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September 2022


Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
- Thomas Edison

Anita Ratnam

As I settle into my independent accommodations in Sunnyvale, California, in preparation for my role as KAA, the serpent character in THE JUNGLE BOOK RECLAIMED, I am reminded of the early days more than 25 years ago of spending extended periods of time outside India on creative engagements. There is a kind of excitement in working in the theatre, when the director sits in a circle along with the cast and discusses the script. It is this visual / physical democracy, without a noticeable leader, that can become an important marker when the hierarchical business world seeks inspiration from the arts. It is also a good way for guru and dancers/musicians to begin lessons in the classical world.

I share the large apartment with a stand up comedienne Sonal Agarwal, a delightful desi girl born in the USA. The generation gap and the tone of daily conversations is such an eye opener. I feel fortunate to have my two children, especially my son, who has kept me up with the pace and jargon of how today's Millennials talk. There is no ending to the learning curve!

Working with a large cast, many very young children, along with actors of diverse ethnic backgrounds and performance experiences is also challenging. However, it is a relief to be a guest artiste, concentrating on creating and performing the role week after week - 4 shows a week - as THE JUNGLE BOOK RECLAIMED travels across Northern California. No headache or responsibilities of production, fund raising and managing egos!

Read on...

Mamata Niyogi Nakra and Kala Bharati, Montreal, that is celebrating 40 years, have been members of Narthaki since 2003.
Mamata Niyogi Nakra
"Over the years, Narthaki, the premier mouthpiece for Indian Dance, has been my go to when I am desperately looking for a booster to lift me up.
It has been thoughtfully put together to satisfy anyone and everyone who has something to do with dance. Ever grateful to the team, Anita Ratnam the soul and spirit behind the dance letter, along with Lalitha Venkat, and others who bring out with remarkable proficiency, a transformational dance journal online every month in keeping with our times.
Thank you for this invaluable service to the art of Dance and Indian dance, in particular. Wishing you continued growth and success."

Mamata Niyogi Nakra


Drishtikon Dance Foundation will announce the DR. SUNIL KOTHARI AWARD FOR EMERGING ARTIST 2022 (carrying a citation and purse of Rs.51,000) in October. Says Aditi Mangaldas, "Sunil Bhai's contribution to my dance journey is invaluable. A critical evaluation is immensely important for a dancer's growth and evolution. Sunil Bhai's valuable insights on watching my many performances, communicated with objectivity and backed by a reservoir of knowledge, added layers of meaning to my dance vocabulary. To commemorate his life and contribution, Drishtikon constituted an annual award for emerging artists in 2021.
I take this opportunity to thank the very distinguished international panel of judges (Aakash Odedra, Chitra Sundaram, Lata Pada, Dinesh Khanna, Malini Nair, Leo Spreksel, Dr.Suresh Desai and Rajeswari Ramachandran) who have kindly consented to give their time and knowledgeable inputs to this initiative."

Applications are open for the ATTAKKALARI-THE INLAKS INDIA FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP that has been successfully realizing its vision since it started. The scholarship has been fuelling the dreams of deserving movement and dance artistes by giving them the chance to earn a qualification from Attakkalari. This year, the scholarship will be offered to TWO eligible candidates from India who have been offered admission to the Attakkalari Certificate Programme in Movement Arts and Pedagogy through the selection process. The scholarship scheme covers the Rs 1,00,000 tuition fee for Attakkalari's six-month-long program and provides a sum of Rs.1,50,000 for the student to cover their living expenses in Bangalore. The last date for application is Sept 6, 2022.

SMITALAY conducted the annual 19th Yuva Mahotsav dedicated to Sanjukta Panigrahi and Raghunath Panigrahi on Aug 20 & 21 at Mumbai.

The Best Dancer award in the SPIRIT OF YOUTH DANCE FESTIVAL held in August 2022 at Madras Music Academy goes to Shabin Bright, disciple of Divyasena. The 2nd Best Dancer award goes to Bhavya Kumaran, disciple of Sowmya Kumaran. The Best Dance Guru award (as guru of the best dancer in the Spirit of Youth Dance Festival) goes to Divyasena.

Apsaras Arts Dance Company presents the IPAC SINGAPORE ANNUAL AWARDS for 2021 and 2022 on 11th September 2022 at Avai at Apsaras Arts.
- NATYA AACHAARYAMANI for 2022: Lakshmi Krishnan, Faculty of Temple of Fine Arts Singapore
- BHARATA KALA MANI for 2021: Dr Anjana Anand of Sahrdaya Arts Foundation
- BHARATA KALA MANI for 2022: Seema Hari Kumar and Dr Deva Priya Appan of Apsaras Arts Dance Company

Bharata Kalanjali - NAVA NRITTA KARANANI
Bharata Kalanjali's new project NAVA NRITTA KARANANI is work in progress at Mamallapuram. "We expect at least 50 karanas to be installed in our new campus at Spastin Taramani, Adyar, by the end of December 2022," says acharya VP Dhananjayan.

Attendance presents
Saroja Mohanam

Stein Auditorium, 7pm
September 17 & 18, 2022 Delhi

EnActe presents World Premiere of
The Jungle Book: Rudyard Revised

Sept 30 - Dec 11, 2022 USA

Ekambareshwarar Temple, Kanchipuram
Ekambareshwarar Temple, Kanchipuram
Photo: Lalitha Venkat


Dance in Delhi after the Pandemic
The first live stage performance this critic was experiencing after a two year pandemic lock was at the Habitat auditorium, featuring a Bharatanatyam recital by Sudhana Sankar...


Dancing India@75!
So, dance matters? Yes, even in chess. Kavita Ramu is an ace talent of Tamilnadu. First, a fine dancer from the truly cultured belt that's Madurai and then an ace IAS, currently the boss of Pudukkottai, as its Collector.


Lecture series on the hand gestures of the classical theatre and dances of Kerala 3
Introductory presentation on 'The story of Ramayana through hand gestures'(Part - 1) by Kapila Venu (Kutiyattam Performer)
Venu G speaks about MUDRAKHYA (The second basic hand gesture in Hastalakshanadipika)

This piano can be played entirely through dance

Crystal Pite 'The Seasons' Canon'
Paris Opera Ballet

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