Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Arangetram

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Arangetram is a granduation performance that is the part of the traditional format – the Margam ( path) . It reflects the different stages of the dancer’s consciousness . In Tamil (one of the south Inidan languages)Aranga means is raised stage and etram means climbing. Ii is also called as Rangaprevesha in Kannada (another South Indian Language) where Ranga means stage and prevesha means enter. Arangetram is test for the Sishya ( student) as well as the Guru (teacher) as the Guru’s knowledge and the Sishya’s talent are judged by the Public. So the Arangetram is done only when the Guru feels that the Sishya is capable and talented enough to perform the Arangetram. For performing this Arangetram the student must have atleast 10 to 12 years of training. Arangetram was known as Gejjepooje once in the Old Mysore District (the State of Karnataka in South India) which means worshipping the jingles in Kannada. In Tamil this is known as Salangai Poojai where Salangai means the jingles and the poojai menas prayers to God. The Sishya is not supposed to wear the Jingles until this ceremony is performed. However, this concept has changed slightly and the Salangai poojai or Gajjepooje is performed after a few of learning dance . And the Arangetram is performed after advance learning. The accompaniment include the singer, the Mridhanga Player, the Violin player and the Natvanga. Other instruments like veena , flute etc., are optional. These accompaniments play a very important role. The performer wears a lot of jewellary , make-up and specially stiched dress. Jingles are a must. The performaer must have a lot of stamina and concentration as he or she has to perform the Arangetram for about 3 hours. This time is divided into two parts.

The first part of the Arangetram comprises the following items.

Pushpanjali or Alaripu

Jathiswara

Shabdha

Varna

The second part comprises of

Padam
Ashtapathi or Devernama
Thillana
Mangala

Pushpanjali

In this item the dancers salute the God, Guru and the Audience. It is warm up item where the artist prepares the body for the next hours of vigorous performance. Alaripu (budding flower)

It includes pure Nrtta. And the movements are performed according to the syllables set for beat (thala). The complexity of the movements gradually increase. This ia also a warm up piece to prepare the body for the next hours of the Bharatnatyam performance. It doeasn’s convey any message but is considered as an item where the artist salutes the God , Guru and the audience.

Jathiswara

It is more complex than the previous items. It comprises of amazing postures and teermanas or muktayas (ending of the jathi). This ia musical composition set to a Raga unlike alaripu.

Shabda

This is a dance item with both Nrtta and abhinaya. The theme of the lyrics is usually devotional like depicting Krishna’s childhood, praising a King or describing any sequence from any of the famous devotional stories. In the shabdam the emotions are withheld at the beginning; thereafter when the dancer has clarified herself , they are released in a measured and disciplined manner. After mastering this discipline she dances the Varnam.

Varnam:

In this item Bhratanatyam dancers are tested for their capacity to perform both abhinaya and nrtta. It containe many complex steps and expressions. The lyrics can be devotinal . Varna can also have Shringara Rasa as its theme.

Padam:

It is includes expression of divine love or pangs of separation in love. The tempo is comparatively slow that is based on a specific mood of love. Padams will have nayakas ( hero, supreme lover, divine lord,) and Nayika ( heroine, the yearning soul). Usually a heroine tells her friend her feelings towards the hero . The Bhratanatyam lyrics is about how the hero has betrayed , how he has delayed his arrival, how she is angry with her beloved hero etc.

Ashtapathi

These are poet Jayadevas Sanskrit compositions called Geethagovinda an extremely romantic composition..It described the love of Lord Krishna and Radha (Krishna’s childhood friend ) in 12 cantos containing songs. The songs are sung by Krishna or Radha or by Radha’s maid. Each canto is named differently based on Krishna’s status of mind.

Saamodadamodara -joyful Krishna
Aakleshakeshava – careless Krishna
Mugdhamadhusoodhana – bewildered Krishna
Snigdhamadhusoodhana – tender Krishna
Saakankshapundareekaksha – longing Krishna
Kuntavaikunta – indolent Krishna
Naagaranaaraayana – cunning Krishna
Vilakshalakshmeepatihi – abashed Krishna
Mandamukunda – languishing Krishna
Chaturachaturbhuja – intelligent Krishna
Saanandadamodara – blissful Krishna
Supreetapeetambara – ecstatic Krishna

Expressiona play a very important role in this item. The Rasa can be expressed only if the Bharatanatyam dancer is matured enough to understand the lyrics and the situation.

Devaranama

This item comprises of devotional lyrics in praise of God , describing the God etc., It mainly comprises of Abhinaya with almost no emphasis on Nrtta. These sons are the Bharanatyam compositions of great mystics like PURANDARADASAR , KANAKADASAR, VIJAYADASAR ,VYASARAJA to name a few. The Bharatanatyam compositions are popularly known as Daasa Sahitya. It is a devotional literature written in simple language. It preaches philosophies of love , devotion and peaceful co existence.

Tillana

This is usually the last item in any Bharatanatyam performance. It is full of complicated movements and postures including complicated muktayas are Sollukattu,ending of any step or adavu. This mainly a Nrtta piece which might have a charana, a meaningful lyrics for which Abhinaya is shown.

Mangala.

It denotes the ending of the performance. Here the Bhratanatyam artist will again salute the God, Guru and the Audience for making the performance a success and as a token of thanks giving.




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ADAVUS

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THE “ADAVUS” OF BHARATANATYAM
by Sapna Rangaswamy, Baroda
e-mail: rangaswamy@satyam.net.in
When I stamped my right foot, way back in the year 1970 I didn't know what I was doing… I didn't even know that it was my first day at learning Bharatanatyam.


Surprisingly, I learnt my tattadavu from the Kuchipudi maestro Guru Shri Acharyalu at the Darpana Academy in Ahmedabad. I was four years old and could hardly even spell the word “Bharatanatyam.”


