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September 2017
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"We are our choices.
Build yourself a great story."
- Jeff Bezos, Founder of AMAZON

"I am the me I choose to be."
- Actor Sidney Poitier

The month of August brought 31 days of nonstop activity for my home town. Officially founded 379 years ago, the MADRAS WEEK celebrations have expanded to fill the entire month! Alongside India's 70th Independence Day celebrations, August turned out to be overflowing with social and cultural activity.

Read on...

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


- The 'NALCO GURU KELUCHARAN MOHAPATRA AWARD 2017' carrying a purse of Rs.1 lakh each and citation, will be presented to two eminent personalities Guru Dhruba Charan Biswal in the field of dance and Shyamamani Devi in the field of music. The 'NALCO GURU KELUCHARAN MOHAPATRA YUVA PRATIBHA SAMMAN 2017' with a cash prize of Rs.25,000 each will be presented to Lingaraj Pradhan (Bhubaneswar) and Namrata Mehta (Mumbai) for Odissi dance, Jyotsna Jagannathan (Bangalore) for Bharatanatyam and Jateen Kumar Sahoo (Mumbai) for Odissi music. The award ceremony takes place on September 9, 2017 at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar.

- At the America Kuchipudi Dance Convention, gurus Rathna Kumar, Mrinalini Sadananda and Sumathi Kaushal will be awarded as Pioneers of Kuchipudi in America on September 2, 2017 at Dr.Hamireddy Lakireddy Bhavan, Milpitas, CA

- The 10th KV SATHYANARAYANA EXCELLENCE AWARD will be given to Kuchipudi dancer/guru Veena Murthy Vijay on Sept 26, 2017 at Eluru. The awardee will receive citation, silver crown, shawl and Rs.10,000.

- On August 15, 2017 on the inaugural evening of Thyaga Bharatham festival by Natyarangam, honor for Bharatanatyam guru Radha Sridhar; SUDHARANI RAGHUPATHY ENDOWMENT AWARD to JB Sruthi Sagar (flute accompaniment for Bharatanatyam), OBUL REDDY ENDOWMENT AWARD for Bharatanatyam dancer Sathyanarayana Raju, VASANTHALAKSHMI - NARASIMHACHARI ENDOWMENT AWARD for Apoorva Jayaram (emerging talent), OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO BHARATANATYAM to scholar and resource person Dr. Sudha Seshayyan, were given at Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai.

- Dr. Sunil Kothari received the LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD from Ranjana Gauhar's Utsav Odissi Dance Academy on August 17, 2017 at New Delhi


- Shanta Serbjeet Singh (Jan 11, 1936 - Aug 2, 2017) by Ashish Mohan Khokar
Her end was as she lived: peacefully. She died at home in sitting position, as yogis often do. She sat in her favourite chair and was gone. Shanta indeed.

- Memories of writer, dance critic, journalist Shanta Serbjeet Singh by Sunil Kothari

- Koothu and Koodiyattam artist Painkulam Damodara Chakyar passed away in Bangalore on July 26, 2017. He was 82. After the demise of his uncle and first guru Rama Chakyar, he moved away from Koodiyattam and started performing Chakyar Koothu. He received the Kerala Kalamandalam Award (2004), Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Akademi Award (2006) and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award from Govt of India (2012).
More info: The King of Koothu

- Chronicler of the Classical Arts by Geeta Chandran

- When the mentor leaves... by Lada Guruden Singh

- Kathak dancer Veronique Azan passed away in Bali on 2nd August 2017. She was 53. Born in France, she moved with her parents to Varanasi, India, when she was about 7. She began her training at Varanasi, under the guidance of Guru Alakananda (sister of Sitara Devi), and completed it at the Kathak Kendra in Delhi with Pt Birju Maharaj. She was known for her excellent command over tala and laya and subtleties of Kathak.

