your gateway to the world of Indian dance

September 2019


September 1, 2019

Most people believe
That physicists are explaining the world
They are only dancing in it

- GARY ZUKAV, American spiritual teacher

For almost all of last month, I was far away from home. Not just geographically but also from the familiarity of dance, performance and the arts. And yet, global events and the magic of the internet kept me abreast of so many events in our wonderful and fractured world of the performing arts. The distance from my cultural space helped give me a respite and an objective view of many issues and shifts in our lives as performers. Some ideas are still floating as unresolved questions. Others have settled into patterns that are now more than mere trends. As we move into the Fall season and cooler weather, I share more thoughts and ideas.

Read on...

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


- The NALCO GURU KELUCHARAN MOHAPATRA AWARD 2019 goes to Guru Harmohan Khuntia, tabla maestro, for his immense contribution to the field of Music, to Guru Durga Charan Ranbir, veteran Odissi dance Guru for his invaluable work in the field of Dance, to Dr. Sunil Kothari and Leela Venkataraman, eminent dance critics and authors, for their lifetime achievements and contribution to the performing arts, and to photographer Avinash Pasricha, for his pioneering work in the field of Photography. The award carries a purse of Rs.1,00,000 to each artiste and a citation.
The NALCO GURU KELUCHARAN MOHAPATRA YUVA PRATIVA SAM MAN 2019 to five exceptionally talented performing artistes under the age of 40 goes to Swapnokalpa Dasgupta (Odissi dance), Rahul Acharya (Odissi dance), Rajashri Praharaj (Odissi dance), Anwesa Mahanta (Sattriya dance), and Satyabrata Katha (Odissi music). Each artiste gets a cash prize of Rs. 25,000 and a citation.
The awards will be given on September 11, 2019, at the 25th edition of the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival, at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar.

- Natyarangam honored the following artistes on August 15, 2019 at Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai.
Bharatanatyam guru Saroja Kameswaran, Dr. S Raghuraman (scholar and resource person) for Outstanding Contribution to Bharatanatyam, OBUL REDDY ENDOWMENT AWARD to senior Bharatanatyam dancer Lakshmi Ramaswamy, VASANTHALAKSHMI NARASIMHACHARI ENDOWMENT AWARD for talent promotion to Pavitra Bhat, SUDHARANI RAGHUPATHY ENDOWMENT AWARD to mridangist M Dhanamjayan, BHAGAVATULU SEETARAMA SARMA ENDOWMENT AWARD to KS Balakrishnan for nattuvangam.

- Utsav-Ranjana's Odissi Dance Academy conferred the UTSAV SAMMAN on Bankim Sethi (Odissi vocal and music composer), Dhaneswar Swain (mardal artiste and composer), Manjari Sinha (music scholar and critic) and flautist Chetan Joshi on August 13, 2019 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.


Eminent educationist, founder of the Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan (founded in 1958) group of schools, journalist and cultural ambassador, Mrs. Y.G.Parthasarathy (Rajalakshmi Parthasarathy also known as Rashmi), passed away in Chennai on August 6, 2019. She was 93. In 1987, she started Bharat Kalachar, a cultural organization that identified young talent in music, dance and other arts and gave them a platform. Despite being in a wheelchair in her advanced age, Mrs YGP attended many programs and always said a few words to encourage the artistes. She received the Padma Shri in 2010.

Prof. CK Balagopalan, dancer and former teacher at Kalakshetra, Chennai, passed away on August 24, 2019 at Chennai. Born in 1939 in Cheruvattur village in North Malabar district of Kerala, Balagopalan was initiated into stage-acting by his father P. Koman Nair, a well-known actor of Kerala. When he was 13, he joined Kalakshetra with a Government of India Scholarship. He studied Bharatanatyam under the guidance of Rukmini Devi Arundale and trained in Kathakali under Guru T.K. Chandu Panicker. Balagopalan excelled in donning female roles in Kathakali. He danced in almost all the productions of Kalakshetra doing justice to any character he portrayed. He was most famous for his role as Hanuman for which he prepared with abstinence and purification rituals. He retired as Professor of Bharatanatyam at Kalakshetra in 2000. His disciple Eliza Louis has penned his biography titled 'Leap of Faith: Mesmeric Hanuman of Kalakshetra.' Balagopalan received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.

