the age of 81, witty and powerful art critic Clive Alexander Barnes (May
13, 1927 - November 19, 2008) passed away at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan
from liver cancer. Even a few weeks before his death, he continued to file
reviews for The Post, as he had for the last 30 years.
writer and broadcaster, he was born in London. He wrote for several publications
simultaneously, primarily The Spectator and The Times of London, which
hired him as its first full-time dance critic in 1961. He exposed his readers
to dance companies and choreographers like George Balanchine and Martha
Graham, Merce Cunningham, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Frederick Ashton, Antony
Tudor and Jerome Robbins. From 1965 to 1977 he was dance /theater critic
for the New York Times, the most powerful position he held, since its theater
critics' reviews historically have had great influence on the success or
failure of Broadway productions.
the dance and drama critic at the New York Post since 1978, and senior
consulting editor at Dance Magazine. He wrote the 'Attitudes' column for
Dance Magazine from 1989 and contributed to the French magazine Ballet
2000 and the British magazine The Stage. He also continued to edit and
write for British newspapers such as The Times and the Daily Express (on
dance, theater, film and television), and the weekly Spectator magazine.
numerous books related to theater and the performing arts, particularly
dance. These include four volumes of 50 Best Plays of the American Theatre,
nine series of Best American Plays (with John Gassner), American Ballet
Theatre: A 25 Year Retrospective (with Elizabeth Kaye), Masters of Movement:
Portraits of America's Great Choreographers (with Rose Eichenbaum), Ballet
in Britain Since the War, Frederick Ashton and his Ballets, New York Times
Directory of the Theater, Ballet Here and Now, Dance Scene USA, Inside
American Ballet Theatre, as well as biographies of Tennessee Williams and
He was made
a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in
1975, and appointed a knight of the Order of the Dannebrog in 1972 by Queen
Margrethe II of Denmark.
maestro Ammannur Parameswara Chakyar, 93, died in his house in Irinjalakuda,
on November 15, 2008. Son of Kalleli Thamarappilly Thrivikraman Namboodiri
and Savithri Illodamma, he was trained by his uncle Ammannur Chachu Chakyar.
He was the brother of maestro Ammannur Madhava Chakyar. Being a traditionalist,
he did not perform outside the temple arena. Some of his best performances
were at the Irinjalakuda Koodalmanikya Temple, Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple,
Thirumandhankunnu Temple, Vayalar Siva Temple and Ilamkunnapuzha Temple.
Vaidyanathan (April 19, 1921 to Nov 14, 2008), a senior government official
turned popular cultural columnist during his retirement years, passed away
Fr. S M George (July 26, 1940 - October 20, 2008) passed away at Christian
Medical College, Vellore, where he was undergoing treatment for heart ailment.
He founded the Kalai Kaviri in 1977, Kalai Kaviri School of Fine Arts in
1983 and Kalai Kaviri College of Fine Arts in 1996, in Trichi, Tamilnadu.
Affiliated to Bharathidasan University, the college is said to be the first
and only institution of its kind in South India, for Bharatanatyam and
Carnatic music. The learning of Bharatanatyam was also elevated to the
status of Doctoral Research for the first time in Tamil Nadu.
Bharatanatyam and Carnatic Music to the marginalised in society, he rose
above religion, helping the poorer sections of society to transform themselves
into professionals and promoters of performing arts. He founded the dance
troupe in 1978. In 2004, he founded the world's first off-campus degree
program in Bharatanatyam.
music composer and singer Sumanta Mohanty was brutally murdered in Bhubaneswar
on October 9, 2008. Sumanta is survived by his wife Jyotsna and five-year-old
daughter. A memorial gathering at the Ekamra Haat open-air auditorium convened
by eminent Odissi dancer Aruna Mohanty for whom late Sumanta had often
composed music, was attended by hundreds of performing artistes. A number
of eminent and promising singers sang devotional songs for which Sumanta
had composed music. He was also into playback singing in films. A documentary
on his life compiled by Aruna Mohanty was screened.
Kathak guru Rohini Bhate passed away at the age of 83 on October 10, 2008
at Pune. Born in 1924, she received training from Lachhu Maharaj and Mohanrao
Kallinapurkar of the Lucknow and Jaipur gharanas of Kathak. Rohini Bhate
founded Nrityabharati Kathak Dance Academy, Pune, in 1947. Fondly known
as 'Tai,' she has trained many dancers, enriched the Kathak repertoire,
and choreographed for many dance dramas, films and plays.
on the advisory committees of Khairagarh University and Kathak Kendra.
She has been honoured with the Maharashtra State Award (1977), the Sangeet
Natak Akademi Award (1997) and the Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar (1990).
She is survived by her son.
S Rajagopalan, patron of the arts, a scholar in Kerala art forms and Koodiyattom
in particular, passed away in Thrissur on September 17, 2008. He was 86.
He made history by directing Arunachala Kavi's 'Ramanatakam,' the only
Kathakali play in Tamil. He has written 'Women's Role in Koodiyattom' and
'Koodiyattom: Rituals and Preliminaries.' The International Centre of Koodiyattom
honoured him with its first award in 2006 and he got the Kalamandalam Award
maestro Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan passed away in Chennai on September 8, 2008
after a brief illness. He was 73.
