Film Club
                                                                february 07 programmes

 

INDIAN CLASSICAL DANCE WITHOUT FRONTIERS

The purpose of this festival is to explore the learning and teaching of Indian classical dance to artistes of nontraditional backgrounds. There exists among the Indian artistic fraternity a feeling of cultural superiority about the inability of foreign students to imbibe India’s complex musical and dance traditions. The lack of knowledge of language, history, mythology and the inability to follow the traditional Indian teaching methods of the guru-shishya parampara make the cross cultural transmission of Indian traditions and methodologies either impossible or at least inauthentic.

Does the same logic apply in reverse? Is Zubin Mehta lacking something as one of the great conductors of Western Classical music? Is Yo Yo Ma not a good enough cellist because he is of Chinese ancestry? Is it not true that some of the best books on Indian classical music are by Alain Danielou and Walter Kauffman? Dr. Katherine Zeiss, a student of Odissi, Bharatanatyam and a doctorate in Indian Philosophy asks “How is it that we are nourished here, in a land far from our birth, and what aspects of the universal human spirit are we able to develop in the process of refining ourselves to become more fit instruments of the Divine Melody ? “

Here is Mohini-Attam dancer Brigitte Chataigner. “Dance for me is like breath itself, a movement linked to infinity, to the eternal. It is a moment one catches in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the eternal world. Indian dance in particular takes us in between body and spirit, thought, poetry, beauty. It inspires us to Love and generosity. There is no end to the numerous qualities of this dance each time renewed, present, traditional, ancient, sacred, as well as contemporary. For it encloses the precious treasure of life, life itself “

This festival of about 12 dancers will follow different formats based on the specialty of each dancer. The dancer may be actively introduced by the guru followed by a short performance by the student , followed by an interaction of some sort between guru, student and audience. Followed by a simple vegetarian dinner. Or where the guru is not present the dancer talks about him/herself and interacts with the audience.


friday 2nd february
6.30 pm The Attic ‘Dance without frontiers festival’ ‘From Ballet to Bharatanatyam’ – A Bharatanatyam performance by Ekaterina Buzunova

For 5 years this year, a young ballet student from Rostov –on–Don in Russia has transformed herself into a Bharatanatyam dancer on an ICCR scholarship under Guru Justin McCarthy. Katerina will present 4 traditional items showcasing different facets of Bharatanatyam – Pushpanjali, Jathiswaram, Padam and Tillana.

After her performance she will talk about her training at the classical ballet dance studio “Pirouette” from where she graduated in classical ballet and contemporary dance, her inspiration to learn Indian Dance after a visit to Chennai when she was just 11, her training in Indian folk dance at the Indian Cultural Centre in Rostov, her 5 year training in Bharatanatyam, her experiences in India and her plans for the future. Her Guru Justin McCarthy will present her and talk about his experiences in teaching Indian Classical dance since the last 20 years.

tuesday 6th february
10.00 am to 1.00 pm The Attic ‘Workshop/ Performance with Lemn Sissay Organized’ by British Council. For registration call British Council 41497312 or The Attic 2374 6050.


Fusing the lyrical & the polemical, up-beat humour & deadly seriousness – Lemn’s performances are notorious for their powerful energy & dynamism.

Author of several collections of poetry, including Morning Breaks in the Elevator and Rebel Without Applause, editor of The Fire People (all Cannongate Books), and a performance pioneer, Lemn Sissay is one of the UK’s foremost poets. His first collection for children The Emperor’s Watchmaker has been published by Bloomsbury. He has previously written the script for Storm which premiered at Contact in 2000 and for Benji Reid’s B Like Water.

As lyricist & vocalist his recording work includes collaborations with a range of musicians including David Murray, Jah Wobble & Byron Wallen, & bands including Secret Society, Working Week, Disjam & Leftfield - whose top 10 album Leftism includes Lemn’s - 21st Century Poem.

Lemn presented Slam for a special production for BBC3 by Baby Cow, having previously featured in their poetry series Whine Gums and being a regular contributor to the BBC 2 series Grumpy Old Men. He also presented ‘Jazz 606’ on BBC2 in the late 90s, plus received commissions from & made appearances on The Late Show, The South Bank Show (BBC), Celebration (ITV), & Upfront (Granada). In 1995 the BBC made a documentary about his life entitled Internal Flight. His radio work is similarly extensive - including regular appearances on BBC Radio’s 1, 4 & 5.

