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January 2018
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January 1, 2018

As we draw our loved ones closer
As we remember the dreams that poured into our pillows
As the sunlight peeks through the moonbeams
And the sand clings to tears
May the hopes of our ancestors and teachers light our lives…

Happy 2018!

As the sun gently rises beyond the vast Indian Ocean, thousands of New Year revellers mark this special day in a multitude of ways.
For dancers it is but another day. Perhaps one to pause and catch our breath before we hurtle into the next gig or the next rehearsal/recording/photo shoot.
Hopefully, our social media fingers are exhausted after a nonstop year of uploading images of our lives from first waking breath to the last smile, snore or laughter.
Maybe we can rest them - for 10 minutes.

My thoughts this month will focus almost exclusively on the Chennai Culture Season that threw up many new and not so new moments.

Read on...

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


- Sapphire Creations Dance Company’s co-director Paramita Saha has been chosen as a Global Fellow of the International Society of Performing Arts (ISPA), New York and has been invited to attend the Global Conference in New York this January.

- The AttenDance awards for 2017 were given on December 9, 2017 at Bangalore.
THE MAYA RAO LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam (dance & academics)

- Three Indian participants - Vikram Iyenger, Ruchira Das and Menaka Rodriguez - have been selected by the Australia Council for the Arts for its International Leadership Program. As a part of the program, these renowned art professionals will complete a six-month long program in Australia, including two intensive residencies.

- Nepathya presented D. APPUKUTTAN NAIR AWARD to Dr.Aparna Nangiar on Dec 22, 2017 at Aluva, Kerala. The award recognises young artistes who excel in Koodiyattam or Kathakali.

- The Dhananjayans received the PRIDE OF INDIA award from Provoke (Wella Professionals) on 20th December 2017. They receive the Kerala goverment's NISHAGANDHI PURASKAR on 20th January 2018.

- Ashish Mohan Khokar received the NATYA KALA VISAARADA HA award from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha on December 26, 2017 at Chennai.

- The Endowment Awards of Brahma Gana Sabha goes to Roja Kannan (Bharatanatyam guru), Sumitra Subramanian (young Bharatanatyam artiste) and Dr. S Rajeshwari (artiste in Bharatanatyam orchestra) on January 1, 2018 at Sivagami Pethachi Auditorium, Chennai.

- On Jan 6, 2018 D. Keshava receives the SAMBRAHMA PURASKAR at Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Bangalore.

- Guru Prof. C V Chandrasekar from Chennai and Dr. Sunil Kothari from New Delhi will be felicitated with DRISHTI PURASKAR for their contributions to the field of dance during the 13th Drishti National Dance Festival at Chowdiah Memorial Hall on January 13, 2018, Bangalore.

- Arsha T.S, disciple of Guru Kalamandalam Remani Haridas and student of Class 10, received NARTHANA MANI AWARD at the Bal Kala Utsav 2017 organised by SUNAINA (Society for the Upliftment of National Arts of India) in association with Delhi Tamil Sangam.

- Preeti Vasudevan is the first Indian choreographer to be awarded the 2018 LINCOLN CENTER AWARD FOR EMERGING ARTISTS on March 1, 2018 at Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, NYC.


- GM Sharma, the founder of Nartanam quarterly and a dynamic art connoisseur, passed away after a long illness on December 18, 2017.

- Veteran musician-nattuvanar Bhagavatula Seetharama Sarma, acclaimed for his multiple skills in singing, composing and conducting, passed away in Bangalore on December 10, 2017. Sarma was born in Kuchipudi village in 1936. In 1962, he joined Kalakshetra as Lecturer in Music. In 1985 he founded his own institution, The Kalapeetham School of Dance and Music in Chennai, USA and Singapore, and has produced accomplished graduates of both music and dance.

- Kathak Guru Dharamshi Shah (born April 5, 1921) passed away on December 9, 2017. He was 97. He was conducting dance classes in Kalakshetra Dance and Music School in Bhavnagar, Gujarat. His tireless efforts to popularize Kathak have earned him a place in the Limca Book of Records as the oldest teacher of classical dance in the country. Murali Mohan Kalva and Tushar Bhat are two of his well known disciples.

- Harbans Lal Nakra, husband of Mamata Niyogi Nakra, Kala Bharati (Montreal), passed away on December 2, 2017 in Montreal. On retiring, Harbans took up private studies in psychology, neuroscience and the role of dance in child development. He got increasingly interested in the teaching of dance to children at Kala Bharati. This led to the publication of a highly acclaimed book 'Place for Dance in Whole-Chilld Education... a scientific perspective'authored by him.

