View the newsletter in your browser and SHARE

January 2023


Celebrate endings - for they precede new beginnings - Jonathan Lockwood Huie
Cheers to the new year and another chance to get it right - Oprah Winfrey
Don't live the same year each time and call it a life - Robin Sharma
Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one - Brad Paisley.

Anita Ratnam

I have chosen the word FURIOUS.

Because that is the pace and velocity with which we have lived this past year.
Devouring anything and everything in our path - food, travel, clothes, art, recreation, vacation, celebration, work - everything had a quality of happening at a FURIOUS pace. It was as if we were not going to see, experience or live through the next moment. It was a voracious whirl.

And December brought it all to a pinnacle. Like the heart of a tornado, where the centre is quiet but deadly. Like the promise of yet another twisted version of the virus. But this time, we are ready. Or not. Two years of isolation brought the Christmas month to a fever pitch of performances, festivals, celebration and bonhomie across the world. Just seeing the crowds at the auditoriums, faces familiar and new and everyone with a mixture of relief and joy in their eyes was enough to reassure me that even GRATITUDE must be cultivated with FURIOUS determination.

Having been in the thick of so many (too many) events in December, I missed so much of what was happening around me. Chennai maybe the epicentre of a mammoth music and dance festival but many other cities were also celebrating with equal aplomb.

Read on...

Dancer, choreographer, speaker, writer and Arts entrepreneur, Ananda Shankar Jayant, director of Shankarananda Kalakshetra in Hyderabad, has been a member of Narthaki since 2004.
Ananda Shankar Jayant
Narthaki is our Information patron!
I still remember how difficult it was to source information like contacts, addresses, phone numbers related to dance before Narthaki happened, democratising the flow of information related to dance.
What a monumental shift that was in the world of classical dance in India. To be featured in narthaki under 'In the Limelight' was a feather in itself! The Narthaki directory was the first thing I packed on dance tours.
Over the last 3 decades, Narthaki has grown from strength to strength, and continues to be an essential part of our dance trajectory, bringing incisive insight to the wide spectrum of dance.
Kudos to Anita Ratnam for her vision, and team Narthaki, for continuing to have our hearts forever.


The Kerala State government appointed dancer and social activist MALLIKA SARABHAI as Chancellor of Kerala Kalamandalam Deemed University for Art and Culture, on Dec 6, 2022.

From Dec 9, 2022 KK GOPALAKRISHNAN has taken charge as the Director, South Zone Cultural Centre (SZCC), Thanjavur, of the Union Ministry of Culture. Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra, Telangana, Puducherry, Kerala, Lakshadweep and Andaman Nicobar Islands come under the SZCC. A cultural historian, author and passionate lover of art traditions, he sees this assignment as an opportunity to serve the deserving and underprivileged indigenous artistes fraternity of the zone - folk, tribal and ritual artists - and to disseminate such forms.

A Sri Lankan alumnus of The Dhananjayans' Bharata Kalanjali, NIRMALA JOHN obtained her Doctorate from the University of the Visual and Performing Arts, Sri Lanka, for the recitation subject 'Appropriation of Bharatanatyam dance drama into the Sri Lanka cultural milieu.' The thesis was based on the question whether the act of taking Bharatanatyam by the Sri Lankan Tamils for the production of dance drama to fill the void created by the absence of a classical performing art of their own amounts to appropriation. Through intensive research, it was determined that the dance has come to stay in the country not only by heritage but also through evolution as the dance genre of the Tamils wherever they are.

Rooted in Kathak, PAGRAV DANCE COMPANY headed by Urja Desai Thakore, has been awarded 'National Portfolio Organisation' funding by Art Council England for 2023-26.


Gotipua Guru Jayakrushna Nayak of Konark Natya Mandap received the ODISHA SANGEET NATAK AKADEMI AWARD for 2022 on December 19, 2022 at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar.

Aravinth Kumarasamy, artistic director of Apsaras Arts, received this year's CULTURAL MEDALLION, Singapore's most prestigious cultural accolade from President Halimah Yacob at the Istana on December 5, 2022.

On Dec 8, 2022 Brahma Gana Sabha presented NAATYA PADHMAM award to Bharatanatyam Guru Krishnakumari Narendran at RR Sabha Hall, Chennai.

Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha presented the VANI KALA SUDHAKARA award to Bharatanatyam Guru Sheela Unnikrishnan on Dec 9, 2022 at Vani Mahal, Chennai.

