“Mandragora Circus” | A theatre performance

Mandragora Circus @Lokadharmi Nadakaveedu Nayarambalam Kochi
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The theatre group from Argentina named Mandragora Circo is performing their play titled Mandragora Circo itself at Lokadharmi Nadakaveedu Nayarambalam Kochi at 6.30 pm on the28th of January 2018.

"Mandragora Circus" is a wordless theatre performance in which two clowns tell a story of comedy and love where dialog and thoughts are communicated without the help of spoken words. Circus stunts, music and unconventional instruments weave the acts of this performance together to allow the audience to imagine situations, conflicts and solutions. The show is delicate, with a touch of comedy, and an attractive story which can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages. It is a non-verbal Performance bordering clowning and acrobatics.

The cast of the 55 minutes long nonverbal play is Mariana Silva and Juan Cruz Bracamonte from Argentina and the technician is Andrea Díaz from Mexico. The play is written by Juan Bracamonte
The independent theatre group Mandragora Circo from Argentina is a renowned theatre group widely travelling and performing all over the world. For the past 8 years they have travelled, did workshops and performed, in around 42 countries in the continents of the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia - traveling, country to country presenting this wordless performance non - stop.

All are welcome.

EVAM 2018 - A Dance Festival

RasaBodhi Arts Foundation Presents EVAM 2018 - A Dance Festival

A three classical dance festival with artists of international repute and much sought after dance companies from India and the U.S. Presenting for the first time in Mumbai Premiere shows Gandhi by Satyajith Dhananjayan. Sat-Gati by Parshwanath Upadhye and Punyah Dance Co. and Amba-Shikhandi by Prakriti (U.S.).

Feb 23 - 25 2018

St. Andrews Auditorium: Mumbai, P.L. Deshpande Natya Sankul (Mini): Prabhadevi, Ravindra Natya Mandir: Mumbai

​For tickets:

23rd Feb:
- Ashley Lobos NAVDHARA India Dance Theatre presents AMAARA
- Satyajit Dhananjayan presents GANDHI with live music ensemble.

24th Feb:
- Meenakshi Srinivasan presents a Bharathanatyam recital with live music ensemble
- Beej presents Jheeni An improvised quartet featuring Sanjukta Wagh, Shruthi Vishwanath Hitesh Dhutia Vinayak Netke and Deepa Dharmadikari.

25th Feb:
- Prakritri Dance Company (US) presents Amba Shikhandi
- Parswhanath Upadhye and Punyah Dance Company present Sat-Gati with live music ensemble.

Nartakah 2018 - A Male Indian Classical Dance Fest

Debnrutyam Studio presents Nartakah 2018
(A Male Indian Classical Dance Fest)

7th & 8th April - Venue: Civic Center, Sector-19, Rourkela Odisha.

Send all Indian classical male dancers application for performance to

Living Climate: A Tale of Three Cities

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Opening: Wednesday, 17 January 2018 | On view until: Wednesday, 28 February 2018
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Arkhangelsk / Russia, Khartoum / Sudan, Kochi / India

André Lützen's Living Climate: A Tale of Three Cities, an exhibition of photographs opens on Wednesday, 17 January 2018, at URU Art Harbour, Kochangadi, Kochi and will remain on view until Wednesday, 28 February 2018. The exhibition is conducted with the support of Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan.

The exhibition focusses on three cities with very different weather conditions: Kochi in Southern India, Arkhangelsk in North-West Russia and Khartoum in Sudan.

Venue: URU art harbour, Kochangadi, Mattancherry, Ernakulam district, Kerala

Time:  10.30am- 07.00pm (closed on Mondays)

8th Naada Bindu Festival 2018

8th Naada Bindu Festival - Registration Form

REGISTER TODAY: https://goo.gl/UdhLQY

8th Naada Bindu Festival
A Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth Initiative
3-Day Residential Arts Retreat - 6 Performances, 2 Art-Talks, Spiritual Discourses and more...

February 9 - 11, 2018
at Chinmaya Naada Bindu Gurukula, Kolwan, Pune

Email: nbf@cvv.ac.in
Phone: +91 7720829000 | +91 7720839000
Website: www.chinmayauniversity.ac.in

Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2018

Hosted by Kala Ghoda Arts Festival
Feb 3 - Feb 11

Program schedules for #HTKGAF18 will be available on the website
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Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is the country's largest multicultural festival, taking place in February each year. The Festival draws visitors in large numbers, not just from the city but from all over the country, and the world.

Hara Ghoda The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival brings to the stage the wonders of nature shown through performance and art. The raging flames of the Fire of victory (agni), the liquid blue of Aqua (jal), the indefinable Air (vayu), the indestructible Earth (prithvi) and the realms of Space (akash), finds its place and artistic representation at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2018.

