"Most of the dancers are impatient to come on stage without attaining a proper level of perfection. Number of half-baked teachers and gurus are also in the rise. Odissi today is in unsafe hands. To make a dance teacher a guru, one must have adequate knowledge of literature and music apart from a mastery over dance. It is also important to learn from life and nature around us that teaches a lot."
- Odissi Guru Sudhakar Sahu
('The state of Odissi' by Shyamhari Chakra, The Hindu, Dec 31, 2010)

"Dance is a constant communication; not just performing. Every experience and communication has to be through the body; the intellect is only one part of the body."
- Sardono Waluyo Kusomo

"Nothing should be taken as good or acceptable merely because it is old. Nothing is bad merely because it is new. Great men accept the one or the other after examination and deliberation. Only a fool has his mind led by the beliefs of others. Those are not my words. That was a translation of Kalidasa's 'Malavikagnimitra', Act I, verse 2!"
- (Heike Moser in 'Bowled over by Koodiyattam' by Suganthy Krishnamachari, The Hindu Friday Review, October 22, 2010)

"The trained dancer must not only have grace and elegance, but also the leap of an Olympic hurdler, the balance of a tight-rope walker and panther-like strength and agility."
- Camilla Jessel

"I think we are fast being sucked into the vortex of globalisation. I have always thought that music, art, sculpture and painting, are all spiritual endeavours. It is sad to see all this grossly commercialised. We see values like freedom, love, or something profound like meditation and even our classical arts, say Kathakali, used to sell products. There is trivialisation, which will send wrong signals to the children and youth of the country."
(Louba Schild in 'End of a journey' by K Pradeep, The Hindu Friday Review, Aug 28, 2009)

"All display of talents do not become an object of art; the talent that touches the hearts of onlookers and listeners only can be called an art, be it music, painting, sculpture or dance."
- VP Dhananjayan

"In those days, they used to master about 30 kritis and were very comfortable with them, and each time the concert was a success. Artistes now learn more songs to cater to different needs. For instance, for Ramanavami one needs several songs on Rama. We have to learn many more songs, which we have not mastered like the old people. That is why, the repertoire has increased, but the quality has not increased. In earlier times, every artiste was special in his own way, and had established his own mark, whereas now, we have no stamp of our own."
- (Neela Ramgopal in 'A student forever' by Madhavi Ramkumar, The Hindu Friday Review, May 21, 2010)

"A day I don't dance is a day I don't live."
- Tunisian dancer, quoted in Serpent of the Nile

"Fusion often trails into confusion! There should be no compromise, no gimmicks. For tradition bound artists, innovation is a constantly evolving process" the chandas, layakari, abhinay. Inspired by nature, my guru creates a new tihai. It is every artist's desire to draw the audience into his creative space. However, a surfacing genre called contemporary Kathak actually distorts the form, going against tradition. We are unhappy with this self-styled form, as it does not reflect Kathak's quintessential elements. One can get experimental but shouldn't name it after a great tradition, especially when one deviates from its spirit."
- (Saswati Sen in 'Awesome experiences' by Lalithaa Krishnan, The Hindu Friday Review, July 23, 2010)

"Movement never lies. It is a barometer telling the state of the soul's weather to all who can read it"
- Martha Graham

"When I popularised Abhinayadarpanam, many in Orissa objected fiercely, saying this is not Bharatanatyam. But nowhere in the text does it say the Abhinayadarpanam is for Bharatanatyam. I realised it was necessary to form an association. Pankaj Charan Das, Debu Prasad Das and I, along with others, formed Jayantika. My friend D.N. Pattanaik also joined. The gurus would demonstrate movements and we would correlate them with what was written in the shastras. From the Natya Shastra and Abhinayadarpanam, we selected those elements that applied to the practice of Odissi dance. For example, Abhinayadarpanam mentions akasha bhramari (a pirouette done in the air). We don't have this movement in Odissi, so we did not include it in our list. The gurus had all been following the system without knowing the names. We needed some erudite people with us to convince them."
- Odissi guru Mayadhar Raut
('Theatre of memory' by Anjana Rajan, The Hindu Friday Review, Aug 6, 2010)

"There are three steps you have to complete to become a professional dancer: learn to dance, learn to perform, and learn how to cope with injuries"
- D Gere

"As an artist, innumerable times you don't feel up to it. But as you have made a commitment, you have to perform. And as a performance is in progress you feel that you are not meeting your standards, then you try to salvage the performance. You try to do better and hope the audience forgets the earlier mis-steps, you try to tap into inner recess of your self and save the performance. That is the real test of a good dancer."
- (Alekhya Punjala in 'The danseuse as a teacher' by Serish Nanisetti, The Hindu Metro Plus, July 3, 2010)

"Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are."
- Chinese proverb

"War, terrorism and aggression will continue. This has been the sad history of humankind. And we as human beings confronted with this condition need to bring about a change towards harmony both outwardly and inwardly. Art at the deeper level only reaffirms this spirit of harmony. It speaks of emotions and yet transcends them to open up spaces of expansiveness within each one of us. In this way, I do believe, the arts have the power to enrich one's life with positive energies."
- (Malavika Sarukkai, in 'Wings of rhythm' by Anjana Rajan, The Hindu Friday Review, May 28, 2010)

"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures."
- Henry Ward Beech

I feel that choreography is not just a combination of steps. Like Béjart once said in an interview, "My choreography is not just for fun. Enjoy it, but each step means something." And I believe in that. But before that, I need to get out of my dance career, for you can't combine a dance career with choreographing. You have to be a choreographer 24 hours a day"
- 'A conversation with Kirill Melnikov' by March Haegeman, Dance View, Vol 16 #3, Summer 1999

"The world's great men have not commonly been great scholars, nor its great scholars great men."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

"Every second person is bringing out a DVD! But in the last 10 years, everyone is studying quite a bit I must say. What they understand I don't know. Sometimes you find wrong quotations in wrong places! But I have no faith in critics ever since I overheard one describe a performance as something from a red light area and then read a glowing report in the paper. Those who know dance and write are few."
- NS Jayalakshmi
('Stuff of legends' by Anjana Rajan, The Hindu Friday Review, December 25, 2009)

"After years of hectic solo performances across the globe, I now wish to encourage many of my talented disciples. Hence, this Margazhi I am focussing totally on group performances. I think youngsters should be given an orientation on how one could introduce novelty in every aspect of the dance - make-up, costume, music - without deviating from aesthetics. Also, they need to be taught to respect heritage. It's nice to appreciate and be inspired by everything around you, but it is essential to maintain the identity and sanctity of your art."
- Padma Subrahmanyam
('Taking centre stage once again' by Chitra Swaminathan, The Hindu Dec 1, 2009)

"Every dance is a kind of fever chart, a graph of the heart."
- Martha Graham

"Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you."
- William Arthur Ward

"There is definitely a tradition in the training of Koodiyattam but the performance aspect has always changed with the times with new influences and new outlook. So there is no such thing as a permanent tradition. My aim is to give a contemporary almost human touch to traditional stories that are mostly full of divine characters. My innovations are not anything new per se, rather they are a re-working, a revitalisation of the old. The challenge then is to change the mindset. It is not easy considering everything is a spectacle these days. All that the viewers want is the edited cream and not the essence so to speak."
- (Margi Madhu in 'The kalari and the arangu are not the same' by Nita Sathyendran, The Hindu Friday Review, Sept 25, 2009)

"Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion."
- Martha Graham

"Teaching for 60 long years has given me a lot - the joy of give and take, the pleasure of mothering so many children, discovering new energy levels, caring and sharing and cherishing long-lasting bonds. I certainly have no regrets about not being a performer."
- KJ Sarasa
('Sarasa Teacher looks back' by Chitra Swaminathan, The Hindu Friday Review, Nov 6, 2009)

"We have no right to tamper with the rich legacy handed over to us by elders. Our objective should only be to foster it and hold it up for the future. Youngsters should take the right route by following what is sampradaya. You might ask whether you do not have the swathanthram to innovate. You do have the liberty I admit but don't take democracy into your hands as it is always dangerous for art. The Vedas for example have never undergone a change for over several thousand years. Not a single swara has been changed. Our music that has a strong link with the Vedas has to be fostered for posterity in the same fashion. Even now I practise regularly and also give lec-dems. I am still researching on how to keep the audience mesmerised by my music. I keep researching on composer's bhavam, structural beauty and bhava shuddham of many kritis. You may have practised a particular raga for several hours at home, but in the concert you will find your imagination drying up even by the fifth minute and that is a curse. You should have a command over music and to achieve that you should practise regularly."
- (RK Srikantan in 'We have no right to tamper with legacy' by V Balasubramanian, The Hindu Friday Review, Sept 11, 2009)

"It's not a teacher's onus to create platforms for students. It's the teacher's onus to create students for platforms."
- Swapnasundari

"Strangely students of the performing arts are neglected; actually they have as little access to performers, except their teachers, as anybody else.
At a very basic level, there is no difference between music and dance or the various disciplines within. They are all forms of cultural expression. We need to give the next generation more access, more exposure so that it adds to their growth; not just as performers but as people."
- (TM Krishna in 'For the youth only�' by R Krithika, The Hindu Sunday Magazine, Aug 23, 2009)

"Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition."
- Jacques Barzun

"Thoroughness is often an admirable ideal. But it is an ideal to be adopted with discrimination, having due reference to the nature of the work in hand. An artist, it seems to me now, has not always to finish his work in every detail; by not doing so he may succeed in making the spectator his co-worker, and put into his hands the tool to carry on the work which, as it lies before him, beneath its veil of yet partly unworked material, still stretches into infinity. Where there is most labour there is not always most life, and by doing less, provided only he has known how to do well, the artist may achieve more."
- 'The dance of life' by Havelock Ellis (1923)

"The diversity of the Many is balanced by the stability of the One. That is why life must always be a dance, for that is what a dance is: perpetual slightly varied movements which are yet always held true to the shape of the whole."
- 'The dance of life' by Havelock Ellis (1923)

In a dancer, there is a reverence for such forgotten things as the miracle of the small beautiful bones and their delicate strength. In a thinker, there is a reverence for the beauty of the alert and directed and lucid mind. In all of us who perform there is an awareness of the smile which is part of the equipment, or gift, of the acrobat. We have all walked the high wire of circumstance at times. We recognize the gravity pull of the earth as he does. The smile is there because he is practicing living at that instant of danger. He does not choose to fall.
At times I fear walking that tightrope. I fear the venture into the unknown. But that is part of the act of creating and the act of performing.
That is what a dancer does.
(Martha Graham in 'I am a Dancer')

"What happens when you dance totally? The dancer disappears in a total dance. That's my definition of the total dance: the dancer disappears, dissolves; only the dancing remains. When there is only dancing and no dancer, this is the ultimate of meditation - the taste of nectar, bliss, God, truth, ecstasy, freedom, freedom from the ego, freedom from the doer. And when there is no ego, no doer, and the dance is going on and there is no dancer, a great witnessing arises, a great awareness like a cloud of light surrounding you."
- Osho

"To popularise any art form, you must set it free from its religious symbols. In the case of Koodiyattam, the moment it comes out of koothambalams, it loses its religious symbolism. Koodiyattam is in a better position now than it was 25 years ago"
- Margi Madhu
('In search of new symbols' by Anil S, The New Sunday Express, Oct 5, 2008)

"No artist is ahead of his time. He is his time; it is just that others are behind the times."
- Martha Graham

"Sattriya dance needs understanding from its practitioners. That which is textual needs visualization, that which is practiced needs clarity, that which is unclear needs logical explanation. Therefore it is work, work and only selfless hard work that will make us realize our dreams."
- Prateesha Suresh
("Rejuvenating a legacy" Assam Tribune, Guwahati, Dec 10, 2004)

"The dancer's body is simply the luminous manifestation of the soul."
- Isadora Duncan

"I believe that every teacher-student relationship goes through a transition. There is no point in trying to force out submission from anyone. It automatically comes as the student's love for dance grows."
- Mira Kasuhik ('Succour and hope through dance' by Nandini Bhattacharyya, The Hindu, March 2, 2007)

"The true success of a teacher is measured by how well the student teaches in return."
- J A McNulty

"There is no hard and fast rule that a performing artist will cater to his own interests if given a permanent post. It depends on how sensitive a person is to fellow artists."
- L K Pandit in 'Holding art to ransom', The Pioneer, Delhi, June 9, 2005

"One has the liberty to make innovations on an art form but, mind you, when you clean the glass frame of a beautiful painting, beware of the dirt on your hands."
- Vallathol

"Most critics are by temperament either believers or skeptics. Believers aren't invariably more supportive than skeptics, and skeptics aren't always more 'critical' (meaning negative). It seems to me performance and all art really is about pretending. It's about doing one thing that conceals or reveals another thing. The fact that art isn't self-evident is what makes it different from real life. It seems to me criticism is the practice of discovering the nature of that paraphrase
Dancers routinely hate critics in public and thank them in private. There's an overwhelming dancer pressure, overt, covert, unrelenting, for us to be their supporters, their promoters, for us to make their careers happen somehow. This is harder to resist in smaller communities, where we often have social and professional relations with dancers"
- Marcia B Siegel in 'Critical Practice in the Age of Spin' DCA (Dance Critics Association) News Winter 2005

"Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher."
- Japanese proverb

"If you want to dance from the heart and not just with two feet, art has to be a state of being. It has to constantly be there around you, reflect in your behaviour, speech, action and emotion. It also has to extend beyond your life and thinking, absorb and reflect the pain and joy of others...
I don't want people to turn away at the mention of classical arts. It's there for all to appreciate and enjoy. You create the distance and then crib about lack of audience and awareness. Being on stage does not mean you are on a pedestal. You cannot live in a vacuum. We need to reach out; spread warmth and cheer through art...
I love reading joke books and am known as a clown in my friends' circle. People who cannot laugh have not lived."
(Sonal Mansingh in 'Art as a state of being' by Chitra Swaminathan, The Hindu Friday Review (Delhi), March 28, 2008)

"Be it Tamil or Chinese, the poetry of Subramania Bharati or the bhajans of Mira Bai, bhava as experienced through Bharatanatyam is universal to all languages."
- Guru Kalyanasundaram Pillai ('Of 'talking' feet' by Vidya Saranyan, The Hindu Friday Review, Dec 26, 2008)