So, for young students, like I was then, here is a basic introduction to Bharatanatyam.
There are thirteen groups of Adavus containing 36 to 52. Number of Adavus varies from the ways of teaching and depends on the Guru who may have his own style of interpreting them.


The Adavus can be classified under the following groups:


1. Tattadavuà Syllables: Tai ya tai
Hastas used: Pathakam.


2. Nattu Adavau -à Syllables: Ta tai tai ta and Taiyum tatta tayum taha
Hastas used: Tripatakam, Katakamukham, Alapadmam.


3. Kuditta Mettu Adavuà Syllables: Tai ha tai ha
Hastas used: Katakamukham, Alapadmam


4. Sarukkal Adavu à Syllables: Tai hath- dhit tai
Hastas used: Pathakam, Katakamukham, Alapadmam and Mrigashirsham


5. Thirumana Adavuà Syllables: Tadhikinathom, Kitatakatai kitatom
Hastas used: Tripathakam, Katakamukham, Alapadmam


6. Paithal Adavuà Syllables: Tai thaiyum tathaa
Hastas used: Katakamukham, Alapadmam, Shikram


7. Ettadavuà Syllables: Tai Taiyum tathaa
Hastas used: Thripathakam


8. Sarakkadavuà Syllables: Dhit tai thaam
Hastas: Katakamukham, Alapadmam, Pathakam


9. Mandi Adavusà Syllables: Tat taithaam, dhit tai taam
Hastas used: Tripathakam


10. Thatti Mettu: a) Chatusram (4 beats)
b) Tisram (3 beats)
c) Misram (7 beats)
d) Khandam ( 5 beats)
e)Sankirnam (9 beats)
Hastas used: Tamarachuda


There are a few more groups of Adavus.


1. Mardita Adavu: to strike the floor with the foot


2. Kuttadavu: to strike with the toes


3. Kovai (Korvai) Adavu: different variations are woven together


4. Sutral Adavu: whirling


For the students of Bharatanatyam it is necessary to understand the feet positions thoroughly. It is a basic necessity to form a strong foundation.


Basic Feet Positions:


1. Sama: where the feet are in natural position joined together with the knees straight.


2. Parshwa: where the feet and knees are turned on the sides forming a horizontal line.


3. Tayasra: the feet are placed to form ‘v' with the toes turned towards the corners.


4. Swastika: where the feet are crossed.


Feet Variations:


1. Kuttanam: Stamping the bhoomi with the sole, toe or heel.


2. Sarik: the feet move without being lifted.


3. Ancita: the toe or toes are held up while the heels rest on the bhoomi (ground).


4. Agratala Sancara: while the heel is raised the toes rest on the bhoomi.


5. Suci: one foot is on the ground in a normal position while the other has contact with the ground through the big toe.


6. Udghattita: the ground is stamped by the heel while the forefoot rests on the ground.


7. Kutta: the ground is stamped by the toes while the heel is raised.


8. Tadita: Holding the ground with the heel the forefoot stamps the ground.


9. Mardita: the sole rubs the ground.


10. Sakhalita: the foot is made to slip on the ground.


Hand Gestures:


1. Pataka: when the fingers are all stretched and thumb is bent and the hand is held like a flag.


2. Tripathaka: the ring finger is bent from Pataka posture.


3. Mayura: the thumb is in contact with the first finger while the other fingers are stretched.


4. Ardhachandra: from Pataka the thumb is separated and stretched.


5. Kapitta: the thumb is in contact with the middle of the first finger, which is bent. The other fingers are pressed against the palm.


6. Katakamukha: the thumb is stretched to be in contact with the first finger and middle finger while the other two fingers are stretched and separated.


7. Chandrakala: from Ardhachandra positions, the little, ring and middle fingers are pressed against the palm.


8. Mrigashirsa: from Pataka position the first, middle and ring fingers are stretched in front from their roots.


9. Alapadmam: the fingers are all relaxed, separated and held like a flower.


10. Kartarimukha: the thumb holds the ring and little fingers while the other two fingers are stretched
and separated.


11. Anjali: the palms and fingers of two Pataka Hastas touch each other


12. Natyarambha: the Pataka Hastas with the palms facing the floor are stretched out on the sides with
the elbows at the level of the shoulders. The wrists are curved towards the front.


Sapna Rangaswamy is a Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi exponent based in Barod
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BHARATANATYAM BASICS

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BHARAT  NATYAM


Bharatanatyam is a classical dance of India, which finds its roots in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. It is believed that Bharatanatyam is mainly a renewal of Cathir, the ancient art of temple dancers. The dance form has been named after Bharata Muni, the author of the Natya Shastra (ancient treatise on classical Indian dance). The word Bharatanatyam is composed of three terms, Bha meaning Bhava or abhinaya (expression), Ra meaning raga (melody) and Ta meaning tala (rhythm).


The oldest of all the classical dance forms in India, Bharatnatyam is also known as the fifth Veda. In the ancient times, it used to be performed by the Devadasis in the temples of Tamilnadu as 'dasiattam'. The postures of the Bharata Natyam dance of India have served as an inspiration for the ancient sculptures in Hindu temples.The postures of the celestial dancers depicted in the scriptures were given the name of Bharatanatyam Mudras on earth.The spirit of Bhakti has been deeply ingrained in Bharata Natyam and it mainly features mythological stories. 


The philosophy behind the dance is to search the human soul and unite with the Supreme Being. In the dance form of Bharatanatyam, the artists make use of beautiful hand and eye movements to convey the message. It is more of personification of the music in a visual form.


