january 06 programmes

thursday 5th january
6.30 pm 'Milestones -"Experiencing Indian classical dance forms" - A lecture-demonstration' by Swapnasundari

At the time of Independence most classical Indian dance forms had been degraded, temple dancing forbidden and the devadasis had become entertainers 'sadir' ( nautch girls ).

In the 1970's Swapnasundari made a sensational debut and earned global acclaim for her creative expression through Koochipoodi & Bharatha Natyam, and through vocal music and composition, choreography and teaching but 20 years later she reached at a turning point in her life and went back to the roots of temple dancing. She has researched, recreated, codified and restructured the near obsolete temple dances of Andhra as a classical form 'Vilasini Natyam'. She demonstrates and compares these dance forms and talks about her life as an artist and performer.

In recognition of her many contributions to the field of culture, Swapnasundari has been decorated with the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi award. She is the youngest and only solo Koochipoodi daneuse who has been decorated with Padma Bhushan by the President of India.

saturday 7th january
6.30 pm 'Young Dancers Festival - 'WINGS ... of clouds.'A modern dance' by Sudesh Adhana

In the sky, the world of shapes and mysteries is continuously creating and destroying itself - thus reaching its senses. Wings… is a revelation, where the dancer through the medium of his body and movements explores the enthralling moods of clouds. Silence, beauty, puzzlement and its thunderous nature are a few of the many interpretations sought, felt and integrated into this solo performance.

Sudesh Adhana looks at dance as his way of communicating . He first learnt Mayurbhanj Chhau the martial art dance form of Orissa at the Bharatiya Kala Kendra, joined Santosh Nair exploring contemporary dance form and has worked with Astad Debu, Navtej Singh Johar and Aditi Mangaldas. He has performed "The Net of Pas de Deux" with Ella Christina Fiskum in India and Europe, "Transposition "directed by Dadi Pudumjee , "Beyond Borders" - a collaboration project with Norwegian choreographer Selvi Edvardsen.

wednesday 11th january
6.30 pm ‘The Magic of Nepal - A talk and slide show’ by Deb Mukharji

Ever since the Nepal Himalaya was opened to outsiders in the early fifties, it has attracted floods of trekkers and mountaineers from different parts of the world. The accessibility of the himals - as the massifs are known in Nepal - and the fine arrangements for stay that have been put in place by local inhabitants make it a joy and pleasure to trek in Nepal. The programme brings together words and images describing The Magic of Nepal.

Deb Mukharji is an avid trekker and an accomplished photographer who has been walking in the Himalaya for over five decades. Over the years his photographic shows and exhibitions have been appreciated by critics and audiences. The Magic of Nepal brings together over 20,000 words describing the beauty of different himals together with nearly 200 photographs. In his professional life Deb Mukharji was a member of the Indian Foreign Service and retired as our ambassador to Nepal.

saturday 14th january

6.30 pm 'Tapestry of Sounds - A Dhrupad Lecture & Demonstration' by Ustad Faiyaz Wasifuddin Dagar

A master musical craftsman weaves quasi invisible threads of sounds, shrutis, around the tanpura strings reminiscent of the weaving of Pashmina shawls or the "katha" work of Bengal , where the womenfolk sing and improvise with each stitch. Here also the musician starts with the threads and weaves a theme, everything else is on the spot improvisation , integrating the mood of the moment, the place and of the audience into his "weaving". Every note creates the context for the next one and subtly works its way towards unfolding the imagery of the piece.

Ustad F. Wasifuddin Dagar will happily be your "fil d'Ariane" guiding you through the intricacies of the labyrinth of sound and highlighting its components and criss-crossings He will talk about his families dhrupad heritage which goes back twenty unbroken generations since before the time of Akbar in the world famous Dagar gharana.

The specificity of the Dagar music style, revolves around the improvised application of minuscule shades of swaras revealing their individuality against the background of the plucked strings of the tanpura acting as a reference drone. The tanpura becomes a sound warp into which the voice, touch by touch, "note-knot" after "note-knot" completes the design of the raga, the tapestry. Everything in this music is an integral and unique part of Indian musical heritage sought after by those in quest of universal seminal cultural roots.

Ustad Faiyaz Wasifuddin Dagar donned the mantle of his father and uncle, the 'Dagar Brothers', after their demise in 1989 and 1994 respectively. He has undertaken to take dhrupad to the young generation and to all four corners of the world through concerts, workshops and lecture-demonstrations. He has to his credit many CDs recorded in India and abroad. He continues the Dagar Brothers mission of holding three-day Dhrupad Samarohs yearly in Delhi and Jaipur to open a platform to all living schools of dhrupad.

tuesday 17th january

6.30 pm 'A Reading of Textiles from Thailand' by Michele Archambault

The Ikat technique "Mud (to tie) Mee (thin noodles, threads)" is the art of tying and dyeing threads before they are woven . The design is formed by the warp or weft threads( single Ikat ) or by both ( double Ikat ) In Thailand weft Ikat is the most commonly used technique and has been practiced for centuries mainly by women farmers, previously for their own families use and more recently to earn a side income after their work in the rice fields.. The King and Queen of Thailand have set up institutions to support the weavers and perpetuate Thai traditions and artistry.

