar Gopaldas Desai, Prince of Gujarat, but was brought up under Gandhian principles.
He learnt Kathakali, Krishnanattam and Mohiniattam in Kerala; in Shantiniketan he learnt painting under the legendary Nand Lal Bose, Manipuri dance from Guru Thambam Thamba, Kathak from Pt. Bhure Lal. He began his dance career in 1945 and founded the Indian Revival Group in 1948. Yog Sunder devoted his entire life to the propagation of India's rich cultural heritage - its folk & classical dance forms, regional music & costume, mythology & literature.
Yog Sundar married Geetashri in 1965 and had a daughter Papiha, who is a dancer and director of the group, and three sons Pallav, Pavan and Prashant who also perform with the group.

A Life in Dance - Celebrating 99 years of Yog Sunder Desai

An extraordinary story of a prince of Gujarat: Dancer Yog Sundar

Yog Sunder Desai (1921-2020)
- Ashish Mohan Khokar


N°5 The Film - Chanel Fragrance
Chanel presents the N°5 film starring Marion Cotillard and French ballet dancer Jérémie Bélingard, directed by Johan Renck.

Burberry debuts a mesmerizing, modern take on 'Singin' in the rain'
- Ann-Christine Diaz
Under fashion brand's creative chief Riccardo Tisci, Megaforce directs fantastical sequence for the British clothier.

Dedicated to Mandolin Srinivas
Choreographed & performed by Sandhya Raju.

Once a dancer, forever a dancer...
NYC Prima Ballerina with Alzheimer's listens to Swan Lake and it all comes back.

Indian Dance on Ice
By the World Champion Denise Bielmann for the first time in 1988.
Music - Ananda Shankar, Choreography - D. Keshava

Odissi by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra
Baideshisha Vilasa - a Chanda by Upendra Bhanja.

Celui qui tombe (He Who Falls)
Dancers tumble in and out of love as the ground spins beneath their feet.

Nine dance moves inspired by 2020's chaos
Here are some iconic steps to celebrate the year with, from the "Can I Get Six Feet, Please" to the "I Miss Obama."

Still Point Expanding: A Six Part Elaboration
Directors: Maya Kulkarni & Sonali Skandan
Artistes: Sruthi Mohan, Parul Shah, Sreelakshmy Govardhanan, Jin Won, Sonali Skandan, Mesma Belsaré


Roopbandh Festival - Shama Bhate's welcome initiative
Celebrated Kathak guru/choreographer Shama Bhate of Nadroop institution, Pune, presented her latest choreographic works online on 7th and 8th Nov 2020 in Roopbandh Festival.

Shantha Ratii Initiatives presented Sparks
Shantha Ratii Initiatives presented the two day Singapore International Dance Day Festival SPARKS on 6th and 7th Nov 2020 at the SRI studio. It was conceptualized, created and choreographed by Shantha Ratii…


Virtual and virtuoso
In the online 16TH SANGAM FESTIVAL held from Nov 7 to 9, Ileana Citaristi presented a mix of four hardy favourites resurrected from earlier years, with three new items.

Virtual, with visual variety
Mahishasuramardini recorded between October 1-15 for Medwings Nrityagamani and choreographed by Subhajit Khush Das, was inspired by the hugely popular Akash Vani program with poetic recitations and musical lyrics in Bengali and Sanskrit.

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