SPANDAN – World Dance Evening 2017

The Spandan-World Dance Evening at the India Habitat Centre the same evening, was the enthusiastic culmination of  a month long Festival of the Performing Arts and an ambitious exhibition of dance photographs, curated by R Sreenivasan in the open spaces of the Habitat World on the occasion of the World Dance Day. 

 Celebrating the infinite potential in umpteen varieties of dance forms, Spandan showcased a spectacular melange of dance forms from Indian classical dances like Odissi by Arushi Mudgal, Bharatanatyam by Suhail Bhan and Kathak by Irina from Russia to contemporary dance by Neha Sharma of Sadhya, Jazz by Danceworx, Hip-Hop by the Quake Crew, Flow Art by Eshna Kutty, Tajik dance by Naseeba from Tajikistan and a mesmerising Folk Fusion by Nitisha Nanda from Banjara. The over-packed Stein Auditorium resounded with thunderous applause at the end of this extravaganza of dance, conceived by R Srinivasan of Spandan, created by Indira Ganesh and anchored by their 13-year-old talented daughter Mallika. 

Here is the coverage of the evening on the Rajya Sabha TV…

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Tributes to GURUS : Nartanam special edition releases at SPANDAN 2016

A blessing to have had stalwarts of Indian Art and Culture on SPANDAN 2016 for release of special issues of Nartanam Dance Journal on Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, Dr Padma Subrahmaniam and Sri Avinash Pasricha by Prof Lokesh Chandra (President ICCR). The Amaltas Hall at IHC was packed with eminent scholars, dancers, gurus, photographers and rasiks.

Tributes to GURUS : Nartanam special edition releases at SPANDAN 2016

The evening was anchored by Ms Indira Ganesh.

It was very kind of Sri Raghuraman to play “Vataapi Ganapatim” on his soulful flute to start the evening, as the chief guest was a triffle late. It was blessing!

Tributes to GURUS : Nartanam special edition releases at SPANDAN 2016

Indira invited Dr. Sunil Kothari, scholar and dance critic, who conceived the evening to share about the chief guest, Prof Lokesh Chandra. Indeed we were blessed to have him, for his sheer depth of research on various aspects of culture, language and heritage. He extensively recited Sanskrit shlokas and also shared stories from his journey to the Oriental lands of Japan and China. Dr. Sunil Kothari felicitated Prof Lokesh Chandra.

Madhavi Puranam, editor Nartanam, humbly invited scholars Dr. Sunil Kothari, Mrs Manjri Sinha, Mrs. Leela Venkataraman, Sri Avinash Pasricha on stage. Prof Lokesh Chandra felicitated the scholars and also released the special issues of Nartanam. Unfortunately Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan was indisposed with a fall, and could not make it. Prof Lokesh Chandra unveiled the book on Art and Aesthetics written by Madhavi Puranam.

Tributes to GURUS : Nartanam special edition releases at SPANDAN 2016

Mrs Leela Venkataraman and Mrs Manjari Sinha shared their insights into the effort being taken by Madhavi in running the journal Nartanam, to deliver the issues month after month for the last 15 years. Indeed a commendable work and service to the art forms.

Tributes to GURUS : Nartanam special edition releases at SPANDAN 2016

Tributes to GURUS : Nartanam special edition releases at SPANDAN 2016

The evening culminated with a divine performance by Bharatanatyam Danseuese Rama Vaidyanathan. It was a humble gesture on part of Ramaji to gracefully accede to our request to perform. Smt Sudha Raghuraman with her divine vocals accompanied by Sri Raghuraman added to the divinity of the evening.

I humbly thank Mr. Veenu Pasricha for clicking these photographs.

CLASSICAL DANCES CATCH EVOCATIVE VIBES OF ETERNAL MAN THROUGH TAGORE’S POETRY

Fun & Frolic

BY Leela Venkataraman in India Heritage Desk

Categories like traditional and contemporary dissolve in Tagore’s poetry which essentially catches Eternal Man, in all his colours. A scholar on Tagore’s works, Dr.Utpal Banerjee (recognised with a Padmashri award for his expertise) conceived of a delightful evening of classical dance hosted by Indira Ganesh and organised by R.Sreenivasan, under the aegis of India International Centre at the IIC auditorium, based on Tagore’s poetry.Established dancers selected from various dance disciplines, specially known for their sensitivity in abhinaya, in order of appearance, were Puvadhanashree (Vilasini Natyam), Kavita Dwibedi (Odissi), Pratibha Prahlad (Bharatanatyam) and Saswati Sen (Kathak).