Kalagangothri Foundation's DASA MARGAM CD features dance compositions based on the Dasa genre including Devaranama, Padam, Javali and Thillana on the 453 anniversary of Saint Purandara Dasa. This Bharatanatyam CD features compositions of Purandara Dasa, Jagannatha Dasa and Vijaya Vittala Dasa that can be choreographed in Bharatanatyam style for a dancer of any age.



- Lakshmi Vishwanathan performs for Chennai Season
Jan 3 & 21, 2018

- Sweating Saris
At Spaces, 6pm
January 6, 2018 Chennai

- Rhythmosaic premieres

Jan 16, 2018 Kolkata


- Natya Kala Conference, day 1 (Dec 26, 2017):

- Britain's Got Talent: Team UDI
They've come all the way from Siberia to show the judges their unique dance and light routine.

- Jag Mandir (1991) - Werner Herzog

- Dance, a way of life /Archana Karry / TEDxNITW


- Remembering Ram Gopal
Ram Gopal was a charismatic dancer. He passed away in 2003 and since he had settled in London, with the passage of time, few remember him.

- Singapore and Kuala Lumpur Diary
I arrive by 3pm at the stage door of Singapore's Esplanade main theatre to see rehearsal of 'Anjaneyam: Hanuman's Ramayana.'I have to submit my passport to enter.

- Miracle on wheels
Sponsored by My Skill Foundation in Kuala Lumpur for the first time, Miracle on Wheels company had an engrossing performance at Civic Centre.

- Tharang Utsav and Trivandrum diary
Aparna Vinod Menon has been conducting Tharang Utsav for the past four years in Bangalore...
It was the 72nd day of the Soorya Festival when Mohiniattam dancer Sunanda Nair and her disciples from Houston were presented.

TAALAM: Column by Leela Venkataraman

- Living movements serenade frozen movements in Konark
The crackling air of excitement all round the Konark township during the annual festival mounted jointly by the OTDC and Odisha SNA, would seem to show that far from evoking ennui, this event, over the years, is attracting larger audiences from all over.
THE EASTERN EYE: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

- Mask and masquerade
Hridmajhare (In the Heart of Hearts), presented by Abantipur Om Foundation captured the viewers in its choreographic amalgam of a bewildering variety of styles and forms.

- From Birth to Regeneration
Yugasandhi presented on December 15, 2017 at Manjusri Sabhagriha by Dancers Guild of Kolkata, was set against critical political moments of contemporary Indian history and came up as her creative statement against violence, war and disintegration in tender human relationship.
SEEN & HEARD by Lakshmi Vishwanathan

- Mega Hanuman
Anjaneyam was staged as part of Kala Utsavam by Aravinth Kumarasamy and the Apsaras Arts dance group in collaboration with Esplanade, joined by Chennai dancers and musicians as well as a Javanese ensemble.

Season reviews

Meet the artistes SANCHARI.. More on the artsArticles

Season schedule

Jan 2, Thanjavur
Bala Devi Chandrashekar presents BRIHADEESWARA: FORM TO FORMLESS - through the eyes of a Devaradiyaal
At: Brihadeeswara Temple, Thanjavur, 7pm

Jan 3 & 6, Bangalore
On Jan 3, D Keshava (Kalasri, Switzerland) performs for Nirantharam dance and music festival at Seva Sadan, 5pm. On Jan 6, Keshava receives the SAMBRAHMA PURASKAR at Chowdiah Memorial Hall, 5.30pm

Jan 3 - 9, Santiago, Chile and Sao Paulo
Astad Deboo and the Manipuri drummers travel to South America to present RHYTHM DIVINE II - RIVER RUNS DEEP, for the 25th anniversary of the International Arts Festival starting 3rd January and performances on the 5th to 7th Jan, workshops on the 8th and 9th January at the festival.

Jan 3 & 21, New Delhi
Schedule for Sharon Lowen
- Jan 3: Odissi studio performance by participants of Manasa-Art Without Frontiers Workshop, 7pm.
- Jan 21: Vajra Nritya - Ritual dance of Odisha taught by Chokyi Palmo at Manasa-Art Without Frontiers Workshop, 7pm
At: Manasa Studio, E-133 Amar Colony, Kalka Devi Marg, Lajpat Nagar IV

Jan 6 & 14, Dubai & Thane
Bala Devi Chandrashekar presents KARNA: DESTINY'S CHILD
-Jan 6, 6.30pm: Indian Consulate Auditorium, Dubai
-Jan 14, 7pm: Sanskruti Arts Festival, Thane