Kuchipudi Concert by Dr.Pattathil Dhanya Menon

Saturday, January 27 at 7:30 PM - 10:30 PM

GNchetty road
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amilnadu 600017

Hosted by Salabhanjika Arts

Pondicherry Heritage Festival 2018 - Program Schedule

Pondicherry Heritage Festival brought to you by INTACH Pondicherry - People for Pondicherry Heritage - Pondy Can and supported by the Government of Puducherry (dept. of Tourism - dept. of Art and Culture). A month long of events and happenings focusing on Pondicherry's rich cultural heritage. Event details will be listed in our calendar.

Dates : 18 January to 18 February 2018
Venue : Multiple Locations

DANCE:  Ghungroo Tales –  Kathak Dance by Jasmin Sarkar   | Gratitude Heritage Guest House, 54 Rue Romain Rolland  |  19:00 to 20:00
LITERARY EVENT:  "Dance as Yoga" by Rekha Tandon   |   Palais de Mahe, 4 Rue Bussy  |  18:00

Odissi dancer Rekha Tandon will discuss her just-released book, "Dance as Yoga: the spirit and technique of Odissi".

EXHIBITION & SALE: Made in Pondy  |  Craft Bazaar, Gandhi Thidal  |  11:00 to 21:00, daily

Come to the inauguration of this great annual event on Thursday, 25 January at 16:00.

EXHIBITION & SALE: Terra Pondy – Studio Potters' Market  |  Maison Colombani, 37 Rue Dumas  |  10:00 to 18:00, daily

16 Studio potters from Pondicherry, Auroville and Chennai come together to showcase their exclusive handmade pottery. Workshops for handmade pottery will be conducted throughout the day on all three days. Space is limited and preregistration is requested.

EXCURSION: Bird Watching at Ossudu Lake  | Meet at Fire Station, Subbiah Salai for transport to Ossudu Lake by 7:30  |  8:30 to 11:30

Celebrate the upcoming World Wetlands Day!  Raphael Mathevet, Head of the Ecology Department at IFP and Pondicherry Ornithologist Atmavadan Reddy will lead a bird watching walk at Pondicherry's most important water body. For those travelling independently, meet at the boathouse.

LITERARY EVENT: The Poetry of Varakavi  |   Natura Ashram, 38 Mariammam Kovil Street, Kathirkamam  |  16:30 to 17:30

Remembering Shri Varakavi Subramania Swamigal, a hermit and a poet whose poems envision the reader to the spiritual, natural, cultural and humanitarian aspects of life. The collection of his poetry is an evident artefact of the lifestyle of people in his period. A few poems about Puducherry are to be recited during at his home on the occasion of his second Guru Pooja.

LITERARY EVENT: "Auroville: A City for the Future" by Anu Majumdar    |   Palais de Mahe, 4 Rue Bussy  | 18:00

Anu Majumdar,  will discuss her recently published book "Auroville: A City for the Future".

CONCERT & TALK:  Songs of Poet Subramania Bharati  |   Mahakavi Bharati Museum, 95 Eswaran Dharmaraja Koil Street  |  18:30 to 19:30

After a short talk on Subramania Bharati, Shoba Raghavan's students will sing songs of revolutionary poet and Pondicherry's icon.

FILM SCREENING:  Life of Pi  |   Storyteller's Bar, Promenade Hotel, 23 Goubert Avenue  |   19:00

The Tuesday Film Club presents Ang Lee's adaptation of Yan Martel's Pondicherry fable.

LITERARY EVENT: "The Mysterious Virus" by Vipanchi Nayak  |    Palais de Mahe, 4 Rue Bussy  | 18:00

5th Grade student Vipanchi Nayak discusses her new sci-fi detective novel, "The Mysterious Virus", as well as the rights of children and animal rights issues that inform her work.

EXCURSION & FILM: India's Disappearing Beaches  |   Storyteller's Bar, Promenade Hotel, 23 Goubert Avenue  |  15:30 to 18:30

Aurofilio Schiavina of PondyCAN will screen a documentary "India's disappearing beaches – a wake up call" followed by a presentation on the current Pondicherry Beach Restoration Project. This will be followed by a field visit along the coast.

Music: Vedic Chanting  |   Ecole francaise d'Extreme-Orient, 19 Rue Dumas  |  18:00 to 19:00

Twenty five students of Sanskrit Vedapathshala will chant from the Vedas.

DANCE: Vana Mahotsavam – Bharatanatyam Dance Drama  | Ashram School Courtyard (opposite the Ashram)  |  20:30 to 21:30

"Vana Mahotsavam" refers to an event whereby saplings of trees are planted and the younger generations get to learn about the importance of preserving nature. Similarly, this dance drama is a celebration of the beauty of nature as well as a reminder of the need for us to be environmentally friendly, to respect life and to maintain ecological balance in the world.