He was commissioned by Apples & Snakes and Contact with BAC in 2003 to write his first full length show, Something Dark. This was directed by John E. McGrath, has original music by Jim Parris, design by Emma Wee and lighting design by Anne Meeussen. The show was first produced at Contact on February 12 2004 and is currently touring internationally. It was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in September 2004.


tuesday 6th february
6.30 pm IIC auditorium ‘The music of the ‘dilli' gharana’ by Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan & introduction by Vidya Rao


Gharanas are families of musicians including disciples singing in a style that marks them as different from other gharanas. These differences could relate to the raga repertoire or the manner of voice production or the role and importance accorded to specific bandishes. Delhi’s musical lineage stretches back many centuries due to the artistic patronage of its glittering courts, giving the city a rich gharana tradition.

The ‘Dilli gharana’ displays two simultaneous streams of musical focus – the ‘sufiana’ and the ‘darbari’. Iqbal Ahmad Khan, the current ‘khalifa’ of the gharana traces his ancestry to the court of Sultan Altamash of the 13th century. He also traces his musical ancestry through Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti who adapted the local musical style of ‘kirtan’ singing to create a new form - the ‘qawwali’. At the time of Miya Achpal the styles of the ‘qawwal’ singers merged with the older traditions of dhrupad creating the typical ‘gayaki’ of this gharana.

Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan dips into this rich tradition of ‘qaul’, ‘dhamaal’ and also ‘raga sagar’ and ‘tala sagar’ (forms noted for their technical virtuosity) and also presents a small taste of the ‘Dilli’ tradition practically unknown today – ‘naqsh–o – gul , hawa, basit, savela’.

Vidya Rao who introduces the music of Delhi gharana is not only a well known thumri singer but also a scholar who has researched and written extensively on music. For many years, she was the disciple of Naina Devi and is currently receiving advanced training under Shanti Hiranand and Girija Devi. Her training in khayal gayaki has been under Prof. B.N. Datta and Pandit Mani Prasad. She has composed and sung for the theatre and films and has been visiting professor at JNU’s School of Arts and Aesthetics and Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Studies, Jadavpur University.


thursday 8th february
6.30 pm to 8.00 pm The Attic ‘Ananda Yoga workshop’ by Claudio G


Ananda Yoga is a style of Hatha Yoga developed by Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of the spiritual classic, ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’. It is an inwardly directed practice and works primarily with the energy in the body for us to attain higher states of awareness. Yogasanas in Ananda Yoga is a practice that helps to create a meditative atmosphere and is what might be called a “moving meditation”, almost a kind of spiritual dance. At first we concentrate on the body and then on the flow of energy (prana) within the body to get more centered and inward.The Ananda Yoga method includes:
  • asana (yoga postures)
  • Pranayama (breathing exercises and energy-control techniques)
  • Classical yoga meditation techniques
  • energization exercises
This gentle and highly effective approach is suitable for all ages and body types. It can be very helpful for getting relaxed, revitalized and uplifted.

This workshop and the following series of 8 paid-classes in march/april will be conducted by Claudio Gregorelli, a certified yoga teacher from Ananda Yoga School in California. Born Italian, he has lived since 1986 at the international Ananda Assisi retreat (Italy) coordinating and teaching different Ananda Yoga courses and programs on Kriya yoga meditation. Two years ago he was invited to India to help with the work of the new established Ananda Sangha ashram in Gurgaon, where he is presently teaching. For further information, please log on to www.anandaindia.org.

Come and join Claudio G. for this Ananda Yoga workshop and experience higher states of awareness. Preferably wear loose clothing for this practice. Please register for this free workshop. Maximum number 20. Call 2374 6050 or email: mina@theatticdelhi.org.

saturday 10th february
11.00 am to 1.00 pm The Attic ‘Chinese Calligraphy’ workshop by Michele Archambault

In China, calligraphy the art of writing is regarded as the quintessential visual art ranking above painting as the most important vehicle for oral expression. As such it may be appreciated in much the same way as abstract art. A single character, a simple stroke, even a single dot can reflect a calligrapher’s talent and learning, his intuition and insight and all that encompasses his inner spirit. Moreover this remarkably spontaneous yet premeditated act of self expression embraces an artistic tradition thousands of year’s old and whole epochs of philosophy, religion and culture. No wonder the Chinese and other oriental cultures have long regarded calligraphy as one of their supreme artistic accomplishments.