The credit of bringing Bharatnatyam to its present form goes to the famous quartet of Chinnayya, Ponniah, Sivanandam and Vadivelu of the Tanjore Court. The various forms of the dance, like Alarippu, Jathiswaram, Sabdham, Varnam and Tillana, were also introduced by them. Even the first dance teachers of Bharatanatyam in Tanjore were the descendants of these four brothers only.


Decline  
With time, the devadasis of the temple turned into narthakis of the royal court. The original technique and themes of     Bharatnatyam were modified to suit the new demands. The sacred connotation of the dance form was sacrificed to make it amenable to the entertainment needs of the kings.


 Rebirth
The person responsible for once again raising the social status of Bharatanatyam is Krishna Iyer. He also                 contributed positively to the popularity of the dance form throughout the world. Another name that comes in mind in     connection with this is that of Rukmini Devi Arundale. She modified the Pandanallur style of Bharatanatyam and popularized it in the West. Rukmini founded the Kalakshetra School in 1936, outside the city of Madras, in order to     teach the dance form as well as to promote it. Today, Bharatnatyam has become an integral part of a girl's  upbringing in Tamil Nadu.


Techniques 
      The major techniques of the classical dance form of Bharatnatyam include
Abhinaya (The art of story-telling)
Nritta (Pure dance movements, usually performed as an opening)
Nritya (Combination of Abhinaya and Nritta)


A typical Bharatnatyam performance includes: 
Ganapati Vandana (Opening prayer to the Lord Ganesha)
Alarippu (A presentation of the Tala with simple syllables by the dancer)
Jatiswaram (An abstract dance with drumbeats)
Shabdam (Dance accompanied by a devotional poem or song)
Varnam (Main performance in which dance is punctuated with complex and difficult movements. A story is told through movements)
Padam (Lyrical section where the dancer speaks)
Thillana (Pure dance with complex footwork and captivating poses)


 Today Bharata Natyam is one of the most popular and widely performed dance styles and is practiced by male and     female dancers all over India. Due to its wide range of movements and postures and the balanced melange of the     rhythmic and mimetic aspects lends itself well to experimental and fusion choreography. Degree and Post Graduate courses covering the practice and theory of Bharata Natyam as well as the languages associated with its development are available at major universities of India.

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BHARATANATYAM Eye Movements

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Drishthi in sanskrit meaning “Vision”. In relation to our eyes it means “sight” or “to see”. The classification of these eye movements are based on how we move the eye balls. Infact we use each of them in our every day routine. Just a matter of identifying with their names. There are eight types of Eye movements given in the shastras:
1. Sama:  Eye kept still without any movement.
2. Alokita: Rolling your eye balls in a circular pattern.
3. Saachi: Looking through the corner of the eyes.
4. Pralokita: moving your eyes side to side.
5. Nimilita:  It looks like a half shut eye. Here one tries to focus the eye ball towards the heart.
6. Ullokita: Looking upwards.
7. Anuvritta: Rapid movement of the eyes up and down.
8. Avalokita: Looking down.
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BHARATANATYAM NOTES

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Bharatanatyam Notes


The inspiration to start this blog came from Smitha who is my other half also an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer from Hyderabad. Just like the other blog on Kuchipudi I hope to build this blog to essentially provide basic knowledge about this art form which though very popular today, but is not undertood in its entirety by even the students of Bharatanatyam. 
Being someone who has spent almost all working life chasing after knowledge and also having authored an award winning book on knowledge management, I thought it imperative for someone like me to share the knowledge I am seeking with others as after all knowledge grows only when it is shared.


In the process of chasing after knowledge there is a possibility that someone may feel offended that some or a lot of information from their site or source is being taken out without their permission. I believe and so does most cyber law statements from around the world that so long as the source is clearly identified and the quotes are being taken with the express purpose of education and spreading knowledge then the copyright laws dont apply. The intention is to educate and not profit from plagiarism!


Priya MurleWith that caution let me begin by quoting the websitehttp://www.surdhwani.com/dan_bhar.html which has this very interesting excerpt on what Bharatanatyam is all about "The contemporary form of Bharatanatyam evolved during the late 18th or early 19th century. Sadir, which was till then the domain of devadasis (girls who were dedicated to gods), reached its nadir during 1910-1930 with the degeneration of social mores. But during 1926-35, under the championship of E. Krishna Iyer, the dance regained its majesty and came to be known as Bharatanatyam.
Bharatanatyam dancers are usually women and, like the sculptures they take their positions from, always dance bent-kneed. It is an extremely precise dance style where a huge repertoire of hand movements are used to convey moods and expressions.
Bharatanatyam is vibrant and very demanding of the dancer. The body is visualized as made of triangles, one above and one below the torso. It is based upon a balanced distribution of body weight and firm positions of the lower limbs, allowing the hands to cut into a line, to flow around the body, or to take positions that enhance the basic form. A special feature of this dance form are Padams or poems on the hero-heroine theme. The tempo of these love songs is slow and each phase of the performance is crystallized into a specific mood of love."


What is Bharatanatyam


The website http://www.indiaschool.ca/bharatanatyam.htm gives this equation
BHAva(expression) + RAga (music) + TAla(rhythm) + NATYAM(dance) = Bharatanatyam
I think that is an interesting way of depicting the dance form. The website follows through with the following explanation as to the origin of the dance form.


