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November 2021


"In all affairs, it is a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted."
- Bertrand Russell

Anita Ratnam
After two years, I returned to the USA. And spent most of my time walking the streets, absorbing the gorgeous Fall colours in Central Park and observing the many changes that Covid had forced upon this vibrant city. Especially in the arts. As Martin Wechsler, consultant for New York's FALL FOR DANCE festival confessed, "Even as dancers stayed home with no shows, the producers, directors, fund raisers, editors, camera people and administrators worked harder than ever to keep this sector alive and ready for a time of return."

Read on...

Roving eye

Anita Ratnam and present Devi Diaries 2021

Devi Diaries 2021
The second edition of Devi Diaries commissioned by featured 43 artistes from India and overseas over 31 days of October 2021. What a diverse interpretation of various devis across languages and dance styles! Check out the talent displayed by young and established dancers in part 1 and 2 compiled for you to conveniently enjoy at leisure.

Devi Diaries 2021: Part 1

Devi Diaries 2021: Part 2


Navarathri is synonymous with the celebration of art and womanhood. To celebrate this we created an opportunity for young dancers to express themselves through the Instagram trend that is taking social media by storm - Reels!

NeoNarthaki & Narthaki presented the #DeviDiariesReelsChallenge, an Instagram Reels campaign where dancers were asked to share a 1-minute performance video on the theme "Female Divinity". From singing praises of the goddess to adapting a modern understanding of the sacred feminine, dancers from across the globe shared reels that explored a vast canvas of goddess and womanhood.

From over 140 submissions that we received, we selected the best 9 performances that struck a chord with us. We have shared below the links to the performances and we hope you enjoy them as much as we did. Umang Beads was our gifting partner for this series.

Avinav Mukharji | Sakhi - Sanjushree & Keerthana | Gayathri & Bhadra Sinha
Aniita Vytheeswaran | Anannya Chatterjee | Arundhati Prasad
Swarashri Shridhar | Mudra Nrityalaya  | Tony Aloysius Pius


As a dancer, how can we be environmentally conscious? What are the ways to be mindful of the same? In this talk, contemporary dancer & Co-Founder-Director of Artsforward, Paramita Saha, shares her experiences and thoughts on how artists can make their practice environmentally sustainable. She also gives us an insight into how a dancer can approach this both in their day-to-day life as well as artistic practice.


For the first time in its 90-year history, KERALA KALAMANDALAM has started admitting girl students for the Kathakali course.

GURU KALAMANDALAM SUGANDHI PRABHU has been conferred the PhD by Sastra University for the research she undertook under the guidance of Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam.

BIJAYINI SATPATHY is the MetLiveArts Artist in Residence at the @metmuseum in 2022. During her residency, Satpathy will collaborate with a range of artists and Met curators and explore unexpected areas of the Museum's collection, with a special focus on Modern and Contemporary Art.

NYC based Navatman's first feature film MAHABHARATA brings together Indian dance and music. Special opening at the SVA theatre in Manhattan on Nov 6, it is available to public from December 20, 2021 onwards. It is the first feature film told from the narrative of Indian classical dance and music traditions, first American/Indian diaspora film interpretation of the Mahabharata, a first feature film of the Mahabharata written solely by female scriptwriters, and a feature film that switches gender roles as actors and actresses.

PREETI VASUDEVAN's Thresh has partnered with South Asian Youth Action (SAYA) to offer performing arts-based programming that complements SAYA's in-school and after-school initiatives for youth in NYC migrant communities.

SHAMBIK GHOSE and DR. MITUL SENGUPTA, Directors of Rhythmosaic Sengupta Dance Company, have an upcoming Project 2022 with Bradford University, UNify Festival and Kalasangam UK. The project breathes in the narrative that evokes Femicide and its horrors that affected beings in multiple layers destroying their conscious and corporeal meaning - that defines respectful existence of the self. The critical manifestation through modes of conceptual choreography will emanate vignettes that encounter the same. The project will be envisaged through strategies where voice, movement and academic resources are imbricated in pursuit of a creative and a reflective emergence.


KATHERINE KUNHIRAMAN along with her late husband Natyacharya K.P.Kunhiraman, pioneers in establishing the best traditions of Kalakshetra Bharatanatyam in the US since 1975, has been made a FELLOW OF VEDIC WELLNESS UNIVERSITY in Indian Classical Dance by the Wellness University of Florida, an institution dedicated to sharing the ancient healing arts of India across the world. All forms of Natya must be considered part of both mental and physical wellness, and Kalanjali based in Berkeley, California, has been sharing in this mission. The award ceremony is to be held at Dharmasthala, Karnataka, on November 6, 2021.