Chinese calligraphy seems to present the most alien and remote art form, yet shares the same formal elements of line, plane and space common to all the arts. In the West beautiful handwriting is not recognized as a pre-eminent graphic art, whereas in China, for centuries, calligraphy has been recognized as the artist’s kinesthetic gesture of creation, preserved in a single inked line. Writing is not only an act of communication, it is an act of self expression.

In this workshop Michele will talk about the history of Chinese calligraphy, on the various materials used, its techniques, it’s utilization of space. How to hold a brush, how to start drawing a character without knowing a word of Chinese.

Michele Archambault was introduced to Chinese Calligraphy in the early 1970's while she was studying Chinese at the Hong Kong University. During the seventies and eighties she made many trips to specific sites in China to study stone inscriptions and gather material relating to calligraphy. She also travelled to Japan where she met one of the great Japanese calligraphers, Tejima Sensei, with whom she kept a close relationship until his death. For the past 15 years, she has lived in New York City where she has been privileged to study with one of the world masters of calligraphy, Professor Zhang Lung Yan. Her work has been exhibited in his studio "The White Camellia" and regularly at the China Institute in NY.

Cost Rs.250. Maximum number 20. Registration required. Call Mina 23746050 or email mina@theatticdelhi.org. Materials will be provided and momos served.

saturday 10th february
6.30 pm The Attic ‘Dance without frontiers festival’ ‘I Speak Kathak’ by Isabelle Anna

 

Dance is the language of movement and as such has links with other languages, flamenco for example. The circular movements, the syncopated rhythms and the similarity between the castanets and the ‘khadtal’ testify to this connection. The young French dancer Isabelle Anna explores in her performance this evening, not only the language of the traditional kathak of the Lucknow Gharana, that she has learnt in India but in her creative interpretations of this style in the Bulerias of Flamenco, the music of the Italian renaissance, the Turkish flute and Persian percussion. She will also explore and relate the rich religious and sacred repertoire of Kathak with the sacred in Latin and Gregorian Christian chants.

The performance will be followed by a discussion with Isabelle, Guru Jai Kishan Maharaj and the audience.

Isabelle has been living in India since 2001 as a scholar of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations in Delhi. She started learning Bharata Natyam as well as Ballet, Drama and Western music from the age of 5 and started learning Kathak with Sharmila Sharma, a disciple of Pandit. Birju Maharaj in Paris. She has completed her Honours Course Diploma and Post Diploma in 2006 at Kathak Kendra under the guidance of her Guru Pandit Jai Kishan Maharaj. Scholar of the French Ministry of Culture in 2003, she has been researching and choreographing the links between Kathak and other cultures. She has performed extensively in India and in the UK, Ukraine, Tunisia, France and Italy.


thuesday 13th february
6.30 pm The Attic ‘Out of Status’ a documentary film by Sanjna Singh and Pia Sawhney. Sanjna Singh will introduce and present the film.

In post 9/11 America , the curtailment of civil liberties in the name of national security has had a direct and enduring impact on individuals of Muslim background.

Before 9/11 there was a common understanding between the INS and immigrant communities that people who had applications pending to legalize their status could reside in the country until their application was approved or their status changed. Now, for South Asians and Arabs, the rule has hanged. This community is alone among the vast immigrant population to face such targeted and concerted enforcement.

Carma, an American with two children, sees her husband, Akram deported to Egypt. Their family has now been separated for two years. Two days after 9/11, Salem, a Pakistani-American, is charged with stealing a rental car and jailed in solitary confinement for 40 days. Hakim, an Algerian, faces the possibility of separation from his wife, and child. The Rahmans, who are staying in a shelter wait to gain asylum in Canada. They, along with 15,000 other Pakistanis, leave New York rather than face deportation. Through its focus on individuals, this film helps the audience experience the injustice, the fear and the curtailment of civil liberties in the name of national security.