Jan 5 - 16, Kolkata
Schedule for Rhythmosaic.
-Jan 5: Performance by ICCR scholar Vihanga Rukshan at Govindam Kutty Dance Festival at Gyan Manch organized by West Bengal Dance Group Federation.
-Jan 6 & 7: Performance SHAAM-E- RANG by AADC Dance Company headed by Anuj Mishra and his family on 6th and 7th January 2018 supported by Rhythmosaic, Open Doors, AlkaJalanFoundation.
6th Jan - Daga Nikunj, 6.30pm / 7th Jan - ICCR Kolkata, 6.30pm
-Jan 12: Performance by Vihanga Rukshan and Ama Nethmi, ICCR scholars at Happenings organized by Open Doors and Happenings at Loreto House.
-Jan 16: World Premiere of Ekalavya- A Rhythmosaic Production at Gyan Manch Kolkata 6.30pm.

Jan 7, Bangalore
VRC Academy of Music and Dance presents MURALIGAANA, an adaptation of the traditional Ragam Tanam Pallavi of Carnatic music into Bharatanatyam as part of their dance festival performed by Shivaranjani Harish. Preceding this will be a unique invocatory item in the format of an Alarippu performed by Rasika Kiran and Pallavi Bharadwaj.
Concept, Choreography and Direction: Guru Kiran Subramanyam
At: A.D.A. Rangamandira, J C Road, Bangalore, 7.30pm

Jan 11, Chicago, IL
Chicago Dancemakers Forum launches its 15th Anniversary year with a series of public dialogues about envisioning the future of Chicago Dance in relationship to its past: an opportunity for artist-to-artist exchange. This discussion features Natya Founder and Artistic Director Hema Rajagopalan (2004 Lab Artist) and Jumaane Taylor (2017 Lab Artist) and will include information and application insights on the signature Lab Artist Awards program.
At: The American Rhythm Center, 410 S Michigan Ave, 3rd floor, 3:30 - 5pm

Jan 11 - 25, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Thrissur
Schedule for Anita Ratnam
-11th Jan, Kolkata: APEEJAY Literature Festival
Children’s Storytelling Animation Workshop
-13th Jan, Bhubaneswar: A MILLION SITAS at Odisha Literature Festival
​At: ​Trident Hotel Grounds
-18th Jan, New Delhi: STONE.. SNA Award performance at Meghdoot Theatre
-25th Jan, Thrissur: Panel at the Theatre Festival

Jan 12, Mumbai
HUM EK HAIN - Folk dances of India by Dr. Tushar Guha's Nrityanjali, is choreographed and directed by dance scholar and choreographer, Guru Dr. Tushar Guha. It will weave the cultural magic through Folk dances from different provinces of India. A folk dance form unique to each state of India has been selected and includes Kaikottikali from Kerala, Adivasi from Tamil Nadu, Raungaboti from Odisha, Marwari dance from Rajasthan, Baul from West Bengal, Gadwali from Uttarakhand, Baliya from Maharashtra, Dandiya from Gujarat and Hum Ek Hain - celebrating India's cultural diversity.
Venue: Tata Theatre, NCPA, 6.30pm

Jan 13, New Delhi
Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company - The Drishtikon Dance Foundation announces its second initiative
DRISHTIKON HOME-STUDIO BAITHAK: Season II, opportunity for young dancers and musicians to showcase their artistry in an intimate atmosphere.
Bharatanatyam and Odissi recital by Sooraj Subramaniam
Kathak solo by Aamrapali Bhandari
Hindustani vocal by Faraz Ahmed
At: Drishtikon Dance Studio, 6pm.

Jan 18, Mumbai
CONFLUENCE by Dr. Anonna Guha and Paris Laxmi will be presented for India and the World. India is changing and so is the world. There is exchange - socially, economically and culturally. This coming together will be symbolized by Confluence, highlighting the intricacies unique to Kathak and Flamenco, while also bringing out the similarities in a vibrant jugalbandi / fusion by Anonna Guha (Kathak) and Paris Laxmi (Flamenco).
Venue: Bandra Fort, 7pm

Jan 26 - 29, Naldurg, Latur & Hyderabad
Schedule of Smitalay and Jhelum Paranjape for January 2018:
-26th Jan: JANI MHANEY for the Orphanage, Aple Ghar at Aple Ghar, Naldurg, near Solapur at 3pm.
-27th Jan: SAVITRI VADATEY for Zilla Parishad High School, Govind Nagar, near Latur at 7pm.
-29th Jan: LEELAVATI at the meeting of International Congress of Cell Biology 2018 at CSIR, Hyderabad at 7pm.

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