MUSIC: Mystical Breaths with Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and Ensemble Diabolus in Musica   |   Sri Aurobindo Ashram Theatre, 3 Suffren Street  |  19:00

This event is sponsored by Alliance francaise Pondicherry as part of its Bonjour India festival.

PHOTO CONTEST: Streetscapes of Pondicherry  |  INTACH,  62 Aurobindo Street  |  9:00 to 18:00

The Pondicherry Rivage Ladies Circle 47 present a photo competition on the theme of "Streetscapes of Pondicherry".  Everyone should participate!   Prizes will be awarded at 18:30 on 11 February at Hotel De L'Orient, 17 Rue Romain Rolland, before the Garba Folk Dancing event.

DANCE: Odissi Performance by Anish Raghavan  | Consulat général de France à Pondichéry, 2 Rue de la Marine  |  19:00 to 20:00

Pre-registration is ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY at least 10 Days Prior to This Event

PHOTO CONTEST: Awards for photo competition winners | Dune Orient, 17 Rue Romain Rolland  |  18:30 to 19:00
DANCE: Garba Folk Dancing  |  Hotel De L'Orient, 17 Rue Romain Rolland  |  19:15 to 20:15

The Gujarati community has always been an integral part of Pondicherry since many years and has played a crucial and important role to enhance the Heritage of Pondicherry.  To showcase the Heritage of Pondicherry, which believes in Unity in Diversity, the Rangleela Group will be presenting the Cultural Dance of Gujarat: The Garba And Dandiy Raas.

EXHIBITION: Traces in Time: Pondicherry – Indochine  |   Kusum's Home, 7 Rue de la Caserne  |  10:00 to 21:00, daily
Fascinating art objects, photographs, documents, and other cultural traces reveal Pondichery's historic ties to Indochina (modern day Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia), disparate parts of "l'Empire colonial Français" in Asia.  The influences crossed religions, languages, food habits, and lived experiences — and many are evident to this day.
CHILDREN'S EVENT: Colouring Book Launch  | Consulat général de France à Pondichéry, 2 Rue de la Marine  |  16:30 to 18:00

The Consul General of France will launch the heritage colouring book and  students will then proceed to colour the books on the lawns of the consulate, after a short tour of this heritage building.

Pre-registration is ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY at least 10 Days Prior to This Event

FILM & TALK: Discover Bahour  |  Storyteller's Bar, Promenade Hotel, 23 Goubert Avenue  |  15:30 to 17:00

Probir Banerjee of PondyCAN will screen a documentary on Bahour, showing the various aspects of its ancient heritage dating back to the Chola period and talk about how some of those ancient practises are not only relevant today but also effectively used.

CONCERT: Reunion Island Music Festival  |   Maison Colombani, 37 Rue Dumas  |  ?

A Bonjour India Event.

EXCURSION: Exploring Bahour  |  Meet at the Fire Station, Subbaiah Salai, for transport to Bahour  |  14:30 for transport, 15:00 to 17:30

A tour of the Bahour commune through fields and irrigation tanks and channels and the Bahour lake and the Moolanathasamy Temple.

RSVP for bus transportation is Mandatory.

DANCE: Therakuthu Performance   | Moolanasamy Temple, Bahour  |  18:30 to 20:00

'SAY, WHAT?' a performance by Avantika Bahl & Vishal Sarvaiya

Trivi Art Concerns & Cameo Light Academy present 'SAY, WHAT?' a performance by Avantika Bahl & Vishal Sarvaiya on Saturday 27th January 2018, 7pm, at Cameo Light House, Iythadi Lane, Prasanth Nagar, Thiruvananthapuram 11. Supported by Kerala State Youth Welfare Board & Pro Helvetia-Swiss Arts Council. ENTRY FREE (Donation Box available at venue for contribution) Join with friends and family. Call +91 98958 77622 for further details.

Say, What? focuses on the interaction between two people who slide between using and abandoning codified language. As the audience encounters various conversations that are set up in space using sign language as a point of entry, the role of gesture is re-interpreted and demystified within the realm of communication. By lending itself to abstract proportions, this piece opens up a world of meaning making that is both embodied and visceral in nature.

Choreographed by: Avantika Bahl
Collaborator: Vishal Sarvaiya
Performed by: Vishal Sarvaiya and Avantika Bahl
Dramaturgy: Arghya Lahiri
Light Design: Sarah Büchel
Produced by: The Mumbai Assembly
Duration: 55 minutes followed by a conversation with the artists

The Khon Ramakien (Ramayana) | A Thai Dance Drama

'Khon'; is a traditional performance of which dancing and acting are combined. It was originally produced as a form of entertainment in the royal courts. Although most aspects of the Khon dance form are similar to those of 'Lakhon '(acting), Khon distinguishes itself from other forms of performances by the elaborate masks worn by leading performers, except for human and divine characters, who instead wear headdresses to indicate their ranks. The masks indicate the characters' personalities and titles - be they simians, demons, garudhas or other great mystical beasts. Highly influenced by the art of traditional Thai sword and baton fighting, known in Thai as "krabi krabong", stylized acrobatic elements are commonly found. Yet, Khon dance still maintains a soft rhythm and willowy grace that is characteristic in all styles of traditional Thai dance.