Sanjna Singh, a filmmaker and writer, graduated from Bryn Mawr in Political Science and French. She and co-producer Pia were awarded grants for work on their first independent documentary, ‘Out of Status’. A TV version has been broadcast in Europe. It has been nominated for the Amnesty DOEN award for Human Rights in the Netherlands, and was given an award for best broadcast by the South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA) in New York. She was also awarded the Eastman Kodak Final Pitch Award at IFP New York.

Pia Sawhney has worked in documentary for four years, and most recently on a production for Jennifer Fox, which will air on HBO next year. ‘Out of Status’ played at the Rotterdam, Edinburgh, and Amnesty film festivals. Pia and Sanjna were nominated by NAATA for the ABC Talent Development Award. Pia has lived in the US, India, and the Middle East, is completing a graduate degree in broadcast journalism, and works as a freelance producer.

thursday 15th february
6.30 pm The Attic Illustrated Lecture ‘Coomaraswamy and the idea of civilization’ by Dr.Ramin Jahanbegloo

Bloch, Stella and Ananda
K. Coomaraswamy (1918)
On the 60th anniversary of the death of Ananda Coomaraswamy (1877- 1947) We revisit this great philosopher-essayists idea of civilization and his critique of the modern world as one of the main philosophical figures of the Perrenial School. His extensive knowledge, love and understanding of the world’s diverse cultures, sacred scriptures, languages and art led Heinrich Zimmer to describe him as “that noble scholar upon whose shoulders we are still standing”. His book ‘ What is Civilization ‘ is an attempt to understand the unity of religions and cultures where “ The chosen people of the future cannot be any nation or race but an aristocracy of the earth uniting the virility of European youth to the serenity of Asiatic age.” He was a metaphysical bridge between East and West, remarking “Who that has breathed the clear mountain air of the Upanishads, of Gautama, Sankara and Kabir of Rumi, Laotse and Jesus can be alien to those who have sat at the feet of Plato and Kant, Tauler Behman and Ruysbroeck, Whitman, Nietzsche and Blake.”

He attained international eminence as a philosopher of art and art historian, as an expositor of oriental art and philosophy, as a traditionalist thinker, as sociologist, educationist, a knowledgeable commentator of comparative religion, erudite writer and above all as a brilliant essayist who is considered today as the prophet of the new age.

Dr. Ramin Jahanbegloo is a well known Iranian philosopher. He is a graduate and Doctor of Philosophy from Sorbonne University. He has taught Philosophy in Tehran, been a fellow at Harvard , Adjunct professor in Political Philosophy in the University of Toronto and Director of the Department of Contemporary Thought at the Cultural Research Bureau in Tehran. He is presently the Rajni Kothari Chair in Democracy at the CSDS. He is the author of 20 books in English, French and Persian, including ‘Thinking India’, Iran Between Tradition and Modernity’, ‘Pensee la Nonviolence’, ‘Gandhi Aux Source de la Nonviolence’, ‘Conversations with Isaiah Berlin’. He has contributed many articles to Iranian, Indian, American and French journals. He is presently finishing his latest book ‘The Clash of Intolerances’.

saturday 17th february
6.30 pm The Attic ‘To be in the world, but not of it’ festival ANVITAA–wrapped in space Kathak performance by Sushmita Ghosh

Journeys are not necessarily a rushing from one place to another. They can be musical, literary and religious and they have parallels in different times and cultures. This evening there is a symbiosis between the poetic and spiritual journey of Jalaluddin Rumi from the 12th century and the unraveling of the many tales wrapped into the rich, multi-layered narrative of classical Kathak. Anvitaa is the gentle blossoming of the Raga while it negotiates the leisurely vilambit, the engaging Tarana and the brisk Druta compositions. It is also a reflection of the inner journey of the dancer as she prays to be stripped off of the turbulence of the material world as she enters her dream like realm of dance. And this journey to the ‘other’ finds parallels in the Sufi poems of Rumi who sees this life just as another dream before the soul wakes up to return to its ‘ real abode’.

Anvitaa is based in Raga Yaman and Tala Teentala. The musical compositions in Anvitaa are originally created by Kishori Amonkar, Pandit Amarnath and Rakesh Pathak. The rhythmic compositions and the Kavittas are created by Guru Munna Shukla and Guru Rohini Bhate. The choreography is by Sushmita Ghosh and the music by Rakesh Pathak.

