gateway to the world of Indian dance
NARTHAKI MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
We will not go back to normal
Normal never was.
Our Pre Corona existence was not normal
Other than we normalised greed, inequity, exhaustion
Depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion,
Rage, hoarding, hate and lack.
We should not long to return my friends.
We are being given the opportunity
To stitch a new garment.
One that fits all of humanity
- Dr. BRENE BROWN
School of Social Work, University of Houston, Texas
What do I say that has not already been said, seen and performed during these part 30 days?
I am so fed up with my phone and my iPad. I am sick and tired of
desperate dancers performing in their non photogenic homes just so "they
are not forgotten." I have seen so much bad dancing, especially
Bharatanatyam, that it has turned me off this wonderful form for a
Dance is about human interaction. It's about the sweat and the panting
and the effort and the exhaustion. It is about the exhilaration and
excitement of having completed a phrase, an item, a performance, a
rehearsal well. It is about the RASA of human eyes watching another
human body in the same physical space and not through the cold, glassy
eye of the camera. It's also about embracing and being applauded by
actual audiences and not by "likes" and "heart" emojis.
I have enjoyed the riches of the world's greatest museums and cultural
spaces. Operas, ballets, online tours, ancient history talks, cooking
lessons, language lessons - my days have been filled with so much that I
did not feel one day blurring into the next.
I have given myself permission not to create, rehearse or even ideate
anything connected to dance during this past month. Instead, I started
plant based cooking to support my daughter's vegan lifestyle, helped her
raise money to care for abandoned house pets, started a terrace garden
and supported the feeding of stranded migrant workers. I also reached
out to folk and village artistes with whom I have been working for the
past 25 years and seen to their daily needs. All this has not been
glamorous, or visible and certainly not selfie worthy.
It may not have enriched my dance practice but it enhanced my inner self.
I have felt more connected, more peaceful and more in sync than ever before.
Not to mention dropping those 5 to 7 pounds that was stubbornly sticking to my waist and hips!
BUT... BUT... BUT... this pandemic has revealed extraordinary generosity
and blatant opportunism. The lockdown has energised some and
debilitated many. The arts have been called upon to step up and show the
frightened and quarantined world a ray of hope. The nimble and prepared
have stepped into the digital world without missing a step. From #ZOOMA
NATYAM and #DIGITAL SABHAS to #INSTA LIVE and #YOUTUBE showcases, we
have seen the vulnerability of near perfect dancers struggle with
technology, reveal their vulnerability and often, warm our hearts.
| ROVING EYE: A section of impressions, images and inspirations
Curated by Anita Ratnam
SOCH: Column by Dr.Arshiya Sethi
Dance 'Caro-Na': Can we dance in the times of Corona?
I saw a series of videos about what happened on 22nd March at 5pm across
several towns of India, and was not happy to see that after a day of
Janata Curfew, things went out of hand.
Does Corona compel us to think about a revival package for the arts?
From dancers around the world, I am hearing a murmur. A murmur of
anxiety. This murmur of anxiety is emanating from my friends, mostly
from the world of the arts, artistes of all domains and hues, especially
dancers, who are so special since they are the makers of the most
intangible and chimerical art.
With "a lover's smile": Strengthening resolve in the times of Corona
Watching news reports and social media entries pertaining to the clouds
cast by the Corona virus, I encountered, somewhat unexpectedly, a dance
story on the popular news site, Lallantop.
THE EASTERN EYE: Column
by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee
Both acerbic and cathartic
In the two plays under review, while Brecht cocks a snook at the warped
society of his time and launches a virulent "Theatre of Protest" on his
own, Pirandello delves into a shimmering, psychedelic world…
Kolkata theater legend Usha Ganguli passed away of cardio respiratory
failure on the morning of April 23, 2020 in Kolkata after a prolonged
illness. She was 75. She was an actor, a fine director and the moving
force behind Rangakarmee Kolkata that she founded in 1976, known for
non-conformist productions like Mahabhoj, Rudali, Court Martial and
Antaryatra. Ganguli is credited for introducing a new form of
alternative Hindi theatre in Bengal, thereby creating a new audience
too. She received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Direction in 1998.
She was honoured by the West Bengal Government as the best actress for
the play Gudia Ghar. The state government conferred her with the Girish
Samman honour in 2016.
Beppe Chierichetti, Kathakali actor from TTB (Teatro Tascabile di
Bergamo) in Bergamo, Italy, passed away on April 7, 2020 aged 71.
Farewell Beppe Chierichetti
- Ashish Mohan Khokar
In his passing on 7th April 2020 aged 71 in Bergamo, Italy, India has lost its finest artiste and ambassador of culture.
UPDATE IN THE SITE