Saturday, 9 September 2017

PriyaLasya - NewsLetter - September 2017



September 2017

Articles:
Rasa - Donovan Roebert

  Donovan Roebert - Rasa in Classical Dance

Bharatanatyam Review - Naveena:


 Shruti Parthasarathy



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PriyaLasya Artist Space:
Odissi: Anindita Nanda



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Opportunity
Dance Competition

Brahma Sadhana 2017





News of Interest:




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A Worldwide India Classical Dance Initiative
Supported by Guru Parampara.. Guru Vandanam September 2017


PriyaLasya(C), Do Not Copy, Copyrights Acknowledged

Friday, 28 April 2017

The World Dance Day – Year 2017 - Pandithar Sivakumar Perumal

The World Dance Day – Year 2017

Celebration of Joy, ecstasy  - Dance the medium to express inner self – the theme of dance, that unites all humanitarian races, as the World Celebrates another day in the Memoriam of the beautiful art – “ The World Dance Day”

Today dance is a social activity, which both relaxes and rejuvenates, having the power to impress upon and encourage a process of thinking amongst all, making people understand the best practices in life.

Transition of art over time has not been without heartaches too. One of the most decorated forms of expression of human emotions nevertheless traveled through a phase of social stigma, class and caste discrimination.

Withstanding all, it traveled through, faced all the odds with determination and reached the pinnacle of social acceptance. Each artist in himself or herself has put forth his/her self to be a part of a flow of the art from generation to generation.

When we come across the initiative of "dance as a healer," indeed it is a moment of pride for the art. Today, dance is the most respected of arts, and the strict discipline that goes into its learning is what eventually earns the artists, the respect for their hard work. This results from the fact that artists have made a place for the art in their hearts.

The beauty of this art which has dwelled since time was born has the unique aura that Captivates and Enthralls Human Imagination into a Physical or a Figurative Beauty that can be created through the medium of dance.

Dance today should be looked upon as an innovation, wherein the artists presentations are what they portray as a hypothesis situation of how beautiful our nature is, or how a complexity of life be resolved through application of simple virtues of Love and Kindness.

God created World, and God created Dance, so we the people of this World Express the beauty of nature and spread  love and harmony amongst fellow beings.
Today as we stand across a revolution of time, modernizations of lives and living, it is really commendable of those of you fellow artists that we still are able to carve a niche for the art to exist in this modern world, and I would say further that you all have not just stopped at finding a place for art, but through your humblest of efforts and your devotional dedication to the art of dance, today this art has been alleviated in the civil society and it won’t be an overstatement that time and art of dancing will go hand in hand.

As we celebrate the festival of joy of dance, we can ponder on few aspects that really co-exists amongst the laurels of art – ARE SOME FORMS OF DANCE SLIPPING AWAY INTO THE PAGES OF THE EPIC ART ? A question we can answer in affirmative for now and through our efforts, learn some lessons and try and Care and Conserve what we are left with today, may be in future times this question loses out it relevance, and yes we can make that happen.

A Year since the last World Dance Day, today we bear the loss of Legends to Time, a vacuum that has been created, lives that lived an art, breathed it and worked so hard to propogate the art, the loss of icons of  arts  Singer music composer M Balamuralikrishna, Mohiniattam Guru Kalamandalam Chandrika, Odissi Guru Kanduri Charan Behera,Bharatanatyam Guru Neila Sathyalingam, Bharatanatyam dancer Pandanallur Jayalakshmi,Manipuri Guru Ranjana Jhaveri, Kuchipudi Guru Uma Rama Rao, they will continue to live through their arts forever. We pay our homage to the legendary artists through our services to the art of dance, and seek their blessings.

One of the wonderful achievements of dance has been that common people are able to relate themselves to the art, this has been possible through concentrated efforts undertaken by artists who have taken up the task of Mainstreaming the art, beyond spirituality dance has been making concentrated efforts to imbibe the mankind, through the themes which are similar to the complex challenges of life. A word of thanks will be too little to pay gratitude for the artists who believe in spreading the art amongst the common people.
It is very well accepted fact today that dance as a carrier of messages on social issues have had greater acceptance and synthesis amongst the people who are a target recipient of such messages.

Dance’s feathered cap bears this one too – Dance as part of therapy, successfully proven, not just in healing, in health as well, dance has become an integral part of happy and healthy life. With the modern times the advancement in technology  human physical efforts are shrinking, this is leading to undesirable physical and health status, here too dance has stepped up to provide solutions not just the soul but the body as well.

