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July 2017
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"Dancing is a sweat job
The higher up you go
The more mistakes you are allowed
Right at the top, if you make enough of them
It is considered to be your style."

- American dancer Fred Astaire

I begin my thoughts in the midst of a long overdue retreat with the four fabulous women who have journeyed with me for the past 2 decades and more. Lalitha, Vidhya, Raksha and Akhila are on a well deserved holiday in Sri Lanka where we are brain storming, feasting, meeting creative artistes, taking long walks, and sharing a combined gratitude for our lives! None of the four are dancers! Thank you, ladies, for trusting me with this roller coaster ride we are all on! And Sumathi - our silent puppeteer and webmaster - we miss you!

Read on...

ROVING EYE: A section of impressions, images and inspirations
Curated by Anita Ratnam


Astad Deboo at Mt Cypress in British Columbia, June 2017
Photos: Amit Kumar



- On May 19, 2017 Akademi received the MOST ENTERPRISING CHARITY OF THE YEAR award at the Asian Voice Charity Awards in London. Along with this, Akademi's director Mira Kaushik has been named as one of the top 100 most influential people in UK-India Relations by India Incorporated in conjunction with UK-India Awards.

- Bharatanatyam dancer Meera Sreenarayanan was conferred with NRITHYASREE AWARD by Dr. Divya Nedungadi's Deeksha, Palakkad, during their Dance and Music festival held on May 6, 2017 at Chembai Music College, Palakkad. The award has been instituted to recognise and encourage artistes below the age of 25 who have shown exemplary skill, dedication and performance in their chosen art form.

- NAYIKA SAMMAN was conferred on Padmalaya Nanda and DR. SNEHA SAMANTRAY YUVA PRATIVA SAMMAN on Rajashree Mohapatra during the Nayika Odissi Dance Festival organized by Angaraga on June 15 & 16, 2017 at Bhanja Kala Mandap, Bhubaneswar.


- Voleti Rangamani has written the biography of her late father Kuchipudi dance Guru C.R. Acharyulu as a project under Senior Fellowship. It has been published as NRUTYA SAMHITA in Telugu as well as STEPS: THE LIFE AND ARTISTIC WORKS OF GURU C.R. ACHARYULU in English.
Publisher: Yugadi Publishers
Price: Rs. 250 / ISBN: 978-81-87745-26-6


- Writer, researcher and policy advisor Naseem Khan, who was known for her historic contribution to the diverse arts and culture policy in the UK, passed away on June 8, 2017. She was at the forefront of Britain's cultural change as commentator, policy developer and initiator for over thirty years. Her 1980 research paper on 'The Arts Britain ignores' ignited the entire funding process for South Asian arts in the U.K. She was one of five Women of the Decade in the Arts in 1993 and was awarded the OBE for her work in 1999.

- Mohiniattam Guru Kalamandalam Leelamma passed away after a prolonged illness on June 15, 2017 at Thrissur. Leelamma learnt Mohiniattam at Kerala Kalamandalam and later became a teacher there. She also trained in Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi. She was a member of the syllabus committee for the faculty of fine arts of Sree Sankara Sanskrit University, Kalady and served for two years as Reader in the same University. She has performed in a documentary 'Dance d'enchantress' directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan and in 'Nirmalayam' directed by M.T. Vasudevan Nair. She innovated more than 80 new adavus for Mohiniattam and choreographed around 100 new items, various padams, poems and dance drama for different occasions. She founded her own institution Swathi Chithra in Thrissur District, Kerala. For her senior fellowship from the Cultural Department, Govt. of India, her topic was “New styles in Mohiniattam introducing compositions other than the generally accepted ones”.

A perfectionist to the core by V. Kaladharan
Kalamandalam Leelamma was a traditionalist and proud heir to a legacy that she was moulded in by her Gurus.

- Prince Braj Bhanu Singh Deo, dancer, patron and promoter of Seraikella Chhau, passed away on June 15, 2017.


- Lshva presents
Summer Intensive Study Program
With Kiran Subramanyam

July 5 - 7, 2017 Bangalore

- Summer Odissi workshops
By Sharon Lowen

July 6-15, New Delhi

- Abhinaya presents
BN Intensive Workshop
By Mythili Kumar

July 8 -15, 2017 San Jose, CA

- SISK & MAPA present
Gurukul Kathak Retreat
By Guru Maneesha Sathe

July 11-16, 2017
Watsonville, California

- Drishtikon presents
Abhinaya workshop
By Leela Samson

July 28 - 30, 2017 New Delhi


- Natya Institute of Kathak & Choreography's
12 month diploma in Choreography

Deadline to apply: July 15, 2017

- Nrutya Shabda
Essay writing competition

Register by July 28, 2017

- Click the moment
Performing Arts Photography Competition

Register by July 28, 2017

- Rani Karnaa: A lifelong affair with Indian classical dance forms

- The Making of Drone 100 | Intel
Intel's 500 Drone Light Show

- Aldous Huxley describes the Dancing Shiva image
The great writer Aldous Huxley describes the "Dancing Shiva" image (Nataraj) of the Hindu tradition and its immense significance and comprehensiveness. This is from an interview with Mr. Huxley which was done in 1961 in London and was recorded and distributed under the title "Speaking Personally".

