Two weeks ago, I asked the children at my Writers’ Club whether they would like to make readers laugh or cry. Three girls said they wanted to make readers laugh. 12 said they wanted to make readers cry. When a few said they would like to do both, those who had already raised their hands […]
The last time I visited Varanasi, I was nearly run down by a charging bull. Not surprisingly, when the planning began for a dance trip to Varanasi, I was not overly excited. Varanasi, for me, was a place where religion was elaborately performed, as if every day was a festival. I was also utterly put […]
Perhaps because Nisha and I have always been so close and so affectionate towards each other, I have always been intrigued by relationships between sisters. At dance class, we do have the odd pair of sisters joining class. These aren’t as common as I would imagine. Often, one sister (usually the elder one) joins class, […]
Anyone who has ever performed knows about the adrenalin rush, the energy, the feeling of having achieved something. But more than all of these, I think performances are fun because they’re full of stories. Some are dramatic stories that we tell and retell, like when we performed in Chidambaram, and the time when Nisha and […]
Each year, we have a poojai at dance class for Dashami. Now, at the Academy of Indian Dances, there are four teachers, including me. Mythili Mami is, of course, head; that goes without saying. On Dashami, a little girl crept up to the corner where we were standing. “I want to speak to Ma’am,” she […]
What makes Mythili Maami special? Why have so many of us been with her for two decades and longer? Why did we not leave the Academy of Indian Dances and set up on our own like so many other dancers? The answer lies in a story that each one of us is only too willing to share. […]
Maharashtra Cultural Centre has invited the Academy of Indian Dances to perform for Urja, a classical dance festival. For this performance, we’ve taken an old theme, one that we presented in 2012, Naaritva: Exploring Womanhood. The performance explores the journey of a woman through traditional pieces, both classical and folk. We begin with girlhood, associated with fun […]
Many things went wrong. Too many things went wrong. Mahatma Phule Sanskrutik Bhavan informed us on the 5th of December that the mayor required the hall on the 18th, so all performances scheduled for that day had been cancelled. And yes, our performance was scheduled for the 18th. 59 children were to perform. We had […]
As a child watching a cricket match live on television, I remember asking my grandfather, “How does the camera know where to look?” Two days ago, looking at five people sitting together and ensuring that our performance was screened live all over the world, I remembered my question and smiled. Performing in Tirupathi was an experience that […]
One year ago, three of us had the privilege of dancing at Kalakshetra in front of my teacher’s teachers. I can’t believe that a year has passed since that wonderful day that was so filled with emotion. We were scared, but our teacher was terrified – she had to play the nattuvangam on the same stage that […]
I’ve lost count of the number of times people have asked me when we’re performing in Pune. Finally, here we go! The senior students of the Academy of Indian Dances bring to you a traditional Bharatanatyam programme, featuring a range of pieces that explore nritta, nritya and natya. Beginning with an invocatory dance, we move on […]
Performing for three minutes is often more trouble than it’s worth … not this time, though. People often assume that a three-minute performance is no big deal. Let’s look at it this way, though. Leaving aside the time we take to choreograph, learn, coordinate and practise, we could just look at the day we perform. […]
Thank you, Sakal Times, for the article about our Kalakshetra performance!
It’s taken me a while to write about the last month. How full of emotions it has been! We performed in Kalakshetra for Pushpa Teacher and Jaya Teacher, my teacher’s teachers. We peaked and fell, rising and falling with a tide of emotions. We felt we underperformed, and then we were overwhelmed by everyone’s responses. […]
Yes, we really performed. Even though the picture does not show it, I was really there too.
To say that we are honoured, privileged and humbled all at the same time is to say nothing at all. We are going to perform at Kalakshetra, the place where our beloved guru became the dancer and person she is … What words of mine can begin to touch upon all our thoughts and feelings? Like […]
I have been learning dance for 22 years. Yes, that is a lot. Often, people ask us whether this means that we have our own dance classes. No. That is not the only reason to learn dance. “How much would you charge for a performance?” is the next question. “It depends on what sort of performance […]
The Kalakshetra troupe performed in Pune for the first time last evening. Finally. When I watch them dance, I understand. I understand why Kalakshetra is such a reputed name in the dance world. I am awed by the vision of Rukmini Devi, and her incredible imagination. I see dance as architecture, performance and storytelling. I am moved to laughter […]
Finally, in Pune! A dance drama presented by Kalakshetra: Jatayu Moksham – on the 7th of February, at Bal Gandharva. My teacher is excited; we are thrilled!
My dance teacher does not remember the exact date of her Arangetram, but she does remember that it was in 1964. Just for today, I’m going to pretend to myself that her Arangetram was the 29th of October, 1964. Because today, I think of all the time that has passed since our Arangetram: my sister’s and […]