The Gods & Goddesses pleaded Lord Brahma to create another veda which would be simple for the common man to understand. It is believed that considering this request Lord Brahma created the Panchamaveda, Fifth veda, Natyaveda, an essence of the other four vedas. It is believed that he has taken pathya (words) form the Rigveda, abhinaya (gesture) from the Yajurveda, geet (music and chant) from Samaveda and rasa (sentiment and emotional element) from Atharvaveda to form the fifth veda, Natyaveda.After creating this Natyaveda, Lord Brahma gave the same to sage Bharata and asked him to popularize this veda on earth. Following the words of Lord Brahma, sage Bharata wrote Natyashastra or the Science of Dramaturgy, a great, comprehensive work on the science and technique of Indian drama, dance and music.
Bharatanatyam might have got its name from sage Bharata also. The dancers still follow this work to perform.There is also another story which says that Godess Parvathi tought this dance form to Usha, daughter of Banasura, a demon. Usha taught the same to the Gopikas of the city of Dwaraka, Lord Krishna's birth place. Thus the divine dance form Bharatanatyam was introduced to the mankind.In Indian mythology, Lord Shiva is considered as the supreme lord of dance. This divine art form is performed by Lord Shiva & his wife Goddess Parvathi. 


The Dance performed by Lord Shiva is known as Tandava, which depicts his violent nature as the destructor of the universe. The Tandava performed with joy is called Ananda Tandava and performed in violent mood is called Rudra Tandava. There are 7 types of Tandava. Namely Ananda Tandava, Tripura Tandava, Sandhya Tandava, Samara Tandava, Kaali tandava, Uma Tandava and Gauri Tandava. There are few people who believa that there are 16 types of Tandava. Tandava has vigourous, brisk movements.The dance performed by Goddess Parvathi is known as Lasya, in which the movements are gentle, graceful and sometimes erotic also. Some scholars call Lasya as the feminine version of Tandava. Lasya has 2 kinds. Jarita Lasya and Yauvaka Lasya.




Elements of Bharatanayam
Bharatanatyam is evenly divided between three elements Nritta, Nritya and Natya .


Nritta : Rhythmic Element that interprets the language of rhythm with the help of body movements. 
Nritya : Combination of Rhythm with Expression which conveys poetic meaning with the help of expressions, rhythmic gaits and postures. eg. Varna, Shabda, Pada etc.
Natya : Dramatic Element like performing for a theme like Ramayana, Mahabharata etc
Hand movements are an important part of the Bharatanatyam dance. Samyuta Hasta and Asamyuta hasta are two classifications for hand movement which the links provided tohttp://www.kanakasabha.com/ portrays. The site incidentally is one of the richest sites in terms of content and available for public viewing.
The Bharatanatyam Gurus and stalwarts
One of the greatest performers in the last century have been - Balasaraswati, and she has been almost as influentially in popularizing Bharata Natyam, as much as Rukmini Devi and others. Balasaraswati was known for her soulful renderings of abhinaya or mimetic pieces in which she not only danced but also sang. Since Balasarawati there have been other greats like Kamala , Vyjayanthimala Bali , Padmini ( and her sister Ragini), Indrani Rehman and Ritha Devi.
The greats that followed them are Yamini Krishnamurthy, Sonal Mansingh,Chitra Visweswaran, Sudha Rani Raghupathy, Lakshmi Vishwanathan, USKrishnaRao and Chandrabhaga Devi. More recently we have Malavika Sarukkai, Alarmel Valli, Leela Samson, and Srinidhi Cidambaram.




Other great stalwarts are the Dhananjayans, who have launched a training institution called 'Bhaskara', Guru Adyar Lakshman and Smt Kalanidhi Narayanan from Chennai. From Mumbai/Bombay we have Gurus Mahalingam Pillai and Guru Kalyanasundaram (of the Rajarajeshwari School of Dance), Guru Parvati Kumar a great scholar and teacher, Guru Mani (Kalasadan), Guru Rajee Narayan, Guru Kadirvelu and Guru Soundararajan. The Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalaya founded by Padmashree Dr. Smt Kanak Rele in Bombay has a graduate and postgraduate program in Bharata Natyam


Propagation of Bharatanatyam
Being an extremely popular dance form, Bharatanatyam has no problem about propagation as both the artists and the audience vye with each other to promote the dance form through all available communication medium. Web is a popular medium. Websites likehttp://www.kanakasabha.com/ ,http://www.kutcheribuzz.com/http://www.artofindia.com/ site link to the dancepersonal blogs chandradevi's or even an unsigned but interesting one by Anita popularise the art form. 
There are also innovative articles, features and even question and answer sections like the onehttp://www.kutcheribuzz.com/ runs with popular dance teacher prof sudharani. click to go to her Q & A section 


Bharatanatyam DVDs ,videos, CDs etc


There is a lot information about Bharatanatyam including videos and songs in public domain. Search Youtube for Bharatanatyam you will come across hundreds of videos. you can begin by checking the videolinks provide right next to these paras in the same blog. 
When it comes to DVDs on Bharatnayam one great source is http://www.jayq.org/ and its Bharatanatyam page.




salangai pujai
Years of learning dance under a guru has to culminate in the public performance which is to be taken up in stages lest the artist gets consious of the stage and the audience and fails to do justice to the rigorous training received.


Salangai pujai is an etheral experience which only the budding artist would be able to relate to even though it is also an event when everyone from the family and close friends would be able to appreciate and experience the dance talent that would emnate from the frail petite soul whom they had always known as their sweet little baby.


This one is about one such sweet one Bala our neice and an iconic representation of the youth brought up independently in a traditional family unit of the ultra conservative Chennai environ.




