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Narthaki Monthly Newsletter

December 2017
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- Deep river: Justin McCarthy talks about his chant for change to keep the Yamuna alive by Anjana Rajan
Recently he presented choreographic compositions featuring, among others, one on the Yamuna that included a technical report on the state of the river, presented almost as a prayerful chant.
 - "A temple is a representation of the entire universe": Chithra Madhavan, Historian
To call oneself a historian in the truest sense of the word, one needs to understand history as a subject, and that calls for deep research, not merely skimming the surface. 
- - Meet Hema Rajagopalan of Natya
My decision to stay in Chicago and continue to teach the dance form and share this rich cultural heritage of India was well worth my sacrifice of leaving my homeland.
- A relentless learner by Manasa Kambanna
Veena Murthy Vijay, senior Kuchipudi dancer from Karnataka, composer and revered teacher says that there is no match to the guru-shishya parampara.

- He broke with convention by K.V. Murali Mohan
Sankaran Embranthiri, whose death anniversary is on November 14, turned the spotlight on Kathakali musicians.

SANCHARI.. More on the arts

- Kapila Vatsyayan’s collection finds place in IGNCA’s new special section
About her collection finding space in a special section in the library, Vatsayan said that she “felt very strange, as one is just an instrument for all these things and rare works reaching the readers.”

- A living legend tries to keep alive a dying tradition by B. Ramadevi
“It was a matter of honour to tie the ‘pottu’ and become a Devadasi” says R. Muthukkannammal, probably, the only living ‘Sadhir’ dancer from Viralimalai.

- A critic’s eye by Manjari Sinha
The Publication Division, Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, has brought out a compilation of Leela Venkataraman’s writings, Indian Classical Dance - Through a Critic’s Eye, a selection of 36 articles published in newspapers, periodicals and dance magazines.

- Scanning of culture bodies to begin today by Vasudha Venugopal
Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma and senior officials will address issues concerning various art and cultural institutions that draw central funds.

- Bending it like Bharatanatyam by Siobhan Burke
Many stories told through multiple languages, gestural ones included, in the world premiere of “Stories by Hand,” a collaboration between Ms. Vasudevan and the digital artist and writer Paul Kaiser..

- Who is Sitara Devi in today's Google doodle? by The Hindu Net Desk
Sitara Devi was hugely responsible for popularising Kathak.

- Grand touch to opera by Rupa Srikanth
Anitha Guha’s Bharathanjali presented ‘Sri Krishna Leela Madhuryam’ of Ambujam Krishna to mark the composer’s centenary celebration.

- Myth, magic and mortality: Darbar's divine festival of Indian dance by Sanjoy Roy
From jazz-like showdowns to gender-fluid love stories, the festival’s electrifying debut dance programme showcased a thrillingly diverse performance tradition

- With masks and flair, Indian dance aims to spur audiences to climate action by Manipadma Jena
Plenty of words have been written and spoken about climate change. But residents of Kolkata and other Indian cities are being given the opportunity to get to grips with the issue in a new way: via dance and music.

- Styles, past and present by V.V. Ramani
Kumbakonam Bhanumathy and her performance of the swarajathi ‘Maa Mohalahiri’ were the focus of a documentary screened recently.

- The audience needs to know the secrets: Justin McCarthy by Heena Khandelwal
Bharatanatyam exponent Justin McCarthy on why he started using props in his performances.

- Nritta, bold and beautiful by Rupa Srikanth
Srikanth and Aswathy packed enough suprises in their presentation.

- When romance is in the air by Hareesh N. Nampoothiri
Kerala Kalamandalam’s production ‘Shivashakti’ needed fine tuning in certain aspects.

- With artistic finesse by V. Kaladharan
Usha Nangiar showcased her theatrical acumen during a recital of ‘Kamsavadham’ Nangiarkoothu at Tripunithura.
- - Odissi production Mystery of Chakras has audiences in a spin by Deepa Gopinath
Dr.Sam Goraya's 'Mystery of Chakras' performance was an energising, electrifying and slightly meditative experience in itself.

- Talent in the making by Pujita Krishna
Fluid group dynamics and innovative choreography marked Shankarananda Kalakshetra’s Bharatanatyam recital.

- Creativity lifts the show by Bhanu Kumar
The young didn’t miss a beat and veteran CVC wowed the audience with his vocabulary and agility.

- Power play by Vinu Vasudevan
Dronacharitham, which premièred at Chalakkudy, Thrissur, was marked by impressive performances.

- Beyond the nine rasas by Anjana Rajan
Haricharan Bhuyan Borbayan, a monk from Majuli speaks of the devotional art of Ankia Bhaona that is practised in the sattras of Assam.

