your gateway to the world of Indian dance

January 2020


Love one another but
Make not a bond of love
Let it rather be a moving sea
Between the shores
Of your souls
- Kahlil Gibran, poet

Welcome to a brand NEW YEAR and the start of a NEW DECADE !

The last month of the year brought such a whirlwind of contrasting experiences that I am still breathless from the tsunami of visuals and sounds that have hit me for the past 31 days.

From devout crowds at my ancestral temple, to an urban library where John Lennon met Andal; from being spellbound by a flute next to the ocean to eyes moistening as I watched a mother sing baby Krishna to sleep while narrating the Ramayana - this has been an overwhelming month for me.
As patron, presenter, producer, performer, speaker, writer, host and single parent- all the while maintaining a calm demeanour - HAS NOT BEEN EASY.

Amidst the chaos of daily protests and arrests across India due to the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) a month of singing and dancing seemed at odds with the reality of our daily lives. But then the Chennai Margazhi season chugs on...

And just in case you were thinking that ALL roads lead to Chennai in December, there is slight modification. Only certain parts of Chennai celebrate MARGAZHI. Go beyond Gemini Circle to areas like Nungambakkam and Kilpauk and you will be asked, "What is happening? What Season?"

This online dance portal began at the dawn of the millennium and it is already in its 3rd decade!
And how much our dance lives have changed!
And the most evident indicator has been the recently concluded NATYA KALA CONFERENCE at Krishna Gana Sabha.

Read on...

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


On January 12, 2020 Nalanda Dance Research Centre will give Nalanda's KANAKA NARTANA PURASKAAR to Ashish Khokar, Daksha Mashruwala, M.S. Gireesan, Swapnokalpa Dasgupta and Uma Dogra, at Kanaka Sabha, Nalanda Dance Research Centre, Mumbai.

MADURA KALA PRAVEENA award will be conferred upon Guru Anitha Guha by Sri Sathguru Sangeetha Samajam, Madurai, on January 11, 2020.

Krishna Gana Sabha conferred the NATYA KALA VISHARADA HA award on veteran Guru Ranganayaki Jayaraman, Sri Saraswathy Gana Nilayam, on Dec 26, 2019 at Chennai

On December 20, 2019 Kartik Fine Arts presented the following awards in Chennai - NRITHYA PEROLI on Malavika Sarukkai, NATYA CHUDAR on Varsha Sankar, MADURA KALA MANI AWARD on Gopika Varma, NATYA JYOTI AWARD OF EXCELLENCE IN BHARATANATYAM to Padmalaksshme Suresh.

Artists, gurus, art associations and art lovers of Hyderabad and Secunderabad celebrated the hundredth birthday of centenarian Guru VS Ramamurthy at Saptaparni, on Dec 19, 2019.

On December 14, 2019 Bharat Kalachar honored the following artistes at YGP auditorium, Chennai: Pushkala Gopal - VISHWA KALA BHARATHI; Bragha Bessell - ACHARYA KALA BHARATHI; K Sai Shankar (vocal), B Muthukumar (flute), M Dhananjayan (mridangam) - NATYA SANGEETHA KALA BHARATHI; Kavya Muralidharan, Chitra Lakshumanan, K Sarveshan and Shweta Prachande for Bharatanatyam, Mahati Kannan for all rounder in music and dance - YUVA KALA BHARATHI.

On December 12, 2019 Chennai Cultural Academy Trust conferred NRITHYA KALA SIROMANI on the Dhananjayans and Roja Kannan, CCA Excellence Award on Kavya Muralidharan, at Rama Rao Kala Mandap, Chennai.

Kapila Venu received the D APPUKUTTAN NAIR AWARD for young Koodiyattam-Kathakali artiste instituted by Nepathya, on Dec 5, 2019 at Aluva, Kerala.

Odissi dancer Ileana Citaristi received the ODISHA EXCELLENCE AWARD 2019 from Odia Media on Dec 1, 2019 at Bhubaneswar.

Bharatanatyam dancer Anita Sivaraman received NADANAMAMANI award from Kartik Fine Arts on December 1, 2019 in Chennai. SVS Mani, Secretary of Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha received KARTIK RAJAGOPAL ENDOWMENT AWARD for best cultural organizer.


Arangham presents Mazhalaiyum Bharathiyum
By Sathyalayam School of Music and Dance

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 10.30am
January 4, 2020 Chennai

Kala Pradarshini presents
Annual Natya Festival

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
Jan 18-21, 2020 Chennai


39th Natya Kala Conference


Navadhisha - New Voices in Dance was a dance conference convened by Apoorva Jayaraman in Chennai.
Day 2
Day 3
Dance Under the Shadow of the Nation
Volume XXXIX, 2019

The special issue of CONVERSATIONS ACROSS THE FIELD OF DANCE is co-edited by Dr.Arshiya Sethi and Prof. Tani Sebro, of the department of Political Science, Humboldt University, and brought out by the Dance Studies Association. Titled 'Dance Under the Shadow of the Nation,' it is an anthology of eleven essays from dance and performance scholars who examine the complex ways by which the nation, both in its umbra and penumbra, impacts movement aesthetics. This is more significant coming out at a time when nationalism and nationalist resurgences stand center stage in global politics.

