to The Chicago Toofaan!
November 29, 2006
There is no question of any one art form bowing under the other. Bharatanatyam has risen to be the most popular dance form today because the dancers and choreographers were and also are willing to experiment the dance with different mediums be it Kathak bols, bhajans, abhangs or music from other parts of the world. And what is wrong with that? After all, isn't art beyond geographical boundaries, language and individuals?
- Dayalakshmi (Jan 8, 2007)
- Puja Allepalli (Nov 9, 2006)
Emerging artists, master teachers and dance professionals must be prepared to consider current circumstances such as: preserving cultural heritage as well as productive ways to make these arts relevant to our times; popular entertainment industries; the decline of live performances; the marketplace role of DVD/VCD recordings and the internet; and an erosion of financial support for dance performance and education; How does an NRI dancer access a mixed audience?
These conditions call for a conference that can intelligently decipher this historical moment and provide practical as well as conceptual tools that can prepare dance professionals for the cultural and economic circumstances they face. However, I am thrilled that you attended the conference and kudos to Hema R. who is able to gather dance community together each year.
- Anu Kishore Ganpati (Nov 18, 2006)
- Utpal K Banerjee (Nov 19, 2006)
- V R Devika (Nov 21, 2006)
Oh, I totally disagree! In my experience, the real substance is still back in Tamilnadu; this thin layer of NRI or diaspora dancers and their clouds of hype cannot equal seeing real substance and real talent in dance, which is so abundant back in Madras. Thatís why people come in droves: it's not just woolly-headed nostalgia.
Academics and "Indian dance scholars": there is something very fake about this entire profession. I am not talking about the half-baked silly writers and poseurs. I mean, even serious "good" writers: I was recently reading Lakshmi Subramaniam's book published by OUP and previously Leslie Orr's book about devadasis in medieval Tamilnadu. Yes, it's good "scholarship" - but so what? I still resent it. It's still a parasitical and dishonorable profession (like moneylender or PR) that produces nothing and comes in between the teacher-dancer-audience relation which simply doesn't need it. To produce great dance all you need are good teachers, good pieces and talented dancers - that's it. Academics are superfluous.
Anita Ratnam writes:
"Many of us missed hearing the words of seminal culturalist Kapila Vatsyayan. She remains, perhaps, one of the very few cultural workers whose mind assimilates the many kinds of Indian-ness. All the missing strands of the conference - the worlds of philosophy, architecture, ethics, musicology, painting and history would have coalesced in her speech. "
My my my - what respectful genuflecting-on-one-knee slavishly reverential words from someone who always rails against "purists" and "old gurus" and "old faces." So this is the true face of the "rebel."
I have listened to Vatsayayan's vacuous shallow clichés on TV and do not feel that it has anything of insight or merit to offer. Of course, it is rooted in Brahminism - perhaps that's why the likes of Ms. Ratnam find it so soothing and flattering to the ear.
- Arul Francis (Nov 23, 2006)
- Sheetal (Nov 24, 2006)
- Dancer (Nov 24, 2006)