"For them (NRIs), dance is a moment of being Indian...everyone organizes dance recitals and feels Indian at that point before they put on their office suits and merge with the mainstream. I am working towards changing that...and you'll be surprised how many takers there are for Indian and south Asian dance as a serious way of life in Britain."
- Mira Kaushik in 'Jewels in the British Crown' by Sushmita Bose (Sunday Hindustan Times, New Delhi, March 4, 2007)

"At every performance, I want there to be at least one person who hits his nose on the closed door of the theatre because it's sold out"
- Guy Laliberte, Cirque du Soleil's founder
('Cirque Dreams Big' by Steve Freiss, Newsweek, July 28, 2003)

"I've heard great thumris from Abdul Karim Khan, Bade Ramdasji, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan... But a woman singer brings a special quality - and mind you, it has to be a married woman, not an inexperienced girl, to do justice to the complex experiences of love. I saw Shambhu Maharaj and Lacchu Maharaj dance thumris, and that opened up a whole new understanding of how to shape, fine tune, and empower the facets of love People think that thumri was a late development in the Mughal durbar. No, no. It is an ancient form going back to the padam of Carnatic music.
I sing for my guru. I sing for God. I am happy if you like my singing, but not unhappy if you don't. I have passed many stages in my life. Now, I know that nothing is greater than music."
- Girija Devi in 'Queen of thumri' by Gowri Ramnarayan, The Hindu Metro Plus, Nov 11, 2008

"I can do my dance, and I can feel one thing, and the audience member can see it and feel another, and
there's nothing wrong...It gives everybody a lot of room"
- Douglas Dunn (DCA News Spring 2000)

"There are more listeners than ever before. In earlier days, you would rarely see a house full for a classical concert but now any good concert sees a sea of people. You find people chatting away to glory either with the next person or on the phone. If it is a doctor attending to an important call, I understand but not otherwise. There is a certain protocol one needs to follow. If you are such a busy man, then why come to a concert? Just think of the musician who is performing with highest intensity and concentration on the stage. It is very disturbing. (Unlike many classical musicians who belong to one style or gharana, Shubha chose not to attach herself to any one particular gharana or technique) I think what's more important than the gharana is to attribute the songs to the respective gurus and I do that on stage."
- (Shubha Mudgal in 'A class apart' by Mangala Ramamoorthy, The Hindu Metro Plus, Oct 27, 2008)

"Music and silence combine strongly because music is done with silence, and silence is full of music."
- Marcel Marceau

"Today's dance pattern is focused towards different goals. It revolves round the survival and the successful sustenance of the individual artiste. While aiming at this, the artiste has to take care of various commercial aspects of the art, which serves as a "form of entertainment and a medium of communication."
- Nandini Ramani
("Maargam-a challenge for dancers," The Hindu, Dec1, 2004)

"When Alexander the Great visited Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for the famed teacher, Diogenes replied, "Only stand out of my light." Perhaps some day we shall know how to heighten creativity. Until then, one of the best things we can do for creative men and women is to stand out of their light."
- John W. Gardner

"I want to bring children into music, which should be user friendly. Parents compel their children to practise and expect them to perform. I think there should be no agenda. In Finland, the crowd that had no idea of Carnatic music sat through my concert that included RTP, padam, javali, etc. Why would it not be possible here with our children? I think we put too much of pressure on our children with performance as the goal. Let them blossom on their own. Fine arts - be it music, theatre, dance, or puppetry - should be made compulsory in schools. No other country can boast of such a rich cultural heritage. All may not become performers, but at least they'll learn to appreciate the arts. After all we need rasikas too"
- Bombay Jayashri in 'I want to bring children into music' by V Balasubramanian,
The Hindu Friday Review, Sept 5, 2008)

"I'm not interested in how people move; I'm interested in what makes them move."
- Pina Bausch

"With ever burgeoning demand for dance teachers, our gurus today have less need to take on students with little talent, merely because they bring in the money. But is greed taking the place of need? It is true that the standard of teaching classical dance today in institutions leaves much to be desired. Is it not time to have an organisation to look into such grey areas and act as a go-between in disputes?"
- Leela Venkataraman in 'When gurus trip the students!' The Hindu Friday Review, July 25, 2008

"Thought flows in terms of stories - stories about events, stories about people, and stories about intentions and achievements. The best teachers are the best story tellers. We learn in the form of stories"
- Frank Smith

"My exposure to diverse dance forms and fine arts such as painting and sculpture has let me redefine tradition and modernity in dance and come up with several original productions. A choreographer should think out-of-the-box. The labels that we refer to as sacred are man-made and inadequate when you want to undertake creative challenges.
The line between the sacred and profane is thin. A dancer expresses through the body, which is a sensuous instrument. And you need a good body to express effectively. But if he or she is going to use it to titillate, it would be an assault on the senses. Today's audiences are quite discerning and will soon recognize such gimmicks"
- Ramli.Ibrahim in 'Transcending barriers' by Chitra Swaminathan, The Hindu Friday Review, Feb 15, 2008

"An essential portion of any artist's labor is not creation so much as invocation"
- Lewis Hyde

"Indian choreography, mostly, has not gone beyond the concept that a teacher with students makes a troupe. Professional dancers don't team up with other professional dancers to work as equals. The result is, either students appearing with the teacher are below par in comparison, or mature students' gurus look, well, too mature!
Dancers could try working with well-rounded theatre personalities who can see the dance in all its dimensions and offer editing tips. Otherwise, there is the danger of self-indulgence - virtuoso dancing, which does nothing to move the theme forward.
Festival directors can add focus by discussing themes with dancers. We are an undemanding audience. One often hears slip-ups and unprofessional production values condoned because 'at least this much is happening'. Over a half a century has elapsed since the renaissance of India's classical arts. Perhaps it's time to replace condescension with a sense of critiquing (as opposed to criticising)."
- Anjana Rajan, 'A fog of new ideas,' The Hindu Friday Review (Delhi), March 21, 2008

"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires"
- William A Ward

"Today concerts are held in far greater comfort for artiste and listener, but there is fuss in the air; fuss about the sound systems about the lighting 'effects.' Artistes and their accompanists spend an inordinate part of the limited time adjusting and re-adjusting the amplification, often betraying very short tempers. Each member of the ensemble demands individual attention from harassed sound technicians. Today, technology is not to the aid of music as much as music the aid of technology."
- Gopalkrishna Gandhi, West Bengal Governor ('The living legend' by V Balasubramanian, The Hindu Friday Review, March 14, 2008)

"Art, which is truly beautiful, knows no barriers of race, religion or country and can really help in furthering Universal Brotherhood"
- S Sarada

"My exposure to diverse dance forms and fine arts such as painting and sculpture has let me redefine tradition and modernity in dance and come up with several original productions. A choreographer should think out-of-the-box. The labels that we refer to as sacred are man-made and inadequate when you want to undertake creative challenges....
The line between the sacred and profane is thin. A dancer expresses through the body, which is a sensuous instrument. And you need a good body to express effectively. But if he or she is going to use it to titillate, it would be an assault on the senses. Today's audience are quite discerning and will soon recognize such gimmicks"
- Ramli Ibrahim in 'Transcending barriers' by Chitra Swaminathan, The Hindu Friday Review, Feb 15, 2008