Sushmita is disciple of Guru Munna Shukla. She completed her Post Diploma at Kathak Kendra, New Delhi, and was invited to join the UK centre of the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan as Resident Kathak Guru soon after. Sushmita taught, created and performed dance in the UK for 12 years before returning to continue the work in India in 2002.

friday 23rd february to saturday 10th march
11.00 am to 7 pm (closed sunday) ‘Clay at The Attic’ – Ceramic Exhibition - Recent works from 5 celebrated Potters.

friday 23rd february - Opening at 6.30 pm
Manisha Bhattacharya
Aarti Vir
Rakhee Kane Jadeja
Michel Hutin
Sharbani Das Gupta
Anjani Khanna

Manisha Bhattacharya

The germination of the exhibition “Clay at The Attic” has nostalgic overtones. The days of college when one passed “The Shop” window in awestruck admiration of the ceramics from Golden Bridge Pottery. Clay finally took me to Ray and Deborah in Pondicherry. Now, it takes a full circle with our showing at The Attic.

‘Nostalgia’ is a collection of memories and images. My work at The Attic will be a recollection of a few such impressions. These images make a place for themselves in the recesses of our minds. The details blur, the impression lingers. Maybe a painting seen in a museum, a piece from a ballet, the dappled play of light and shadow or just the winding thread of a river seen from your train window. I have tried to transcreate them in my own way through my own medium – clay.

Manisha Bhattacharya has been trained from the New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred on a Fulbright Fellowship [2003-04]. She has also studied at the School of Art & Design, University of Cardiff on a Charles Wallace India Trust Award and an Inlaks grant to study under Jane Hamlyn in England. She learnt pottery from Deborah Smith & Ray Meeker at Golden Bridge Pottery in Pondicherry [1989-90], Nirmala Patwardhan at Garhi [1984-85] and Mansimran Singh at Delhi Blue Pottery.
She has been working with clay for the last 22 years. She currently works and lives in Delhi.


Aarti Vir

“As our glaciers melt and our forests are depleted, as our wildlife disappears, as we contaminate our water and pollute the air, as we cravenly submit before the altars of the all-consuming deities of Economics and Development, as military spending and nuclear deals forestall spending on welfare and education, as we dam our rivers and e-waste threatens to inundate us, as climate change creeps up on us, perhaps it is time to remind ourselves that our future is inextricably bound to that of this planet, International Space Centers and plans to colonize Mars notwithstanding.

There was a time when rituals of propitiation and offering served to remind humans that they were supplicants before nature. These rituals were served by vessels—altars, lamps, reliquaries and jars--both basic and elaborate, in every culture throughout the world. To me these objects represent hope, nourishment, Life. My current work consists of these objects, all hand built; the process itself, being slow and almost meditative, imbues each piece with a sense of ritual for me. All the work is fired to 1280-1300 degrees centigrade and salt-glazed.”

Aarti Vir is a graduate and a Master in Painting from Baroda and Hyderabad respectively and was an MA Ceramics attachment student at the University of Wales in Cardiff. She has trained as a potter under Ray Meeker and Deborah Smith in Pondicherry and been apprenticed to Micki Schloessingk Bridge Pottery in Wales. She has exhibited frequently in Delhi, Bombay, Hyderabad and Chennai.


Rakhee Kane Jadeja

“Since 2005 I have worked on forms inspired by the architecture and landscape of rural Rajasthan. I use three-dimensional forms, with four or five surfaces, to represent the masses and enclosures of this environment. I am trying to depict the various routine activities that take place inside the little enclosures, the central courtyard of a house, the daily activities of the village that take place in community spaces.

A feeling can be captured on a three-dimensional form in many different ways. The colors and objects I saw years ago had the strongest impact, giving me enough material to work with: the different shades of ochre, the patches of vibrant blue… windows, doors, courtyards, niches, storage jars, shelves. With clay, I have a great opportunity to come close to capturing this imagery in a unique way. It is very interesting to explore the possibilities of transforming experiences through a clay vocabulary. This exploration is not about freezing the moment but about living the experience.”

