Success is not final
Failure is not fatal
It is the COURAGE TO CONTINUE
- Winston Churchill
What are we watching? What are we reading? What are we learning? What
are we having fun with? What are we struggling with? What are we
unlearning? What are we thinking about? What is making us
With the IPL on right now, I wonder who is actually watching anything
but cricket! And yes... there are so many dancers who are cricket crazy!
The month of October saw the highly
appreciated and acclaimed DEVI DIARIES, a special initiative of
Narthaki.com, across Narthaki's social media platforms, with artistes
sharing their thoughts/experiences of Navaratri enhanced by video
presentations in celebration of a Goddess or a heroic female figure.
Enjoy DEVI DIARIES in the links below.
Devi Diaries 1
Devi Diaries 2
Narthaki.com's initiative TAALAM TALKIES on its new YouTube channel,
featured dance clips from south Indian cinema featuring the charismatic
Kumari Kamala - dances that have inspired and influenced modern
Bharatanatyam - interspersed with snippets of interesting information
across 3 episodes. Hosted, scripted and presented by Ramaa Bharadvaj,
FRAGRANT PETALS - KAMALA'S NATYAM is a feast not to be missed!
Bharatanatyam Guru VS RAMAMOORTHY (Sept 20, 1920 - Oct 2, 2020)
passed away at the ripe old age of 101 in Hyderabad. He received his
training in Bharatanatyam from Natyacharya Dandayuthapani Pillai. His
first dance school 'Sri Devi Nritya Niketan' was started in Madras in
1966. After moving to Hyderabad, Guru Ramamoorthy established 'Sri Rama
Nataka Niketan' in 1970 and rendered yeoman service to the exacting
training and propagation of Bharatanatyam in the twin cities of
Secunderabad and Hyderabad. His 75 years of dedicated service to
Bharatanatyam as a devoted artiste and teacher was seminal, continuous,
and impeccable. He is survived by his wife and daughter Manjula
Ramaswamy who continues to take forward the tradition by teaching.
Guru VS Ramamoorthy (1920 - 2020)
- Ananda Shankar Jayant
A brillant Kuchipudi dancer and choreographer, SOBHA NAIDU (1956 - 14 October 2020)
passed away at the age of 64 at Hyderabad after a brief illness. Born
in Anakapalli town in Andhra Pradesh, Sobha Naidu became a prominent
disciple of Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam. With his troupe, she gave
several performances in India and abroad as a lead artiste. She
especially excelled in the roles of Satyabhama and Padmavati. She
choreographed over 80 solo numbers and several dance dramas. Sobha
served as the principal of Srinivasa Kuchipudi Art Academy in Hyderabad
that was started in 1980.
Shradanjali to Sobha Naidu
MELATTUR S NATARAJAN, President and Chairman of the Sri Lakshmi
Narasimha Jayanti Bhagavata Mela Natya Nataka Sangam, Melattur,
Tamilnadu, breathed his last on October 15, 2020. He was the driving
force in keeping the Bhagavata Mela tradition alive for more than six
decades by dedicating his life to it, hosting the annual ten day
festival every May in Melattur. This year would have been the 80th
edition of the festival.
Born on Nov 30, 1943 in Melattur, in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu,
Natarajan was the grandson of the pioneer of the Bhagavata Mela theatre,
V. Ganesa Iyer, who was responsible for its resurrection in the 1930s.
He trained in this theatre form under his illustrious father G.
Swaminathan, as well as other eminent teachers including Balu
Bhagavatar, K. Ramani Iyer, and G. Krishnamurthy Sarma. He received
training in nritta under the Bharatanatyam gurus Kittappa Pillai and
Pandanallur Shanmugasundaram Pillai.
Bhagavata Mela loses its star
- Nandini Ramani
Melattur S. Natarajan enriched the art form with his artistry and refinements
Critic/scholar Leela Venkataraman is beareaved. She lost her husband of 67 years, Dr. B Venkataraman,
on Oct 20, 2020. He was 95. Well versed in Archaeology and Epigraphy,
with his father Prof. Balasubrahmanyam, Venkataraman co-authored four
volumes on Chola Temples. As an IAS officer, he refurbished the Museum
and Manuscripts Library at Bhubaneswar, apart from renovating and
conserving, among others, the earliest known structural temples in
Orissa viz., Lakhmanesvar, Satrughnesvar and Bharatesvar. A Doctor of
Literature (D. Litt), he held important government assignments such as
Chief Secretary in the State of Orissa, and Secretary (Tourism &
Civil Aviation) to the Government of India.
Acclaimed vocalist for Kathak and Odissi for more than four decades, DEBASHIS SARKAR
passed away on October 23, 2020. He was born and raised in a
musical family. In his early years he trained in classical and
semi-classical music with a number of renowned artistes including
Sukhendu Goswami, Ustad Sagiruddin Khan and Sukumar Mitra. He received
his foundational training in Hindustani classical vocal music with Ustad
Ghulam Mohammad Khan. For more than four decades, Debashis was a highly
sought after artiste amongst India's classical dancers. He has
accompanied some of India's finest performers including Guru Kelucharan
Mohapatra, Pt Birju Maharaj, Pt Chitresh Das, Pt Vijay Shankar, and Pt
TA KI TA TOM
Fulbright Foundation has awarded Kathak
dancer/teacher JANAKI PATRIK the 2020 SELMA JEANNE COHEN DANCE LECTURE
AWARD. The subject Janaki proposed was 'Improvisation in Kathak.'