Did we know the impact of classical music on growth of plants, the soothing effect has been researched further, the positive vibes it creates, it is a must to experience it. We are living in stressed times, and such music brings in calmness in our lives. The effects of listening to classical music is relaxation, your mind is freshened up , you do your best as students and in all spheres of life.

Over the period of time there are certain areas where we need to ponder to safe guard the authenticity of an art which is built on the premise of devotion, dedication, sincere practice and hard work. Thanks to individuals who bank upon the popularity of the art. In the age of instant gulab jamun mix, you have the possibility of becoming a performing artist just in no time. Hugely compromising on the very premises on which the art has built itself up. Going away from the traditional Guru Shishya Parampara, they are indeed doing a lot of harm for the aspirant as well as the art. Guru is a word these days is loosely used in some cases, you will find a learning guru who will teach you too, this phenomena is called earn while you learn, a dangerous thing for art. A dentist cannot be a ENT specialist, a dancer of one form if have not undergone the proper training and education should not become a teacher of another form. They can save the unsuspecting pupils. The ignorance of Parent’s cannot be blamed. Fast buck , we were struck no limits to learn things as they are happening, can you believe it a Rangapraveesham fee for an individual student is little less than 400,000/- demanded by their mentor, definitely they are their mentor if not in making them a artist but otherwise. Such huge fees per artist in a bunch of half a dozen artists, who will perform their Rangapraveesham together on the stage an event of 2 hours. Definitely an IPL player can be purchased with such sums of moneies. Some times we do come across signboards – “ Beware of touts”, well well. Cashical dance of India is how you spell Classical dance of India ?

Some dance programmes on T.V. do not keep the age of the participant, very young children are seen performing raunchy numbers in front of cheering audience. I would like to quote Pandit Birju Maharaj, talking at the 117th birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, ICCR had organized a festival, “ The Spirit of Banaras”, Pandit ji critized dance shows on television , “ these dance shows do not teach anything , rather it takes them away from our rich culture.”

Looking back again how lives are getting enhanced due to art, we salute those who have choosen art over other career in these days of dual career, necessary for survival today , they are indeed doing a fine balancing act, a learning from practicing dance.

Our heart goes out to those who are  physically challenged. Their dedication and hardwork have been witnessed with the performances they are able to put up, we can hardly believe what our eyes witness, with their sheer dedication they can accomplish being a wonderful artists.

To all the artists we take this opportunity to Wish you all a Very Very Happy World Dance Day, further wish that in Company of the Art you have achieved the wonderful opportunity to serve God.

Thank you

Pandithar Sivakumar Perumal & Dr. Lakshmi Sivakumar




Unedited
PriyaLasya(C), Do Not Copy, Copyrights Acknowledged 

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Amrita Lahiri Presentation "Samudra- Mother Ocean" - At Serendipity Arts Festival - New Delhi - April 2017

"Samudra- Mother Ocean"
Amrita Lahiri 
Serendipity Arts Festival
April 6th, 2017




Amrita presents Samudra at the Serendipity Arts Festival. Here is a note about the production.

Within each of us is an ocean pregnant with possibilities for creation. Tagore in his poem ‘Samudrer Proti’ addresses the Ocean as the eternal mother of the earth. She is not the stereotyped mother brimming with tenderness and self-sacrifice, put on a pedestal. Rather, she is na├»ve, impulsive, powerful, animal-like, fallible, contradictory- an everyday mother.

According to the Book of Genesis, on the third day, God commanded the waters to recede, and make dry land appear. That is the most well known of the stories of the creation. It is matched by legends from several other ancient cultures that speak of the emergence of the universe from an infinite expanse of waters. Tagore in this poem imagines a primordial sea in the process of giving birth to the world, tied to it by an infinitely deep love and longing, almost like a mother’s ties to its child, sometimes fierce and raging resulting in tsunamis, sometimes a gentle lullaby rhythm.

Samudrer Proti gives beautiful imagery for choreography and music, even when we have not used the lines literally. The music is composed by Sudha Raghuraman.

‘Hey Adi Janani Sindhu…’
O Eternal Mother Ocean…
I am earth’s child, sitting on your bank,
Listening to your sound.

I’m thinking, one can understand some of your secrets
Like a relative understands a mute person’s sign language.
It seems, in the midst of my heart, the blood that flows in the veins
Knows the same language, and has not learnt anything else.