Rakhee Kane Jadeja graduated in fine arts from Baroda and holds a post-graduate diploma in ceramic design from NID, Ahmedabad. She has her own studio in Auroville and was artist-in-residence at Golden Bridge Pottery for 9 months in 2005. She has participated in numerous solo and group shows in Auroville, Baroda, Chennai and Ahmedabad.


Michel Hutin

“All my recent works have been made in the same way—joining soft undulating slabs of clay. While I control more or less the arrangement of these undulations, the lines they create at their intersections are always a surprise and often a delight. I love these lines—their rhythm, melody and counterpoint—as they interact with each other, liberating form. I also like the way light enhances the outline of the piece, a bit like looking at mountains at sunrise.

I began by building with thick slabs of soft clay, through which I cut with a thin wire. The result was fresh and spontaneous but too chancy. Now I prefer to build directly with thinner slabs—no cutting. This is simpler, more immediate, and I feel brings me a step closer towards solving a problem that concerns me very much: how to have a form look both controlled and natural at the same time.”

Michel Hutin is French and has been living and working in Auroville for more than 25 years. He is a self taught potter though he has spent some time at the Golden Bridge Pottery in Pondicherry. He lives and works in his studio in the picturesque Auroville community of "Dana”.


Sharbani Das Gupta

“Working in clay was not something I chose to do…. It chose me. I was a graphic design graduate—but I loved clay, so I apprenticed and learnt to throw and fire it. Signing up for a porcelain class at the University of New Mexico was the next significant step. I have come to love the sensuousness and purity of porcelain, and over time, it has become my medium of choice.

The antithesis of India, New Mexico, with its wide spaces, sky, rocks and mountains, was exhilarating, and the work I made reflected the power and form of the land. Journeys too, have had a great impact—from India to the US, from New Mexico to Houston and back. Being a mother–wife–artist, living with the political tensions and contradictions of the last year—all of these have affected my experience of the clay. My work is a barometer of my life—reflecting joy, as well as concern for the environment and the human condition. It is how I try to make sense- to communicate- to have a voice.

The current body of work combines both of the disciplines that I have trained in. My design background plays an important part in the techniques I am currently employing. I generate and create images on the computer, drawing from popular culture and the political environment. These are transferred to the wet porcelain slabs that are then manipulated into the final forms.”

Sharbani Das Gupta is a graduate of The National Institute of Design. She apprenticed at Golden Bridge Pottery in Pondicherry under Ray Meeker and Deborah Smith before going on to learn ‘porcelain vessels’ at the University of New Mexico. She has exhibited in Australia, London, the USA and India.

Anjani Khanna

I remember, as a child of 6 or 7, watching a village potter effortlessly throw tea cups. I remember fearfully crouching over the wheel, while his fingers guided mine as I tried to make a pot. I remember listening to stories about the gods, of the struggle for India’s freedom, of the lives of my extended family. Myth and memory merged in my mother’s telling and with each retelling they became a part of my everyday acquaintance. I remember watching my mother adorn the baby Krishna idol at her small shrine in our home. I remember my agonistic father and me participating in prayers with bemused detachment. I remember being fascinated with human physiology and organic chemistry at college and I remember traveling across rural India as an environmental journalist, discovering my land as a young adult.

These memories and the constant confrontation with contradiction, which is a part of everyday living in India, have an influence on my work. While the written word fascinates me, clay allows me to explore subliminal and oftentimes not easily articulated intuitions in a tactile and visual way. My “yalis”, as I refer to my figurative sculpture, begin to live for me and tell their stories in their living. Their stories reflect my search as they grapple with the modern and the ancient, the personal and the universal, the male and the female, the east and the west, the rational and the intuitive, the animal and the human, the religious and the secular, and the political and the non partisan.

My figures with stylized human bodies and animal heads are made in stoneware paper clay. My work is mostly unglazed and the settling ash from the wood fire breathes life into it. I use dark and white slips, which are sprayed on, often over graphic and text stencils. I sometimes sponge on patterns. I am drawn to repetitive design and usually treat the entire piece as a single surface. I enjoy “dressing up” the fired “yalis”.