Balagopal - tapasvi who walked the talk by Jyotsna
With his abundant creativity, he responded to Rukmini Devi's aesthetics, breathing life into every role that he played.


- Natya Tarangini presents
Parampara Series 2019

Aug 30 - Sep 1, 2019 New Delhi

- Arpana Dance Company presents

Godinez Perf Arts Center, 4pm
Sept 2, 2019 Santa Ana, CA
- Padmalaya Dance Foundation presents
Kavya- the Unboxed series

Seva Sadan, 10.30am
Sept 7, 2019 Bangalore

- Padmalaya Dance Foundation presents
Youth in Dance

Seva Sadan, 5pm
Sept 14, 2019 Bangalore


Mysore Jathi - A Bharatanatyam dance presentation
Mysore Jathi in raga Hamsadhwani set to adi talam was originally choreographed by the legendary K. Venkatalakshmamma in the Mysore bani. Nattuvangam by Parshwanath S. Upadhye, choreography by Sanjana Rajesh. The dancers are Sanjana Rajesh, Sachhidanand Narayankar, Sonam Vora and Maya Dhananjay.

Janik and Arnaut's snake dance (1952)
Janik and Arnaut were a sensational dance team that garnered a pretty faithful following on 1950s television.

Sundara Gopalam
Sundara Gopalam, a Kathak Vandana from Pt Birju Maharaj's Chhand Kavya in raga Bhupali is performed in teentaal (Madhya laya) by Sunil Sunkara and Gauri Pardhi who have adapted Birju Maharaj's original choreography while retaining its traditional aspects.

Baryshnikov's advice to Grads: Be generous enough to let yourself fail


THE EASTERN EYE: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

Some charming colors and cadences
It was very refreshing to find half a dozen reputed and well-respected gurus of classical dance in the Eastern metropolis join hands and produce a well conceived item each, with well trained disciples.

Theatre experiences - folk, freak and Greek
Over a little more than a month, this critic got to view a vibrant revival of the folkloric drama, a fantasy play built upon bizarre events and a wonderful take on a Greek myth of yore.


Shringaar in Odissi dance: A recollection
- Edited by Ileana Citaristi
Translated from an Odia speech (by Malabika Patel) on the getup and costume of Odissi dance given by Harapriya Devadasi in the seminar on Odissi dance organised by Kendriya Sangeet Natak Akademi in July 1975 at Bhubaneswar.

Rhythmic narratives of Pt Lacchu Maharaj - The Kavit Paran
- Paullumi B Mukherjee
Late Guru Lacchu Maharaj, one of the most versatile gurus of his time, laid emphasis on expressing the feeling within the form of the beat. In his Kathak journey, Guruji experimented and specialized in the execution of body movements.

Resonating in Rasa
- Sunil Sunkara
In context of Kathak, Bhibhatsa rasa has been studied with respect to compositions composed by maestros and an analysis of the Vyabhicharis involved when resonating within this seldom depicted rasa.
TAALAM: Column by Leela Venkataraman

ABHAI'S Pravasi Utsavam
Since last year, ABHAI, in a friendly sensitive gesture, has mounted 'Pravasi Utsavam' solely meant for presenting proficient Bharatanatyam dancers settled abroad - who find it difficult to procure performance opportunities during the Season with its crowded calendar.

Recapturing golden moments during Golden Anniversary of Kalasamarpana
The packed auditorium of Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai, bore full testimony to the enormous goodwill earned by the Narasimhachari couple in the fifty years of running their institution Kalasamarpana Foundation.

Registering ten years of Nrityantar with Naman 2019
The organisational work behind this very efficiently managed three day event proved how professional dancers running institutions have taken to multi tasking very effectively, mounting large events, with minute details attended to carefully.