TAALAM: Column by Leela Venkataraman

Encouraging the young generation of dancers

Performance space has been cornered by a handful of dancers who in most cases have had the good fortune to combine talent with power to influence the right decision making forces.

Connecting text with practice - Nrtta Ratnavali to Andhra's devadasi dance
One of the significant programs during the Foundation week at the IGNCA saw Dr. Yashoda Thakore from the University of Silicon throw some light on the Nrtta Ratnavali, following which she embarked on a presentation of the Andhra Devadasi dance.

Thirty years of dance serenading Konark's Surya Deva
The Konark Festival of Dance, with a massive open air stage overlooking the tiers of the Mahamandapa in the distant backdrop, initiated by the Odissi Research Centre as a small beginning in 1969, has grown into a mammoth event held under the auspices of Odisha Tourism Department and the State Sangeet Natak Akademi, attracting tourists from all areas.


Trayambakam: Another feather in the cap of choreographer Vanashree Rao
There is no doubt that with Trayambakam, the latest choreographic work of Rasa United, Vanashree Rao has emerged as a brilliant choreographer.

Golden Jubilee of National Centre for the Performing Arts
On 28th November all roads led to Nariman Point to National Centre for the Performing Arts in Mumbai. The occasion was the grand celebrations of 50 years of the Centre.

Adhyasha Foundation's Shishirchhanda Festival
Sarita Mishra, disciple of Yudhisthir Nayak and Bichitrananda Swain, moved in 2013 to Bangaluru and her two day annual festival is eagerly awaited.
THE EASTERN EYE: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

Pickle Factory's Potpourri
From August 2018 to October 2019, Pickle Factory has been offering a delectable dance fair to the dilettante of the city. There have been 30 programs; artistes have participated from the USA, the Philippines, Lithuania, Switzerland, China, Wales and Australia, apart from India...

Choreographic foray: Contemporary, classical
End-November and early December saw quite a pleasant outburst of choreographic creativity in the eastern metropolis, on both classical and contemporary fronts. While Kathak brought out a novel linkage with Baul singing, Odissi saw a wonderfully vivid tryst of the women dancers...

Feminine Vanguard of Kolkata theatre
If one attempts a very brief recapitulation of the thirteen major women directorial talents active today in the Kolkata drama scene whose impact on Bengali theatre has been nothing less than an artistic Tsunami, Sohag Sen would stand foremost...

DANCE MATTERS: Column by Ashish Mohan Khokar

Vision 2020
So, as the Gregorian calendar year ends and a new one starts, what are our principle take home points?

Contribution of male stage artistes to the evolution of Odissi dance
- Ileana Citaristi
An important role in the formation of what we define today as Odissi dance was played in the first half of the 20th century by male artistes belonging to the performing art scene of those days.

Classical dance vis-a-vis free thinking
- Dr. Utpal K Banerjee
Classical dance - while fully carrying forward its techniques and treatment, and its highly developed aesthetics - should communicate to the modern society for deriving its contents for 'sahitya', as other sub-continental visual and performing arts have done in the recent years.


Chennai Season Schedule

Jan 1 - 20, Bangalore
Schedule for D Keshava of Kalasri, Switzerland.
- Jan 1: Performance for BENGALURU INTERNATIONAL CLASSICAL DANCE FESTIVAL, at Seva Sadan, 6.30pm
- Jan 7 and 8: Bharatanatyam workshop for Natyatharanga of Shuba Dhananjay, at Karana, Basaveshwaranagar, 2.30pm to 5.30pm
- Jan 20: Solo Bharatanatyam performance at ADA Rangamandira, 6pm

Jan 4, Chennai
Arangham Trust presents Mohana Harendran, daughter of late Guru Neila Sathyalingam, from Singapore, at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore, 10am to 12 noon.

Jan 4 and 12, Laxmeswar and Bangalore
- Jan 4: Rhythmotion presents VIVIDHA in Bharatanatyam and Kathak as part of PULIGERE UTSAV at Laxmeswar, Gadag district, at 7:30 pm. Direction and Choreography: Chitra Arvind
- Jan 12: Chitra Arvind presents solo Bharatanatyam with live music as part of VRC Academy of Music and Dance Festival at Seva Sadan Auditorium, Bengaluru, at 6:15pm.

Jan 5, Chennai
Srinidhi Raghavan, daughter/disciple of Usha Raghavan, performs for Brahma Gana Sabha, at Sivagami Pethachi Auditorium, 5pm

Jan 9 and 18, Ahmedabad & New Delhi
- 9th Jan, Ahmedabad: Astad Deboo presents a solo performance at MICA College
-18th Jan, New Delhi: Rasaja Foundation presents UNBROKEN UNBOUND by Astad Deboo and group at Chinmaya Auditorium  6.30pm

Jan 17 and 27, New Delhi
- Jan 17: Kuchipudi dance recital by Bhavana Reddy at India Habitat Centre, 6.30pm
- Jan 27: Rashmi Vaidialingam, senior Natya Tarangini disciple, presents ETERNAL QUEST (Saints of the Bhakti movement) at Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, 7pm.

Jan 5, Bangalore
Keerthana B, disciple of Kiran Subramanyam and Sandhya Kiran, Rasika Arts Foundation
At: ADA Rangamandira, J C Road, 6.30pm (Bharatanatyam)

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