Category Archives: dance

Arattarangetram Season 2 Episode 2 (Part II)

Hello Arattarangetram viewers, here is the continuation of Season 2 Episode 2 of Arattarangetram, featuring Uma Sathya Narayanan, senior disciple of Chitra Visweswaran.

To listen to just the audio from the interview, you can download the mp3 from here (right click link and select “save link/target as”).

 

0:14 – Devil’s Advocate: Dance music vs. Carnatic music

9:18 – Discussing a musician’s ego when accompanying a dancer

13:06 – Communicating with musicians for dance orchestration

18:10 – Uma’s musical training with A.S. Murali Sir

22:14 – Chitra and Visweswaran’s relationship dynamic as dancer and musician

27:47 – Training for dance music

31:19 – Challenges for dance musicians

35:40 – Solutions for challenges for dance musicians

41:43 – Uma talks about singing for Chitra Visweswaran’s productions

49:55 – Rapid Fire

Thanks for watching!

Advertisements

Arattarangetram Season 2 Episode II (Part I)

pic 2 Pic by Avey Varghese, Courtesy – Uma Sathya Narayanan

Hello Arattarangetram viewers, this is the first part of Episode II of Arattarangetram Season II. In this episode, our special guest is Uma Sathya Narayanan, senior disciple of Chitra Visweswaran.

To listen to just the audio from the interview, you can download the mp3 from here (right click link and select “save link/target as”).

0:05 – Madhana introduces the booklet Sathya Narayanan

2:30 – “YouTubaanubhavam” – Discussion on Uma Sathya Narayanan’s video – http://youtu.be/XjDa4i6X4yc?t=7m25s

5:00 – Uma Sathya Narayanan answer’s Raj’s question on Chitra Visweswaran’s baani, Uma Sathya Narayanan’s interpretation of it and comparison of Chitra Visweswaran’s baani with other Vazhuvoor baanis

8:13 – Uma Sathya Narayanan talks about her initial days at Chidambaram Academy of Performing Arts

9:59 – Uma Sathya Narayanan answers Subha’s question about the idea of “abandon” in dance and how it comes with experience

12:22 – Raj asks Uma Sathya Narayanan about how her personal technique has evolved

15:34 – Subha plays another video clip – http://youtu.be/lP7MCmHisZA?t=47s

16:50 – Subha asks Uma Sathya Narayanan on grace and happiness in Chitra Visweswaran’s baani

19:26 – Kathak Influence (Birju Maharaj ji) in Chitra Visweswaran’s baani

21:13 – Do today’s dancers or does Bharatanatyam in general lack a sense of abandonment/spontaneity? Uma Sathya Narayanan answers..

23:38 – Effortlessness in dancing and its importance

24:55 – Drawing inspiration from nature for dancing

25:53 – The atmosphere in Chidambaram Academy of Performing Arts, Chennai and how it is conducive for learning art forms

28:09 – Experience about working in group – “Panchali Sabadham”

30:53 – Approach towards music, stage decor for Bharatanatyam

34:16 – Shadow play in “Sakhyam” production with Lakshmi Parthasarathy Athreya

36:24 – “Body language” for mime in Bharatanatyam

37:31 – Footwork intonations (vallinam, mellinam) in YouTube video

40:00 – Pressure on the artiste to handle lights, stage craft, and other logistics before show – India vs. abroad

44:31 – Uma Sathyanarayanan answers Madhana’s question on how the artist in her responded to her husband’s loss

51:12 – Family support in getting Uma Sathyanarayanan back to dancing

53:43 – Social stigma towards her dancing

57:30 – Vail Sathyanarayanan sings “Adhuvum Solluval” Javali (Sourashtram, Adi, Dharmapuri Subbarayar)

Watch out our blog for Part II of this episode with Uma Sathyanarayanan!

Arattarangetram Season 2 Episode I (Part I)

Image Courtesy: Anjana Rajan
Image Courtesy: Avinash Pasricha

Hello Arattarangetram viewers,

Welcome to Season II of Arattarangetram. This is the first part of Episode I of Arattarangetram Season II. In this episode, our special guest is Smt. Anjana Rajan, Visiting professor at New Delhi’s National School of Drama and the Shriram Centre for Art and Culture, and Correspondent and Senior Assistant Editor with The Hindu from New Delhi.

0:00 – Raghu Introducing the special guest Smt. Anjana Rajan.

Raj and Madhana’s segment

1:39 – Video from Louis Malle documentary “L’Inde fantôme: Reflexions sur un voyage

http://youtu.be/UueMNMoFEl4?t=9m36s

Anjana Rajan reminisces about her days in Kalakshetra.