The day was August 30 and the stage was set in Kareeneswara temple saidapet and the crowd was mostly from the near and dear of bala and her friends who were to don the salangai--the cluster of jingles which should rhythemically resonate with the feet and also sound as a warning in case of any aberration in step, the ultimate standard for dance. The tension was palpable and everything was going blank and the cacopony of voices stopped registering after some time as the three youngsters (Bala of course and her friends Swati and Jayashree) could think only of the mistakes that they could commit this evening! It is amazing that human mind just before undertaking a big task after considerable training always look at the fault lines and not the powerlines until the start of the job and after which no looking back, which is precisely what happened on this stage that evening hour.
The stage was a challenge as it was uneven and even had a gaping hole in the front which had to be factored in as the evening wore on. It was pushpanjali or the shower of flowers to the Nataraja followed by propiation of Ganesha through Ganapati Gauthuvam and the sublime alarippu the most beautiful expression of Bharatanatyam whence the beauty of the dancer would blossom forth, followed by the highly energetic jathiswaram and rounded up by Sabdam. Two quick padams followed winding up the show.
The show got over and phew, Bala has passed the first test before the audience though she says not to her desire. The next big one is there where she would go solo which is called Arangerram (Arangu means stage and Erram means performance) which is slated for July. See you there.
POSTED BY THOTHATHRI RAMAN AT 1:56 AM 0 COMMENTS 
THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 2008


Dance me to future!
Dance me to future!
Purva Dhanashree, Bharata Natyam & Vilasini Natyam Dancer




"I want to do a lot in dance. I want to express my disappointments, anger and my feelings about the way the society is going and I want to express through the medium of dance the message of change to this generation. Dance is in my spirit, it is in my soul, it is something for which I would want to dedicate my life to. Though being a media person, my heart lies in dancing and expressing myself through the dance", a torrent of spirit and energy gushes forth from the youngster as smitha and I meet her after witnessing almost an hour of enthralling performance from her. Both of us were pleasantly surprised to find this spirited youngster whose words promised that nothing is going to be lost even in this utterly materialistic fast track generationl. The endearling human values would be sustained and in fact built upon by spirited youngsters like this. The kid before us was a testimony to our hope that more youngsters like this would carry the spirit of freedom and expression and true values and express it through the medium of art they chose to espouse. In our Purva Dhanashree’s case it is classical dance.


Dance after all is an expression of soul and the dancer while she is involved in her art knows nothing but her steps, nothing but the music nothing but the rhythmic swaying of her feet, for her the audience are incidental but her soul is her true audience. She is once with the soul she is one with the winds, one with the elements one with the cosmic form which is perhaps why the highest experience of dance came from the God of destruction and not of sustenance who decided to recline on his snake bed to reflect on life and the living. It is for the destroyer to dance through the life, dance through its spirit, dance to endless cycle of birth and destruction.


Purva Dhanashree perhaps was simply echoing this high ideal of seeing the world destroying itself and wanted to tell us that she would dance to rekindle the spirit of the world so that whatever is bad would be destroyed and whatever that is good would be rejuvenated and retained. There is no doubt that she has already started her journey. Her dancing style, her conviction, her words, her body language, her spirit….everything conveyed her seriousness and her commitment to the cause she has committed to.


For professionals like this perfection in art is not the end in itself but they see anny creative art as a vehicle to express the deep inner thoughts and through their expression they would seek to influence opinion and to lead people to the path that they have chosen to tread. As she danced on the stage it made us feel as one with her, made us appreciate the perfection of her rendering, the clarity of her steps, the spirit of her expressions and also of her earnestness to pack a whole world and offer it within a few minutes at her command on stage.


We could instinctively sense that we are witnessing the performance of not a youngster but a rising star, a person who would go a long way in her life, one who would see the height of perfection and height of glory of the dance form. But she needs the spirit and strength of purpose the steely will to withstand disappointments, the energy to stay on course while being confronted with the horde of selfish people who rule the world of art, the sense of honesty and truthfulness to accept her failures and not find a shortcut to glory to achieve her cherished goal. What is important however that she is on the way to do it and she knows where she is going. And that matters a lot.


I am nobody to comment about the technique of her dance or the steps that she used to express herself or about the correctness of the vilasini form of dance she rendered to us which she is learning from the master of this art Guru Swapnasundari. Smitha and me can only tell that it was an evening of great dance performance by Purva which we would cherish. We came actually to witness the performance of our favourite child Nandini Nandan and went back with two. Not bad for an evening. About Nandini's performance link to the parallel blog on Kuchipudi.


Purva Dhanashree is trained in Tanjavoor and Kalakshetra styles by Kamalini Dutt senior most disciple of Sikiil Ramaswamy Pillai and Mrs. Radhika Shurajit. She is presently training in Vilasini Natyam from Smt. Swapanasundari.
Her contact is listed as part of a comprehensive listing of dance practitioners of Delhi by anandfoundation


Dance me to future!
Dance me to future!
Purva Dhanashree, Bharata Natyam & Vilasini Natyam Dancer




"I want to do a lot in dance. I want to express my disappointments, anger and my feelings about the way the society is going and I want to express through the medium of dance the message of change to this generation. Dance is in my spirit, it is in my soul, it is something for which I would want to dedicate my life to. Though being a media person, my heart lies in dancing and expressing myself through the dance", a torrent of spirit and energy gushes forth from the youngster as smitha and I meet her after witnessing almost an hour of enthralling performance from her. Both of us were pleasantly surprised to find this spirited youngster whose words promised that nothing is going to be lost even in this utterly materialistic fast track generationl. The endearling human values would be sustained and in fact built upon by spirited youngsters like this. The kid before us was a testimony to our hope that more youngsters like this would carry the spirit of freedom and expression and true values and express it through the medium of art they chose to espouse. In our Purva Dhanashree’s case it is classical dance.


Dance after all is an expression of soul and the dancer while she is involved in her art knows nothing but her steps, nothing but the music nothing but the rhythmic swaying of her feet, for her the audience are incidental but her soul is her true audience. She is once with the soul she is one with the winds, one with the elements one with the cosmic form which is perhaps why the highest experience of dance came from the God of destruction and not of sustenance who decided to recline on his snake bed to reflect on life and the living. It is for the destroyer to dance through the life, dance through its spirit, dance to endless cycle of birth and destruction.


