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!
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 […]
“How was the Arangetram? How did Chaitrali do?” my mother asked. I had one word in response, “Moving.” And it was moving for more reasons than one. When Chaitrali, despite her hearing and speaking disability made her speech, many of us were in tears. “I thank the didis,” she said, painstakingly. “Varsha didi … Nisha didi […]
The Academy of Indian Dances welcomes you to the Arangetram of Chaitrali, Diya and Purvi. Chaitrali is a special girl with a hearing disability despite which she has persevered and come to this stage. Her Arangetram is a proud moment for her parents, her guru, and somehow by extension, all of us. Diya and Purvi […]
We are conducting a dance workshop (followed by a performance) soon … I will share the details in the next few days!
It’s International Dance Day! The best day, perhaps, to pay tribute to my guru, Guru Mythili Raghavan. Nobody can quite understand why she means so much to us. Why is it that we spend odd hours at her place? Why do so many of the seniors’ parents comment that we listen more to her than […]
Women of Pride unravelled a lot of questions before proceeding to respond to them, at least in part . There was so much about the devadasis that I did not know. Often in books I read, the history of these temple dancers was cheerfully summed up in a couple of sentences. The devadasis were nityasumangali […]
Three years ago, we performed on a beautiful stage as part of the Kannada Sangha celebrations in Pune. I can’t quite believe that it was three years ago. Waiting to perform again!
When we introduce my teacher, we always talk about the prestigious Iyal Isai Nadagam award that she received. We have so many things to say about her, about countries she’s toured and things she has achieved. This time, we had the privilege of being present when Guru Mythili Raghavan received an award from the Pune […]
There’s nothing in the world like the thrill of performing. Even if it’s just a tiny performance at my teacher’s place. Nothing much went wrong. There were no black-outs, but that was okay.I was to sit on a small wooden stool for one scene, but no one but I seemed to know where the stool […]
The thrill of performing is here again! A little performance, a private performance this time – not on a stage, and for barely twenty people. “We’ll do it in a very simple way,” said my teacher. “Those who are playing boys will dress in salwar-kameez. The girls will wear practice saris.” Doing it at my […]