08:37 – Subha asks “How important is to keep it (tradition) intact?

14:00 – Raj asks “How you started learning Bharatanatyam and can you tell us about your journey?

26:49 – Raj and Subha ask “How was the transitioning from Geneva to Kalakshetra?

35:17 – blooper

35:59 – blooper continued

37:15 – Subha’s question “Your experiences with Rukmini Devi Arundale in Kalakshetra

49:49 – The second video is of archive of Rukmini Devi Arundale  http://youtu.be/pZbtCfF-1-8?t=7m43s

50:52 – Subha asks “People who have interacted with Rukmini Devi Arundale and those who did not interact: the change in polarizing views. What are your views?

  • Subtlety in art
  • debate on adavus
  • The term “sanitizing the abhinaya”
  • Looking at why things were done at that period of time.

52:29 – UPDATE: It is the garuda mandala of the 2nd Tat tai tam adavu and not the 7th natta adavu as mentioned. Apologies for any confusion

1:00:50The Delhi art/dance scene, then and now

1:12:55Contrasting qualities about Delhi and Chennai

1:15:56 – Madhana’s question: “How does yours and GS Rajan’s synergies play at home and on stage?

1:25:55Language barriers while learning dance at Kalakshetra

Watch out for Part II and Part III of the same episode with Smt. Anjana Rajan in the next post.

Part II – https://arattarangetram.wordpress.com/2013/09/22/arattarangetram-season-2-episode-i-part-ii/

Arattarangetram Eighth Episode – Part II

Clockwise: Swamimalai Rajarathnam Pillai with Ravi Shankar and Kumari Kamala; with Vazhuvoor Ramiah Pillai; Smt. Jayakamala Pandian with SKR in a program (Images reproduced with permission)
Clockwise: Swamimalai Rajarathnam Pillai with Ravi Shankar and Kumari Kamala; with Vazhuvoor Ramiah Pillai; Smt. Jayakamala Pandian with SKR in a program (Images reproduced with permission)

Special Guest: Smt. Jayakamala Pandian, Artistic Director of Rajarathnalaya Arts Foundation, Bengaluru

Note to viewers: Due to technical difficulties the conversation about Vazhuvoor Ramaiah Pillai got interrupted. We have continued discussing the same thread in this video.

0:00 – Continuing the conversation from Part I of Arattarangetram Eighth Episode.

1:08 – Students who joined under Swamimalai K Rajarathnam Pillai after their arangetrams.

Raghu’s Segment

2:59 – Raghu’s Question “How did you imbibe the teaching methods from your father? Also, how did your father imbibe from Vazhuvoor Ramaiah Pillai?”  Discussing about Swamimalai K Rajarathnam Pillai’s teaching, his humility.

13:46 – Vocalist turned nattuvanaar – How important is the inclination of music to teaching?  Discussing about SKR and Lalgudi Jayaraman.

17:37 – Was Swamimalai K Rajarathnam Pillai choreography graceful due to his music?

18:10– Smt. Jayakamala Pandian sings a singati from Khamas varnam, emphasizing the musicality of Swamimalai K Rajarathnam Pillai.

19:35 – How challenging is it for current dance vocalists to render sangatis like Swamimalai K Rajarathnam Pillai?

24:18 – Vazhuvoor Bani and its intricate sollukattus.

Dance History

26:25 – Slideshow of “Historical snippets about Vazhuvoor Ramaiah Pillai”. Showing video from Film Division’s 1954 “Bharatanatyam” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL1hsfInhIc timestamps from 5:11 and from 6:31 onwards (Thanks to youtube user kvammayi for uploading the video!)

34:03 – Smt. Jayakamala Pandian identifies the vocalist as Radhakrishnan and Swamimalai K Rajarathnam Pillai and other members of the troupe in the video.

38:45 – Vazhuvoor Ramaiah Pillai reciting Jathis in the Film Division’s 1954 video.

39:38 – Trivia about Jayakamala Pandian’s name and discussion about Kumari Kamala

43:30 – Speciality of Vazhuvoor Bani/Style

Bonus video: Watch Smt. Jayakamala Pandian doing a demonstration of Virutham for “The Indian Fine Arts Society”

Arattarangetram Eighth Episode – Part I

Smt. Jayakamala Pandian

Hi Friends,

Enjoy the eighth episode of Arattarangetram here.

