Category Archives: Rapid Fire

Arattarangetram Season 2 Episode I (Part III)

Image Courtesy: artindia.net

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. 

Devil’s advocate

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

Arattarangetram Eighth Episode – Part III

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Clockwise: Swamimalai Rajarathnam Pillai with Lalgudi Jayaraman; with T. Balasaraswati; Smt. Jayakamala Pandian (Images reproduced with permission)

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

0:00 – Devil’s advocate “How to make current kutcheri padati of Bharatanatyam accessible for non-dancer audiences?”

Topics touched:

  • cinema influences in classical dance
  • folk dances
  • changes in format
  • do such changes dilute the classical art form?
  • classical dancers in cinema
  • how is the same song choreographed for cinema and for a stage?
  • Swamimalai Rajarathnam Pillai and cinema

23:42 – Rapid Fire round

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 Fourth Episode

Hi Friends,

Enjoy the fourth episode of Arattarangetram here.  At the outset, apologies for the echo that you hear while viewing the video. We will definitely troubleshoot this in the next episode.

Special Guest: Sangeetha Shyam – Bharatanatyam and the Worldwide Web blogger

(Link to the blog: http://sangeethas.wordpress.com/)

Sangeetha Shyam

Introduction:

00:18 – New member of Arattarangetram, Raj’s introduction

00:42 – Subha introduces the Special Guest for the episode, Sangeetha Shyam

02:31 – Madhana’s question to Sangeetha about the Bharatanatyam and worldwide web blog (http://sangeethas.wordpress.com/)

04:24 – Subha’s question to Sangeetha about her experience of maintaining the blog and her related web based activities. (http://onlinebharathanatyamacademy.wordpress.com/)

Madhana’s Segment

07:53 – Discussion about “Bala” 1976 by Satyajit Ray, where Bala demonstrating the padam “Unnai Thoodu Anupinen” in Ragam Saveri

followed by discussion about “musicality and dance”

18:24 – An excerpt from the Mohamana Varnam from the same documentary, where Bala is shown performing to the “Bhoga Tyagesa” and discussion about the line Bhoga Tyagesa.

followed by discussion about Balasaraswati.

Acknowledgement : The video shown was uploaded by another blogger Minai, who maintains the blog “Cinema Nritya Gharana“. 

Link to the full documentary “Bala” 1976 by Satyajit Ray

Raghu’s Segment

31:12 – Raghu’s question to Sangeetha about her experience of learning under Padmashri. Chitra Visweswaran

followed by being a teacher from a student

42:14 – Video excerpt showing the Devadasis doing alarippu who were in the service of the Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III of Baroda in 1930.

Link to the full video: http://www.britishpathe.com/video/maharanee-of-baroda/query/maharanee from timestamp 07:10

More info about the video from Minai’s blog:

http://cinemanrityagharana.blogspot.in/2012/07/rare-video-clips-of-devadasis-uday.html

http://cinemanrityagharana.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-devadasi-video-mystery-solved.html

References:

1:00:19 – Subha’s question to Sangeetha about judging a performance

Subha and Raj’s Segment

1:02:55  –  Devil’s advocate topic “Ideal/Best diet for a dancer and should dancers watch their weight”

Topics touched upon:

  • glycemic index
  • BMI
  • Rice
  • thrifty gene hypothesis
  • south indian diet
  • fitness – resistance exercises
  • ideal body type for dance
  • criticisms towards dancers being overweight
  • mental stress on dancers about watching weight

1:27:25 – Rapid Fire round to Sangeetha by Subha

Send us your comments and views

Arattarangetram Third Episode

Friends, Apologies for the delayed posting of the third episode. Due to some technical glitches the video could not be published immediately after the shoot.

Special Guest: Dr. Joyce Paul Poursabahian

Youtube link of her dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6XSuWR0-AE

Introduction:

00:22 – Subha introducing the guest Dr. Joyce Paul Poursabahian

01:28 –  Madhana’s question to Joyce akka about her PhD in Anthropology of Performance studies.

Madhana’s Segment

11:41 – Reviewing the Trikala jathi from the documentary “Sanchari”, based on Leela Samson.

15:30 – Joyce akka’s experience with her guru Leela Samson.

21:58 – A jathi from the varnam “Roopamu Joochi”in Thodi Ragam, followed by the sahitya part

23:17 – Leela akka’s abhinaya and related discussion about Abhinaya

27:14 – Challenges of teaching Abhinaya

Raghu’s Segment

34:49 – Dance notations in 4th century

References

•Early Tamil Epigraphy: From the Earliest times to the Sixth Century AD. By Iravatham Mahadevan, 2003, Harvard Oriental Series Volume 62, Harvard University Press.

•http://www.hindu.com/lr/2003/08/03/images/2003080300280403.jpg

•http://sangeethas.wordpress.com/2012/05/05/inscriptional-evidences-related-to-dance-and-male-dancers-in-tamilnadu/

•http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_-07hPytYBXc/TKHfM9GkYKI/AAAAAAAAAew/7HcU4ps2HHQ/s1600/erode.jpg

•http://www.hindu.com/mp/2005/10/08/images/2005100801370301.jpg

Subha’s Segment

42:29 – Rapid fire round

47:21 – Devil’s Advocate: Do we need an Arangetram? What does it stand as of today?

Topics touched upon:

  • Joyce akka’s own arangetram experience
  • Money involved (Arangetram fees vs tuitions for regular class)
  • Solo performance as a challenge
  • Pressure from others and within
  • Emotional aspect of doing/completing an arangetram