Purva Dhanashree perhaps was simply echoing this high ideal of seeing the world destroying itself and wanted to tell us that she would dance to rekindle the spirit of the world so that whatever is bad would be destroyed and whatever that is good would be rejuvenated and retained. There is no doubt that she has already started her journey. Her dancing style, her conviction, her words, her body language, her spirit….everything conveyed her seriousness and her commitment to the cause she has committed to.


For professionals like this perfection in art is not the end in itself but they see anny creative art as a vehicle to express the deep inner thoughts and through their expression they would seek to influence opinion and to lead people to the path that they have chosen to tread. As she danced on the stage it made us feel as one with her, made us appreciate the perfection of her rendering, the clarity of her steps, the spirit of her expressions and also of her earnestness to pack a whole world and offer it within a few minutes at her command on stage.


We could instinctively sense that we are witnessing the performance of not a youngster but a rising star, a person who would go a long way in her life, one who would see the height of perfection and height of glory of the dance form. But she needs the spirit and strength of purpose the steely will to withstand disappointments, the energy to stay on course while being confronted with the horde of selfish people who rule the world of art, the sense of honesty and truthfulness to accept her failures and not find a shortcut to glory to achieve her cherished goal. What is important however that she is on the way to do it and she knows where she is going. And that matters a lot.


I am nobody to comment about the technique of her dance or the steps that she used to express herself or about the correctness of the vilasini form of dance she rendered to us which she is learning from the master of this art Guru Swapnasundari. Smitha and me can only tell that it was an evening of great dance performance by Purva which we would cherish. We came actually to witness the performance of our favourite child Nandini Nandan and went back with two. Not bad for an evening. About Nandini's performance link to the parallel blog on Kuchipudi.


Purva Dhanashree is trained in Tanjavoor and Kalakshetra styles by Kamalini Dutt senior most disciple of Sikiil Ramaswamy Pillai and Mrs. Radhika Shurajit. She is presently training in Vilasini Natyam from Smt. Swapanasundari.
Her contact is listed as part of a comprehensive listing of dance practitioners of Delhi by anandfoundation




You are seeing the face of Aishwarya Nair! Well, the artist whom I am talking about is not someone who need to go by her name as her art is going to take her places and the name and the brand that it would carry would follow. Smitha and I had been invited to her enthralling performance at RK Puram Iyeppan Koil. Rather I should say that this was an invitation to prayer and to do so while watching the flawless footwork ofAiswarya whose performance was not picture perfect but something that went beyond and touched a chord in the heart. Honest! Why temple and why the shape of a deity? This is because the ordinary mortals have no means of witnessing the celestial dances and perhaps thought getting peace is best done standing in front of the santum santorum. For both of us, the dance itself turned out to be the soul filling experience. Iswarya, we sincerely pray should go a long way and fill the hearts and soul of many more like us. The accompanying artists, Ilangovan on vocal and the violinist and the person on Tabla (I will get their names soon enough) did a great job to make Iswarya dance to her soul of which I am definitely sure about.


I happened to meet Padmavathi, the former danuese whose background and pictures adorn this blog elsewhere, after a long gap during which period she had "hung" up her Salangai, something very sad and very poignant and a great loss for the world of Kuchupudi. She just couldnt cope with all that happened in her life, her marriage, her daughter, her career first as a lawyer, then as an AirForce Air Traffic Controller, next as a Admin head of CSS, followed by a News Anchor at a popular Telegu channel and now as its head of administration and external legal support official. A great girl that she is and she will do a lot more and perhaps may even come back to Dance and contribute in a much different way than her peers who might still be dancing or set up a dance school.
Here is one artist, a professional and one of the Dance Trios of Chennai who stuck to dance and made a great career with fan following around the world. ICCR seem to have quietly supported many an artist to go abroad and perform, looks like. Shobanaa Bhalchandra of Om Shakthi Dance School is the youngest of the renowned Trio Sisters of Chennai. A seasoned and versatile artist, she is also recognized as a senior Bharathanatyam "Guru". One of the early disciples of the famous dance duo, Dhanajayans, Shobanaa was trained in the popular Kalakshetra style. She went on to complement this with an extensive study of Abhinaya (Expressions) under Padmabushan Kalanidhi Narayanan. In her quest for all-round excellence Shobanaa underwent professional training in Classical Music as well as Nattuvangam. Her dedication to this art form is also evident by the fact that she opted for a career in performing and teaching this dance form, in-spite of having a Masters degree in Business.
Finally, I was watching two different videos of Shobhana today, the versatile actress and dancer who is equally effective in both her roles. I am not sure about the way her life has gone so far, which is quite a sad thing for a artist and performer of her greatness and also coming from a legacy of the Travancore Sisters, Padmini, Rahini and Lalitha, all three of them known for their pure dance prowess. In one video, the artist had put on unusually lot of weight and in another, a more recent one she looked a bit sick and tired with her body slightly emaciated. Whatever private hell she is passing through, she is quite dedicated to her art which one can easily discern, perhaps this is what is getting her going.


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BHARATANATYAM RESUME

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Name:   
Dr. Joyce Paul Poursabahian
Address:  
C/O ARPAN  24311, NE 80th street, Redmond, WA - 98053
Education:
Doctorate in Exercise Physiology (Special emphasis on dance related injuries)




Dance Form:
Bharatanatyam (Indian Classical)
Web site:
http://www.joycekpaul.com/ 
Email:
arpan.arts@live.com
About ARPAN
http://www.joycekpaul.com/Arpan/Index.html








Training
Received training in Bharatanatyam, under the tutelage of Padmashree Leela Samson (1986-1994).
Learnt under the guidance of Smt. Chitra Chandrashekhar Dasarathy and Manjari Chandrashekhar. (1994-2000)
Received three months training from Prof. M. R. Krishnamoorthy of Kalakshetra Foundation at Kalakshiti, Bangalore (Sept‑Nov 1994). http://www.kalakshetra.org/ 
Spent a few months under the tutelage of Prof. J. A. Janardhanan, at Kalakshetra, Madras (Feb‑July 1994). http://www.kalakshetra.org/ 
Basic Ballet course at Bellevue Community College, April 2001.








