your gateway to the world of Indian dance

June 2020

In a city closed down
I hear rain before it falls
Birds gather under awnings
I throw open windows
Let words move
Living in wind and wings
Enter my heart!
Clean my sorrow!
You that are
Buried beneath tears
Please sing me back to joy
- Laura Simms, Poet

Wait! What day is it?
What? It's June 1?

How many of you are feeling like this? Hours and days blurring into one another, eyes red with too much peering into our phones and screens, fingers sore from swiping this way and that, mind scampering like a monkey on a compound wall…

We are already into the half way mark into a year that will go down in our lives when the world changed. Forever? Well, that is what the experts say. Through the window I notice that my mango trees have borne the best crop in a decade. The annual hair oil, pickle and pappad making rituals are in motion. I sit on my faithful swing as my thoughts re-arrange themselves to be shared with all of you.

Read on...

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

Enjoy this beautiful painting by dancer/artist Dr. Himanshu Srivastava

Dr. Himanshu Srivastava is a Delhi based Bharatanatyam dancer and an established painter. Both his dancing and paintings draw inspiration from each other. Each of his works are a result of in-depth research and his own learning and understanding.

Did you miss this exciting new series? Check out the links below!

BOXED - DANCE DELETES DISTANCING, digital commissions by Anita R Ratnam for In every episode, 5 artistes present a 2 minute creative piece each.
- BOXED 1.0

- BOXED 2.0

- BOXED 3.0

- BOXED 4.0

Presented on 4 inspiring mornings by Natyarambha, PUNARNAVA was a 50 minute heartwarming session about creativity, courage, commitment and strength. Those who missed it can enjoy watching through the links below.

- Dr.Sonal Mansingh

- Ramaa Bharadvaj

- Dr.Anita Ratnam

- Dr.Ananda Shankar Jayant

Conducted by Natya and STEM Dance Kampni on May 1 & 2, DR. MAYA RAO KATHAK & CHOREOGRAPHY CONFERENCE 2020 was a well curated mix of panel discussions, performance and documentaries. May 2 was the birth anniversary of Dr.Maya Rao.

- Day 1

- Day 2

FIRST ONLINE INTERNATIONAL KUCHIPUDI SEMINAR 2020 was hosted by Vyjayanthi Kashi's Shambhavi School of Dance from May 7 to 24 in a marathon session. The seminar celebrates Kashi's 60 years of journey through life, and more than 3 decades devoted to Kuchipudi. All sessions are available on Facebook.

TAALAM: Column by Leela Venkataraman

Inspiring week showing indomitable spirit of dancers
Dancers would seem to have been busier than ever on the internet. For over two weeks Kuchipudi dancer settled in Bangalore, Vyjayanthi Kashi's Herculean effort of an Online International Seminar on Kuchipudi was hosted under the aegis of her institution Shambhavi School of Dance.

Dance distorted during pandemic
We are now living in a world of the internet where all manner of teacher/taught relationships have gone for a toss- not excluding the performing arts.

SOCH: Column by Dr.Arshiya Sethi
Nothing is more 'Local' than the Arts of India: A suggested 'Package' to support them
The arts are demanding and artistes have to give their all to acquire the proficiency and excellence required. Thus, arts as long as they are being practiced, respected, valued, nurtured, taught further and monetised, flourish.


Thanjavur KP Kittappa
Documentary presented by SNA

Kumudini Lakhia's journey in a nutshell

Ragam Amritavarshini
It was used by Muthuswami Dikshitar to welcome the divine blessing of rain. This piece is done by passing the ghungroo through different dance forms.

'Twete' free yourself featuring Abdul Kinyenya
This extraordinary artist performs a solo filmed in Uganda. Abdul Kinyenya, showcases the beauty of the land while seamlessly blending into nature and featuring the daily life of others.

Connecting Across Space & Time / Krishna: The Melody Within by Aditi Mangaldas
A short film by Museum Rietberg, Zürich, and Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company, exploring the interconnections between the static and the dynamic; between the real and the virtual, during the global restrictions on mobility and the mandatory prolonged confinement in the course of COVID-19.

