Purush Perspectives 5: Nataraj and Natawar

The uber-cool illustrator, mythologist and former medical man, Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik gave a talk at the Purush conference on the 20th of December, 2013. Mythology for Devdutt serves the role of helping to clarify people’s thinking and getting back to basics. We, as dancers, use mythology and its ubiquitous characters at length. We become these…

Purush Perspectives 4: Learning Bharathanatyam in Adyar – boon or bane?

When Lakshmi Vishwanathan talked of the Adyar army on stage at the Purush Festival, referring to gurus C.V. Chandrashekar, Balagopal, Janardhanan, Adyar Lakshmanan and V.P. Dhananjayan she could have easily been making the case for Madras-20 postcode to be designated a UNESCO intangible cultural space! Throw in the female Gurus that abound in a two-mile…

Purush Perspectives 3: From the Archives

The silk shirt of the legendary dancer Ram Gopal was from ARMANI….errr..A.R.MANI from Madras! Snippets like this kept us entertained throughout the Purush conference! I’d like to make special note of the presentation of Aashish Khokar who recollected the above anecdote, not least because of my research interests in copyright and heritage but because it…

Purush Perspectives 2: Environment and the arts

In an evening of ‘Baitak Bhav’, [A session where artist is sat down and expressing] on the last day of the Purush conference in Madras, the 22nd of December 2013, Birju Maharaj made my point really well about nature as inspiration for dancers. Fresh from riding the wave of my National Parks award, I was…

Purush Perspectives 1: 173 Chakkars

To grow in dance is not to learn new items or even make new items. To grow in dance is to learn something fresh and to stimulate one’s thinking to the depth where one feels the way one felt when one took that big step – that big step which you were not sure would…

Looking forward to the 2013 ‘Madras season’!

With the rain bucketing down and central heating being switched on, the mind wanders in search of cheer and at this time of year it is the anticipation of yet another energy filled, uplifting Madras  music and dance ‘season’ (or Christmas depending on your cultural background).  This year I would be starting off with the…