Fun and Frolics 101

With Kamalini Dutt’s creative collaboration, the poem Purva selected for interpretation Saadh (The Desire), by settling for a vocalist like Samina De singing the original Bengali poem, preserved the linguistic ambiance of Tagore’s work, with Tanjavur Kesavan’s rhythmic inputs and mridangam accompaniment, tabla by Gyan Singh, Dr. S vasudevan’s nattuvangam and Rajat Prasanna’s flute chiming in with sensitive support. Purva’s interpretative skills, honed under years of training in Vilasini Natyam under Swapnasundari exudes an inner joy which ideally chimed in with the uplifting nature of Desire, where hope and expectation rising high bloom among the clouds and amidst the stars. This abstract state-of-being lost amidst the birds floating in comfort in the sky, was convincingly caught in the dancer’s highly internalised interpretation. Not going beyond the grammatical boundaries of the lasya-filled Vilasini Natyam even in the teermanams, the dance not having the ambit of bodily spread of Bharatanatyam leaps and jumps and leg stretches, the dancer through intensity of feeling (filling the dancer’s inner space), retained in the contained performance the soaring feel of taking off into space in joy. Lines like “..hriday mor megher mato, aakaash maajhe haasity chaay” or “paakhir gaan laage re Jena, deher chaaripaashe” with the songs of birds caressing the body were very suggestively brought out in the dancer’s gestures and expressions. Sung in the form of a thumri with feeling, the joyous finale with the garden filled with sounds of Dawn’s laughter and the laughter of flowers got represented through a Tillana in Kapi ragam sung by A.Venkateshwar, winsomely rendered through light footed nritta.

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Odissi dancer Kavita Dwibedi in Shapan (The Dream) “Dine hai ek-mato rate hai aar” wondered at the polarities she saw in herself – from what she was in her wakeful state and what she became in her nocturnal dreams – seemingly representing two contradictory selves – one a reluctant school goer being pushed by her youngest uncle, the other flying in the sky, a cloud searching for the rainbow, travelling on the wings of the wind, crossing the seas to spread ‘water -showers’. Rudely awakened by the thunderclap, she trembles looking for Mom, nowhere near. Kavita’s evolving artistic creativity now has the strong support of singer Suresh Kumar Sethi, whose Pallavi composition in Brindavan Sarang for this work, coming in as punctuation after every interpretative segment, changed the level of the work completely. With Aavery Chaurey for guidance, and her own very involved expressional talents (her now more trim presence aesthetically turned out), Kavita’s Odissi did full justice to the poem, Indira Mukherjee helping out with the poetry recitation parts. While the nritta parts for the Pallavi were well conceived and laya perfect, the chauka position so central to Odissi, tended to be less articulated than required.

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Pratibha Prahalad in her Bharatanatyam homage to Tagore and Utpal Banerjee, skilfully wove in passages from three poems – exploring the mother/child relationship – Aakul Aahbaan (The Fervent Call), Maa-Lakshmee (Goddess Lakshmi), and Shishur Mrityu (Death of a Child). A mother’s heartache at the loss of a child, the apple of her eye on whom she has lavished all love and care, whose heart could not bear the slightest tear in the child’s eyes and she sorrowfully asks Nature why as Lord of endless treasures, Nature needed the victorious thrill of emptying a mother’s heart by taking away the one treasure of her life? The dancer’s knitting of selected passages from each into a seamless whole, had Sudha Raghuraman’s very moving music in Neelambari, in Vasantha and finally in an evocative.Tanam passage set to Kalyani. Sudha added bhava through the contours of the raga while the highly emotive passages in Bengali were recited by Mahua Chowdhury. Stages of the child growing up under the mother’s care and love came as interspersed passages while the refrain of the Mother anxiously awaiting the daughter’s arrival – …”Kothay gelo Raanee aamaar Raanee” became the eternal cry of the bereaved mother. The dancer in a theme, which could have strayed into exaggerated histrionics, retained the aesthetic level undiluted. Chandrasekhar’s muted mridangam and G. Raghuraman’s plaintive flute notes added to the total impact.