Khon draws most of its story and characters from the Ramayana Epic, which can be dated back to as early as the reign of King Ramkamhaeng of the Sukhothai period (1279-1317). By the Ayutthaya period (1350-1767), Ramayana was already a well-established literary tradition in Thailand. It was also renamed as 'Ramakien'; – which means 'the glory of Rama' in Thai. 

Photo courtesy - Prasad Siddhanthi

Yodhayanam - The journey of a warrior

KALARIPAYATTU performance along with a contemporary theatrical performance: BHU, inspired by Kalaripayattu, directed by Philippe Pelen.

An event so profound in this age of hostility is hard to come across, an evening of wonder for people of all ethnicities to feel a connection with nature and lead their life in a self aware, peaceful and blissful way.

A traditional performance of the world's most ancient martial art: KALARIPAYATTU, it offers a glimpse at the rigorous training a warrior undergoes in his journey to discover a deep union with himself and nature.

The Kalaripayattu performance is then complemented with a contemporary dance theater performance BHU which is inspired by Kalaripayattu, in a newly built amphitheater which will be inaugurated on Sunday the 14th of January at 6pm.

Bhu offers an interactive performance combining theatre, dance, traditional and contemporary music and Kalaripayattu.

The process is led by Philippe Pelen Baldini and Thierry Moucazambo, and guided by master of Kalaripayattu: Sri Lakshman Gurukkal.

This is the story of a man who in his quest to become a great fighter comes to Kalaripayattu master, but instead the master teaches him how to fight his demons, his fears, his ego. He learns to dance with the five elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether.

Will he let his 'body become all eyes', always in union with mother earth?

+91 413 262 2091

Tantrotsav 2018 : Natyashastra Workshop

Tantrotsav 2018 : Natyashastra Workshop
February 5 - 13, 2018 Pondicherry

|| An integrated workshop experience for contemporary body-minds to engage with traditional forms and philosophies ||

The Workshop will have masters of various Eastern performance traditions guide the participants into the practice and philosophy of their forms, over 9 days leading to the night of Mahashivaratri,

*Come to train in Kalarippayattu, Pralaya yoga, Kathakali, Mizhavu (percussion), Mohiniattam, and Chau
*Attend lectures and connect with Masters on performance craft, philosophy and spirituality
*Watch traditional and contemporary performances every night 
*Workshops are subsidized to make it accessible to artists across board
*Attend individual or multiple sessions, or opt to be an artist-in-residence

Register Online: http://kalarigram.org/register.php

| Tantrotsav is a community-organised festival holding a safe-space for artists, researchers, teachers, practitioners, seekers across various geographies and disciplines to come together to exchange, express and meditate. |


SAMARPAN 2018 by Nrityaangan

-Saturday, 3rd February 2018

5.30pm: Lighting of the Lamp
6pm: Bharatanatyam by Shubhamani Chandrashekar, Mangaluru
6.30pm: Kuchipudi by Sreelakshmy Govardhanan, Thrissur
7.15pm: Bharatanatyam thematic presentation 'Draupadi' by Soundarya Srivathsa, Bengaluru

-Sunday, 4th February 2018

10.30am: A panel discussion on Thematic presentation in Bharatanatyam
5.30pm: Release ceremony of souvenir Nrityaangan's Journey
6pm: Bharatanatyam by Shriya Maiya, Mangaluru
6.15pm: Bharatanatyam thematic presentation 'Shikhandi' by Himanshu Srivastava, New Delhi
7pm: Duet Bharatanatyam presentation by Renjith Babu & Vijna Vasudevan, Chennai
At: Don Bosco Hall, Mangaluru

Remembering Veenapani 2018

February 3 – February 17

Remembering Veenapani Festival is celebrated annually in memory of our founder, Late Veenapani Chawla. For this festival edition we have curated 9 shows spread across theatre, dance and music, on the first three weekends of February 2018.

We celebrate this festival in memory of our dear guru and founder Veenapani Chawla. Veenapani, in her time encouraged performers of varied styles to show at Adishakti Theatre. She nurtured and provoked hybrid and pluralist ideas and performances.

The Remembering Veenapani Festival is our attempt to keep alive the spirit of her work and deed. 10 shows spread across the first three weeks of February at Adishakti, near Pondicherry. Free entry for all shows!!