"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand"
- Chinese Proverb

"Physical and emotional discipline is mandatory for dance. You cannot afford to get perturbed and irritated with things around you. If so, it will affect your art. The stage is a mirror; it reflects your inner-self. Bharatanatyam is one of the oldest dance forms of India. And to learn and practise that, one needs to have dedication and spiritual orientation on top of discipline."
- Rama Vaidyanathan ('Steps of dedication' by Sangeeta, The Hindu Friday Review, Feb 8, 2008)

"It's very important for people to see the dance and not the dancer."
- C V Chandrasekar

"I am a little disappointed that great abhinaya artistes like Sudharani Raghupathy and Sonal Mansingh are not releasing Abhinaya DVDs so that young artistes can compare their subtle style of emoting. A monopoly is never good neither is the rampant copying of one style of a particular artiste good for the art form. I have been lucky to study abhinaya with Sudharani and she is one of the best interpreters of traditional poetry in the post independence era.
Also, we have been cut off from the wonderful repertoire of traditional devadasi artistes who are still alive and accessible to many if interested. They are generous women who are visited by a select group of students and scholars who wish to be reminded of the gentle and sensitive way of approaching lyrics. However, they are not stars neither do they have star students who can carry their banner forward.
The danger of lies being told consistently is that, even if the emperor has no clothes, lies eventually become truth =myth=legend."
(Anita Ratnam, in Narthaki Discussion Forum, Feb 2, 2008)

"No man can be a good teacher unless he has feelings of warm affection toward his pupils and a genuine desire to impart to them what he himself believes to be of value."
- Bertrand Russell

"I am a dreamer, not a thinker. When you think, the barriers of real life confront you. Thinkers are seldom big achievers. They give up soon. I don't give up on my dreams."
(Guru Gangadhar Pradhan in 'Dreams do come true' by Hariharan Balakrishnan, The Hindu Magazine, Jan 13, 2008)

"One cannot buy experience. That's what is important in every field."
-Yamini Krishnamurti ('The power of experience' by Anjana Rajan, The Hindu, Dec 7, 2007)

We tend to feel, if someone is in the house and pressing the guru's feet, it's a great parampara going on. For me it's much deeper than that. It is a kind of osmosis, there is so much give and take, the thought processes too, besides the dance. It's a growing and maturing together. That osmosis, that transfusion of the spirit and ethos and reasoning is as important as knowing where this hand is going, where this foot is to be placed.
When you say 'student,' there is a mindset that it is only the technical aspect being passed on.All in all, it depends on what you make of a relationship, just like in a marriage. I would say the guru has to be honest to give. There should be respect both for the student and the guru. It has to be within. It doesn't mean I have to fall at the feet of the guru for 10 minutes. Like people who do puja for an hour every day and then are ready to stab others!
(Shovana Narayan in 'Change is the only constant factor' by Anjana Rajan - The Hindu Friday Review, Nov 2, 2007)

"Critics... critics...critics! They come in different shapes and sizes. In different categories. Good critics, respectable critics, bad critics, indifferent critics, responsible critics, half-baked critics, ignored critics of yesteryear, pampered critics of the present, well-intentioned decent critics, crooked irresponsible critics, perverted critics, sadistic critics, venomous critics...the classification seems endless!"
- S. Balachander in 'A sabha 75 years old' by S Muthiah, The Hindu Metro Plus, Dec 10, 2007)

"There's so much openness now that you need not fear expressing yourself. If you are happy following what has been passed on to you, fine. If you want to explore, this is the time!"
- ('Music binds our country together for music has no religion' by Amjad Ali Khan, The New Sunday Express, Aug 12, 2007)

"Thank God that today, we have corporate houses and NRIs who are committed to take the cause of music forward and give due respect to musicians. There have also been times where musicians and courtesans were not given a place to sit when performing in some darbars. They had to stand and play - this included tabla and sarangi players. Shehnai players were made to perform from the third or fourth floors of the darbars to avoid excess noise. Earlier, very often, artisans in general were treated like untouchables. There has been a tremendous evolution in the artistic community from that point in history."
- 'Ghatam' S Karthick
('Want to explore? This is the time!' - The Hindu Metro Plus, Oct 30, 2007)

"An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don't."
- Anatole France

"My aim is to communicate with the last man in the audience. Art minus communication is meaningless. The term 'abhinaya' is not just facial expressions. It means drawing the spectator to an idea. Look at the modern advertisements. It's contemporary abhinaya. But one who creates should know what has to be completely and what has to be suggestively portrayed. That is ethical aesthetics. The Natyasastra says a production must be such that a family should be able to watch it together."
- Padma Subrahmanyam in 'There's never a dull moment' The Hindu, Oct 5, 2007

"Dancing is the poetry of the foot."
- John Dryden

"Dance has become a favourite community activity, with debut performances celebrated like weddings and young women using this as a means of empowerment. Dancers known for excellence, originality, and truly worthy artistic expertise have to now co-exist with the novice, the wannabe-stars and the manipulative masters of the hype. The art of survival has been well understood by the few grand masters of dance. They are no easy pushovers."
(The art of appreciating dance by Lakshmi Viswanathan, The New Sunday Express, Aug 12, 2007)

"I am very particular about being fit. Now I dance for my own pleasure. I switch on the music and dance. The more items you practice, the fresher they are in your mind. Do you know that practising one varnam and one jatiswaram is more strenuous than walking on the treadmill for one hour? The sweat just pours down; at the end of it, physically my body feels very light and mentally I feel very happy. All the stress drains away with the sweat. But if I am not dancing, I walk briskly from 4.30 to 5.30 in the morning in a residential area close to home."
- (Rhadha in 'With an eye on finer details' by Rupa Srikanth, The Hindu, Aug 3, 2007)

"I see dance being used as communication between body and soul, to express what is too deep to find for words."
- Ruth St. Denis

"There will be no wisdom, no learning, no art, nor craft, no device, nor action that is not found within natya."
- Bharata, Natya Sastra

"I think when you are exposed to the highest standards you invariably become more discerning and appreciative of the true aesthetics of the art. I feel as an artiste, it is my responsibility not to play to the gallery but reach out and take the audience along with me to explore the power and beauty of Bharatanatyam."
(Alarmel Valli in 'My festival' The Hindu, Music Season, Jan 3, 2006)

"All aspects of dance should aim at the evolution of mankind and for refining individuals. So, dance is used for cleansing of the self and reflecting the divine, resulting in happiness. So, any real art must only express the divine."
- S Sarada

"Art and life are not two different things for me. Both teach you to relate to things at the sublimal and ordinary levels. Music helps you deal with every situation. It soothes and matures you. Following a tradition and a custom is not the same. Tradition allows you to think and create, while custom will make you stereotyped."
- Amjad Ali Khan in 'Why is the Ustad angry?' by Chitra Swaminathan (The Hindu, Feb 1, 2007)

"You don't stop dancing from growing old; you grow old from stopping to dance."
- Anonymous

"There is this popular perception that one is a successful contemporary dancer because one is a failed traditional dancer. That's not true. It is so tough to be a contemporary dancer because in today's times, we have a shortage of original and different ideas. Dance does not pay. I can't go and tell someone to become a dancer. Dance is a feast and famine business."
Anita Ratnam ('I have to find new answers because I have more questions' in Khaleej Times)

