Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Experienced nayikas attract large turnout - Taalam: column by Leela Venkataraman

It was a strangely warming sight at the Habitat watching helpless organisers turning away throngs of people waiting outside, because of no vacant seat in the packed Stein auditorium! And this, wonder of wonders, for Lalit Arpan, the annual  classical dance festival hosted by Kathak artist/teacher Shovana Narayan’s institution! With a different theme each year, avoiding a feel of predictability, this event has allowed itself sufficient elasticity to respond to varying impulses. This year’s choice of the Ashta Nayika theme based on Vidyapati’s poetry, featuring senior, ‘Padmashri awardees’ only (made very clear in the introductions) certainly attracted a large turnout, particularly on the opening evening. Rasa as an intellectual perception calls for a deep mental culture an artist develops through years spent in the art form. So the selection of seniors was dictated by wisdom, and Vidyapati’s poetry given its Jayadeva like bold sensuality in describing the sringar of the Radha/Krishna relationship, is hardly for the less mature performer though the Radha of Vidyapati, a parakeeya like Jayadeva’s, is less brazen about her relationship with Krishna.

Read the review in the site

Not just anyBODY: a health and fitness monthly column - Health Recipes 6: Miso Soup - Uma Pushpanathan

Health Recipes 6: Miso Soup
- Uma Pushpanathan

Serves 4
Per Serving: 360kJ
Preparation and Cooking Time: 15 minutes

View the recipe in the site

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Not just anyBODY: a health and fitness column - Balance of life - the goldilocks effect - Jayashree Gopal

Everything in our body is balanced perfectly. Not too high or too fast, not too low or too slow. All things – just right. Imagine the perfect aramandi. An experienced dancer knows the exact angle at which to sit – too much and the symmetry is lost, and too little, it is not an aramandi. It is just right.
I am always struck by the parallels in our physiology. Take for example sugar – it has to be maintained between 70 – 120 mg/dl, and our body does this very elegantly. When we eat or are under stress, our blood sugar levels start to rise, and the signal immediately goes to the pancreas, which secretes hormones including insulin, and glucagon, which go into the blood stream, and exert their effects, so that the blood sugar almost immediately comes back into the normal range. Now imagine this happening EVERY single second of our life. It is a wonder that more of us do not develop diabetes, considering the abuse we throw at our pancreas right from birth.  We all know the problems that occur from having too high blood sugars – it affects the heart, the kidney, the eyes, the nerves, the brain – everything in our body works less effectively when blood sugars are too high.

Read the article in the site

Mothers by Daughters & Others - I’m also coming! - Rama Vaidyanathan

She was nine months pregnant with her fourth child and was an ardent dance lover. Never learnt it formally, but over the years had developed a deep understanding of the dance form as well as its content. She went to watch the prima donna Yamini Krishnamurthy perform at the College of Military Engineering, Pune, where her Army officer husband was posted. So overwhelmed was she by the dance that the infant inside her womb started kicking with great vigour. To top it all, much to the chagrin of the people around her she with her huge belly stood up on a chair to get a better view of the dancer’s feet dancing the Tarangam! “This child inside me has to learn dance from this dancer!”she declared to herself. 

Read the article in the site

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Interface 2016: Festival of international choreographic works - Footloose and fancy free with Dr. Sunil Kothari

The 8th edition of the international dance biennale Interface 2016 was staged in Delhi at Habitat Centre, followed by its performances in Kolkata at Satyajit Ray Auditorium and Kala Mandir on 9, 10 and 11 September. Interface festival for cotemporary expressions covers dance, music, installations, paintings, fashion, theatre and cinema. This was the 25th year of Sapphire Creations established by Sudarshan Chakravorty, Artistic Director, dancer, choreographer and director of Interface along with co-director and director of Artsforward, Paramita Saha. They have been carrying on with grit and determination and deserve congratulations for their sustained efforts.

Read the review in the site

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Article - Dance: An integral part of human existence - Sudha Sridhar

(This article was published in a special edition 2015 book released by Nrityanjali Cultural Organisation, Hyderabad, on the occasion of World Dance Day, ‘Nrityanjali - A Tribute to Dance.’ Reproduced here with permission.)

Dance and music has always been an integral part of existence of human life right from time immemorial, probably suggesting that it has descended along with human beings right from the source itself.

It is quite true for all life forms too, namely a bird chirping in the woods, a peacock dancing, the nimble footed movements of some of the animals akin to rhythmic dance, the swaying of the plants and trees to the breeze, the perennial splashing of the waves of the seas, sound of river flowing, the thunder and the accompanying rains are all but a small simile of the endless dimensions through which nature expresses itself in sound and motion in a captivating manner.

Influenced both by the surroundings and also responding to the natural instinct, it is all but natural that the human being who is supposed to be pinnacle of nature’s creation in this planet called Earth too have found dance, music or together more often as an automatic choice for expression of joy in particular and the varied myriad emotions that humans are capable of emoting like happiness, pain, grief, fear, hope, etc. It is often heard and seen that dance and music is not limited to any particular creed or strata, it moves both the mass and class of the society in its own way since it is basically an expression born out of the inner core of one’s existence. 

View the article in the site

Thursday, 22 September 2016