Kerala Kalamandalam announces its awards for 2020.
Koodiyattam maestro Ammannur Parameswaran (Kuttan) Chakyar and Kathakali Sangeetham maestro Cherthala Thankappa Panicker won the FELLOWSHIPS that carry a cash award of Rs.50,000, citation and silk shawl.
The KERALA KALAMANDALAM AWARD that carries a purse of Rs.30,000 and citation goes to: Margi Vijayakumar (Kathakali vesham); Kalamandalam KP Achuthan (Kathakali sangeetham); Kalamandalam Rajan (chenda); Kalamandalam Achutha Warrier (maddalam); Appunni Tharakan (chutti); Sarojini Nangiyaramma (Koodiyattam); Pallavi Krishnan (Mohiniyattam); Kunjan Smarakam Shankaranarayan (Thullal); NK Madhusoodhanan (mridangam); Madhathilathu Govindankutty Nair (ASN Nambeesan Puraskaram for panchavadyam).
Critic KB Raj Anand gets the MKK Nair Samagra Sambhavana Puraskaram (overall contribution); Kalamandalam Aiswarya KA gets the Yuva Prathiba Award. Winners of various endowments include Adv. CK Narayanan Namboodiri (Mukundaraja Smrithi Puraskaram); Sumitha Nair (Kalaratnam Endowment); Kalamandalam Krishnendu (Painkulam Ramachakyar Samraka Puraskaram); Maruthorvattam Kannan (Vadakkan Kannan Nair Asan Smruthi Puraskaram); Karivalloor Ratnakumar (KS Divakaran Nair Smaraka Sougandikam Puraskaram); Kalamandalam Anilkumar P (VS Sharma Endowment); Nedumpalli Rammohan (Bhagavathar Kunjunni Thampuran Endowment); Kalamandalam Gopinatha Prabha (Killimangalam Vasudevan Namboodirippad Smaraka Award); and Janaka Shankar P (Brahmasree Pakaravur Chithran Namboodirippad Birth Centenary Memorial Endowment).

Madurai R Muralidaran received the KARTIK AWARD OF EXCELLENCE 2021 for his service to the field of Bharatanatyam from Kartik Fine Arts at Chennai.

Parvathy Baul receives the SHILPOKALA LALON SMAROK SAMMAN from Bangladesh Govt.

Sun Temple, Konark, Odisha
Sun Temple, Konark, Odisha (Photo: Lalitha Venkat)



Moving requiem to Kapila Vatsyayan - the only guru of her kind
Sponsored and premiered by the Sangeet Natak Akademi as homage, on the death anniversary of the inimitable scholar late Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, was a virtual presentation, curated and presented by one who remained her lifelong student - namely Navina Jafa.


Bengal's Milton - icon of rebellion
Jugo Prabortak Madhukovi (The Epoch-Maker Poet Madhu) presented on September 29 was a dance drama by Jodhpur Park Saraswat Sanskriti Kendra and directed by Kabita Chatterjee and Shubhasis Dutta.

UNMUTE: Column by Dr. Arshiya Sethi

It's been a year
The month of September marked a year since the sexual harassment allegations against the Dhrupad musicians - singers Umakant Gundecha and the late Ramakant Gundecha, and percussionist Akhilesh Gundecha.

Joan L Erdman
JOAN L ERDMAN passed away peacefully in her sleep on October 2, 2021. Professor Emerita of Anthropology and Cultural Studies at Columbia College, Chicago and Associate, Committee on South Asian Studies, University of Chicago, Joan was part of those heydays of counter-culture in the 60's when a range of young scholars devoted themselves to study of India in all her myriad manifestations. Her work focused on cultural policy and performing arts in India.
More info

Narayan Parthasarathy
Mumbai based violinist NARAYAN PARTHASARATHY passed away after a massive cardiac arrest on the morning of 17th October 2021. He was 53. For more than three decades, Narayan was a professional musician, rendering musical support for several music and dance performances in Mumbai and around the globe.
More info

Sivasakthi Sivanesan
Musician, teacher and presenter SIVASAKTHI SIVANESAN passed away in London, on October 31, 2021. Well known amongst the Indian music and dance fraternity in the UK, she greatly supported the many initiatives of the The Bhavan, London, for many years.

Dr. Maya Rao Kathak & Choreography Conference 2021 - Dr. Anita Ratnam

Mishran from Mohan Khokar Dance Collection @IGNCA
Mishran means amalgamation. This 20 min film platforms trends, perspectives, directions, definitions, dancing stars and institutions.

Dance Trends 2021
On the eve of Guru Jayalakshmi Alva's 88th birth anniversary, Sridevi Nrithya Kendra hosted a pan-Indian discourse, 'Dance Trends.'
Amazing sword dancer

Sting - If It's Love
Last year, choreographer Kate Prince debuted a show set to songs by Sting. Now, Sting has featured the show's dancers in his new music video, "If It's Love," with rather delightful results.

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