"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires."
- William A Ward

"It is inevitable that all art forms should change, but I feel that even though there are no longer people who are prepared to stay up all night watching a Kathakali play, the intrinsic quality of Kathakali is so great that I can't help thinking it will go on for ever, even if not in the form I remember."
- David Bolland ("Record of art" by K K Gopalakrishnan, The Hindu, Aug 8, 2004)

"All Indian arts were connected with the temple at one time - it was the center of all activity. But there is a division - one is anushthanam or ritual, the other is kala or art. Anushthanam is a part of the worship, but the kala is where there is aesthetic experience, where the spectator is sitting and watching; that is art."
- G Venu (Nuances, First City, Jan 2004)

"Bhakti and rakti are equal in status to reach salvation. A certain class of people is perhaps uncomfortable with it. There is hypocrisy in our society. If the song is in Sanskrit and the viewers cannot understand the words, they won't mind. Generally, viewers are amazed that sexual motifs can be so beautiful and artistic. While the motif of eroticism has been commented upon, it has not been adversely commented upon."
(Swapnasundari in 'Dedicated to dance,' the Hindu, June 5, 2005)

"Humanity finds interest in fine arts. Only the level of interest varies. A world without sound and colours would be a world with no life. With more involvement in fine arts there will be less negativity in this world and with lesser negative vibrations the universe will be filled with harmony and peace."
- Vittorio Di Lotti
('Interest in fine arts will promote harmony' by V Balasubramanian, The Hindu, Oct 6, 2006)

"For all those who are interested in the spiritual, emotional, intellectual, esthetic, historical or any other aspects of our dance art, the sculptures are the primary source. They depict what was really in vogue and are not mere fantasies. By studying them, we will not only regain Bharata's art in the real sense, but also have the profit of the 2000 years of evolution this art has undergone.
Proper preservation of the dance sculptures in the country is an immediate necessity. Spoiling them by white-washing and covering them by careless constructions should be ruthlessly prohibited. An extensive survey of all the dance sculptures of our country and the Far East will reveal valuable facts. Evidently individuals cannot afford to do this. Educational foundations and universities should come forward to undertake such gigantic projects. It is high time that our universities had faculties for dance, giving the art its due place in the academic world."
('Bharatha Natyam - Classical Dance of the Ancient Tamils: The Role of Dance Sculptures in Tamilnad' by Padma Subrahmanyam)

"Forget the dancer, the center of the ego. Become the dance. Then the dancer disappears and only the dance remains. Then the dancer is the dance. There is no dancer separate from dance, no dance separate from the dancer."
-Acharya Rajneesh

"You don't have to be a Christian to feel the swooning power of gospel music. You don't have to be a Muslim to be thrilled by qawali. I'm an atheist and materialist but I'm excited, touched and inspired by the art of Willaim Blake, Kabir, Curtis Mayfield, Giotto all of it saturated in faith. And I don't see that as a contradiction.
We atheists and materialists have to admit that in the end there remains a mysteriousness to life that is not merely a mystification. There are basic questions which humans ask to which we cannot give definitive answers. The impulse to explore these mysteries seems to me healthily human and not inherently retrogressive or escapist. And whatever happens to religion in the future, art will remain one of the prime means by which we engage in that exploration."
(Mike Marqusee in 'The Alchemy of Art'- Hindu, May 14, 2006)

"An artiste's caliber is not measured by an award that he wins, but the place he enjoys in the heart of art aficionados."
- Sadanam Ramankutty Nair
('Popularising a school of acting' by K K Gopalakrishnan, The Hindu, Jan 6, 2006)

"The emerging trend is quite worrying as the focus is shifting from sharing artistic values to gaining popularity with a lot of razzmatazz. But there's always faith and hope for a better tomorrow. Of late, the festival has been gaining a harder perspective. Dance and music are no longer seen in isolation. For instance, a festival of films on art was held during December. Though it's nice to see so much happening, in the sound and fury, most often the sahitya and sruti are lost. Rasanubhuti would be better when we find silence, which is part of melody." (Malavika Sarukkai in 'My Festival,' The Hindu, Music Season, Jan 10, 2006)

"Each tradition establishes its own identity redefining its boundaries resulting in the emergence of diverse traditions. Nothing is permanent. We need to develop an attitude of tolerance towards new trends and reorient our outlook."
- Leela Ramanathan ('A life less ordinary by Tara Kashyap', The Hindu, Bangalore, Oct 27, 2006)

"My long association with classical dance forms makes it difficult for me to change and accept radical transformations. On further thought, I feel change is inevitable and dance is no exception. Modernity need not be viewed as a thing to be confronted. Many a time certain aspects of modernity have helped regeneration. Hence, the introduction of new conceptualisation and innovative techniques are necessary for dance to grow. However not at the cost of tradition. Branching off or grafting need not necessarily involve uprooting the tree. Dance has existed in India and the introduction of new forms need not be a cause for concern. I believe that ultimately it is the core values that enable art forms to survive."
- Leela Ramanathan ('A life less ordinary by Tara Kashyap,' The Hindu, Bangalore, Oct 27, 2006)

"A choreographic idea flows only as fast as the initiator can communicate it to bodies and see them realize it."
- 'Translations' by Marcia B Siegal in Dance Ink, Spring 1993

"Just like it is rare to get a good guru, it is equally rare for gurus to get a good disciple. Every performer is not an able guru and vice-versa. Not everyone has the kind of patience required for teaching."
- Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma, santoor exponent "There is a lack of proper taleem because a lot of today's gurus are top performers and have one foot in India and the other in the US all the time. When will they teach?"
- Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia, flautist
('Heir Gloom' by Arindham Mukherjee, Outlook, Sept 25, 2006)

"To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."
- Elbert Hubbard

"For me, the best part is improvising and seeing how you can express yourself. I have always added dance to my productions. When I was directing theatre, I added dance sequences where they didn't exist in the play. I think dance is the ultimate form of expression."
- Valerie Weiss, film maker
(Her film, "Dance by Design," is about a woman studying architecture who falls in love with dance)

"Great people should mean people great in living their lives, whether famous or not, because there may be great people who remain unrecognized."
- Rukmini Devi

"When I first started playing with dancers, my peers started saying haath khul jaayega and my playing would suffer. But I was confident that playing with dancers would only enhance my chaumukha or versatile playing."
(Tabla maestro Kishan Maharaj in 'The reign of Raja and Maharaj,' The Hindu, Delhi June 9, 2005)

"An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises."
- Mae West

The pristine purity of Bharatanatyam should never be compromised. Luckily, this program was billed only as 'dance' and not as 'Bharatanatyam.'
('Full of poise' by B M Sundaram, The Hindu, Music Season, Jan 3, 2006) Altering other's compositions is best avoided. It is common for some dancers to change a few words or lines in some Padams, as they appear lewd. Instead, they can opt for some other Padam.
Songs, just for their srungara content cannot be called Padams.
('Exotic and expressive' by B M Sundaram, The Hindu, Music Season, Jan 6, 2006)

"A good teacher is better than a spectacular teacher. Otherwise the teacher outshines the teachings."
- The Tao of Teaching

