Tag Archives: bharatanatyam

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!

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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 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 Season 2 Episode I (Part II)

Image Courtesy: Rajendran K Srinivasan
Image Courtesy: Rajendran K Srinivasan

Hello Arattarangetram viewers,

Welcome to Season II of Arattarangetram. This is the second 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. 

Raghu’s Segment – Dance history

00:33 – Raghu’s question: “In recent years, there has been a reduction in space for dance writing in print media. What are your thoughts on that?

1:28 – Anjana Rajan touches upon the following topics:

  • Entertainment is given more prominent
  • Commercial aspect
  • In early days, the review was published the day after the performance and that was a norm, which changed to once a week publication.
  • Readership for arts and theatre writing
  • Editorial matters: who is listening to whom?
  • What are the other alternatives space for arts/dance based journalism?
  • Gyan Darshan event with live audience and audience calling in. The reach is from interior of the country.

13:34 – “What do you think the philosophical difference between acting and abhinaya? How do people in theatre react to emoting in dance?”

28:30 – “Some Dance compositions – prior to Margam

Catch Part III here https://arattarangetram.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/arattarangetram-season-2-episode-i-part-iii/

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”

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