It seems, as though I remember, when I was one with
The unborn embryo that was this world in that huge womb of yours
For millions of years your restless musical note
Inside me has gotten imprinted.

That pre-birth memory, on the earth, which is in your womb
That eternal life-pulse of your maternal heart- very slight, muted-
Like a hint, rises throughout my body,
-a few select verses from translated from Tagore’s Bengali poem ‘Samudrer Proti’



Dance Choreography: Amrita Lahiri
Music Composition: Sudha Raghuraman
Percussion: Shambhu Bhattacharjee
Flute: Raghuraman
Mridangam: Chandrasekhar
Nattuvangam: Kesavan

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Monday, 3 April 2017

Conscious of Rhythm, Line and Form - Shreya Sridhar - Bharatanatyam - A Report - March 2017

CONSCIOUS OF RHYTHM, LINE AND FORM - SHREYA SRIDHAR – BHARATA NATYAM

- A Report from Sri Pratap Antony- pratapantony@gmail.com 







Shreya is student of the Smt. Hemamalini Arni, the inspirational guru of some of the finest dancers in the country such as Kiranmayee Madupu.


Shreya Sridhar showed her ability and promise in a good performance at the Kalasagaram Annual Youth Festival of Dance on 18th March 2017.


Shreya performed four pieces opening with the prayer extolling Ganesha, the Lord of Beginnings and Remover of Obstacles: ‘Vaataapi Ganapatim bhaje ham’ in Ragam Hamsadhwani in Talam Adi and composed by Muthuswamy Dikshitar. The next Varnam, the centerpiece of the prerformance expressed the feelings of an ardent devotee of Krishna. 


Varnam:


Varnam: Pachai mamalai Ragam Ragamalika. Talam Adi. Composed by Tondaradipodi Azvar.


Shreya depicted the words of this piece in dance so that we in the audience could understand what the composer described: “Lord Krishna as a green mountain, with coral red lips. He says he would rather not go to the most beautiful Indralokam even if he were sent there, but worship at the feet of the Lord. He is his only refuge. He wishes to have a glimpse of Lord Ranganatha in Srirangapatnam and attain moksha at his lotus feet”. 


Padam:


The third item was a Padam: Natanam Aadinaar, where Shreya competently illustrated in dance the sheer beauty of the dance of ecstasy and abandon of Lord Nataraja, where the composer Gopala Krishna Bharathi describes the sheer beauty of the dance of Lord Nataraja, where The eight sides of the world shook as he danced, the Ganga overflowed her banks and Adishesha, the great snake on his body trembled with fear. The composition was in Ragam Vasantha, Talam Ata.


Thillana:


The last item of the programme was a Thillana, a pure dance composition by Vazhuvoor Somu Pillai in Ragam Surati in Adi Talam. Shreya peformed this Tillana with nimble footwork and held poses like classic temple sculpture.


The musicians performing on stage merit special appreciation for their excellent musicianship and outstanding performance that made watching a good Bharata Natyam performance an even greater experience.


The musicians were: 


Nattuvangam - Renuka Prasad. Singer- Sweta Prasad

Mridangam- Sridhara Chary. Violin - Sai Kolanka. And assisting the guru, Hemamalini Arni, on stage with the musicians - Kiranmayee Madupu.

The dancer’s sense of timing and rhythm and her consciousness of form and line spoke well of her understanding of her training in dance.

*Views of the Contributor.


PriyaLasya(C), Do Not Copy, Copyrights Acknowledged



Sunday, 19 March 2017

Ritu-2017 - A Report

”Pancha Deviyam” Kuchipudi Performance
Sunitha Menon





 Ritu-2017, a festival conceived by Ms. Sisira Praveen and team, who is dancer herself, who also turned into organizer to create platform for dancers to perform. This being the inaugural Ritu festival is dedicated to Kuchipudi and the artistes would perform for the conceptual choreography of Dr. Vasanth Kiran.

 Two up and coming artistes were selected among many applicants to perform in the junior slot, Ms Vaishnavi Margam from Warangal, showed promise, credits to her Guru Mr Sudhir Rao. The second artiste Mr Amarjit Shill, Bengali training at Srinivasa Art Academy under the Guidance of Guru Dr. Sobha Naidu, he chose Meera Bhajan for the evening, in the character ‘Meera’, the stree vesham which he prefers to perform in. He needs to realize the maturity levels as the compositions need delicate handling.