Criticism has to be unflattering sometimes. It isn't produced to instruct dancers how to correct or improve their work. And it requires more than instant, off-the-cuff reaction.
Critiquing and writing criticism are not the same...
Criticism plays an important role in the evolution of a culture. It establishes a detailed historical record. Previews and other informational writing create mythology in advance.
After the performance, the dancers and the companies themselves carry on that mythology, and through the normal process of information decay, it spins into ever more reductive categorizing and celebrating. The critical account comes from the scene itself, as opposed to those other accounts delivered before the fact. It's an authentic, public response - even if it's partial, even if it's subjective, even if it's inaccurate - of one person to a public event. And of course, the more critical views there are of that public event, the fuller picture of it emerges when it's over. History has to be bigger and deeper than the record that's controlled by dancers themselves.
(Marcia B Siegel in 'Critical Practice in the Age of Spin' - DCA (Dance Critics Association) News Winter 2005)

"The dance is a poem of which each movement is a word."
- Mata Hari

I do not think one should be innovative for the sake of being innovative. Or try to do something under pressure. Particularly the growing craze for thematic presentation is amusing, when there is a margam that is versatile, vibrant and offers enough variety.
(Alarmel Valli in 'When tradition is given new dimensions,' The Hindu, Dec 1, 2005)

It's the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance.
It is the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance.
It is the one who won't be taken who cannot seem to give.
And the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live.
- Bette Midler

"Though Kuchipudi dance form is not my personal favorite, I am sensitive to the fact that, like Kathakali, it needs great help to maintain the dance drama tradition in all male format. Moreover, in its absence the form has degenerated into "so-low" dance form! I am not against female dancers but just want that coming generation of rasikas are not bereft of experiencing the joy of watching men convincingly perform as women."
(Subbudu in 'Dance like a woman!' Statesman, June 10, 2005)

"I can do my dance, and I can feel one thing, and the audience member can see it and feel another, and there's nothing wrong... It gives everybody a lot of room."
- Douglas Dunn (Courtesy DCA News (Dance Critics Association USA), Spring 2000)

"Reasons may be several but the fact is classical dance is just not attracting crowds. What is it that keeps music lovers away from classical dance? Why are the majority of music rasikas not able to appreciate dance? Could it be that the habit of listening to music kutcheris is deeply ingrained handed down from generation to generation over the past hundred years, whereas attending public performances of Bharatanatyam is of relatively recent origin starting in the 1930s?
What could motivate the section of music lovers which is probably too lazy, indifferent, snooty or simply too busy to try and educate itself on the aesthetic nuances of Bharatanatyam?
Dance, like music, is the expression of the human spirit. Dance is 'visual music'."

(S Janaki in 'Why dance finds few takers,' The Hindu, Dec 1, 2005)

"Dance is your pulse, your heartbeat, your breathing. It's the rhythm of your life. It's the expression in time and movement, in happiness, joy, sadness and envy."
- Jaques D'Amboise

"The arts stand naked and without defense in a world where what cannot be measured is not valued; where what cannot be predicted will not be risked...where whatever cannot deliver a forecast outcome is not undertaken...
The final value of the arts cannot be predicted or quantified; to curtail them on these grounds is to deny the possibility of an unpredictable benefit. The risk of funding the arts offers benefits far greater then the immediate gains of not funding them. The arts link society to its past, a people to its inherited store of ideas, images and words; yet the arts challenge those links in order to find ways of exploring new paths and ventures...
The arts are evolutionary and revolutionary; they listen, recall and lead. They resist the homogenous, strengthen the individual and are independent in the face of the pressures of the mass, the bland, the undifferentiated. In a post modern world in which individual creativity has never mattered more, the arts provide the opportunity for developing this characteristic. The investment in the arts is small, the actual return so large, that it represents value as research into ideas."
John Tusa ('Why the arts matter' The Hindu, Dec 14, 2005)

"Dancers are instruments, like a piano the choreographer plays."
- George Balanchine

"Some traditionalists came down heavily on my research but I told them, If you find it inconvenient to accept my style, then I shall call my dance Bharatanrityam instead of Bharatanatyam."
(Padma Subrahmanyam, Aug 2004 Savvy, p 49, 'Dance Diva')

"You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions."
- Naguib Mahfouz

"Only people, who can't do the stuff we do, say such things. They have no idea of the hard work, discipline, physical exertion and creativity that goes into such 'circus acts'. Most classical dancers oppose my work. The ultimate tribute a shishya can pay a guru is to try to go beyond him/her, but classical dancers do not encourage this."
- Daksha Sheth in 'Dance to a different beat,' the Hindu, June 12, 2005

"The Dancer believes that his art has something to say which cannot be expressed in words or in any other way than by dancing... there are times when the simple dignity of movement can fulfill the function of a volume of words. There are movements which impinge upon the nerves with a strength that is incomparable, for movement has power to stir the senses and emotions, unique in itself. This is the dancer's justification for being, and his reason for searching further for deeper aspects of his art."
- Doris Humphrey, 1937

"A stage has now come, when there is a general conflict between tradition bound purists and tradition bound Innovators. The purists always argue that in classical dance, our ancestors have created the best and the finest masterpieces with the result there is no scope for modern enthusiasts to better them whereas, the Innovators are of the determined opinion that even in a tradition-bound art there is scope for variety, unbounded richness and unique nuances...

A sense of revolt and change is ever present in most practicing artists. It is this spirit of adventure that makes art a mirror of its time. It is a common practice amongst all aged persons to condemn the changes of their present days and praise their good old days. But when the changes get settled in the patterns of art, there are no more voices denigrating erstwhile changes, because they have become one with tradition! And so life goes on, art marches on and culture passes on." ("Tradition and Innovation in Indian dance," U S Krishna Rao, in Shrungara, Maha-Maya Golden Jubilee Celebrations Souvenir, 1992)

"We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness, we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers, we create the dreams."

Nowadays, if some persons are vastly talented than us, we do not congratulate them – we envy them and resent their success. It seems we do not want heroes we can admire, so much as heroes we can identify with. We want to think we can be like them, and so we make sure to select heroes that are like us. We worship David Beckam because he is fallible. If Achilles were around today, the headlines would all be about his heel. Raw talent is not distributed equally. By definition, most of us are not exceptional. We are neither particularly stupid, nor exceptionally intelligent. Only a very few are extremely gifted. But it is to these exceptionally talented people that the rest of us owe most of the greatest achievements of humankind. The Mona Lisa, the Goldberg variations and King Lear were not the work of ordinary people like you and me. They were the work of geniuses, people so much more talented than us that we could never paint or write anything comparable to their achievements, no matter how hard we tried or how long we lived. To some, those thoughts seem so humiliating and threatening that it must not even be countenanced. But to me it is liberating and inspiring. It is precisely the realization that I will never be the equal of Mozart or Goethe that allows me to sit back and enjoy what they have bequeathed to me. It is my recognition of their greatness, my admission of their immeasurable superiority of their talent that redeems my mediocrity. It is good to be human, not because every human can be great, but because a few people have shown us the heights to which humanity can occasionally ascend. Without the shining achievements of these few, the human race would be a waste of space. Consider also how unattractive it is when someone begrudges another's talent, when they cannot praise success without also seeking to undermine it or feel diminished when a colleague wins praise. It is a sign of a mean spirit. Conversely, the person who shows unreserved admiration thereby becomes admirable. To applaud someone else's achievements or good fortune, without the slightest trace of envy or resentment, is a mark of true generosity. (Dylan Evans, "Mozart redeems our mediocrity", the Hindu, July 22, 2005)