Do contribute to make this effort a wonderful experience for everyone involved. http://ketto.org/rememberingveenapani

--Adishakti Theatre --
+91 413 262 2287

Kinkini Nrithyotsava 2018

Kinikini Dance Festival 2018 
Bengaluru 21-25 January 2018

Nishagandhi Dance Festival 2018 - Program Schedule


January 20-26, 2018

Nishagandhi Auditorium, Kanakakkunnu, Thiruvananthapuram

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NADAM ENSEMBLE An established Kathak exponent and a recipient of the Central Government scholarship in Kathak awarded by the Department of Culture, Murali Mohan is an epitome of grace and versatility. Being a natural dancer, it is a treat to watch him perform, be it pure nritta or abhinaya. Fast pirouettes and intricate footwork are the hallmarks of his dance. Meanwhile, Nandini Mehta's passion for dance took wings under the guidance of her gurus, Maya Rao, Chitra Venugopal, Maulik Shah and Ishira Parikh. Also the recipient of the Central Government fellowship in Kathak and a French lecturer in various colleges in Bangalore, Nandini was recently honoured with the title - "Guna Nidhi", in commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the magazine - "GunaGrahi" for her contribution to Kathak. Nandini Mehta and Murali Mohan together founded NADAM, an acronym for "Narthan Academy of Dance and Music" in 1997. Since its inception, the academy has worked to showcase India's Classical Dance & Music Forms and helped preserve them as living traditions. Their annual music and dance showcase, "Kala-Nadam", is one of the leading events on Bangalore's Cultural Calendar, featuring numerous national and international talent. Recently, they completed a 20 day Dance Tour organised by the ICCR, for the SCO Summit at Kazakhstan, Khanh-Hoa Sea-Side Festival at Vietnam and Rhythm of the Earth Festival at Bangkok.

Amongst Deepika Reddy's most prized possessions is a letter penned by the dance maestro Vempati Chinna Satyam. It urges her to make a comeback after a hiatus that ill health had forced her to take from her Kuchipudi dancing career which began as a child of six. Since then there has been no looking back. She has performed at the closing ceremony of the Festival of India in Berlin, the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Sri Lankan Parliament and at the inaugural ceremony of "Year of India" at the Bolshoi Theatre in Russia. Deepika mirrors her Guru's techniques with ease and élan and is acknowledged as one of the leading exponents of the Kuchipudi art form in India. An accomplished performer, choreographer and cultural ambassador, Deepika has been certified as an A Grade artiste by Doordarshan. As a choreographer, she combines mythology, drama and social causes to delight a diverse audience. And it is this passion that she extends to the younger generation in 'Deepanjali', her dance institute which strives for excellence in the field of Kuchipudi. Telangana Govt. State Award; 'Kala Ratna' Andhra Pradesh Govt. State Award; 'Nritya Choodamani' by Krishna Gana Sabha; 'Natya Kalasarathy' by Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha; 'Vani Kala Sudhakara' by Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha are just a few of the many accolades that she has gathered over the years.

Widely rated as one of India's best male Bharatanatyam dancers, Parshwanath Upadhye has an assortment of merits to enlist. He is a state-level swimming champion, a trained Carnatic vocalist, a black belt holder in Karate and a Literature graduate who studied the traditional Mysore style of Bharatanatyam under the tutelage of Guru Ravindra Sharma, Kiran Subramanyam and Sandhya Kiran. He is also an empanelled artist of the ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) and an artist of excellence at the Bangalore Doordarshan Kendra. Currently, he resides in Bangalore where he heads the Upadhye School of Dance and Punyah Dance Company and aspires to someday build an art village in his hometown, Belgaum.

On the banks of Bharatapuzha, Kalamandalam stirs up at 4 am. Oil lamps cast shadows on the disciples, who sit cross-legged on the floor in front of their teacher practising eye movements, their first ritual for the day. They spend days perfecting 600 hand gestures and nine facial rasas (emotions) that one must master to graduate. Sleep is vanquished as the wooden stick thuds on the floor to produce the rhythm for their day's lessons. Eighty-eight years after Vallathol Narayana Menon and Mukanda Raja laid the blueprint for Kerala Kalamandalam, the institution through such dedication continues to be an immortal name in the cultural map of the world. Kalamandalam adheres to the ancient Gurukul system where the students live in the campus. Kalamandalam's Kathakali, Koodiyattam, Mohiniyattam and Thullal troupes have travelled widely in India and abroad for programs, lecture-demonstrations and workshops. As a deemed University of Art and Cultutre, Kerala Kalamandalam has been functioning as a grant-in-aid institution under the Cultural Affairs Department, Government of Kerala with support from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, and the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi.

