We believe in championing all beauty,
Living with courage,
And standing fearlessly together
To celebrate our differences
Even if we stumble
We will never stop
Building a community where
Diversity if expected
Self expression is honoured
And YOU are included
- Hoardings inside SEPHORA make up stores in NYC to mark PRIDE MONTH
Are we already at the half way mark of the year?
We are just getting the hang of readjusting to a post-Covid world. The
murmurs of yet another wave looming is not a dampener for the majority
who are travelling and vacationing with a vengeance.
In New York City, where I visited for a brief 7 days, masks were off but
theatres were still asking for Vaccination proof as well as masking up
indoors. The streets, bars, stores, cinema halls, Broadway theatres,
ballet and opera houses and auditoriums were completely packed with
tourists and many Americans who were travelling to the Big Apple after
two years. It was lovely to feel the electric vibe of this city pumping
June is PRIDE MONTH and yet another opportunity for each of us in the
creative industries to stop and take a look at our own lives and to
examine how inclusive we have been over the past two years. I think of
all those non binary artistes - some of whom are lucky to have found
their soul mates and others who are still struggling for visibility and
connections. As an ally, all I can say is "I see you. I hear you."
As if on cue, the Pakistani Trans drama JOYLAND won the QUEER PALM
awards at the Cannes Film Festival. Directed by Salim Sadiq, the film
tells the story of a son of a patriarchal family who is expected to
marry and produce a child. Instead, he joins an erotic dance theatre
company and falls for the troupe's director, a trans woman. Read on...
PADMINI CHARI celebrates 40 years of her dance academy in Texas.
Bharatanatyam dancer PAVITHRA SRINIVASAN is shooting for a multi part
series titled BHAGAVAD GITA Chapter 1. Filming was completed in the
blazing 44 degree heat in Bhopal.
ABHAI, Chennai, resumed its wildly popular summer intensives with Summer Abhivriddhishala by Dr.Padma Subrahmanyam
Sketches of SHARON LOWEN by artist V.S. Gaitonde were sold - one at
The Art of India Auction on 18-19 May 2022 for $37,737 / 28,68,000 and
another sketch by Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art and
Collectibles on 13-14 October 2021 for $29,189 / Rs. 21,60,000.
The Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University (CBA), an
international research institute for scholars and artists of ballet and
its related arts and sciences, announced the four fellows for the
2022-2023 academic year which includes dance scholar ANURIMA BANERJI.
She is Associate Professor and current Graduate Vice Chair in the
Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at University of California
Donovan Roebert's book 'WESTERN TEXTS ON INDIAN DANCE - AN ILLUSTRATED
GUIDE FROM 1298-1930' will be released in June 2022. The work contains
more than 250 large extracts from a variety of writers and commentators
on dance throughout India for the period indicated. It also has a
postscript with relevant texts from 1930 to 1947, when the temple and
public dancers were outlawed. Many of the texts presented have been
translated from the original German, Dutch, and French sources, and
that, too, makes available writings that would usually be inaccessible
to readers not familiar with these languages.
A street in New York City has been renamed in honor of Jacques
d'Amboise, legendary ballet dancer and founder of the arts education
organization National Dance Institute (NDI). The dedication ceremony
took place next to the New York City Ballet, where Mr. d'Amboise called
home for 35 years. He passed away last year at 86. The northwest corner
of West 64th Street and Columbus Avenue, in front of New York's Lincoln
Center, now displays the name JACQUES D'AMBOISE PLACE.
The Brooklyn High School of the Arts Spring 2022 Music Festival on May
25th featured culminations from (Preeti Vasudevan) THRESH's 2022
educational outreach workshop series.
THE JUNGLE BOOK reframes Rudyard Kipling's classic tale as a refugee
story, with a score that blends Western and Indian classical traditions.
Preeti Vasudevan has been invited to be assistant director and
choreographer for The Jungle Book this coming summer at The Glimmerglass
Opera Festival which opens on Aug 4, 2022.
The Music Academy Madras has announced its NRITYA KALANIDHI awardees for three years.
2021 - Rama Vaidyanathan
2022 - Narthaki Nataraj
2023 - Bragha Bessell
NATYA RATNA PURASKARAM instituted by Vivekananda Cultural Institute was
awarded to Margi Vijayakumar on 15 May 2022 at Thiruvananthapuram.
The KALASAGAR AWARDS for excellence in traditional performing arts was
presented on May 28, 2022 on the occasion of the birth anniversary of
Kalamandalam Krishnankutty Poduval, legendary Kathakali maestro and the
founder of Kalasagar.
KATHAKALI: Kalamandalam Soman (vesham/actor), Sadanam Sivadas (music),
Kalabharathi Unnikrishnan (chenda/percussion), Kalanilayam Prakasan
(maddalam/percussion), Purushothaman Chingoli (chutty, make-up)
Kumar (Ottenthullal), Sreeraj Killikkurussimangalam (Chakyarkoothu),
Kalamandalam Sindhu (Koodiyattam), Anupama Menon (Mohiniattam), Sowmya
Balagopal (Bharatanatyam), Sheeba Sounder Raj (Kuchipudi), Mattanur
PANCHAVADYAM: Kongad Mohanan (thimila), Chalakudy Raman Nambeesan
(maddalam), Nayarambalam Nandakumar Marar (edakka), Kattukulam
Balakrishnan (ilathalam), Keralassery Kuttan (kombu).
The following annual awards will be given by ABHAI on June 12, 2022 at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai.