- The epic’s unceasing artistic appeal by V.V.Ramani
Sheejith Krishna’s ‘Ramakatha’ should be pruned for a better impact.

- Following in his footsteps by Bhanu Kumar
Artistes and students recalled Guru Mahalingam Pillai’s mastery over the art form.

- Young dancers take the stage at Soorya’s ‘Parampara’ festival by Hareesh N. Nampoothiri
A young generation of classical dancers proved their mettle at this year’s edition of Soorya’s ‘Parampara’ dance festival.

- Ode to the guru of gurus by Shyamhari Chakra
The Adi Guru Pankaj Charan Das Award festival highlighted the legacy of Odissi’s unsung legend.

- ‘Marattam’ honours veteran Kathakali artiste Sadanam Krishnankutty by V.Kaladharan
Kathakali actors and singers enraptured the audience with their skill and mastery over the art form at an event in Kochi.

- Lighting up the scene
Any stage art will lose their appeal unless complemented by proper lighting.

- Shijith Nambiar and Parvathy: A winning combination by Rupa Srikanth
Shijith Nambiar and Parvathy’s performance had aesthetics and energy.

- A meeting ground of styles by Bhanu Kumar
Nakshatra festival featured dancers and dance forms from across the country.

- Kathakali plays written by Irayimman Thampi were staged in Thiruvananthapuram by V. R. Prabodhachandran Nayar
Irayimman Thampi’s seminal Kathakali plays were performed with a flourish at Drisyavedi’s Keralanatyolsavam in Thiruvananthapuram.

- Interpreting the Mahabharata with puppets by Vikram Phukan
Anurupa Roy’s contemporary retelling of the epic uses a melange of cultural influences to focus on 14 characters.

- Kalaa Utsavam 2017: Anjaneyam – Hanuman’s Ramayana by Apsaras Arts by Bakchormeeboy
Focusing on the life and adventures of the monkey god Hanuman (played by Hari Padman) as he assists Rama in saving his beloved Sita from the ten-headed Ravana, ‘Anjaneyam – Hanuman’s Ramayana’ was epic in scale and production.


- .The dynamic new gen Bharatanatyam teachers of Chennai by Lalitha Venkat
Some of these dynamic teachers share their experiences about their own training, what they imbibed from their gurus and how they are passing on their knowledge to the present generation while also adapting to the current scenario. 

- The power of striving for the impossible "Perfect" by Silas Farley
As dancers, we often talk about perfect feet, perfect turnout and the perfect execution of steps.

- The dancers Ruth St. Denis and Roshanara each claimed the more “authentic” form of Indian dance by Tijana Radeska
In the early 20th century certain dancers sought to popularize modern dance as a separate branch from the strict classical ballet. Dancers wanted to see what was “beyond dance,” and worked hard to improve their techniques and create unique styles.

- ‘Probe deeper into your art’ by Chandralekha
Chandralekha on the duty of the Indian classical dancer. In this archival article, the famed dancer-choreographer called for classical dance to open its arms wider to change.

- Translating tradition for young audiences
This article is based on Ramaa Bharadvaj’s illustrative talk on June 18, 2017 at the workshop on Vyāsa, Vālmīki, Kālidāsa, and Guṇāḍhya at Chinmaya International Foundation, Veliyanad, Kerala.

- Dance in the digital age by Ashish Mohan Khokar
Dance today is about engaging with history, body and technology.
- - Why do we let the industry tell us what a normal dance body is? by Kosta Karakashyan
I came across a daring post by London dancer Alana Grant, sharing her story of how she'd just gotten cut at an audition not because of her talent, but because the director decided she “wouldn't want to see her in hot pants on stage.”

- Get on the ‘brand’ wagon by Ashish Mohan Khokar
This essentially marketing term has found its way into dance

- Are dancers' brains wired differently? by Karen Carlo Ruhren
Dancers are masters of multi-tasking.

- Exit from auditorium: Why Indian dancers prefer performing in parks, basements and malls by Ranjana Dave
Despite the tricky logistics, a surge of alternative performance spaces have opened up how performance can be made, presented and viewed.

- The rise and rise of performance art
Thanks to RoseLee Goldberg, performance art has a place in new museums and history books.

- Why Pina was an inspiration like no other by Jen Peters
In 1984, New York was introduced to a choreographer who would influence generations of dance artists: Pina Bausch.

- Let’s stop pretending academic artspeak reflects actual research by Russell Smith
I love the Artybollocks Generator, a site that spews a perfectly contemporary bit of all-purpose, grammatically correct nonsense for use as an “artist's statement.”

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