- Alarmel Valli's mother and patron Uma Muthukumaraswamy, passed away on July 31, 2017 in Chennai. Her understanding of both English and Tamil literature was an invaluable element in Alarmel Valli's choreographic work and style. As arts administrator and manager for her daughter's performances in India and abroad, she single mindedly committed her life to nurturing and shaping her daughter's spectacular dance career.


Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust presented 'Mahabharata'
On Aug 20, 2017 at GD Birla Sabhagar, Kolkata
Photos courtesy: Anurupa Roy

Aranyani Bhargav and Vyuti Dance Company
Aug 3, 2017 at IHC, Delhi
Photos: Avinash Pasricha

Natyarangam presented MAHATMA GANDHI by Bharatakalanjali,
choreographed and directed by C.P. Satyajit
on August 15, 2017 at Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai
Photos courtesy: CP Satyajit



- Attendance presents
50th Dance DISCourse
A Couple of Art Couples

Sept 2, 2017 Bangalore

- Bengaluru International Arts Festival 2017
10th year celebrations

10 venues - 11 days
Sept 6 - 25, 2017 Bangalore

- Dr. Tushar Guha's Nrityanjali presents
Kathak Ke Rang Shyam Ke Sang

ISKCON auditorium, 3pm
Sept 10, 2017 Mumbai

- Kuchipudi Parampara Foundation presents
Guru Vandana

Shukra auditorium, 6pm
Sept 24, 2017 Bangalore


As a performing artist it is very difficult. You can only become a teacher and pass it on to those who need it. I always encourage the students to do something else and keep dancing side-by-side so that purity will be maintained. Once you make it commercial you will lose the purity. The future of Odissi or in fact any classical dance that way is bleak. Even the critics do not have space in the papers. For sports the whole page is given but for classical dance and music no review comes out. There is also a problem. People editing the dance or music review are often not properly qualified to do so. Very few are there who understand dance correctly. In our times it was only reviews that made us famous. Now it's marketing, email, communication. Quality of dance has also gone down. There are lots of sub-standard performances. From three gurus now there are 3000 gurus and each one is a choreographer! I must say most of the teachers do not understand music, do not understand rhythm - nothing they understand. They have just learnt two-three items and are passing it on. That is how dance is getting degenerated because they don't know the original composition; they don't know the music composition.
- Kumkum Mohanty
('Side-effect, centre-stage' by Nita Vidyarthi, The Hindu Fri Review, June 5, 2014)

- Abhinaya & Choreography Workshop
By Rukmini Vijayakumar

Sept 23 & 24, 2017 London


- Take Five - Dave Brubeck by Tarang, the UK's Indian music ensemble

- Amir Shah: India's 'Billy Elliot' takes off

- Hanging by a thread: An artist's embroidery examines the constraints of femininity by Rohini Kejriwal
Lipika Bhargava's designs transform a classic female craft into a subversive art form.

- A world less forgiving: tradition dogged by modern demands by Kennith Rosario
Two documentaries depict tradition dogged by modern demands.

TAALAM: Column by Leela Venkataraman

- Farewell to an era
Shanta Serbjeet Singh and I had been dance writers (she had started years earlier than I had) for a few years before we came to know, accidentally, that we shared more than the same profession.

- Off the beaten track
Prerana Shrimali, an established Kathak dancer spoke on her perceptions of the dance form she represented. As a Rajasthani living in Jaipur, she was pushed as a child into learning Kathak.

- Teacher and taught in Sare Jahan Se Achha
It was like a cosy club of dance teachers and their disciples at Utsav's efficiently organised, annual, two-day event Sare Jahan se Achha (Aug 17 & 18) at Habitat's Stein auditorium, Delhi.

- Sublime Kathak by Divya Goswami
Treated to so many run of the mill variety of Kathak recitals, the sheer elegance and understated beauty of Divya Goswami Dikshit's Kathak recital at the Stein auditorium, Delhi, came as a heart warming experience.

THE EASTERN EYE: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

- An epic spectacle nonpareil
Mahabharata, presented by Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust from Delhi, took an especially grand look at the Karnataka musical version of the epic and blended multiple media to bring alive a synoptic panorama on stage.