Special Guest: Smt. Jayakamala Pandian, Artistic Director of Rajarathnalaya Arts Foundation, Bengaluru

0:00 – Subha introducing the special guest Smt. Jayakamala Pandian

2:55 – Madhana’s question – “How is the dance scene in Bengaluru? How different  is it from Chennai?”

10:22 – Her favorite bangalore dancers

10:50 – Does Bengaluru has as sabha culture like Chennai?

11:52  – How do Bengaluru audiences perceive classical dance?

Madhana’s Segment

14:42 – Video of  “SKR 80 function held in Chennai, 2012” Link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B10xj-1yCnY

Jayakamala Pandian recounting the experiences of organizing the event in honour of her father, Swamimalai K. Rajarathnam Pillai’s 80th birthday celebrations.

22:23 – Unique teaching method of Bharatanatyam by SKR to his students

25:30 – Vazhuvoor nritta and its uniqueness: How is grace incoporated in the style? Explaining Ramiah Pillai’s and SKR’s teaching vazhuvoor bani.

38:00 – Collaboration between Bharatanatyam artists – an established norm.

Watch out for Part II and Part III of the seventh episode with Smt. Jayakamala Pandian in the next post.

Arattarangetram Seventh Episode – Part II and Part III

Priya Murle
Image Courtesy: The Hindu

Hi Friends,

Enjoy the seventh episode of Arattarangetram here. In this post you will see the dance history and Devil’s advocate segment.

0:00 – Part II and Part III

0:15 – Raghu’s question to Priya Murle “Can you elaborate on your M.Phil dissertation on the topic of Sadharaikarana and realization of Brahman”

8:00 – Dance is the fifth veda and is divine

12:50 – Dr. Godavarish Mishra – Her guide for M.Phil dissertation

Raghu’s segment

13:35 – “Aharya trends in Sadir”

40:19 – Sudharani Raghupathy’s doordarshan series about Aharya

42:22 – Raj’s question “What was your experiences with Therukoothu? How did it influence your dancing?”

49:00 – Aharya of therukoothu

References:

•Nautch girls, Hyderabad; a photo by Hooper and Western, 1860′s
•A Nautch Girl [from Ceylon], from Customs of the World, ed. by Walter Hutchinson, London, 1931
•Gentoo dancing girls from Madras, displaying jewellery,” a photo by Nicholas and Curths, 1870
•“Dancing girls of Pondicherry,”1836-45
•Coolie life in India–an operatic performance,” from The Graphic, 1878

•Bharatanatyam – Sunil Kothari 1979
•Women of Pride – Lakshmi Vishwanathan
•Balasaraswati : Her art and life – Douglas Knight
•Dance Dialects of India – Ragini Devi
•Nityasumangali – Saskia C Kersenboon

52:00 – Comparison with Melattur Bhagavatha Mela

55:00 – about Amba Shikandi

Devil’s advocate

57:27 – “Economics of a professional dancer. How does a dancer put up a performance financially? How practically is it viable?”

Topics touched

  • Teaching and Workshop as a source of income
  • Professionalism
  • Orchestra asks Money
  • Rehearsal
  • Season is mad, as everybody is tired
  • Government intervention with December season
  • Recognition of artists in public
  • lack of arts management
  • Stamp of approval from West
  • Lack of awareness of existing grants by Government of India
  • pressure on artists
  • academic pressures on students
  • are cities culturally aware?
  • find remedial measures
  • artists as methods of change

1:03:44 – recounting an anecdote about Sudhrai Raghupathy and Padma Subrahmanyam

1:30:30 – Rapid Fire round with Priya Murle by Subha

1:38:00 – Parting thoughts

Arattarangetram Seventh Episode Part I

Shankar Adisesh: Priya Murle. November 28, 2012 &emdash;
Priya Murle
Image Courtesy: Shankar Adisesh

Hi Friends,

Enjoy the seventh episode of Arattarangetram here.

Special Guest: Smt. Priya Murle, Artistic Director Of Shri Silambam Academy of Fine Arts from Chennai.

0:00 – Madhana introducing the special guest Smt. Priya Murle

1:32 – Madhana’s question – What is your approach to abhinaya?

7:28 – What about rehearsed abhinaya?

8:56 – Experiences in life and its effect on abhinaya

10:31 – Subha’s question – Can the audience find that the abhinaya was changed or perceive it as different from the previous performance?

Madhana’s Segment

14:44 – Video of Padmashri. Chitra Visweswaran (Jayadeva Ashtapadi) Link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgmvDtCoqA4 Disclaimer: Arattarangetram does not endorse the dancingindia.net’s views on dance videos. As there are very few videos available to show Chitra akka’s creativity and genius, we had to resort to showing this video.