He was born
on March 2, 1935 to Ramaswamy Sastri and Meenakshi at Kunnakudi, a place
sacred to Lord Muruga in Tamilnadu. He was famous for his experiments on
violin and his innovative mind led him to work with veteran thavil vidwan
Valayapatti Subramanian. They performed over 3,000 successful concerts
together. He played accompaniment to leading vocalists before launching
into a solo career, composed devotional songs, music for films
as well as dance productions. Vaidyanathan served as Secretary of the Tamil
Nadu Iyal Isai Nataka Mandram and also conducted the Thiruvaiyaru Thyagaraja
Utsavam for several years. He has received several honors and awards including
Padma Shri, Sangeeth Natak Akademi award, Sangeetha Mamani and the Karnataka
guru Jayalakshmi Arunachalam passed away in Chidambaram on August 28, 2008.
mother Leela Ratnam passed away early morning on July 24, 2008 after a
brief illness. She was 75. Leela Ratnam encouraged the learning of dance
and music in her two daughters Anita and Pritha and actively participated
in all aspects of their dance career, from designing special costumes,
stage décor and researching new and rare Sanskrit and Tamil songs
appropriate for young girls to perform.
Kutiyattam performer and guru, Ammannur Madhava Chakyar passed away on
July 1, 2008 around 9.15pm at his residence aged 92. His funeral was attended
by art-lovers, fans, friends, family and several eminent personalities
from various fields. Not wanting Koodiyattom to be restricted to the temple
arena, he took the art beyond traditional confines. In 2001, Guru Ammannur
Madhava Chakyar was selected to receive the UNESCO citation proclaiming
Kutiyattom as a "Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity."
as the lifelong Kulapati at Ammannur Chachu Chakyar Smaraka Gurukulam which
he co-founded with G Venu. He was Chief Resource person at Natanakairali,
Research and Performing Centre for Traditional Arts, Irinjalakuda. He was
recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Padma Shri, Kalidas Samman and
M R Rajan
made an award winning documentary film 'Pakarnnatam' on Ammannur Madhava
descendent of the Thanjavur Quartet, veteran Bharatanatyam guru Pandanallur
C Subbaraya Pillai passed away on May 12, 2008 at the age of 94. Subbaraya
Pillai was born on Dec 7, 1914. He was the last of the great Natyacharyas,
and was the son of Chockalingam Pillai and grandson of the legendary Pandanallur
Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai, He ran Lalitha Subramaniam Natya Palli for many
years and some of his illustrious students include Alarmel Valli and Meenakshi
Chittaranjan. Some of the awards he received are the Sangeet Natak Akademi
Award and the Kalaimamani in 1979, the Music Academy's Natyacharya Award
in 1995, and Nritta Peranayar title from Chidambaram Natyanjali. He is
survived by three sons and two daughters.
Rao, senior Bharatanatyam guru and director of Bangalore based Sri Durga
Parameshwari Nritya Niketan, expired on April 29, 2008. He is survived
by his son, London based mridangam player Bhavani Shankar, and dancer
daughter Viji Rao in the US.
based Kathak exponent and guru. Pandit Tirath Ram Azad passed away on 22
April 2008. He was born on 13 December 1933 and trained initially in the
Jaipur gharana, then in the Banaras gharana and was also familiar with
the Lucknow gharana. He documented the bols of various gharanas in his
books. Some titles include Kathak Praveshika, Kathak Darpan, Kathak Shringaar
and Kathak Gyaneshwari. He has performed in the film 'Jamuna Kinare' that
was released in the 1960s. More a teacher than performer, he choreographed
on varied themes. He was also trained in theatre.
L Koser (1928-2008) passed away in Chandigarh on March 27, 2008 at the
age of 80. Koser studied under Uday Shankar and Guru Namudri Pad at Almora,
Bharatanatyam in Thanjavur, Kathak at Lucknow and Manipuri dance under
Guru Amubi Singh in Manipur. Koser was also a journalist.
the Pracheen Kala Kendra in 1956. It is highly creditable that this institution
is now the oldest and the most firmly established body of its kind in the
country having over 3500 affiliated centers in India and abroad with more
than 2 lakh students studying and preparing themselves for various grade
of professional courses conducted by it every year. Koser received the
Uday Shankar Award, the Gopi Krishan Award, Nritya Shiromani, Nritya Samrat
and the President's Awards twice. He is survived by his wife Kathak dancer
Shoba Koser, son Sujal and daughter Purva.
maestro Kalamandalam Appukutty Poduval died at his residence in Thiruvilwamala
on January 27, 2008. He was 84. Poduval was trained in maddalam by Thiruvilwamala
Venkichan Swamy. He joined Kalamandalam as a student in 1930 and later
became a teacher there. He retired from service in 1986. The master percussionist
played a crucial role in elevating the role of the maddalam on the Kathakali
Sharma, an exponent / choreographer of Indian contemporary and creative
dance passed away on January 14, 2008 at New Delhi, after a brief illness.
He was 83.
Bhoomika Creative Dance Centre in 1972 and his illustrious career spanned
over six decades. He is survived by his wife Jayanthi, contemporary dancer/teacher
Bharat Sharma and dance therapist daughter-in-law Tripura Kashyap.