For 2021: NATYA KALANIDHI - Chitra Visweswaran, NRITYA PERUNJOTHI -
Geeta Chandran, GANDHARVA NIPUNA - Saraswati Sankaranarayanan, NARTAKA
NIPUNA - V Balagurunathan, Special achievement award NATYA SAADHANAI
CHEMMAL - Madurai R Muralidharan
For 2022: NATYA KALANIDHI - Lakshmi Vishwanathan, NRITYA PERUNJOTHI -
Uma Anand / Rangashree Srinivas, GANDHARVA NIPUNA - K Hariprasad,
NARTAKA NIPUNA - Chinnamannur J Krishnakumar / Aniruddha Knight, Special
award in folk arts NAATAAR KALAI KON - Purisai K Sambandham
Apsaras, Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Photo: Usha RK
R SRINIVASAN, the music and dance critic for the Indian Express, mainly
covering the Sabha programs for many years, passed away on April 29,
2022 in Chennai. He was fondly referred to as RS. He served in the TTD
Zonal Advisory Committee on arts and culture in Chennai, where he helped
to arrange dance and music programs at the TTD centre regularly.
Bangalore based Bharatanatyam Guru B.K. SHYAM PRAKASH (Retd. scientist
ISRO, Founder/Principal Keshava College of Music and Dance, and director
of Keshava Nrithyashala) passed away on May 6, 2022. Coming from an
illustrious family of dance gurus, he took the tradition to new heights.
He performed in main roles in many of the dance dramas of Keshava
Nrithyashala, and accompanied on mridangam for many music and dance
concerts. He did the dance choreography for most of the dance dramas
produced by Keshava Nrithyashala. His forte was using Kannada literary
works in his dance drama productions, which is what not many people have
attempted. He was Honorary Secretary of Karnataka Nrithyakala
Parishath for more than 10 years. He has been awarded Karnataka Kalashri
and Singarmani from Sur Singar Samsad, Bombay.
Bharatanatyam Guru B HERAMBANATHAN passed away of a heart attack on May
10, 2022 at his home in Thanjavur. He was 80. Herambanathan was the
senior most choreographer and dance teacher of the Thanjavur nattuvanga
tradition. He was the son of T.G. Bhavu Pillai (a Bharatanatyam teacher,
mridangist and Bhaghavata Mela drama teacher who was a much sought
after accompanist to dancers of the past) and Jeeva Amma (a dancer). He
was the son-in-law of devadasi Doraikannu and hailed from a lineage of
devadasis belonging to the Thanjavur region.
He trained under his father, T.M. Arunachalam Pillai and K.P. Kittappa
Pillai in Bharatanatyam, under N. Rajam Iyer in mridangam, under Balu
Bhagavathar and P.K. Subbaiyer in Bhagavata Mela. He began his career as
a Bharatanatyam choreographer from 1967. He accompanied as mridangist
for the arangetrams of his father's students. The arangetram of his
first student S. Rohini was held under the presidentship of K.P.
Kittappa Pillai on Feb 8, 1970 in Thanjavur. He served as a teacher for
the Melattur and Saliyamangalam Bhagavata Mela dance programs.
From 1973 onwards, Herambanathan had the honour of being
co-choreographer along with K.P. Kittappa Pillai and his father. After
the passing away of his father, he choreographed many dance dramas for
more than 3 decades. From 1986, he undertook overseas tours, training
many students in Bharatanatyam, dance dramas and presenting their
arangetrams. His magnum opus is the dance drama choreographed on the
significance of 'Kasika Ekadesi' of the Kaisika Puranam sacred in the
In 1989, he established Thanjavur Bavu Pillai School of Bharatanatyam in
Thanjavur in memory of his father. His noted choreographies include
Subhadra Kalyanam, Sivan Malai Kuravanji, Sarabendra Bhoopala Kuravanji,
Sakuntalam, Kamsa Vadham. Creative styles in dance drama include Andal,
Paravaiyar Udal, Kandhan Kaviyam, Karaikkal Ammaiyar, Valli Kalyanam.
Modern theater tradition includes Pennin Dhagam, Veriyaattam, Nandhan
Kadhai, Kongai Thee. Apart from directing dance dramas, conducting
lec-dems and organizing special programs, Herambanathan has also written
articles on Bharatam and Bhagavathamelam, Rasa Pandaram, Adal Adavus in
Folk Arts, Dance tradition of Thanjavur, Dance and music in temple
worship. He was the recipient of the Kalaimamani (Tamilnadu) and Sangeet
Natak Akademi Award (Delhi).
Guru Herambanathan was one of the 2 pillars, along with Professor
Ramanujam, who aided Dr.Anita Ratnam in the revival of the 15th century
all night theatre performance of KAISIKA NATAKAM. He and his troupe have
been presenting it for the past 23 years after its revival at the
Thirukurungudi Azhagiya Nambi temple to much appreciation. The Narthaki
family and Kaisiki family will miss Guru Herambanathan deeply.
Tribute to the Thanjavur bani torchbearer
- Dr.Padma Subrahmanyam
Guru Herambanathan, did not just teach Bharatanatyam, he passed on a tradition.
Santoor maestro PANDIT SHIVKUMAR SHARMA passed away on May 10, 2022 in
Mumbai. He was 84. He was born in Jammu in 1938 and is believed to be
the first musician to have played Indian classical music on the santoor.
Sharma gave santoor, once a little known instrument from Jammu and
Kashmir, a classical status and elevated it to the level of other more
traditional and famous instruments like sitar and sarod. He received the
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1986, the Padma Shri in 1991 and the
Padma Vibhushan in 2001. Composer of both classical and popular music,
he was one half of musician duo Shiv-Hari and composed music with flute
maestro Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia for films like Silsila, Lamhe, Chandni
LOOK OUT FOR
The Thinking Body
Presented by Films Division of India
Bhoomika at 50
Celebrating five decades of founding of Bhoomika Creative Dance Centre by Narendra Sharma.