Tag Archives: devils advocate

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

Advertisements

Arattarangetram Ninth Episode

Still from "Sibagamiyin Sabadham". Image courtesy: Madurai R Muralidharan
Still from “Sibagamiyin Sabadham“.
Image courtesy: Madurai R Muralidharan

Hi Friends,

Here is the Ninth episode of Arattarangetram. Our special guest is  Shri. Madurai R Muralidharan, Founder-Director of Nrithyakshethra Dance Academy, Chennai (http://www.muralidaran.org)

0:11 – Madhana introducing the special guest, Shri. Madurai. R. Muralidharan

Madhana’s Segment

1:40 – Madhana’s Question “How and when did you start composing music for dance?”

12:11 – Madhana’s question “For composing dance music, what aspects do you keep in mind? What differentiates composition made for dance from others?”

Raghu’s Segment – Dance history

16:12 – Raghu’s question “As a dancer and choreographer, after reading a literature, how do you go about the process of choreography? How do you bring the spirit of the literature on the stage?”

32:01 – Snippets from Dance history “Karaikaal Natesa Dhandayuthapani Pillai”

Click here to see the presentation: episode9

References: 

Raj’s segment – Devil’s advocate

37:34 – Raj’s question “How to train a child alongside learning dance? What other classes can be supplemented?”

46:25 – Knowledge of Language in dance

53:08 – Blooper

54:04Devil’s advocateWestern instruments in a Bharatanatyam performance. Are they destructive or constructive?

Topics touched:

  • Recreating sounds in a program
  • Using other Indian instruments in a concert
  • Use of instruments in a solo vs. group productions
  • Base tones, Sharp tones
  • Acoustic vs. Electronic instruments
  • Use of instruments at the appropriate place in the concert
  • Keyboard gamakams

Shri. Madurai Muralidharan’s North American tour of “Sivagamiyin Sabadham” 2013

  • July 5th – Toronto – FETNA
  • July 12th – London – Manidha Neyam Trust
  • August 24th – New Jersey
  • August 31st – New York
  • September 7th – Detroit
  • September 15th – Dallas
  • September 21st – Houston
  • September 28th – Mary land
  • October 1st week – Connecticut
  • October 2nd week – Philadelphia
  • October 4th week – San Francisco

Arattarangetram Eighth Episode – Part III

ab8b69b4-1693-49f3-86d1-b1cc1fe7fe87wallpaper
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 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/)