Monthly Newsletter
September 2020


In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the mist of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realised, through it all, that in the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy.
For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me,
Within me, there's something stronger -
Something better, pushing right back

- Albert Camus, Nobel Laureate, philosopher, author, journalist

We are in month #6 in India's state of the pandemic. There is still much uncertainty and fear. However, August brought its fair share of drama, theatre, great dialogue, high emotions, tears, chest beating, wailing, public confessions and pompous posturing. A truly gripping reality show of dance-theatre!

Read on...


FEDERATION OF CITY SABHAS, Chennai, (Brahma Gana Sabha, Krishna Gana Sabha, RR Sabha, Kartik Fine Arts, Narada Gana Sanha etc) have announced continuation of December season this year through online programs. Music Academy has announced the same.

Critic/scholar DR.UTPAL K BANERJEE celebrates his 87th birthday on Sept 27, 2020 with an online conference hosted by ICCR, Kolkata.

For their 2020 Yearbook, AKRAM KHAN has been chosen as Choreographer of the Year by Tanz Magazine.

GERAK ANGIN is the new Malaysian Multi Arts Festival curated by RAMLI IBRAHIM and SABERA SHAIK for the digital broadcast.

SUJATA BANERJEE's 26 hour nonstop Dance Marathon featuring a variety of performances and styles was received excellently by audiences across the world.

MADURAI MURALIDHARAN received a badge of honour from GUINNESS RECORDS for composing 25 varnams in 30 days during the pandemic.

RASIKA KUMAR of Abhinaya Dance Company, NADHI THEKKEK of Nava Dance Theatre and SAHASRA SAMBAMOORTHI of Navatman Dance are doing an ongoing project on Dance Analytics, a survey to pinpoint funding sources for Indian classical dancers and musicians.

SHABANA AZMI has produced a film MEE RAQSAM about a Muslim girl (played by Aditi Subedi) fighting prejudice to learn Bharatanatyam. Directed by Baba Azmi, the movie stars Danish Husain and Naseeruddin Shah.

SURUPA SEN was one of the camera people for the August 28th digital showcase of the NRITYAGRAM students. The event is marked annually as the day that Protima Bedi passed away in 1998.

ANUPAMA KYLASH has emerged as the star teacher and performer during this lockdown. Her knowledge, telegenic appearance and layered knowledge of Annamayya compositions and nuanced 'abhinaya' has attracted several students who are lined up to pay and learn from her.

The new business model to replace face to face ITEM LEARNING is the E PORTAL METHOD. Popular performers like RAMA VAIDYANATHAN and PRIYADARSINI GOVIND are among the stars making the digital leap.


Nagalakshmi Rajaratnam, wife of late illustrious Guru Swamimalai Rajaratnam Pillai, passed away on the morning of August 29, 2020.

Yakshagana presenter and researcher Dr.N.Narayana Shetty passed away on August 26, 2020 at Mangalore, aged 86.

Celebrated Hindustani classical vocalist of the Mewati gharana, Pt Jasraj passed away in the US at the age of 90 (28 Jan 1930 - 17 Aug 2020). He was honored with the Padma Shri (1975), Padma Bhushan (1990) and Padma Vibhushan (2000).

Mukund Lath, scholar, exponent of Mewati gharana and prominent cultural historian known for his writings on music, dance, aesthetics and culture of India, passed away on August 6, 2020. He was 82.

One of India's leading post-Independence theatre directors, an eminent drama teacher and a patron of the arts, Ebrahim Alkazi (18 Oct 1925 - 4 Aug 2020) passed away aged 95. He received the Sangeet Natak Akademi for direction (1962), Padma Shri (1966), Padma Bhushan (1991) and Padma Vibushan (2010).


Some refreshing moments on Internet
One sponsored by Jaywant Naidu from Hyderabad on 'Remembering Ram Gopal' with critic and dance historian Sunil Kothari and veteran Kathak guru Kumudini Lakhia provided some unintended moments of fun.


U..... = You: The reader
U as audience are today empowered in more ways than one in the digital world. U have a say. What you say is as per your ability, education, exposure and culture....


Guru Gopinath and Kerala Natanam

- G. Venu
Guru Gopinath and his wife Thankamani are dazzling artistes who shone upon the 20th century history of Kathakali, Mohiniyattam and Contemporary Dance.


Remembering Ebrahim Alkazi
It was during the year 1954 that my late dear painter friend Bhupen Khakhar and I were attending a series of lectures by Ebrahim Alkazi at Bhulabhai Memorial Institute...


New normal: Dancing behind doors
A survey was attempted among several major gurus who run large dance institutions in the eastern metropolis, asking them to briefly introduce their dance bodies and respond to four questions...

The theatre colossus I knew
The demise of Ebrahim Alkazi, the titan of Indian theatre, seems to have occurred, for many, much too soon, even when he was just turning into 95.


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