Celebrated Bharatanatyam dancer, Alarmel Valli’s dance draws parallels between dance and poetry. It was her early training in music under the renowned musician, T. Muktha that helped her explore the seamless connection between word, meaning and music. In her own words, dance is visual music. Apart from Pandanallur Shri Chokkalingam Pillai and his son Shri Subbaraya Pillai who were her Gurus, her distinctive style also reflects years of Odissi training under the eminent Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra and Ramani Ranjan Jena. A recipient of Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, Alarmel’s work has been featured at landmark theatres and festivals in India and abroad. She has had a long-standing fascination for Sangam poetry which culminated in a one-of-its-kind repertoire of dance poems. In her interpretation, Alarmel Valli explores subtexts and works with musicians to give the texts a visual and melodic dimension. ‘Pravahi’, commissioned by the Films Division of India and ‘Lasya Kavya’ by Sankalp Meshram are movies that were made about the amusing world of Alarmel Valli. In the words of the celebrated poet, Arundhathi Subramaniam, Alarmel Valli's art may invoke the mystical, but it never mystifies. It understands abstraction but is never abstruse. It is capable of soaring, but it never loses its vital connectedness with the earth.

As a young child, Daksha Mashruwala took baby steps in Bharatanatyam under the tutelage of Mrinalini Sarabhai at Darpana and began her Odissi journey much later, in her early 20's under the guidance of distinguished maestro Padmavibhushan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. Since then she has clung to the child-like joy of dance, devoted herself to understanding the intricacies of Odissi and has tried to impart the same at her institution, ‘Kaishiki’. Daksha has continuously tried to expand the frontiers of the classical dance forms by rendering thought stimulating performances that not only create awareness but also propagate Odissi along with other traditional art forms. She is actively involved in the formation of ‘Sanyuktam’, a collaborative initiative for the enrichment of the cultural heritage and plays an important part in Sangit Mahabharti, which aims to spread the love for Indian classical art forms. A top grade artist of Doordarshan, she has recently been bestowed with the prestigious Uday Shankar Choreography Award.

Pasumarthi Mruthyumjaya is gifted in many ways. Born to Pasumarthi Kesava Prasad and Gnana Prasunamba, he is bestowed with an enviable lineage to two of the most revered Kuchipudi traditional families - the Vedantam and Pasumarthi. He was trained in Kuchipudi from the very tender age of six under his maternal grandfather, Vedantam Parvateesham. After which he was taken under the wings of Padma Bhushan Vempati Chinna Satyam and his son Vempati Ravi Shankar. Pasumarthi’s work is delicately wrought, possessing a sheen that is a testimony of being groomed by the best. He has essayed almost all the major characters including the female personification roles in Yakshaganams, Kalapams and Ekta pathra Kelikas, the solo repertoire of Kuchipudi. A Sangeet Natak Akademi ‘Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Purasakar’ awardee, Pasumarthi has performed on various prestigious stages, including the Opening Ceremony of Commonwealth Games, Telugu Mahasabha, SNA Dance festival, Pursh Festivals, Kuchipudi Mahostav and Cuttack Mahostav.

A leading Kathak exponent, Shama Bhate’s personal idiom which evolved over 35 years, is an amazing blend of virtuosity (tayyari) and sensitive expressions (abhinaya). As a performer, teacher, choreographer and artistic director, she has explored new choreographic possibilities using diverse media like painting, line drawing, sculpture and cinema. For her, creativity goes a long way in promoting classical dance which is visible through endeavours such as ‘Maths through Kathak’, ‘Quest for New Horizons’, ‘Creating Awareness’, ‘In Tandem’ and ‘Prajakta’ a gig with specially-challenged children. Shama Bhate is the recipient of the prestigious ‘Maharashtra Rajya Puraskar’ 2011, conferred by the Maharashtra State Government, the ‘Sri Durga Mata Shakti Puraskar’, 2011 from Paramhans Swachandananda Seva Pratishthan. As the Director of Nadroop, a dance institute based in Pune, she has arranged over 60 concerts of Great Masters, organised workshops and several lecture-demonstrations. This 27-year-old dance institute, known for its choreographic productions, was also recently empanelled under the ICCR, Ministry of Culture

For Anusri, dance is an elixir of life, an eternal passion which inspires her to break boundaries and tread new paths. A perfectionist to the core, Anusri has been juggling multiple roles - as a mother, an IT professional and a dancer - with perfect élan. Since the tender age of five, she has been learning Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam under the dance exponents, Kalamandalam Meera Nambiar and Ashwati A. Nair. Gifted with a pleasing stage presence, Anusri brings to her audience a refreshing presentation enhanced by her powerful sense of rhythm. Hailing from Thiruvananthapuram, Anusri is an empanelled artist of the South Zone Cultural Centre and has been a well-known television presenter. An A Grade artist in Doordarshan, she has performed for Mohini Nirtyati organised by Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi and Soorya. She has also given outstanding performances in dance festivals organised by the Dept. of Tourism, Kerala and the 92nd Indian Science Congress.