16:45 – Discussion about the video and Chitra akka’s eye for details in choreography, lighting, and presentation.

24:36 – Video of Padmashri. Chitra Visweswaran highlighting her abhinaya. Thanks to tripmonk0 (Nick) for uploading this video. Link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvLdIwEpTNs

26:40 – Different approaches to abhinaya between different styles or banis

30:19 – Discussion about the video and the subtle cues given to the orchestra

Accompanying artists and their lack of rehearsal

Shortage of accompanying musicians for dance

33:51 – Internalization of the song by the orchestra to strike a rapport in a performance

35:51 – lessons to learn from senior artists

37:54 – Raj’s question – learning abhinaya in a on-on-one class versus learning in a group class – differences

Watch out for Part II and Part III of the seventh episode with Priya Murle in the next post.

Arattarangetram Sixth Episode Part III – Devil’s advocate

0:00 – Devil’s Advocate – “Do you have to believe in God to come across as a bharatanatyam dancer?”

Talking points

  • What is Bhakti?
  • Devotion towards God and devotion towards artform
  • Is belief irrelevant?
  • Spirituality and Religiousity
  • Is it a Journey?
  • Mythology: Just an interesting story?
  • Experience in life and dance
  • What can be a per-requisite?
  • How does an atheist see Bharatanatyam?
  • If one does not believe in God, are you being dishonest on stage that makes an audience believe in the character?

37:55 – Answer to Episode Part II question “Which famous dancer was born in 1936?”

Congratulations to Lavanya Rajagopalan for giving the right answer!!!

39:44 – Final wrap with “Life of Pi”

Arattarnagetram Fifth Episode – Part III

Dr. Rathna Kumar
Dr. Rathna Kumar

Welcome to the fifth episode of Arattarangetram. From this episode, we will split each episode as three parts and post it one every week from today, so that viewers have ease of viewing. Links to Part I and Part II. And from this episode we have a quiz/question for the viewers. Watch out at the end of the video for details!!!

Special Guest: Dr. Rathna Kumar, Anjali Center for Performing Arts, from Houston, Texas.

0:00 – Raj’s question to Rathna Kumar “How she started Anjali center for performing arts in 1975 and the dance scene in texas: then and now

07:29 – Dancing to recorded music

08:51 – Name of the school as “Anjali”

10:40 – Major changes in dance from 1975 and now in USA, and in general

Subha and Raj’s segment

18:10 – Devil’s advocate topic “Organizing arts is not taken seriously in India, unlike in USA where it is more streamlined

Topics covered:

  • Established and upcoming sabhas/organizations
  • Applying to dance festivals and events
  • Accountability of money
  • NRI dancers and “Green Dollars”
  • A standard for measuring dancers – lack of it
  • Applying for grants for inviting artists to perform in USA
  • Network of dance organizations in US vs India
  • Agents/Impresarios in classical dance – A good career choice?
  • Rasika base in chennai vs other places

33:42 – Rapid fire round to Rathna Kumar by Subha

43:53 – Advice to young dancers

45:27 – Quiz question to viewers “What is the crown of Nataraja made of?“. Send us your answers by commenting in this blog/video or in our facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/399141770149481/)

Arattarangetram Fifth Episode – Part II

Dr. Rathna Kumar
Dr. Rathna Kumar

Welcome to Arattarangetram’s fifth episode. Here is the Part II of this episode. Part I can be found here. And from this episode we have a quiz/question for the viewers. Watch out at the end of the video in Part III for details!!!

Special Guest: Dr. Rathna Kumar, Anjali Center for Performing Arts from Houston, Texas.

Raghu’s segment – Dance History

0:00 – Brief history about the other famous devadasi – a contemporary of Balasaraswati – Chennai Swarna Saraswathi

3:50 – Discussion about her and devadasi costumes in general

6:08 – Rathna Kumar’s experience of seeing/witnessing Balasaraswati’s dance and other legends while growing up in Chennai.

8:22 – Her views about teaching and her passion. Her mother, her grandmother and her family’s influence in her life.

15:48 – Raghu’s question to Rathna Kumar “Being a child artist in film industry and a classical dancer, what is your views on current portrayals of classical dance in Indian movies“. Discusses about Sai-Subbulakshmi.

21:20 – Future of classical dance – There is hope!

23:43 – Anecdotes from her days of being a child movie star.

25:23 – Sharing anecdotes of her interaction with actor Kamal Hassan

Watch out for Part III of the Fifth episode and the quiz at the end.