 Workshops
Hosted and attended workshop in Bharatanatyam by Dr. Seshadri Iyengar, August 2008
Hosted and attended workshop in Mohiniyattam by Dr. Kalamandalam Radhika, August 2007
Kalakshetra batch of 95 alumni meet-cum-workshop, Los Angeles, July 2005
Workshop in Mohiniyattam by Dr. Kalamandalam Radhika, April 2005.
Workshop on using Kathak in Modern dance by Akram Khan http://www.britishcouncil.or.id/arts/akramkhan.htm  2000
Attended a modern dance workshop conducted by Jaan Freeman, artistic director of the Freeman Repertory Dance Company. June 2000 http://www.lotusarts.com/jaan.htm 
Attended a 15-day dance workshop at GANDHARVA MAHA VIDYALAYA, led by Jolsana Menon, Kalakshetra, Madras, (1‑15 Oct, 1993).
Attended a 10-day workshop with Prof. C. V. Chandrashekhar, 1993.
Attended Smt. Kanak Rele's workshop on “Rasa Theory in Natyashastra", September 1991.








 Performances
Abhinaya Fine Arts- Classical dances of India, May 2008
Parampara - A guru-shishya tradition, April 2008
Gurukul-Ragamala Classical Event, June 2007.
Understanding Bharatanaytam 101 - Gurukul, Seattle Feb 2007.
Talk and demonstration “FROM THE BEATLES TO BOLLYWOOD -India’s Impact on American Culture”, Sept, 2005
Talk and demonstration on “Health tips for Bharatanatyam dancers - From Within School Of Dance, September 10, 2005
Debut performance of KalaPrayanam at the Northwest FolkLife Festival, 27th May, 2005
Tsunami – Jan 2005 From Seattle with Love - A Benefit for Tsunami Relief
India in America/Utsav – Oct 2005
Talk and demonstration for the Artists Trust – August 2004.
Living our traditions: presenting and producing folk and traditional performance - A community dialogue. Town Hall Seattle, November 22, 2003
Performed at the NorthWest Folk Life Festival in Seattle, 29 May 2004
Launched ARPAN with a 2 hour dance festival titled Rangoli at the Seattle Art Museum on 23rd August 2003. Benefit festival in aid of Asha for Education. http://www.joycekpaul.com/Arpan/SAM.htm
Performed at the Northwest Folk Life Festival in Seattle, 26 May 2003
Taught a Bharatanatyam workshop at the Northwest Folk Life Festival in Seattle, 25 May 2003
Performed for the People for Progress in India fund raiser, WA March 2003. http://www.ppi-usa.org
Performed and choreographed for the Dance to the Music section of the Worlds in Seattle series, Town Hall, Seattle, 01 March 2003. http://www.townhall.org/ 
Performed and choreographed “ARPAN ” (Creative Indian dance) for the Tamil Sangam, Seattle.
Performed at the Northwest Folk Life festival in Seattle, 26 May 2002. http://www.nwfolklife.org/P_F/Festival.html 
Lecture Demonstration at Bellevue Community College, Bellevue, WA for Ballet and Jazz students, May 2001.  http://www.bcc.ctc.edu/ 
“Call to worship” for DanceWorX choreographed by Jaan Freeman of the Battery Dance Company, NY.  July 2000. http://www.thedanceworx.com/ 
“Infinitely India” a television feature for a National Telecast on Doordarshan Channel 1 in commemoration of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of India’s independence, 1997.
Performed for the National Channel Doordarshan (National Television), CPC production - October 1997.
Session on “Communication through gestures in Indian Classical Dance”-for Presidents Club (NIIT) October 26th 1997.
Choreographed and acted in a bilingual dance-theatre performance of “Nadi Paar”, presented by the Anti-Theatre Group. Directed by K. Srinivasan Rajendran, Ass. Prof, National School Of Drama, 20 June 1996 at IIC; 24-25th at SRC, Mandi House.
Performed for the International Temple of Understanding-Indian Chapter in a multi-media production called "Patterns of Faith in India from Vedas to voluntarism", Kamani Auditorium, 23 March 1996.
Performed for The Trade Fair Authority of India, Falaknuma Theatre, 20 Nov 1995.
Performed for stage premier of "Reflections" staged by "Art India Foundation", at Kamani, 10 June 1995.
Performed for the International Consultation on Medical Anthropology and Alternative Systems of Healing, Suraj Kund, Haryana, 22 February 1995.
Solo complete margam recital for the celebrations of Fifty years of Orthodox Church in the national capital and nearly 2000 years in India, Mavalankar Auditorium, 30 December 1994.
Performed for the 9th YUVAMAHOTSAVA, organized by the Sahitya Kala Parishad, 13 February 1994.
Performed Mohiniyattam for MEGHA 94, University of Delhi.
Reflections, a program of fusion music with dance and mime recorded by Central Production Centre, Doordarshan for national telecast, 1994.
Solo performance of full repertoire at Triveni Chamber Theatre, 29 April 1993.
Solo performance for the World Health Organization, WHO on the occasion of WORLD HEALTH DAY, 05 April 1993.
Solo performance of complete margam at Sabari Mandapam, Ayyappa Temple, R.K.Puram, for the Mandala Puja Celebrations, 07 December 1992.
Group (trio) recital at Triveni Chamber Theatre, 04 November 1992.
Recital for the National Day at the French Embassy in New Delhi, 16 May 1992.
With Guru Leela Samson for the Spirit of Unity concerts at Siri Fort Auditorium, 03 March 1992.
Annual day celebrations of Gandharva Maha Vidyalaya, 02 March 1992.
‘Aabhaas’ (a confluence of Bharatanatyam and Odissi) for the Inaugural of the 7th Yuvamahotsav organized by the Sahitya Kala Parishad, February 1992.
For a charity organization, Mobile Creches at FICCI, November 1991.
Spirit of Unity concerts at Talkatora Indoor Stadium, October 1991.
10th Anniversary Celebrations of Namaskaar at Maurya Sheraton, July 1991.
Annual Day Celebrations of Bharatiya Kala Kendra at Sri Ram Center, May, 1991.
Sri Ram Jayanti Celebrations at Kamani Auditorium, April 1991.
Performed Mohiniyattam for the Centenary Celebrations of the Intelligence Bureau, Siri Fort Auditorium, December 1990.
Guruvayoor Temple, November 1990.
Youth Against Racism Festival at Glasgow, Scotland as part of a Youth Cultural Exchange Programme, YMCA, July 1990.
Sri Ram Bharatiya Kala Kendra Annual Day Celebrations at Kamani Auditorium, October 1989.
Launched Abhivyakti Karyashala 1986.
Server as Dance Director for Abhivyakti Karyashala for 5 consecutive years.








