Hello Arattarangetram viewers,
Welcome to Season II of Arattarangetram. This is the third part of Episode I of Arattarangetram Season II. In this episode, our special guest is 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 – Devil’s advocate question “How hard is it separate an objective self to a subjective self? Can we keep our personal opinions away from our writings?”
- Literary criticism
- Keeping the art/science of criticism alive
- Closeness of artist and critic
- Reason behind the opinion written must be qualified
- Points of evaluating a performance
- Responsibility of the writer
- Arts are subjective, inherently
- The art reaching out to the audience, the writer reflecting it in the writing
- Avoiding careless writing or safeguards for honesty and integrity
17:47 – How do artists react to criticism? Do they take it in the right way? What parameters does the The Hindu have in place while recruiting dance writers?
- Art criticism is lacking in India
- Need for professional courses for dance journalism/criticism
- There are very few who learnt dance and write and there are others who have observed a lot
- There is a difference between review and publicity of the performance. Most of the time, the organizers/dancers confuse these two.
- Expectation of a good review from dancers
- Writing about non-dance things
- Writers should have technical expertise and integrity
26:30 – What happens when the reviewer’s/critic’s view on writing was not the one shared by the entire audience? How can we look at those writings again down the memory lane?
- How to check these and putting safeguards.
- Transcribing three-dimensional dance to words is not easy
- Cherry-picking from the reviews
- Over used words and adjectives such as brilliant, good, bad, nice should be avoided at all costs
34:05 – Who is the critic favoring in the writing? The lay-reader or the dancer?
- Usage and explanation of technical terms to the lay-reader
- Writing should bridge the artist and the reader, who are not dancers
- Increase the perception of the audience
39:30 – Dancers who are in the autumn of the career. How would their dance be evaluated as compared to young dancers?
- Can be covered as an event.
- The need for reviewing their performance
- Young dancers need to be told how to view the dance of older dancers
- Anecdote from Golden jubilee of Indian Independence, organized by Sangeet Natak Akademi.
47:26 – Do you think reviews today are hard or are bland, in context of the dance critic Subbudu? How do you react to reviews that border on rudeness?
- Is the same yardstick being applied to dancers, of the same group, of the dancers with same approach to dance?
- Dancers not wanting reviews
- Being on the pleasant side of society
- Care for the art
58:59 – When a critic is invited to review, how do you change roles and forget the things that happened during the day?
- Try to make oneself neutral
- Quality of a critic “One should really love the arts – Charles Fabri”
- Passionate towards art has a quality to wash away the disturbances of reviewing
- Checking if the reaction is from the moment of watching the dance or from the prior experience in the day.
1:03:37 – Rapid Fire round