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January 2022

New Year wishes


The distinction between past, present and future
is only a stubbornly persistent illusion

- Albert Einstein

Sometimes the smallest things take up
The most place in your heart
- Winnie the Pooh

Anita Ratnam

Welcome to a brand new Year
And YEAR #3 of the VIRUS

As New Year's Eve revelries were cancelled all across India, the week before Christmas witnessed a huge surge of crowds in every public space. Malls, restaurants, theatres, shops, bars and every citadel of faith. Anniversaries and celebrations were jam packed with everyone wanting to squeeze the last ounce of in-person laughter before being banished once again to their homes and the dreary monotony of watching the world through the flat screen.

Read on...

Roving eye

Margazhi Bytes Series by NeoNarthaki

While the performing arts take centre stage during the Madras Margazhi Season, it does not exist in isolation. A plethora of allied businesses and professions also work through the season from backstage to ensure that the audience have an enthralling experience with the arts.

In December 2021, team NeoNarthaki presented Margazhi Bytes, a glimpse into the unique small business clusters --- from flower vendors to instrument makers, from costume designers to Rangoli artists -- through all those who add colour, pomp and festivity to the season.
Visit @neonarthaki on Instagram to watch the Margazhi Bytes series!


The French disciples of V.S. MUTHUSWAMY PILLAI pay homage to him on January 18, 2022 in Paris on the occasion of his 30th death anniversary.

UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has put DURGA PUJA IN KOLKATA on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

ANITA GUHA's Bharatanjali troupe and PAVITRA BHAT/APARNA SHASTRY's disciples to perform in the 75th Independence Republic Day parade celebrations in Delhi on January 26, 2022.

Bharatanatyam dancer VIJI RAO receives Best Actress Award from MALAIKANDAN International Film Festival and GONA film awards for her work in the short film "COLORS OF TRUTH" directed and produced by Rabinder Parasher.


The recipients of this year's KALA PRADARSHINI GHANTASALA PURASKAR on Dec 4, 2021 are: K. Viswanath (director), Dr. L. Subramaniam (violin maestro) and Dr. Vedantam Radheshyam (Kuchipudi exponent).

PUTHUMANA GOVINDAN NAMBOOTHIRI, chief revivalist and exponent of Thidambu Nritham (a temple dance prevalent in Kerala) received the KERALA STATE AWARD by Kerala Folklore Academy on December 7, 2021.

The Unblemished One - a dance film by ANJANA GHONASGI for's Devi Diaries 2021 has won 2 awards at White Unicorn International Film Festival (WUIFF) in the categories of 'Experimental Film' & 'Film on Women.'

SHIJITH NAMBIAR and PARVATHY MENON have been conferred the 5th BHARAT KALA RATNA award for 2020 on Dec 11, 2021 by Kerala based Navaneetham Trust. It carries a plaque and purse of Rs.25,000.

SREKALA BHARATH received the NAATYA PADHMAM award from Brahma Gana Sabha on December 24, 2021 in Chennai.

Levitate - Art by dancer / artist Himanshu Srivastava
Levitate - Art by dancer / artist Himanshu Srivastava

Attakkalari Dance Company premieres

Bangalore International Centre, 6.30pm
January 8, 2022 Bangalore

Attakkalari presents
5 day workshop with
Club Guy & Roni

January 10-14, 2022 Bangalore
Drishti Art Foundation presents
17th Drishti National Dance Festival

Chowdiah Memorial Hall
January 22, 2022 Bangalore


Parampara Festival: Unusual jugalbandis of different regional genres of music and dance
For the silver jubilee of the annual Parampara Festival mounted by Raja / Radha / Kaushalya Reddy's Natya Tarangini, was this year's unusual concept of jugalbandis comprising interactions of music, dance, percussion traditions, belonging to different regional genres.

Grandeur of Kathakali which never fails to awe
For Kalakshetra's three day Kathakali festival Bhava Bhavanam Anubhavam, the first day's presentation comprising scenes from the 4th part of Nalacharitam, had its curtain raiser in a neatly rendered Purappadu invocation by dancers of Kalakshetra.


The Dancing Advertisements: Do they benefit the arts?
Advertisements that have used dance and dance moves. Those that have used well known dances consciously, those that have used well known dancers, sometimes as dancers and sometimes as very animated actors, those that have used dance and dancers only as mise-en-scene, and those that have used dance moves to suggest mood and 'masti'.


The A to Z of dance in 2021!
Anita Ratnam kept the flame aglow in dark and depressing times with posts, photos, portal upgrade and professionally seeking answers through an Impact Questionnaire which hopefully most filled there and then. I did.

Performing Artists and the Law: An unexplored and ignorant landscape of exclusive rights of performers as performers
- Somabha Bandopadhay
In the Indian context, it would be a shocker if a performer is introduced to the bill of performers' rights. I don't know how many would believe it. But it is true. Performers have exclusive rights as performers.


Bharatanatyam Guru RANGANAYAKI JAYARAMAN passed away on December 1, 2021 in Chennai. Sri Saraswathy Gana Nilayam Trust (SGN) was founded in 1939 by K. Lalitha to impart training in Bharatanatyam, veena, and vocal music to the children in the Triplicane neighborhood of Chennai. Ranganayaki Jayaraman took over the leadership of the school after the demise of K. Lalitha. The institution now focuses on Bharatanatyam and many SGN students now run their own Bharatanatyam schools. She is specially known for her group choreography and dynamic nattuvangam. Her popular group productions include: Lalitha Prabhavam, Deiveega Vahanangal, Shakthi Prabhavam, Navarasa Nayaki, and Bhakthiyin Shakthi.
Ranganayaki was also well-versed in Carnatic vocal, veena, flute, harmonium and mridangam. She was a graded veena artist in All India Radio and has composed some popular veena ensembles, such as 'Pancha Tala Priya Malika' and 'Pancha Raga Oudava Malika' for Doordarshan TV. In July 2008, she led the 70th anniversary celebrations of Sri Saraswathy Gana Nilayam Trust in Chennai.
Ranganayaki Jayaraman received a number of awards and honours for her contribution to Bharatanatyam as a dancer and teacher. She received the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 2018, Nrithya Ratnakara by Cleveland Aradhana in 2013, Natya Kalanidhi by ABHAI in 2012, Nritya Rathna by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in 2011, Bheeshma Award by Ashram School in 2010, Nrithya Kala Nipuna by Mylapore Fine Arts in 2009, and Kalaimamani in 1995, to name a few.

Based in London, pioneering stage artiste ALAKNANDA SAMARTH, who popularly portrayed the landmark role of Miss Julie when she was 19, passed away on December 6, 2021. She had worked with some of the pioneers of modern Indian theatre such as Ebrahim Alkazi and Satyadev Dubey. She collaborated with visual artist Nalini Malani, filmmaker Kumar Shahani, and taught students of National School of Drama and the Trichur School of Drama.

Alaknanda Samarth: A rare jewel of the theatre world lost
- Dr. S.D. Desai

MADAMANA SANKARAN EMBRANTHIRI (84), first Guru of Puthumana Govindan Namboothiri, thidambu nritham (700 year old Kerala temple dance form) exponent, passed away on December 20, 2021 at Neeleswaram, Kasaragod district, Kerala.

Dance Conversations: Indian Dance in Southern California, a Retrospective
Over the course of this 'conversation' series with Ramya Harishankar, the spotlight is on dancers, academics, musicians, Gurus, and colleagues from all over the world, all walks of life, and reflect both on the legacy and heritage that dance represents and the future that it can fulfill, as it is imparted onto a new generation. The series playlist is available on the Arpana Dance Company YouTube channel.

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