In’dialogues’ – Indias TED : Challenges for a classical Artist. – Geeta Chandran, dancer

Padmashree Geeta Chandran, danseuse par excellence

Padmashree Geeta Chandran, danseuse par excellence

I come from a background that touches soul. In India culture is the identity. I represent the classical arts, not just dance. It includes music, theatre…

Journey has been extremely rich. I have been into performing arts for the last 40 years. In the last 10 years there has been transformation in expectation.

I see it as a journey to enhance, enrich and widen the canvas, influence youngster – national and international. These two have happened simultaneously. We should think beyond preserving the ancient. It should be seen as aesthetic and portent way of influencing the young minds.

Most of the dancers or performers coming today are not born into it, as was the case earlier. They are taking it as a choice. Arts are usually seen as just appendage. We are neglecting the formation an all round personality.

Coming from a family that is middle class, education was important. Though I was excelling in maths, I chose to get into arts in complete manner.

When I began, there were two concerns. People watched dance but not got beyond. It is very important to demystify. Most feel that it is not easy – rejection even before being informed. Just a feeling that classical is heavy.

So, I played around with language, presentation, costumes, technology, lights as choreographic devices. Bringing dance into intellectual discourse etc.

Any amount of talking cannot compensate the demonstration. How do you do it?

Dancing Nataraja – it decorates the foyers, adorns various presentations. Geeta went on to demonstrate on a compelling narrative on Nataraja and dance.

Indialogues - India future of Change
Indialogues - India future of Change
Indialogues - India future of Change
Indialogues - India future of Change
Indialogues - India future of Change
Indialogues - India future of Change
Indialogues - India future of Change
Indialogues - India future of Change
Indialogues - India future of Change
Indialogues - India future of Change
Indialogues - India future of Change
Indialogues - India future of Change
Indialogues - India future of Change
Indialogues - India future of Change
Indialogues - India future of Change

Change is inevitable. Values are eternal, not trendy. Strength of classical is being very dynamic, not static; It is played around, relevant to time and space you are in, and take it forward that is unique to yourself.

How are we going to move into the future, keeping and respecting our culture?

We need to keep our roots,… .yet acquire wings to move with time and be part off the international community, where the world is one and share common heritage.

I would like to share two things –

1. Do not view classical as inherited and cannot be taken ahead.
2. It is a great communication tool to address issues like war, female feticide, education, ..
1. New narratives can be evolved to say things aesthetically

The current architecture on display is painful, not doled out aesthetically; with such a rich heritage that are so much part and parcel

Q & A

Comment – Education and arts – linking both together; Education is more about mind and intellect – selflessness and helping others… Mind and heart

Envisaging and delivering – Challenges. We need to flexible

A lot of this is in the realms hearsay… When we look at the future, even which is unknown.. How do you take one unknown into another unkown?

Arts will always remain in the realm of unknown. It is codified yet not codified. It will remain like that. Grammar will remain, but how do you take it and interpret it is the challenge.

Next generation will have greater challenges. We need to create spaces to explore the fullest. We see it as a performing. Child does so many things that – from body, esthetics, facial, eyes, communication, understanding the society, incorporate the happenings around…

Cathartic, spiritual, expressive… still so much to be explored..

We are not expecting people to follow the art form… Do we have opportunity in future because..

Exposure in schools is not happening. In India we do not encourage. We should integrate art forms around into school education curriculum.. How do we bring it to make it happen is the key. Once we start doing it, we can integrate more and more audiences.

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Ananya dance festival, Oct 1-5; A must see if you love any dance form!

Ananya 2010 Day 5 - Kathak - Shama BhateAnanya 2010 Day 5 - Kathak - Shama BhateAnanya 2010 - Day 2 - Natya Vriksha - Geeta ChandranAnanya 2010 Day 5 - Kathak - Shama BhateAnanya 2010 - Odissi - day 1Purana Qila during Ananya Dance festival
Ananya 2010 - Day 2 - Natya Vriksha - Geeta ChandranAnanya 2010 Day 5 - Kathak - Shama BhateAnanya - Justin McCarthy - 22 October 2010 (Friday)Ananya - Justin McCarthy - 22 October 2010 (Friday)Ananya 2010 - Day 2 - Natya Vriksha - Geeta ChandranAnanya 2010 - Odissi - day 1
Ananya - Justin McCarthy - 22 October 2010 (Friday)Ananya 2010 - Odissi - day 1Ananya 2010 - Day 2 - Natya Vriksha - Geeta ChandranAnanya - Justin McCarthy - 22 October 2010 (Friday)Ananya 2010 - Day 2 - Natya Vriksha - Geeta ChandranAnanya 2010 - Day 2 - Natya Vriksha - Geeta Chandran
Ananya 2010 - Day 2 - Natya Vriksha - Geeta ChandranAnanya 2010 - Day 2 - Natya Vriksha - Geeta ChandranAnanya 2010 - Odissi - day 1Ananya 2010 - Day 2 - Natya Vriksha - Geeta ChandranAnanya - Justin McCarthy - 22 October 2010 (Friday)Ananya - Justin McCarthy - 22 October 2010 (Friday)

Ananya dance festival, a set on Flickr.

Ananya Dance Festival, Oct 1-5, A must see for all dance lovers.

Seher organizes the Ananya Dance Festival, group dance choreographs, in the month of October every year.

“Ananya is a festival of Indian classical dances that features the major classical forms on a single stage. It is, perhaps, the only one of its kind to present group choreography in various styles. Ananya brings to you the vibrancy of contemporary creativity in the Indian dance tradition. The dancers drawn from different styles, explore new vistas in responding to the challenges and of our times.”

Here in I captured a few of the wow moments of the group performances last year, 2009 and 2010. This year the performances are on, Oct 1-5. A must see for dance enthusiasts!!

Dances of India – What richness!!

World Dance Day - IHC - The Exuberance That Is DanceAnanya - Justin McCarthy - 22 October 2010 (Friday)Anupriya's BharatanatyamKathak Samaroh 2010World Dance Day - Natya Vriksha Young dancers festival 2011Natya Vriksha - Women's Day
Odissi - Madhavi MudgalAnanya - Justin McCarthy - 22 October 2010 (Friday)Ananya 2010 - Odissi - day 1Ananya 2010 - Day 2 - Natya Vriksha - Geeta ChandranWorld Dance Day - IHC - The Exuberance That Is DanceNatya Vriksha - Women's Day
Parampara 2010, Natyatarangini's festivalParampara 2010, Natyatarangini's festivalKathak Samaroh 2010Ananya - Justin McCarthy - 22 October 2010 (Friday)Utsav - Dances from OrissaKathak Samaroh 2010
SNA Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar 2009Parampara Series - Radha Raja Reddy presentKathak Samaroh 2010Shovana Narayan - Kathak - BVB mahotsavNagalandSPICMACAY-2008-06-16-01262009odissikelu-1-2009-04-07-0050

Dances of India, a set on Flickr.

Indian dance forms are rich portrayal of the history, culture and living, of our nation and also of the social context. Each form weaves the stories beautifully that are either passed on over generations, or that are carried through amazing literature – epics, upanishads, vedas etc.

Bharatnatyam, Kathakali, Koodiyattam, Kuchipudi, thayyam, odissi, kathak, mohiniyattam, manipuri, chau are a few of the forms. There are scores of variants, along with other folk forms that are very prevalent.

As I enjoy watching and also dancing, I created this set of my experiences…. Keep catching here the updates as I meander through my journey of soul searching and visual treats..

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