On Dec 15, 2022 Narada Gana Sabha presented NADABRAHMAM award to Guru Sudharani Raghupathy, at its premises in Chennai.

Bharat Kalachar presented the following awards on Dec 16, 2022 at its premises in Chennai.
ACHARYA KALA BHARATHI: Revathi Ramachandran & Lavanya Rajagopal
KALA SEVA BHARATHI: Aravinth Kumarasamy
YUVA KALA BHARATHI: Pranati Ramadorai, Akshaya Arunkumar, Sneha Mahesh, Vidya Arasu
ALL-ROUNDER AWARD: Sivasri Skanda Prasad
SPECIAL COMMENDATION: Krithika Shurajit, Jagyaseni Chatterjee, Swetha Prasad

On December 21, 2022 Chennai Fine Arts presented the GOTTUVADYAM NARAYANA IYENGAR AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE to Dr.Vyjayanthimala Bali at Gokhale Sastri Institute, Chennai.

Guru Kalamandalam Saraswathy received the SWARALAYA KALAMANDALAM RAMANKUTTY NAIR PURASKARAM for the year 2022 on 29th December 2022 at Palakkad at the annual Swaralaya Music and Dance Festival.


Pattadakkal, Karnataka, 7th to 8th C
Pattadakkal, Karnataka, 7th to 8th C
Photo: Seetha Ratnakar


Eminent arts critic Dr. S.D. DESAI (Sureshbhai D Desai) passed away (2 Nov 1937 - 13 Dec 2022) after a cardiac arrest at Zydus Hospital, Ahmedabad. He was 85. Dr. Desai, a professor of English, has been a Performing Arts critic for many years. Among the dance journals he contributed to are Narthaki, Sruti, Nartanam and Attendance. His books have been published by Gujarat Sahitya Academy, Oxford University Press and Rupa. For 30 years, he was with a national English daily, and then became a freelance art writer. He was a regular contributor to Narthaki, and his insightful coverage of events in Ahmedabad will be much missed. Sincere condolences from the Narthaki team to the near and dear ones of Dr. Desai.
More info


Life's dreams spun into weaver's thread
At the Habitat Centre, Ileana Citaristi, in a recital featuring her with students of her institution Art Vision founded in 1996 in the old city of Bhubaneswar, presented her own choreographies.

The festival sun rises again at Konark
After two torrid Covid years, followed by being rained out last year, the sun rose again for the Konark festival, attracting a handsome turnout.

The searchlight on art of critiquing in Amrit Yuva Kalotsav by SNA
Sangeet Natak Akademi's Amrit Yuva Kalotsav 2022-23, in collaboration with Kalakshetra Foundation, initiated its two day event at Chennai, with the searchlight on an Art Critiquing workshop for aspiring youngsters, held at Kalakshetra's Rukmini Arangam.


Gems shine at NADAM fest
People ask me which are, say, the three best festivals of dance in India, or in each metro or region. In namma Bengaluru it used to be Kinkini, Nupura (Lalita Srinivasan) and Bangalore Habba but for last few years, it is the NADAM (Nartanam Academy of Dance and Music) festival, then others.

RASA: Ravi, Aditi, Shama and Ananya. That's R.A.S.A. That was the highlight for the end of the year in namma Bengaluru, a city away from the power and pelf of other metros, arrogance or aplomb of seasonal culture activities of other cities.


RESEARCH METHODOLOGY FOR PERFORMING ARTS authored by Bharatanatyam dancer Dr.Sreelatha Vinod is a functional primer for thesis development and planning that offers guidance on form and structure with definitions, process clarity and presentation approach. An important companion for Bharatanatyam students and researchers alike, who set out on their journey to a Phd.
Published by 16Leaves, Nov. 29, 2022
ISBN: 9789395515870

Ghantasala Bhagavad Gita - 100 Verses - 175 Artistes
A worldwide collaboration across all Indian classical dance forms, curated by Parvathi Ravi Ghantasala

How 'The Lion King' has captivated Broadway for 25 years
- Vanity Fair
To celebrate 25 years of 'The Lion King' on Broadway, go behind the curtain with the creators. From operating over 200 puppets to dressing the actors in roughly 2000 costume pieces each night, see how 'The Lion King' has captivated audiences for 25 years.

Not Limited by Time | Bharatanatyam | ft. Mythili Prakash
Vocal by TM Krishna

Write to us at
Subscribe / Unsubscribe
to the Narthaki monthly newsletter