"Too many times we stand aside and let the waters slip away,
till what we put off till tomorrow has now become today.
So don't you sit upon the shoreline and say you're satisfied.
Choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tide."
- Anonymous

"It has been said with some justification that the oversized dancer in Indian classical dance does not evoke the kind of waspish comments he or she would in the West, where ballet is less accommodating of the fat dancer. We quote verses from the Natya Shastra or the Abhinaya Darpana upholding comments made on the dance, but keep silent when it comes to a dancer whose girth negates the physical attributes prescribed for a dancer in the shastras. In fact, some performers would seem to sport those very qualities mentioned as disqualification."
- Leela Venkataraman in 'A question of weight,' Hindu, Delhi, June 10, 2005)

"Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen?"
- Friedrich Nietzsche

"At the recent Thyagaraja Festival in Delhi, I heard the guest of honor paid floral tribute to the portrait of St Thyagaraja wearing his Prada shoes. This is just one of the many stories where the sanctity of the art is sold in lieu of gimmickry. Last year at two dance recitals, the dancers came down from the stage to present the bouquet to the chief guests! How atrocious can we get? How then the artistes explain their spiritual flight while performing on stage? If you are so spiritually uplifted, would you care who has come and who hasn't?"
- Subbudu in 'Patronising the patrons' - Statesman, June 3, 2005

"The language is different but the sameness of the message through the length and breadth of the country shows that it is our poets and music composers who have really united the country into one. Politics has always created diverse feelings with people being treated as vote banks and spoken to in different groups. But it is the literature and music of the country that have created bonds."
Leela Venkataraman
(Nartanam, Vol IV #3, p71-72, July-Sept 2004)

"We have to lament that in today's world of marketing and commerce, we have reached a nadir where the dancer has almost no space, either physical or metaphorical. The dancer simply has no product to market (no CDs and cassettes like the musician or instrumentalist, no painting or sculpture like the artist, no buildings or plans like the architect, no books like the authors and poets) except the ability to create an intangible art form which springs alive only for that moment, and then, evanescent, fades from all existence, except in memory. And memory cannot be marketed.
Hence it is that all the related industries that have cropped up to market the other arts, like galleries, publishing houses, ad agencies, music companies with sales planets and even galaxies, have no equivalents for dance simply because the dancer and the dance have no commercial value."
- Geeta Chandran ('World Dance Day' Asian Age, Kolkata April 29, 2005)

"Dance, like music, knows no geographical boundaries, no linguistic barriers and no racial divisions. All walls crumble where art is concerned. It is a great unifying and integrating force."
- Vempatti Chinna Satyam
(Nartanam Vol IV #3, p46, July-Sept 2004)

"My experience with dancers has been very peculiar. They generally like a studio photo shoot before their actual performances. I sometimes wonder how they are more careful about their costumes during the shoot. It is interesting to see them adjust to their surroundings to get the best shots, they would get restless, put music on to give the best poses. The same evening you see them so involved in their art form, oblivious of costumes and makeup."
Avinash Pascricha, photographer
("Rhythm at my feet," Pioneer, New Delhi, April 29, 2005)

There is no denying that some critics have let power go to their heads. One of them declared, "When I wish to annihilate, then I do annihilate." But, as may be expected, the artist has the last word. Liberace, the popular American musician, told his critics: "What you said hurt me very much. I cried all the way to the bank." And John Sibelius, the eminent composer, said, "I pay no attention to what critics say. There has never been a statue set up in honor of a critic."
- H.Y. Sharada Prasad, 'The artist and the critic'
(Asian Age, Editorial Page, 6th April 2005)

If you wish in this world to advance
Your merits you're bound to enhance;
You must stir it and stump it,
And blow your own trumpet,
Or, trust me, you haven't a chance
- W S Gilbert

"The rasika is one who takes pains to sit through concerts, has a sense of appreciation, can discriminate between cadence and noise, melody and cacophony, natural grace and mere drill, genuine feeling and robotic expressions of face, gait and stance, and rich profundity and brash mediocrity of ethos. He need not be well versed in ragas and their lakshanas, mudras and adavus or the more mysterious nadais, eduppus, sollus, jatis and teermanams. Aesthetics is not academics. Let not the average audience hand over the authority to distinguish between creativity and monstrosity only to illustrious celebrities and learned critics. The rasika is the judge, and his language is probably silence, at best. Let a few mind boggling, mindless swara-korvais, devoid of any melodic values, gigantic in their scheme, pass without a murmur or a resounding applause, let the audience show by face its disappointment at a kriti being sidelined to give way to a singer's exercises practiced at home, let a vague presentation in a dance, whose meaning is not clear to a rasika pass without claps – and then we would be seeing producers of art taking a serious view and start exercising their imagination properly."
P S Krishnamurthy
(The ball is in the rasika's court, The Hindu, Dec 1, 2004)

"Thinking is easy but acting is difficult and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world"
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Dance criticism is necessary for the life of a nation's cultural heritage and for the inculcation of love and appreciation for the arts in the younger generation. In the absence of checks and balances, the art, which is ephemeral, suffers since it vanishes the moment it is created in space and time."
- Sunil Kothari
(DCA News, Spring 2004, p11)

"There is a general decline of taste for classical dance, which is neglected and this must be developed from the grassroots. There is so much of razzle-dazzle of Bollywood dancing that classical dance suffers. Also, the stumbling block is Bharata Natyam - it is the language that is not emotionally evolved. Kerala has one peculiar phenomenon: each girl learns Bharata Natyam, Kuchipudi, Mohiniattam, and they just take part in inter-university competitions, and that's all. There is no seriousness. We have more students for Bharata Natyam. When I ask them why they want to learn it, they reply: because Hema Malini dances Bharata Natyam."
- Kanak Rele, ('My eroticism is not offensive', Statesman, Kolkata, Oct 29, 2004)

"In seeking wisdom, the first stage is silence, the second listening, the third remembrance, the 4th practicing, the fifth teaching."
- Solomon Ibn Gabiro

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
- George Bernard Shaw

"Solo performance has the key to the strength of classical dances like Odissi and Bharatanatyam. Group work is very fashionable now, but the tapasya of the artists does not show in them. Group choreographies are fine, but they should not be done at the cost of solo performance, because the artist's ability to hold the attention of the audience and delineate a subject comes through only in a solo."
- Sonal Mansingh

"Varnam or Nrityopahaaram (an offering of dance and mime) is the judicious combination of Nritta, Nritya and Naatya, expounding the deep-rooted technique of physical, mental and spiritual background of Bharatanaatyam. This can be termed as the quintessence or epitome of a technique that has withstood the test of time. The construction of the present day 'Varnam' format in a solo Bharatanaatyam performance has the time and space for a dancer to exploit her or his technical virtuosity and keep the attentive interest of the audience, irrespective of the length of delineation, whether it is for 30 minutes or 60 minutes or more. The success and failure of a Bharatanaatyam artiste depend on how well one could perform a 'Nrityoopahaaram' to the fullest satisfaction of a discerning connoisseur audience."
- V P Dhananjayan