Nrityagram Ensemble puts best foot forward
In memory of Protima Bedi on her death anniversary on 18th August, for past 21 years Nrityagram dancers present performances showcasing the continuous progress they have been making in the sylvan setting at the now internationally renowned dance village Nrityagram.

SOCH: Column by Dr. Arshiya Sethi
These feet had to stop dancing: The trauma experienced by dancing bears
Continuing with the undesirable practices of dancing animals, we must refer to an ancient practice, of making bears "dance" which has a long history and was once widely spread in Europe and Asia

Meet the artistes SANCHARI.. More on the arts Articles


Sept 2, Bangalore

Rhythmotion presents Bharatanatyam and Kathak on the auspicious occasion of Ganesha Chathurthi at Sri Rama Mandira Auditorium Rajajinagar, 6:30pm.

Sept 2 - 29, California
Schedule for Ramya Harishankar, Arpana Dance Company
- Sept 2: SHE by Arpana Dance Co
At: Godinez Performing Arts Center, Santa Ana, CA, 4pm
- Sept 14: TAD BHARATHAM by Nirupama-Rajendra and Abhinava Dance Company
Co-presenting with Ektaa Center
At: Godinez Performing Arts Center, Santa Ana, CA, 7pm
- Sept 21: Celluloid Classics 2, at San Dimas, CA
- Sept 22: Ektaa Fest, 15th anniversary celebrations
At: Irvine Barclay Theatre, Irvine, CA
- Sept 28: Celluloid Classics 2, at Saratoga, CA
- Sept 29: Festival of Children, at South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, CA

Sept 3 - 5, Kolkata, N Bengal
Programs/Workshops of Sapphire Creations, Kolkata.
- 3rd Sept: 50 dancers of Sapphire Creations usher in the festive Durga Puja celebration for Lifestyle store in a flashmob. They dance to an original composition created specially for the event by music composer and film maker Anindya Chattopadhyay.
At: Quest Mall Atrium,12 noon
- 4th Sept: Sapphire performs SAPPHIRESCOPE for the inauguration of Ganesh Chaturthi celebration by Maitreyi Sangha in presence of the Governor of West Bengal with a 30 minute montage of dance and music drawn from tradition and modernity.
At: Swimming Pool, CF Park, Salt Lake, 8pm
- 16th Aug- 5th Sept: Sapphire leads a 40 days Residency in North Bengal in Darjeeling and Kerseong districts with 16 communities namely, Lepchas, Bhutias, Bhujels, Newaris and more to reorient their existing rituals, songs and dance for the proscenium stage. This is organised by Folk Craft and Culture Hub, Govt of West Bengal in collaboration with Bangla Natak Dot Com

Sept 5 and 6, UK
Mitul Sengupta of Rhythmosaic performs WRITTEN ON MY BODY choreographed by Shambik Ghose at Landing Party Festival by Leeds Beckett University.
Venue: Studio-1, Leeds Beckett University

Sept 6, 7 and 13, Basel and Zurich, Switzerland
Schedule for the Keshavas and Kalasri.
- Sept 6: Sumitra Keshava and the youth dance group Kalasri perform Bharatanatyam and Bollywood in the Youth Cultural Festival JKF.
At: Theater Basel
- Sept 7: D. Keshava, Anjali and Sumitra Keshava perform Bharatanatyam and conduct workshops in Swiss National Museum, Zürich, 6.30pm
- Sept 13: HIMALAYA dance theater by Keshava, Anjali and Sumitra Keshava with their music ensemble.
At: Theater Festival Kaserne, Basel, 8.30pm

Sept 7, Oswego, IL
Natya dance Theatre presents Nirupama + Rajendra and Abhinava Dance Company's TAD-BHARATHAM, THAT IS INDIA! Tad-Bharatham takes you on a journey through nature and culture using the artistic media of music, dance, and literature. Performed by a team of ten dancers, the production features elements drawn from India's classical literature including the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata exploring various sentiments of love, valour, anger, laughter, and celebration.
At: Oswego East High School, 1525 Harvey Rd, Oswego, IL 60543, 5pm

Sept 7 and 8, Chennai
ABHAI's KALA PRAVEENA PRATIYOGITA - Season 2 is a unique Bharatanatyam competition, which shall be held at the Shakthi Palace Kalyana Mandapam, Valsaravakkam.
ABHAI has short listed 10 dancers who will be performing a concert in Margam format for 50 minutes each. Cash prizes will be awarded to the first two places.