The designs and patterns are replete with symbols and meanings. Michele will take us on an exploratory journey through the traditional motifs and unravel their meaning and through them the expression of the daily lives, religion and beliefs of the weavers.

Michele Archambault spent 18 years in Thailand where she started collecting textiles from village weavers and from neighboring countries of Asia She has exhibited her collection and has given talks on the subject in Bangkok, Toyko, Mulhouse and New York. She is the author of a catalogue "Tissues Royaux" , "Tissus Villeageois de Thailande" and has published articles in Siam Society Journal. She has studied Chinese for many years , practices calligraphy and lives in New York City.

wednesday 18th january to tuesday 31st january

from 10.30 am to 6.30 pm - 'Exhibition of Thai Textiles - From the collection of Michelle Archambault'

saturday 21st january
6.30 pm 'Young Dancers Festival - The Feminine Aspect Odissi' by Moumita Ghosh

Though Indian classical dance styles vary in technique, music, costume and even posture, they all subdivide their styles into tandava and lasya . Lasya is the feminine aspect, the Odissi style its best expression. and the tribhanga its most characteristic posture.. In this the knees, torso and neck are unequally deflected, gracefully exaggerating the female form and giving the dance a lissome, sensuous grace unequalled and even taboo in the other dance forms.

Moumita has chosen this aspect of the dance to highlight her 17 years of study and practice under her guru Padmashri Smt. Madhavi Mudgal. She has also attended Odissi workshops by the Late Guru Kelucharan Mohapatara and featured in her Guru's group compositions and choreographies in India and various parts of the world. She is an empanelled artist with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and is emerging as one of the foremost young soloists in the Odissi dance style.

monday 23rd january

6.30 pm 'The Seal of Mystery - An evening of poetry' by Alain Archambault

Alain will read in the original or in English translation from various poets, including :

Paul Celan (1920-1970), French Jewish poet born in Rumania and writing in German, deeply affected by the Holocaust and disturbed by his own survival;

Ingeborg Bachmann (1926-1973), Austrian poetess and novelist, marked by the angst of woman's vulnerability;

Cesare Pavese (1908-1950), Italian poet and novelist, emphasizes the poet's solitude and his "absurd vice" ( death-wish ) while being keenly aware of the need for human solidarity and togetherness;

George Seferis (1900-1971), Greek diplomat and poet, preoccupied by the ancient tradition of "nostos" --a return voyage, but to which country;

Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933),who lived in relative obscurity in Alexandria. His collection of poems were not published until after his death. They deal mainly with human beauty and art suffused with hedonism and a deep sense of irony.

The thread that unites this selection of poets that seems disparate at first is the inherent and preternatural mystery of words and feelings that is the essence of poetry. When asked what one of her dances meant, Isadora Duncan is said to have remarked: "If I could tell you, I would not have to dance it."

Alain Archambault is a former translator/ interpreter in 3 languages - French, English and Russian with the United Nations. He lived in Thailand for 18 years and has made frequent trips to India. He is now living in New York City. He published a novel in Paris, wrote screenplays and various pieces for literary reviews. He still writes poetry.

saturday 28th january

'Bead Jewellery Workshop' by Hema Malani & Shruti Dev

An exciting opportunity to create your very own piece of jewellery with a vibrant array of colourful beads:

From 10:00a.m. to 1:00p.m. LARIAT: String a multi-coloured, multi-stranded necklace with ease. Start with a selection of beads and crystals, find your own rhythm and create exquisite patterns.

From 2: 00p.m. to 5:00p.m. EARRINGS: If you love earrings and want to flaunt your own style reach out for a handful of beads and in a few minutes make a fashion statement.

Shruti Dev is an avid jewellery artist creating one-off pieces in mixed media with a special preference for bead work. She is a qualified jewellery designer from GII, Mumbai with substantial international exposure she also has published work in well-known international beading magazines to her credit.

Hema Malani, Senior Jewellery Design Instructor, Jewellery Product Development Centre, New Delhi has been creating a personalised line of contemporary jewellery since 1999.

As a team they have conducted various successful beading workshops.

Charges: Rs.1000 per workshop. (15 candidates per workshop).

No previous knowledge of beading required. Tools and supplies will be provided. Please register with Mina at 23746050