 Teaching Experience:
    Bharatanatyam lessons:
Teaching at ARPAN, Redmond, WA, (2002-Present)
Guest Speaker - UW educational outreach for Dance, Sept - Nov 2008
Teaching Kaikottikali at Redmond, WA (June-Sept 2001)
 Assisted teaching (Bharatanatyam classes) at Kalashram Trust, New Delhi, founded and directed by renowned Kathak exponent Pandit Birju Maharaj. Sept-Dec 2000http://www.birjumaharaj.com/aim.htm .
Teacher at GANDHARVA MAHAVIDYALAYA for Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced batches, 1992‑93.
Private Bharatanatyam classes, 1990‑1992 and 1996-97 (India)
    Workshops:
Talk and workshop on "Health tips for Bharatanatyam dancers" at the "From within school", Issaquah, WA - Sept 2005.
4-day workshop "Contemporary approach to teaching an age old art form" at the Sadhana School of Music, Bellevue, WA - August 2004.
Taught a Bharatanatyam workshop at the NorthWest FolkLife Festival, Seattle Center, WA - May 2003.
Taught a Bharatanatyam workshop at Bellevue Community College, WA - May 2001.
Choreography:




Festival of India in America - October, 2005
Kala Prayanam - Northwest FolkLife 2005
Arpan - Rangoli - Folk Traditions of India, Seattle Art Museum on 23rd August 2003
Town Hall - Dance to the Music series, March 2003
Indian Classical Dance - FolkLife Festival 2002
Kaikottikali for Kerala Association of Washington. http://www.kaow.org/program.htm 
Annual Day celebrations of NIIT (1996, 97 and 98)
Annual Day celebrations of GANDHARVA MAHAVIDYALAYA (1993)
Annual Day celebrations of Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi (1986, 87 and 88)
 Nattuvangam for:
Kala Prayanam, NWFL, Seattle, WA, May 2005.
Nattuvangam and danced at the PPI fund-raiser, WA March 2003.
Janamashtami celebrations at ISCKON, Issaquah, WA. August 2001.
Complete margam by Deepika Nagaraj 7th YUVAMAHOTSAV, Sapru House, Sahitya Kala Parishad, New Delhi. 12 February 1992.
Complete margam by Deepika Nagaraj at SHANKARA MATH, New Delhi. 05 September 1992.
Complete margam at Triveni Chamber Theatre, New Delhi. 04 November 1992.
Complete margam for GANDHARVA MAHAVIDYALAYA Annual Day, Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi. 04 March 1993.
Complete margam by Archita Mehta and Swagata Sen at the SUR SINGAR festival, Bombay. 21 May 1993.
Complete margam by Archita Mehta and Swagata Sen at the INDIA INTERNATIONAL CENTRE, New Delhi. 03 November 1993.
Complete margam by Archita Mehta and Swagata Sen at the HARIDAS SAMMELAN, Bombay. 30 December 1993.
 Articles/Writings:
PhD thesis titled “Physique and Fitness among Bharatanatyam dancers with Special Emphasis on Dance related injuries.””
"Dance injuries among Bharatanatyam dancers." – Indian Anthropologist, (1998) 28:2, 21-33.
Dance Critic article for Statesman.








 A few Reviews/Comments:
“Joyce has a great sense of rhythm. Her nattuvangam this evening was brilliant.” - Kathak stalwart Sitara Devi of Kalika-Bindadeen gharana at Sur Singar, Mumbai, India.
“Wonderful technique. Great form. You look so much like your guru Leela Samson when you dance” Art critic Ashish Khokar during the Yuva Mahotsav, Feb 1994, New Delhi
"I saw your performance last night and was blown away- it was breathtaking and almost made me cry. What you both did with the emotional expression was very powerful. Thank you so much for such an inspirational performance!" - Amelia Moore, Belly dancer- Children of the Revolution.




It was a feast to see you. You looked beautiful and danced with joy. It gave all of us in the audience energy. Hats of to you for putting this program together. The music for the last item was simply superb. The whole performance was well thought out and beautifully executed.  Wish you the very best in all your future endeavors.- Subhashini, Bharatanatyam dancer
Listed:




http://www.seattleweekly.com/features/0309/dance-kurtz.php 
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http://www.artindia.net/bharata2.html 
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Sunday, 17 June 2012

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