Fun and Frolics 219

Saswati Sen, given her penchant for abhinaya, had the double advantage of dealing with home territory –for as a person from Bengal, she was on familiar ground with Tagore’s poetry. Banabaas (Banishment to the Wood) is a quaint child/mother interaction, wherein the child challenges the mother that if he only had a brother like Lakshman for company, he too would go to the forest without qualms, if his father like Rama were to send him. He would, under a tree shade, fix up a home for all, and would feed the deer with the tree leaves, make a garland out of the blooming flowers, share the fruit he collected with brother Lakshman, eating out of a lotus leaf, play a tune on the flute and watch the peacock dance, and the squirrel scurrying around. But for all that – he had to have a brother like Lakshman. The poem clearly echoes the child’s cry for a sibling. Saswati successfully drew on Kathak’s ancestry with the Katha vachak tradition, for the narrative bits of a mother/child dialogue. Kathak’s rich nritta bits of ginti compositions, tukras and Mayur gat, became links connecting interpretative passages with some footwork also woven in. Music composed by Pandit Birju Maharaj , had Abirban Bhattacharya for the vocal support with Utpal Ghosh on the tabla and Ajay Prasanna providing flute accompaniment.

Utpal Banerjee could hardly have wished for a better thanksgiving than what the evening provided.

Guru Ghanakanta Bora, Anwesa : Sattriya @ SPIC MACAY Intl Convention, IIMC
Leela Venkataraman

LEELA VENKATARAMAN

Purposefulness and Passion paves the way – S Vijay Kumar, an FPM student at IIMK, is a sought after Bharatanatyam dancer too!

Purushakaram S VIjaykumar

I was at the monsoon festival of India International Centre, New Delhi last week. The prestigious festival this year focused on male dancers – four brilliant, young dancers – Praveen kumar, Renjith Babu, S Vijay kumar and Lokesh Bharadwaj – who are making their mark on the firmament of Bharatanatyam world, performed. I have seen and captured Praveen and Lokesh a few times earlier too; Got to watch Renjith and VIjay for the first time and felt that both have immense talent and are obviously hardworking too; just need more exposure and experience.

Vijay, opened the second day, and was introducing every piece before he performed. He was also dancing to recorded carnatic classical music. Towards the end of the performance, he thanked all the facilitators and also thanked his orchestra. Sheepishly, while he introduced all the accompanist names, he shared that the lead singer for the pieces is none other than Vijay himself. It is very creditable indeed, as in the entire history of Indian classical dance there have been just a handful of people who have done this.

At the end of the concert, as usual, I met Vijay, to know him a little more. In the course of the short conversation, he shared that he is doing research in Behavioural sciences. On probing further, he shared that he is pursuing FPM at IIM Kozhikode. It was very inspiring to know and I complimented him; and also shared with him that I too am from the IIM fraternity and I know the pressure that he must be in, to balance the two – academics on one hand and performing arts on the other.

For the IIC to call a dancer to perform in this prestigious festival, the dancer must have arrived on the national/international stage and indeed Vijay has.

As usual, I captured all the performances and posted one picture of each on my FLICKR account and FB page SREENIViews last evening, and tagged the dancers.

This morning I get a message from VIjay –

“Hello Sir, I am Vijay Kumar.S. I performed at Purushaakaram, IIC. Thank you so much for the wonderful picture. I did not know you are the same Sreeni as the one we know from Career launcher. I was a student of CL. I remember the short conversation we had. I did not think that you would be so humble. Thank you so much 🙂 Definitely a day to remember sir.”

I responded –

You are inspiring vijay. Glad that you have been a family member. I am sure with your excellence in multiple spaces you will inspire scores. Will catch up for a longer conversation. Love and wishes.

Indeed, purposefulness and passion accompanied by perseverance, can take one a long way! No one can stop, if you are really goooooood.

Keep going Vijay!

[Krishnan Natarajan, an alum of IIMK, whom I recruited for CL in 1999 from the campus, is today a very sought after Hindustani Vocalist too…….thats another story!]

Spandan Calendar of Dance 2014 – A tribute to Indian Dance Forms : Downloads

I humbly dedicate to Indian heritage, traditions and dance forms, every exponent of these dance forms and the scores of dance connoisseurs and lovers, and every volunteer of movements like SPIC MACAY this calendar. It is a work of passion, perseverance and patience. Kindly accept this sincere offering.