"More needs to be done about changing the entire infrastructure that preserves culture. I'm not talking of just dance; it's an inter-related web of relationships. Monuments, conservation, nature, ecology, music, dance, food – all are interrelated. I think all of this is culture."
- Swapnasundari ('Her Story', First City, Sept 2004)

"A true master is not the one with the most students, but one who creates the most masters. A true leader is not the one with the most followers, but one who creates the most leaders. A true king is not the one with the most subjects, but the one who leads the most to royalty."
- Neale Donald Walsch in Conversations with God. (The Speaking Tree, Times of India, Nov 16, 2004)

"No artist is ahead of his time. He is his time; it is just that others are behind the times."
- Martha Graham

"The really great dancer is perhaps a rarer phenomenon than great musicians, painters or sculptors. This is because dance is a consummation of all these arts. The dancer, in addition to the qualities that pure dance demands, must be sensitive to and have an uncanny ear for music, must have a painter's sensibility to the significant line, a sculptor's approach to form, an architect's vision of space and a trained actor's responses to dramatic situations."
- K Subhas Chandran ('Beloved Guruji'- p3)

"Dialogue between critics and dancers is essential, not only for the flourishing of the art but also for the flourishing of our society. Let's remember that civilizations are not remembered for the territories they have conquered, or the wars they have won or lost, but for the manner in which they supported and recognized their artists."
- Rita Feliciano
(DCA News, Spring 2004, p10)

"The real self of an artiste lies in art, so when an artiste performs, all the pain, trauma and tension get released through art, be it dancing, painting, singing, writing or even martial arts."
- Mrinalini Sarabhai
("Dance, a great stress buster," Tribune, New Delhi, July 12, 2004)

"For an artiste, the place in the audience's heart and in the history of the art form itself is the greatest honor. Only genuine caliber and nothing else could buy this."
- Kalamandalam Gopi, Kathakali maestro
("Lifelong Endeavor" by K K Gopalakrishnan, The Hindu - Delhi, March 7, 2004)

"A dancer should learn from all the arts. Go to museums and look at the paintings. See how they balance things. Everything you do in the arts enriches you."
- Alicia Alonso
('Alonso inspires' by Karen Hildebrand, p 25, Dance Magazine, Jan 2004)

"Man has used human rhythmic movement as raw material out of which to create works of art, as the composer of music uses sound, the sculptor uses stone and wood, the painter his pigments, and the writer – words.''
- Ted Shawn

"It's true of all great artists that the more you see, the more you want to see"
- Peter Anastos – choreographer
('Balanchine Lives,' p 93, Dance Magazine, Jan 2004)

"You should be very contemporary in dealing with tradition. Don't keep tradition as a tradition, but as a contemporary art."
- G Venu (p36, Nuances, First City, Jan 2004)

"When drama is all embracing, it leads mankind. It is a means of education and instruction. It gives relief to the lucky and the unlucky, to the successful and the unsuccessful, to the joyful and the suffering. Those who are in the shadow are treated the same as those who are in the light. Drama is an image of the world and a vision of the supreme powers. Hence a theatrical performance should not be held without worshipping the deities of the stage. Thus the sacred wisdom of the Natya Sastra."
(p 207, "Rupa Pratirupa Alica Boner Commemoration Volume" chapter 'Is acting an art?' by Georgette Boner)

"There is no difference between the left eye and the right eye, they both give us one vision. Likewise with dance, the personalities are very different but they give you the totality of one emotional and artistic expression".
- Sonal Mansingh
("Roll up the carpet," Indian Express Mumbai, Nov 13, 2003)

"A dance legacy must be performed in order to be preserved"
- Ann Daly, in DCA News Spring 2000

"Good art is a form of prayer. It's a way to say what is not sayable."
- Frederich Busch

"I like to think dance is an international language that all people can appreciate. All societies have some form of dance as a form of communication."
- Paul Taylor (American choreographer)
(Newsweek, July 28, 2003)

"We enter through the gopuram (center hall) of alarippu, cross the ardha mandapam (1/2 way hall) of jatiswaram, then the mandapam (great hall) of sabdam and enter the holy precinct of the deity in the varnam".
-T. Balasaraswathi 1975
At the Tamil Isai Conference

The self is the ocean, the mind is a wave and thoughts are the sparkles on the waves.
- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Culture is the ability to understand other people's point of view.
- Jawaharlal Nehru

Art is the most secular of all human inventions; it reaches out to human hearts beyond man made artificial barriers of color, creed and political boundaries.
- Dr. R Sathyanarayana

"The sensitive artiste develops the "hearing ear" and the 'seeing eye" which forever lead one to seek search, making one's entire life a voyage of discovery".
- Chitra Visweswaran

"Dance has to unfold with the grace of a tree giving out leaves, flowers and then tiny fruit. Nothing so beautiful can be done in haste".
- Pt. Birju Maharaj

"There is no other knowledge, no other learning, no other art, not even yoga or action that is not found in dance."
- Natya Sastra

Dance is the medium that ties together modern cultures with those that are
fading, and a form that appeals to both the wealthy and the poor.
- Madeline Nichols
(courtesy DCA News)

"Education in the art of dance is education of the whole man - his physical, mental and emotional natures are disciplined and nourished simultaneously in dance."
- Ted Shawn

"Contrary to conventional wisdom, dance is not a universal "language' but many languages and dialects. There are close to 6000 verbal languages, and probably that many dance languages."
- Judith Lynne Hanna
(Courtesy DCA News)

"Dance is like wine - it matures with every performance."
-Alarmel Valli

"A dance performance is rather like going out into a battlefield. You have to hold the attention of as many as five to 10,000 people, a lot of whom do not follow your language"
- Yamini Krishnamurthy

"The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work."
- Emile Zola (1840-1902)

"Dance, like music and other arts, helps us rise above the beast in ourselves."
- Sudharani Raghupathy

"Dance communicates man's deepest, highest and most truly spiritual thoughts and emotions far better than words, spoken or written."
- Ted Shawn

"The higher up you go, the more mistakes you are allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it's considered to be your style."
- Fred Astaire

"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see."
- Edgar Degas

"When you are trying to serve society in any way,
you have to experience what they call the inner loneliness.
It comes from the fact that you don't do what people expect you to do.
All the time you do things differently and that is why you are what you are."
- Nelson Mandela

"I am simple and I am sincere, therefore my art is from my heart."
- Pina Bausch

"I do believe the body is the center of your being, center of your world.
And you, after all, are the centre that holds the universe together."
- Chandralekha

"Our problem is not so much one of rebirth of an Indian culture as it is one of preserving what remains of it. Indian culture is of value to us not because it is Indian, but because it is culture."
- Ananda Coomaraswamy

"My dancing is not an attempt to interpret life in the literary sense. It is an affirmation of life through movement."
- Martha Graham

"Whither the hand goes, the glance follows,
Whither the glances lead, the mind follows,
Whither the mind goes, there the mood follows
Whither the mood goes, there is "rasa" born."
- Abhinaya Darpana