As a young student, Bichitrananda Swain’s only dream was to get on stage. Even though his Guru Gangadhar Pradhan, founder of the world-famous Orissa Dance Academy, encouraged him to pursue his goal, those were the days when it was uncommon for male dancers to aspire the stage. They were expected to end up as teachers. Even male characters as Krishna would go to a female dancer. Decades flew by but the dance scene in India was predominantly feminine. So when Bichitrananda began Rudrakshya Foundation in 2000 he hoped to encourage danseurs to dream of a stage life. Rudrakshya Foundation follows the methods of the ancient Gurukula antiquity of Indian Art Schools. Yoga in Dance is Rudrakshya’s attempt to shed light on the belief that classical Indian Dance has traditionally been viewed as a form of Yoga. It shares with all forms of Yoga, the ultimate goal of Moksha (spiritual liberation) for both performers and audience. A Mangalacharan (invocation to a deity) shares the passionate devotion which is the essence of Bhakti Yoga. If an aspect of Hatha Yoga is mastery of the physical body and coordination, then a Pallavi (“flowering” or elaboration of form and rhythm) can be seen as a highly advanced form of this Yoga. The complex sequencing of any dance requires the intense mental focus of Raja Yoga. And Abhinaya (acting or storytelling), utilising the Navarasa (nine emotional flavors), allows the audience to experience the transformation of internal chemistry which is essential in both Yoga and Ayurveda.

For Padma Shri Chitra Visweswaran, dance is a window into a large life. Even as a child of three, Chitra followed her mother Rukmini, a trained dancer from the Uday Shankar School of Dance, through their house imitating and picking up Bharatanatyam mudras. At the age of five, Chitra was enrolled for Western Classical Ballet in London, which was then followed by lessons in Manipuri, Kathak, Rabindra Sangeet, Carnatic Music and Bharatanatyam from Kolkata. Chitra holds a B.A. from Calcutta University, post which she was given a government scholarship for advanced study in Bharatanatyam. Her scholarship years were spent in Chennai under the doyen of Bharatanatyam, Vazhuvoor Ramaiyya Pillai. Together with her musician husband, R. Visweswaran, she founded the Chidambaram Academy of Performing Arts in 1975. Productions conceived and researched by the duo have brought out different thrusts, facets, rare compositions and pieces hitherto untouched in Bharatanatyam. She is one of the first Bharatanatyam dancers to have composed her own Jathi Sollukattu and also the first dancer to have trained her students to do Nattuvangam. Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar, Kalaimamani, Nritya Choodamani, Nritya Ratna are a few of the many accolades she has won in her long dancing career.

Established in 1954, Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy (JNMDA), Imphal, is one of the oldest and most significant institutes in India for teaching, promoting and preserving Manipuri dance and music. A constituent unit of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, JNMDA offers comprehensive training courses at elementary and advanced levels in Manipuri Ras and Nat Sankirtan and also imparts training in tribal dances, such as Lai Haraoba and Thang-ta. Its brilliant and innovative dance drama productions have garnered wide accolades. Over the years, several renowned scholars and dancers such as Leela Samson, Devajani Chaltha, Dr. Sunil Kothari, Kamala Devi Chattopadhyaya, and Chitra Visheswaran have given lecture-cum-demonstration at JNMDA National level. Eminent dancers and musicians from across the country take part in the JNMDA Festival of Dance and Music (National level) organised by the Academy.

Vidya Pradeep's graceful and lyrical moves illuminate the extensive training she underwent in diverse dance forms like Mohiniyattam, Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Kathakali. She also has to her credit, an M.A. in Bharatanatyam from the University of Madras and M.Phil from Kerala Kalamandalam. Her work, which includes solos she choreographed for several Malayalam poems, has been exhibited in platforms across the world. She is also an integral part of classical dance bands like Urja, Thrayam and Nrutharuthya Dance Company. As a means to give back to the dance community, Vidya also engages herself in SPIC MACAY (Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth) initiative, where she often travels to rural areas to promote Indian art forms. Furthermore, this Kalathilakam holder has been honoured with a senior scholarship for Mohiniyattam from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and has also bagged the India International Dance Award in 2015.

Empanelled artists of Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India and graded artistes of Doordarshan, Girish and Devi are the founder members of Aathmakalpa Dance Ensemble, where they impart training in Kuchipudi. The duo has captivated audiences with their stellar performances in Soorya Parampara Dance and Music Festival in Thiruvananthapuram, Uttar Purva Nritya Parva in the North East and the Ananya Dance Festival, Bangalore. The choreographic works of Girish such as ‘Be Inspired’ and ‘Still I Rise’ have created a solid benchmark in the creative space. Quite recently, their international performance series, ‘Arjunah Dasanameeyam’ won tremendous acclaim in the Festival of India, held at Mandalay and Naypyidaw Myanmar in 2017, where the Nobel laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, felicitated them. With a performing career spanning more than nine years and individually more than 15 years, Girish Chandra and Devi Girish, have carved their own niche in the field of Kuchipudi. While Girish was initiated into dance under the exemplary guidance of Dr. Vedanatam Ramalinga Sastry, both of them flourished under the tutorship of Prof. Jonnalagadda Anuradha and Vempati Ravi Shankar.