- Yoga at unexpected places


"Dynamism is very integral to Kutiyattam; everything about the construction of the form is consciously created in a way that it helps an actor get into a state of intense concentration. Shraddha, Sanskrit word for devotion, penance, commitment, would be a more appropriate word. To give you an example, before beginning make-up, there is a set of rituals that an actor must perform that symbolise her/his cutting away ties from all things that are worldly in nature. As actors, we are supposed to take a bath, step into the green room and first light a lamp. After that, we tie a red ribbon on our foreheads which basically symbolises the fact that we are disconnected from anything that has to do with the idea of hierarchy in society. For instance, if a VIP were to come visiting, we don't need to oblige from our role as actors and performers to meet her/him; if someone in the family were to pass away, we would be informed of it only after the performance. We are not supposed to engage in any kind of conversations that are not related to the performance.
The final part of the preparation includes wearing the head gear, just before stepping on stage. Once the head gear is fixed, the actor has officially inhabited another character. You must know also that the first thing an actor takes off soon after stepping out of stage is the head gear, to mark her/his return to her/his own body."
- Kapila Venu
('Learning dynamism is a slow, organic process' by Akhila Krishnamurthy, The Qs, The Aalaap, April 1, 2017)


- Jayantika presents
Nritya Parampara

Triveni Kala Sangam
July 6 - 8, 2017 New Delhi

- Sam Ved Society for Perf. Arts presents
27th Raindrops Festival

Mini Theatre, Ravindra Natya Mandir
July 13 - 15, 2017 Mumbai

THE EASTERN EYE: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee
- Fragrance of Fifty Roses
Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Kalamandalam Calcutta was appropriately planned recently as an elaborate bouquet of significant group compositions by guru Thankamani over these 50 years with the institution's faculty as well as her senior students.

Not just anyBODY - a health and fitness column
- Delicious snack packs that do your waistline justice by Sathya Nagaraj
Hope you have seen some slow and steady improvements to your health and wellbeing following the last couple blogs.

TRENDING by Ashish Mohan Khokar
- A life like no other
Giving title to books is not easy. Especially biographical ones. How to come up with something original and nice? How to convey and contextualise life in dance in a few words?

TAALAM: Column by Leela Venkataraman
- Takeaways from SPIC MACAY's annual convention
Given the galaxy of names from a variety of art disciplines, dotting the program calendar of SPIC MACAY's 5th international convention held at this year's venue of the IIT campus, New Delhi, I would like to ponder on the variety of impressions one came away with from the week-long celebration (June 5 - 11, 2017).

Meet the artistes SANCHARI.. More on the artsArticles

July 1, UK
Usha Raghavan and her students of Kalasagara UK present SAHASRABDHI VAIBHAVAM, a dance tribute in celebration of the Birth Millennium of Bhagavad Ramanujacharya. Presented by the Jeeyar Educational Trust, UK (JET UK)
At: the Beck Theater, Grange Road, Hayes, Middlesex UB3 2UE, 5 - 8pm

July 2, Ahmedabad
Odissi dance on the Jagannath Janana and Bhajana by Suprava Mishra and her students of Aum Arts Dance Academy for the Rathayatra celebration at Jagannath temple, Adalaj, 7.30pm.

July 2 - 13, Thane, Mumbai
Schedule for Uma Dogra & group
- 2nd July: Kathak performance by Uma Dogra & Group at Rang Sarita Festival in Thane
- 8th July: Kathak performance by Uma Dogra, Indrayanee Mukherjee, Sarita Kalele and Rachana Parulkar at Guru Poornima Festival, Mumbai
-13th July: Student of Uma Dogra's school of Kathak presentation in Raindrops Festival, Mumbai.

July 7, Chicago, IL
As part of STOMPING GROUNDS at the Taste of Chicago 2017, Natya offers a free public Bharatanatyam performance.
Location: Buckingham Fountain Stage, 301 S Columbus Drive, Chicago IL, 2.15pm

July 7 - 9, Santa Clara, CA
Sapphire Creations Dance Company performs at the opening ceremony of the North America Bengali Conference at Santa Clara July 7-9, 2017. With Artistic Director Sudarshan Chakravorty’s workshops in the USA with over 150 students in the last 6 months, a chosen group of resident students will perform alongside the Company at the Opening Ceremony followed by a second performance where Sapphire will present RITURANGA - A SYMPHONY OF SEASONS based on Tagore’s Songs of the Season.

