Tag Archives: Dance Critic

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

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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 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/