- In praise of Guru Bipin Singh
Manipuri Nartanalaya celebrated the birth centenary of Guru Bipin Singh in Kolkata. On the occasion of his 100th birthday celebrations, we pay tribute to the great visionary.

- Remembering Protima Gauri (Bedi)
Protima passed away on 18th August in 1998 in a land slide enroute Mansarovar yatra. She had left Nrityagram in charge of lights designer Lynne Fernandez and her disciples Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy. They arrange an annual event every year in memory of Protima.

- Rasa Rangini
Odissi dancer Debasish Pattnaik's Debnrutyam presented the first Rasa Rangini festival, featuring Vyjayanthi Kashi and troupe, Sharmila Mukerjee with her Sanjali dancers, Sathyanarayana Raju's three brilliant male dancers and Debnrutyam.

TRENDING by Ashish Mohan Khokar

- Dancers as organizers
Dancers are being innovative in trying to create all kinds of performing platforms for their art. Patronage systems are such that today there are more dancers than platforms available.

Not just anyBODY - a health and fitness column

- Health Recipes 14: Sweet Potato Soup by Uma Pushpanathan

Meet the artistes SANCHARI.. More on the artsArticles

Sept 2, New Delhi
Drishtikon Dance Foundation hosts its first baithak.
Tabla and Pakhawaj jugalbandi by Mohit Gangani and Ashish Gangani
Kathak and Contemporary solo by Minhaz
Bharatanatyam solo by Suhail Bhan
At: Drishtikon Dance Studio, 7pm

Sept 2 & 16, Bangalore & Vishakapatnam
Schedule for Nirupama, Rajendra & ADC
- Sept 2, Bangalore: Nirupama & Rajendra present Kathak duets for the 49th DANCE DISCOURSE organised by Ashish Khokar.
Venue: Alliance Francaise, 6.30pm
- Sept 16, Vishakapatnam: Abhinava Dance Company presents KATHAKITATHOM - The Rhythm of Nirvana
Venue: Vizag Conventions, 6.30pm

Sept 4 - 23, New Delhi
Schedule for Geeta Chandran and Natya Vriksha
- 4 Sept: Sharanya Chandran presents a solo Bharatanatyam performance at the Japanese embassy in New Delhi as part of a reception hosted by Japanese Ambassador to India.
- 6 Sept: Sneha Chakradhar embarks upon a spiritual journey of self discovery through the works of Tulsidas, Meerabai and Kabir in TUMEKAM in an evening of Kathak and BN presented by Kala Kunj at Stein Auditorium.
- 8 Sept, 5.30pm: Divya Saluja presents an evening of Bharatanatyam for the ASEAN Diplomats hosted by the Ministry of External Affairs.
- 8 Sept: Geeta Chandran and Natya Vriksha Dance Company perform at the Hotel Le Meredien
- 9 Sept, 6:30pm: Geeta Chandran delivers the R.C. Poduval Memorial Lecture at International Kathakali Centre in Delhi. Lecture: Creativity in the Classical Idiom - Some thoughts
- 16 Sept, 6.30pm: Chinmaya Centre for World Understanding presents BHAKTI PRAVAH by Geeta Chandran, prefaced by a lecture CELEBRATING BHAKTI by Swami Prakarshananda, Head, Delhi Chinmaya Mission.
At: Chinmaya Mission Auditorium
- 23 Sept: Geeta Chandran and Natya Vriksha perform at Ganesha Natyalaya's NITYA AKHANDA NRITYAM, the overnight celebration of the 80th birthday of Guru Saroja Vaidyanathan.