The Drishtikon Baithak on May 3, 2020
Contemporary dance based on Kathak by Minhaz Khan

The Drishtikon Baithak on May 11, 2020
Kathak by Tripti Gupta

Thursday With the Guru 03
 Aniruddha Knight and his disciples, by Hindu Tamil Thisai

In the words of scholar Jonathan Spence, Chinese philosopher and thinker Confucius many centuries ago said: "At fifteen I set my heart on learning, at thirty I found my balance, at forty I was free from doubt about myself, at fifty I found what heaven intended me to do, at sixty I was attuned to what I heard and at seventy I followed with my heart what my heart desired without overstepping the line."
('Self-transformation through arts and education' by Jayachandran Palazhy)


Myrta Barvié (1933 -2020)
- Silvia Rissi
Myrta Barvié was a pioneer in spreading the knowledge of Indian classical dances in Argentina and Latin America. Apart from being a ballet dancer, she had learnt Bharatanatyam at Kalakshetra, Odissi from Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra and Kuchipudi from Vempati Chinna Satyam. She passed away on May 15, 2020 at Argentina.

Phillip Zarrilli (1947-2020), actor, director, author, acting coach and pedagogue, passed away on April 28, 2020. He is internationally known for training actors through Asian martial arts and yoga. He trained in Kathakali from M.P.Sankaran Namboothiri, and in Kalaripayattu from Govindankutty Nair. Between 1976 and 1993 he lived in Kerala for a total of seven years - each trip devoted to undergoing intensive training in Kalarippayattu. In 1988 he was gifted the traditional pitham (stool) representing mastery by Gurukkal Govindankutty Nair. In 1999 he moved to the UK where he established The Llanarth Group and a private studio (Tyn-y-parc CVN Kalari/Studio) in Wales. When the new CVN Kalari Sangham was founded in 2004, the Tyn-y-parc CVN Kalari in Llanarth, was certified as an official kalari of the Sangham under Zarrilli's guidance as gurukkal.
Zarrilli authored the first authoritative study of Kalarippayattu, When the Body Becomes All Eyes: paradigms and practices of power in Kalarippayattu. His book Psychophysical Acting: an intercultural approach after Stanislavski is on the process of training actors through a psychophysical approach based on Asian martial arts and yoga published in 2009 by Routledge Press (London). Zarrilli is also noted for his work with Indian dancers / choreographers like Gitanjali Kolanad and Stella Subbiah.

Zarrilli's work embodied silence
- Navtej Johar
The silence of attentive and respectful listening - his theatre was indeed a spectacle in listening.


UK and GERMANY launch emergency funds for the arts as US Museums call for aid

Germany Has Rolled Out a Staggering €50 Billion Aid Package For Small Businesses That Boosts Artists and Galleries - and Puts Other Countries to Shame
- Kate Brown
"Artists are not only indispensable, but also vital, especially now," says the country's culture minister.

Govt announces multi-million dollar funding boost to help arts sector recover post-Covid
The government has announced a funding boost to help thousands of artists and creatives recover from the impact of Covid-19. Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern made the announcement

Government launches $175m arts and music recovery package
The government has announced a $175 million package to boost the arts and creative sector in the wake of Covid-19. Speaking in Napier, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a jobseekers programme and four new funds to help the arts and music sector.

Struggling Canadian artists to get emergency funding due to COVID-19
Canada Council for Arts, Writers Trust of Canada promise thousands of dollars in grants to applicants

Canada Council Head Promises “New Era” in Arts Funding
- Leah Sandals
In March, Trudeau's government announced $550 million in new funding for the Canada Council. Today, the Council revealed how it will be spent.

Australia Council response to COVID-19
The Australia Council is announcing its first Response Package to support artists, arts practitioners, arts groups and arts organisations coping with the impact of COVID-19.

Minister Nathi Mthethwa announces measures to assist artists and athletes during Coronavirus Covid-19 lockdown
South African Government - Department of Sport, Arts and Culture: Sector relief framework and criteria

Coronavirus: Arts Council England launches £160m emergency package
Theatres, galleries, museums and artists in England who have been hit by the impact of coronavirus will have access to a £160m emergency fund.

Macron announces extra aid for French arts sector battered by Covid-19 crisis

French President Emmanuel Macron said he was looking into more financial aid for the country's arts and culture sectors that have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.


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