Sept 9 - 15, Bhubaneswar, Vadodara, Chennai
Schedule for Ileana Citaristi and Art Vision.
- 9th Sept, Bhubaneswar: Art Vision ensemble presents Odissi production AKSHYARA, an ode to Odia alphabet, choreography by Ileana Citaristi, for the 25th edition of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival organized by Srjan at Rabindra Mandap, 7pm
- 13th Sept, Vadodara: Ileana Citaristi presents a lec-dem titled "From Grotowsky Physical Theatre to Indian Classical Dance: My Experience" for the seminar on 'Performance Theories from and about the Global South' organized by Forum on Contemporary Theory.
At: Conference Room 1, Centre for Contemporary Theory, 4.30pm
- 15th Sept, Chennai: Ileana Citaristi presents solo Odissi dance and confluence with other styles for the annual art festival Nrityasangama organised by Saila Sudha Academy.
At: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore, 6.30pm.

Sept 14, Bangalore
Nadam presents NAZAAKAT, an evening of Kathak featuring  two celebrated dancers -  Guru. V. Anuradha Singh representing the Raigarh Gharana, Bhopal and Guru Jayanthi Eshwarputhi showcasing the Lucknow Gharana, Bengaluru
Venue: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bangalore, 6pm

Sept 15, New Delhi
Ankita Nayak, disciple of Guru Madhumita Raut, presents Odissi dance. She will present masterpiece dance compositions of legendary Guru Mayadhar Raut like Tandava piece Jago Maheshwara, Vishwanath Ashtakam, Asthapadi "Rati Sukha Sare."
At: India International Centre, New Delhi, at 6.30pm.

Sept 21 and 22, Mumbai
Schedule for Jhelum Paranjape and Smitalay.
- 21st Sept: SAVITRI VADATEY during the diamond jubilee year celebrations for P.N.Doshi Women's College, Ghatkopar, Mumbai in the College Auditorium, 11am.
- 22nd Sept: YUVA TARANG for Sanskruti Cultural Academy, Savarkar Smarak, Dadar, 10am.

Sept 29 - Oct 3, Chile
Performance schedule of Bharatanatyam exponent Bala Devi Chandrashekar's Chile performance tour.
- 29th Sept: Municipality of El Bosque
- 30th Sept: University Adolfo Ibanez
- 1st Oct: Municipality of Rancagua
- 2nd Oct: Municipality of Providencia
- 3rd Oct: Municipality of San Antonio

Sept 30, New Delhi
Navina Jafa performs in JHOOLA: Swinging Love and Finding the Self, an immersive experience of the 'Swing', a seminal motif in the Indian ethos.
At: C.D. Deshmukh Auditorium, 6.30pm

Sept 1 and 7, Irvine, CA
- Sept 1: Riya Reddy / - Sept 7: Sai Gayatri Bhaskar, disciples of Ramya Harishankar, Arpana Dance Company
Venue: Portola High School

Sept 7, Vancouver, Canada
Veena Vinod and Krishna Vinod, disciples of Jai Govinda, Jai Govinda Dance Academy
Venue: Surrey Arts, 13750, 88 Avenue, Surrey, BC V3W 3L1, 7pm

Sept 14, Richmond, Virginia
Roshini Adunoor, Gayatri Tyagi, Kavya Somala, disciples of Uma Chetty, Apsaras Arts Dance Group
Venue: Hershey Center of the Arts, Collegiate School, 4pm

Write to us at
Subscribe / Unsubscribe
to the Narthaki monthly newsletter