PUSHKALA GOPAL gets the MBE (Member of the British Empire), Arts &
Culture, UK, for services to South Asian Dance, announced in the Queen's
Birthday Honours list 2020.
Centre for Indian Classical Dances presented JIVAN RATNA SAMMAN to
YAMINI KRISHNAMURTHY and SAROJA VAIDYANATHAN on October 10, 2020 during
its Kala Yatra festival.
Writer and Kerala arts scholar KK GOPALAKRISHNAN receives the TAGORE
NATIONAL RESEARCH SCHOLARSHIP of the Union Ministry of Culture.
KAPILA VENU has been selected for the Dr. V.S SARMA ENDOWMENT given by Kerala Kalamandalam for 2020.
ANITHA GUHA's BHARATHANJALI marks its 30th anniversary in Nov
2020. The Trust is doing its part in helping out needy artistes
during the pandemic.
Filmmaker SUMANTRA GHOSAL's documentary film THE SPEAKING HAND on tabla
maestro ZAKIR HUSSAIN charts his growth from the by-lanes of Bombay to
his fame as a world-class musician. The film features outstanding live
concerts and insightful interviews with legends of classical music.
As part of a trilogy, dancer SAVITHA SASTRY and her husband AK Srikanth,
recently released 'COLOURS: GREEN', a short film that aims to shed
light on how women's dreams are often suppressed by society. Each film
is named after the colours of the National Flag.
JIVA PERFORMING ARTS presents its first Dance on Camera Festival, STILL
POINT EXPANDING: A SIX-PART ELABORATION, on November 18, 2020. The
artistic lineup includes Shruti Mohan, Jin Won, Parul Shah, Mesma
Belsaré, Sreelakshmy Govardhanan and Sonali Skandan. The festival is
co-directed by Maya Kulkarni.
Musician VEDANTH BHARADWAJ has teamed up with GURUPRIYA to start a
yearlong series called LEARN A LULLABY. Each week the duo will teach a
song from various Indian languages to a group of registered students.
Donations are a personal option.
'Shringara in Classical Indian Dance' edited by Sharon Lowen is a
collection of 8 articles by eminent artistes like Kamalini Dutt, Anupama
Kylash, Anwesa Mahanta, Bharati Shivaji, Shovana Narayan, etc. The
publication available on Amazon makes an interesting read for teachers,
students and performers of Indian dance traditions.
November 16 marks the global dance conference FROM INDENTURE TO STAGE,
marking the 160th anniversary of the arrival of the ship THE TRURO from
Madras port to Durban, carrying 365 indentured labourers. The
digital event will focus on the struggles and triumphs of the Indian
diaspora through dance and its connections with other immigrant voyages
in island nations.
SCIENCE's annual DANCE YOUR PH.D competition challenges scientists
(physics, biology, chemistry, and social science) to explain their
research with fancy footwork minus PowerPoint slides or jargon. Now
sponsored by the artificial intelligence company Primer, the contest is
entering its 13th year. This year, category winners can take home $750
and the top dance will earn an extra $2000, with a bonus $500 category
on Covid-19. The deadline for submissions is 29 January 2021.
Carnatic musician sisters RANDINI and ROSHNI have used this lockdown
time to re-create the magic of Telugu Javalis by collaborating with
dancers. Their aim is to video and upload 50 Javalis in the next few
months. The entire set will be seen on the NARTHAKI YOUTUBE channel very
AIM FOR SEVA presents BHAVAYE PARAMATMANAM featuring virtual concerts of
dance by Alarmel Valli, Sharmila Biswas, Debashree Bhattacharya, and
eminent musicians Bombay Jayashri, Shankar Mahadevan, Pantula Rama and
Jayateerth Mevundi on Nov 7 to celebrate Swami Dayanand Saraswati's 90th
Mohiniattam performer and research scholar RLV RAMAKRISHNAN attempted
suicide on Oct 3, 2020 citing caste discrimination.
TAALAM: COLUMN BY LEELA VENKATARAMAN
A towering post-Independence presence in Indian art history and aesthetics is no more
Indian scholars and art lovers exploring Indian art and aesthetics may
not, for years have the benefit of a towering personality in their midst
to equal Kapila Vatsyayan.
DANCE MATTERS: COLUMN BY ASHISH MOHAN KHOKAR
Naach, Nachman; watch, watchman!
When a new book, a real book - as in printed on paper version - nicely
put together - on dance, yes - that most marginalized of art forms -
hits the stands, is it time for celebration? Yes, especially if it is
well researched, well written and reasonably well published and
FOOTLOOSE AND FANCY FREE WITH DR. SUNIL KOTHARI
12th edition of Erasing Borders Dance Festival 2020
From September 20 to 27, 2020, Indo-American Arts Council, New York,
presented the 12th edition of Erasing Borders Dance Festival. Moving to a
virtual format has its own artistic challenges.