July 7 - 29, Umayalpuram, London
Schedule for Bala Devi Chandrashekar
- 7th July, Umayalpuram: Bharatanatyam performance
- 15th July to 5th August, London Bhavan - Residential Workshop
- 29th July, London Bhavan, performance of KARNA - DESTINY'S CHILD

July 8, Mumbai
Kaishiki & Bhavan's Cultural Centre celebrate Guru Purnima 2017 with launch of Ashish Mohan Khokar's attendance, the annual dance journal of India, that features an extensive retrospect on the Guru Shishya Parampara. The launch will be followed by a film from the Khokar Archives.
Kuchipudi: Payal Ramchandani, Kathak: Uma Dogra
Bharatanatyam: Sandhya Purecha, Odissi: Daksha Mashruwala
Venue: S. P Jain Auditorium, Bhavans College Campus, 6pm

July 8, Navi Mumbai
Mahagami Gurukul presents VIVIDHĀ, an evening of dance performances by Parwati Dutta and younger shishyas. Vividhā - poorvaardha: the first part of the evening showcases Odissi and Kathak performances by young shishyas (age 9 - 12 years) of Mahagami; the 3rd generation of keen learners who are being mentored by the senior shishyas of Mahagami. This is followed by Vividhā - uttaraardha: the second part presenting an innovative solo production VARNAJAA on the theme of Calligraphy. The production is being premiered in Mumbai on this occasion. Concept & Choreography: Parwati Dutta
Winners of Poster Competition on SAVE INDIAN DANCE HERITAGE will be felicitated during this program. Also, a special discount can be availed in purchase of the book NRITYA-GATHA in English, Hindi, Marathi & Bengali at the program venue.
At: CIDCO Exhibition Complex Auditorium, Vashi, Navi Mumbai, 7pm

July 9 & 15, Bangalore & Mumbai
Schedule of Smitalay and Jhelum Paranjape
- 9th July: Odissi performance by Jhelum Paranjape & Poornima Dahale at the National Seminar & Dance Festival MULAM - Remembering our Gurus, presented by Shambhavi School of Dance.
At: Dr. H N Kalakshetra National College Campus, Jayanagar, Bangalore, at 6pm.
- 15th July: Dance performances by students of Smitalay for GURU PRANAM
At: Sane Guruji Arogya Mandir Hall, Santacruz West, Mumbai, at 6.30pm.

July 14 & 15, Bangalore
Radha Kalpa and Rukmini Vijayakumar present THE DARK LORD - LAMENT OF THE POETESS OF LOVE.
Concept, direction and choreography: Rukmini Vijayakumar
Music: Rajkumar Bharati, set design: Pratiroopi, light design: Pritham Kumar
July 14: 8pm / July 15: 11.30am, 3,30pm, 7.30pm
At: Guru Nanak Bhavan, Bangalore

July 15 - 16, Mississauga, Canada
Sampradaya presents PUNYAH KRISHNA and other works by Parshwanath Upadhye on July 15 at 7pm & on July 16 at 4pm
Venue: Sampradaya Theatre, Mississauga

July 16, Bangalore
SANTHULAN celebrates the performance by professionals and amateurs in equal measure. Students of Attakkalari's community classes will showcase performances that came out of the various movement vocabularies that they have learned over the past few months. The community classes are designed to increase mental and physical agility, self-esteem and confidence in children and adults. They offer avenues of self-expression in a safe environment, insight into other cultures through music and movement, and the possibility of making new friends.
At: Gurunanak Bhavan Auditorium, 6pm

July 17 - 30, China
Attakkalari's artistic director Jayachandran Palazhy and the repertory's rehearsal director Hema Bharathi Palany will lead workshops and seminars in Beijing from 17th to 30th July. Hema Bharathi will also perform her solo TRIKONANGA. Other members of the repertory company will join them later for performances and workshops in Guiyang during the first week of August 2017.

July 19, Chicago, IL
Natya's IN THE BLUE LIGHT: STORIES OF INDIA speaks through gods, goddesses, animals, and demons, weaving a tapestry that transports the audience to another world. Join Natya at Maggie Daley Park for this 'Night Out in the Parks' performance.

July 22, San Ramon, CA
Abhinaya Dance Company presents GANDHI, a dance drama on Mahatma Gandhi's life.
At: Dougherty Valley PAC, 10550 Albion Rd., San Ramon, 6-8pm

July 24 - 28, NYC
Jiva's upcoming Summer Dance Camp & Dance Intensive for Adults offers a 5-day Dance Camp for children including yoga, dance and music (July 24 - 28, 9am to 1pm) and a 4-day Dance Intensive for adults focusing on technique (July 24 - 27, 6.30pm to 8.30pm).
At: Lucid Body House 230 Lexington Ave, NYC

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