The artists of Dr.Vasanth’s team were next to perform . Their Recital began with ‘Kuchipudi Salaam’ a compositions that gives a glimpse of Kuchipudi’s nuances like Nritta, Nritya, Natya, Chari, Karanas and ends with a Salaam, which is an ode of King Abul Hassan Tanesha, the then Golconda Nawaad who gifted the land, which is today’s Kuchipudi in Krishna District. This composition was penned by Dr. Vasanth himself.

Theme for the evening was ‘Pancha Deviyam’ the concept of five goddesses uniting ultimately into Goddess lalitha. The dancers took a sequential entry one after that other, Ms Prateeksha Kashi as Goddess Parvati, Ms Aswini Nambiar as Goddess Lakshmi, Ms Maalyada Anand as Goddess Saraswati, Ms Rachana Narayanakutty as Goddess Gayatri Devi and Ms Sonu SatheeshKumar as Goddess Savitri. The intricate jathis and choreography, pleasant music and perfect costuming made it a visual treat for the audience.

Each dancer shining as solo performers, came together which was a rare treat. Alliance University is the common thread where department of Performing Arts in headed by Dr Vasanth Kiran and the three among five dancers are Post Graduate students of Kuchipudi and the other two faculty members.

The lyrics had depth in its content which was penned by Dr. Vedantam Ramalinga Sastry and Music by Prof. Durga Bhavani Vedantam. The quick-silver movements and the finale of them uniting into Goddess Lalitha, was a moment of goosebumps. The energy of was felt by one and all and the team received standing ovation.

The team of ensemble lead by Dr. Vasanth Kiran, Ramya Suraj and Sruthy Chandrasekhar on Vocal were melodious, Sreehari Anand on Mridangam, Raghunandan on Flute and Sangeeth on Violin gave an apt accompaniment. It would have been even more impactful if only the sound system could have been better. Overall, it was surely an evening well spent and this show deserves many bigger platforms. Kudos to the organizers of Ritu-2017.

The inaugural ceremony  was presided by entrepreneur Mr Gokulam Goapalan and the Member of Parliament Mr. Mullappally Ramachandran.



Contributor Sunitha Menon's Notes:

I reached by the late noon to see Dr. Vasanth was busy engaging an ‘Abhyaasashaala’ (workshop) on Shiva Tarangam for twenty odd students from all over Kerala and it was evident that he is a task master. As I spoke to him for quick minutes before he rushed to change over to wield the cymbals for the evening’s much awaited performance. He had arrived straight from Kolkata after performing for Purush Festival.

Art and especially dance has always had a special place in my life. One dance form that is close to my heart is Kuchipudi, though I hail from Kerala. I have come across a name in the recent past, being  choreographer, Dr. Vasanth Kiran.

About Contributor:

Ms Sunita is an art connoisseur, practitioner and Dance enthusiast. Trained in Bharathanatyam and Kuchipudi forms,  is an IT professional from Bengaluru.

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*Views are of the contributor
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Thursday, 9 March 2017

Dance Fraternity Upset With Government Letter - Nomination of Youth Culture Ambassador - March 2017



A letter supposed to have been issued by Youth Advancement (Secretary), Tourism & Culture Department this month March 2017 drew wide spread criticism from Kuchipudi community including  from the traditional Bhagavathulu families.

The main contention is about the relevance and applicability of appointing a dancer whose main capability is not Kuchipudi but fusion (and more specifically her talent being in dancing with a hoola hoop ring). No doubt her talent in such art form is extra-ordinary, but how appropriate is she being a brand ambassador for a traditional and classical art form ie Kuchipudi, many feel.

Kuchipudi continues to be the dedicated art form even today from the traditional Bhagavathula families from the Kuchipudi village, though it has spread to other population world over.

In the interest of the classical dance form, it is recommended that the sensitivity attached to the issue is recognized by the Government and its officials and a suitable amendment be bought in. That is the request and demand that the Kuchipudi artists and supporters are making.

Some say that more details need to be brought into public domain as to the "circumstance reported" to the Government department, as it is this term that finds mention in the so referred letter.

It is not known as to what is the benefit of such nomination as "Culture Ambassador" in terms of funds allocation, resources, and any other support entail and accrue to the nominee. Since the word "Nominee" is used, it is also unclear as to actual declaration of someone as culture ambassador, whether it is final or not.

Overall it is suggested that the real meaning, intent and circumstance be made clear by the Government of Andhra Pradesh; be made clear so as to not hurt the sentiments of Kuchipudi artists.

Your comments are awaited.

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