One of the celebrated new faces in classical dance from Kerala, Rithu Prakash rose to fame after winning the much acclaimed University Kalathilakam. Over the last twelve years, she has learnt Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam under the tutelage of renowned danseuse Neena Prasad, Kathakali from Kalamandalam Krishnaprasad and Kuchipudi from Jai Kishore Mosalikanti. Her endless fascination with Bharatanatyam encouraged her to pursue her Post Graduation and M.Phil in Bharatanatyam from Madras University. Academic wisdom and authentic training helped her become an A Grade Bharatanatyam artist in Doordarshan and an empanelled artist of ICCR. Rithu Prakash now works as a senior instructor at Bharatanjali Academy of Indian Dances.

Jill of several trades, Aparna Vinod believes variety keeps life interesting. Her tryst with Mohiniyattam started at the young age of five but when marriage took her to a city where it was hard to locate good gurus, this management graduate shifted her focus to Bharatanatyam instead. An avid learner, Aparna has also been learning Hindustani music under the tutelage of Rina Basu. And if these weren’t impressive enough, she is also a gifted writer. When approached by her ex-classmate and friend Anjali Menon, Aparna, who used to write often for her college magazines, took to the pen again and wrote the dialogue for two critically acclaimed movies, Kalyani and Manjadikuru. A National Nritya Shiromani award winner for Bharatanatyam at Cuttack Mahotsav, Aparna is also a graded artist of Doordarshan and the Director of Tharang Academy of Arts. Tharang aims to promote Indian classical dance and music by organising Tharang Utsav, an annual event presenting eminent, promising and upcoming artists. Aparna’s Bharatanatyam performances have graced many stages including Every Friday Cultural Evening Programme ICCR, Soorya Festival, Chilanka Festival, Brahan Natyanjali, Chidambaram Natyanjali, Sai Nrityotsava in Bangalore and Chennai Music Academy, Onam Utsav organised by Government of Kerala to name a few.

Gayathri Suresh’s unlikely route to dance as a career began with a B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering. It was the scholarship for the Young Artistes in Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) that gave her a much-needed impetus to pursue dance. A disciple of V. Mydhili from Thiruvananthapuram, Gayathri’s poise and dedication bagged her the lead parts in two dance dramas Pibarae Ramasaram, a production based on Eka Sloki Ramayanam and Kalpatharu, a production of Midhilalaya Dance Academy staged in Thiruvananthapuram and Chennai. Apart from being a graded Bharatanatyam artist in Doordarshan (Grade B) she has also performed the traditional repertoires at several programs organised by the Department of Tourism and Public Relations.

20-26 JANUARY 2018 KATHAKALI FEST at: Kanakakkunnu Palace Auditorium
During uduthukettu, a process exclusive to Kathakali, lengthy sacks are fastened around the waist of the artist and are bound together with a loincloth called Kacha. A Kathakali performance is earmarked by many such elaborate processes. Even its colours are virtues. Red from chayilyam, white from lime, green by mixing yellow manayola and ink, and black the soot residue after burning sesame oil and clay tile. Join a talented troupe of Kathakali artists in a week-long celebration of this painstakingly beautiful story play.

THE DHANANJAYANS Kerala Government to honour the Dhananjayans with the prestigious ‘Nishagandhi Puraskaram 2018’

The doyens of Bharatanatyam, the Dhananjayans have redefined Bharatanatyam in more ways than one. They are trendsetters in the field of Bharatanatyam, bringing fresh waves of choreographic innovations and creativity within the traditional repertoire; a true inspiration for upcoming Bharatanatyam dancers. The senior most disciples of the legendary Rukmini Devi and alumnae of the famed Kalakshetra, the Dhananjayans founded Bharatakalanjali in 1968, an institution which seeks to promote and develop Indian art and culture by offering the best Gurukul system of training combined with modern approach. Choreographers par excellence, the Dhananjayans have undertaken collaborations with Western choreographers and ballet dancers, while retaining the traditional essence of Bharatanatyam, Kathakali and other dance forms. The Dhananjayans have been instrumental in uniting artists by nurturing a healthy interaction between dancers, musicians and connoisseurs. They have been the recipient of several titles and recognitions including the first International Naatya Award, instituted by the American Association of Indian Dancers (AAID), Kalaimamani, Central Sangeet Natak Akademi, Kerala State Sangeetha Nataka Akademi's Fellowship, and Nritya Choodamani. In recognition of their valuable contributions to dance, the Dhananjayans would be conferred the prestigious ‘Nishagandhi Puraskaram 2018’ by the Kerala Government.