Sept 5, Chennai
Sri Sumukhi Rajasekharan Memorial Foundation presents140th KALA POSHAKAM monthly concert featuring Raam Manikandan (Carnatic vocal), Pudukottai S.Krishnan and students of KPL Academy (mridangam), R.Mahalakshmi (BN)
At: : Narada Gana Sabha (Mini Hall), 5.30pm

Sept 8 - 26, Bangalore
Schedule for Madhu Nataraj Kiran and Natya Stem Dance Kampni
- 8th Sept: Madhu Nataraj and the Kampni perform a unique choreography for Intel -celebrating Inclusivity and Harmony
- 15th Sept: NSDK conduct a lec-dem and workshop at the Natya STEM Studio on the evolving Indian dance heritage for a group of students from Em Lyon Business School, France
- 15th Sept: Madhu Nataraj along with the Kampni presents 'RAMANUBHAVA - Experiencing the Adikavya through Indian Dance' at international conference - 'Connecting Cultures- Ramayana Retellings in South India & Southeast Asia' at the NIAS auditorium, 6.30pm.
- 26th Sept: NSDK presents an evening of Indian Contemporary dance for Vista.

Sept 9, Thirukadayur
Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Jayanti Bhagavata Mela Natya Nataka Sangam and Bhagavata Mela Foundation, Thanjavur, present SRI MARKANDEYA JANANAM - KAALA SAMHARAM.
At: 100 Pillar Mandapam, Sri Abhirami Amirthakadeswar temple, 6pm

Sept 9, Bangalore
YASHTI, the latest solo choreography by Attakkalari's rehearsal director Hemabharathy Palani linking haunting images of love, jealousy, confrontation and redemption premieres at Bangalore.
At: Gurunanak Bhavan, 7pm

Sept 16, Mumbai

MAARGAM, an evening of Bharatanatyam by Rukmini Vijayakumar
Venue: Godrej Dance Theatre, NCPA, 5pm

Sept 17, Downers Grove, IL
Natya Dance Theatre celebrates 43 years of preserving, perpetuating, and performing Bharatanatyam with RASA EXPERIENCE, a luncheon in support of Natya programs and student scholarships, featuring performances in remembrance of T. S. Sankaran and Suseela Ramaswamy.
At: Ashyana Banquets, 1620 75th St, Downers Grove, 11:30am - 3pm

Sept 17 & 23, Aurangabad & Mumbai
Schedule of Smitalay and Jhelum Paranjape.
- 17th Sept, Aurangabad: Solo performance by Jhelum Paranjape at the 10th Anniversary ceremony in memory of Akshta Prakash Kulkarni.
At: Yashwantrao Chavan Natya Mandir, 7pm
- 23rd Sept, Mumbai: Solo performance by Ankur Ballal for Sangeet Nritya Yatra 2017.
At: Sharda Sangeet Vidyalaya, Bandra East, 5.30pm.

Sept 22, San Jose, CA
Nitya Narasimhan, student of Rukmini Vijayakumar, presents Bharatanatyam Margam for SRRT Navarathri Festival.
Venue: Sri Rajarajeswari Temple, 7pm

Sept 23, Oswego, IL
Natya Dance Theatre presents Mallika Sarabhai's OUT OF BOUNDS + FINDING MY VOICE (double bill). Finding My Voice brings thoughts on global warming, live in relationships, an atheist's relationship with the goddess, sexual preferences. In Out of Bounds, Revanta Sarabhai and Pooja Purohit in three chapters, transform the pure form of their dance to a story about relationships.
Choreography: Mallika and Revanta Sarabhai
At: Oswego East High School, 5pm

Sept 23, NYC
New Jersey based Bharatanatyam exponent Bala Devi Chandrashekar presents KARNA - DESTINY'S CHILD at the Symphony Space, 7pm

Sept 30, Singapore
Maharaja Swati Thirunal's works will be presented in three dance styles by dancers Rama Vaidyanathan (Bharatanatyam), Gopika Varma (Mohiniattam), Shantha Ratii (Kuchipudi).
Venue: Singapore Repertory Theatre, 7:30pm

Sept 30, Bangalore
On this auspicious day of Vijayadasami all the 400 dancers of Nirupama-Rajendra's Abhinava Dance Company come together to share their artistry through an informal performance.
Venue: Abhinava arts space, 5pm to 7pm


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