Anjani is a BSc. in zoology, a B.A. in Natural Sciences from Bombay and an M.A from Cambridge. She has worked with Sanctuary magazine, with “Down to Earth’ as a researcher, correspondent and Assistant Director, as a consultant with UNDP, in the outreach and education programme with INTACH and as editor of their magazine ‘amanat’. She was the Founder member of “Bombay Potters“ and Editor and publisher of Ceramic(some)Times: a newsletter on ceramics, published sometimes. She has been both participant and curator/organizer of various ceramic shows in India and Europe, the latest being a Paperclay symposium in Hungary and a workshop in Spain.


saturday 24th february
6.30 pm The Attic ‘Dance without frontiers festival’ Bharatanatyam in Bucharest (and Warsaw and Vilnius)”A presentation by JOANNA PONIKIEWSKA , ANCA EUGENIA ANGHELINA, ALEKSANDRA MICHALSKA, and VAIDOTA SIDLAUSKAITE


Four students of Guru Jayalakshmi Eshwar from 3 countries, present a Bharatnatyam kaleidoscope in a dazzling display of traditional dance highlighting the reach of this most venerated of Indian classical dance forms. Coming from different cultures and experiences these 4 young girls speaking not only their own languages but between them Sanskrit, Hindi, Tamil and English will present jointly and individually ‘Omkara karini’, ‘Anandanardhana Ganapati’, “Nada Murali’, (3 gods are invoked here, the godess Shakti, Ganesha and Krishna) concluding with the ‘Tillana’. The creative talent of this group will also be shown by dancing to a contemporary Polish song by Mieczyslaw Szczesniak , based on a quote from the Bible, and a piece based on contemporary Romanian poetry.

JOANNA PONIKIEWSKA, (Asha) is a graduate from English Teachers Training College and was also studying Sanskrit at The Department of South Asian Studies, University of Warsaw, Poland. She completed her post-graduation from The Department of Modern Indian Languages and Literary Studies, Delhi University . She came to India 4 years ago on an ICCR scholarship and has performed in her Guru’s thematic production “Mystical Seven”, in the annual programme of Abhinayaa Aradhana and at festivals organised by ICCR. At present she is studying for a M. Phil degree from Delhi University.

ANCA EUGENIA ANGHELINA is a graduate of the faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures in the University of Bucharest, Romania. She has been learning Bharatanatyam from Guru Jayalakshmi at Triveni since 2003 on an ICCR scholarship. She performed her Arangetram in December 2006 and has been performing at the annual functions of the Abhinayaa Aradhana as well as performances for the ICCR. She studies Sanskrit in her spare time.

ALEKSANDRA MICHALSKA, graduated both from the School of Music (Vocal and Piano Department) and The Department of South Asian Studies, University of Warsaw , Poland with a degree in Dravidian Studies. She is also a student of Tamil. In 2005 she was awarded an ICCR scholarship to pursue studies in Bharatanatyam under Guru Jayalakshmi Eshwar. As a student she took part in a thematic production of her Guru combining dance and yoga, as well as in other performances organized by ICCR, and Abhinayaa Aradhana. Both Aleksandra and Joanna got interested in Indian performing arts when, during their university years they saw a performance of Kudiyattam by Anna Lopatowska, the first ever foreign woman allowed to study that form of ancient Sanskrit theatre. They were very lucky to have eminent teachers, Prof Christopher Byrski (previous Ambassador of Poland to India ) and Dr.Bozena Sliwczynska, experts in their knowledge of Kathakali, Yakshagana, Teyyam and other performing arts of India.

VAIDOTA SIDLAUSKAITE, is a graduate in pharmaceutical studies, from the Medical College in Vilnius , Lithuania . She was awarded an ICCR scholarship in 2004 to pursue dance training under of Guru Jayalakshmi Eshwar. After completing her initial training in Bharatanatyam, she has participated in performances organised by Abhinayaa Aradhana and ICCR.

Guru Jayalakshmi Eshwar is an internationally renowned performer, choreographer, teacher and author. She is a graduate of Kalakshetra, Chennai and is the author of ‘Bharatanatyam How To “(which comes along with an audio cassette and CD and a video CD) and “Hasta Prayoga” on the use of hand gestures in Indian classical dance. She is the head of department of Bharatanatyam at the Triveni Kala Sangam and founder director of ‘Abhinayaa’ (a centre for Bharatanatyam in Delhi )