I have put the links for various formats to download here, as sending across the large files will unnecessarily clog so many inboxes. Each of these locations is trustworthy, as I am an account holder for years and have uploaded files from my account.

Just clicking on each of these will yield you different kind of formats that are safe …

– a. Power Point Show from Slidshare.com
– b. Zip file for Screen Saver from Hyperfileshare.com
– c. each leaf of the calendar from FLICKR

For Power Point show format – DOWNLOAD from Slideshare here, by taking your mouse on this picture and click SAVE icon

FOR creating Screen Saver – DOWNLOAD my annual SPANDAN Calendar of Dance 2014 – A tribute to Indian Dance forms, in the zip format, from Hyperfileshare.com where I have uploaded. After downloading, unzip it. A directory gets created. You can select all the files there in, right click and set it as background for your gadget – Laptop, desktop or mobile…

Alternatively, you can download each of these from FLICKR itself, by going to the photos, right clicking, selecting the size and saving it into your hard disk.

You can use these as the screensaver for your desktop, once you download all of them into a directory – spandan calendar of Dance 2014. Just select all, right click and ‘set it as background of desktop’

Spandan Calendar of Dance  - A tribute to Indian Dance Forms 2014Spandan Calendar of Dance  - A tribute to Indian Dance Forms 2014Spandan Calendar of Dance  - A tribute to Indian Dance Forms 2014Spandan Calendar of Dance  - A tribute to Indian Dance Forms 2014Spandan Calendar of Dance  - A tribute to Indian Dance Forms 2014Spandan Calendar of Dance  - A tribute to Indian Dance Forms 2014
Spandan Calendar of Dance  - A tribute to Indian Dance Forms 2014Spandan Calendar of Dance  - A tribute to Indian Dance Forms 2014Spandan Calendar of Dance  - A tribute to Indian Dance Forms 2014Spandan Calendar of Dance  - A tribute to Indian Dance Forms 2014Spandan Calendar of Dance  - A tribute to Indian Dance Forms 2014Spandan Calendar of Dance  - A tribute to Indian Dance Forms 2014
Spandan Calendar of Dance  - A tribute to Indian Dance Forms 2014Spandan Calendar of Dance  - A tribute to Indian Dance Forms 2014Spandan Calendar of Dance  - A tribute to Indian Dance Forms 2014Spandan Calendar of Dance  - A tribute to Indian Dance Forms 2014

 

Kindly like and share this article / calendar to reach to more lovers of performing arts, by clicking on the buttons down under. Thanks

SPANDAN : curtain raiser on Rajya Sabha TV and Complete recordings

The Curtain Raiser of SPANDAN introducing the three dancers – Nikolina, Carolina and Nitisha Nanda appeared on Rajya Sabha TV. The complete program is scheduled to come any time in the near future.

If you wish to watch, here they are, as captured by my film team –

Nikolina’s Bharatanatyam – Bho Shambho

Carolina’s Chau – Nataraja

Nitisha’s Odissi – Jayadeva’s Shiva Stuthi

Quincy Kendll Charles’ Kathak – Taal Damaar

Paola Santa Cruz’s Flamenco

Nikolina’s Ballet

Carolina’s Columbian Cumbria dance

Nitisha’s Egyptian Classical Belly dance

The first segment of the SPANDAN world dance evening had an interactive session with Eminent photographer Shri Avinash Pasricha anchored by Mrs Leela Venkataraman, eminent dance critic and Mrs Geeta Chandran, celebrated Bharatanatyam dancer.

I loved conceiving this unique festival and bringing it to you. Looking forward to bettering it every year. Kindly leave your feedback so as to help me.

Love and regards.

Bharatanatyam exponent, Vani Ganapathy

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Dance - Bharatanatyam : Vani GanapathyDance - Bharatanatyam : Vani GanapathyDance - Bharatanatyam : Vani GanapathyDance - Bharatanatyam : Vani GanapathyDance - Bharatanatyam : Vani GanapathyDance - Bharatanatyam : Vani Ganapathy

Loved watching Vani’s Abhinayas at her recent performance at Indian International Centre, New Delhi. I would have been elated to see her performing with a lively pace, though!

Kindly visit my stagelogue SREENI ON STAGE for the complete story and larger photographs. Thanks

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