july 06 programmes
saturday 8th July
7.00 pm 'Conversations'
with Manju Kapur, Vivek Ahuja, Jai Arjun Singh and
Attic proudly launches the first in its series of
'Conversations' an innovative new forum for discussing
It will feature a discussion between the author,
the publisher, the marketing executive and the reviewer
who critiqued the book and you the audience of readers.
Conversations aims to ignite an exciting exchange
of perspectives, emotions and experiences encountered
in the process of writing, editing, marketing and
finally critiquing and reading the book.
The inaugural Conversations will look at Manju Kapur's
third and latest novel, "Home". The discussion
will feature author Manju Kapur, publisher Vivek
Ahuja, blogger Jai Arjun Singh, reviewer Shobhana
Bhattacharji and you the audience.
Manju Kapur teaches English Literature
at Miranda House, University of Delhi. Her first
book, Difficult Daughters won the 1998 Commonwealth
Writers Prize for Best First Book (Eurasia Section).
Her other novels are A Married Woman and Home.
Jai Arjun Singh is a free lance
journalist who works mainly on the book beat. As
an extension of his passion for writing he also
has a literary blog Jabberwock. He is interested
in a variety of subjects but particularly enjoys
writing on books and movies.
Vivek Ahuja is the managing director
of the newly established Random House India. He
has been actively involved in publishing for over
two decades. His keen interest in music, cookery
and travel often guide his choice of books for publication.
Shobhana Bhattacharji has been
teaching English at JMC for close to four decades.
She has written and edited various books including
one on travel writing in India. She has over a century
of reviews to her credit in various journals such
as The Book Review, Biblio, and The Himalayan Journal
among many others.
tuesday 11th july
7.00 pm 'Introduction to Puppet
Theatre: History & Contemporary Performance'
by Anurupa Roy
though puppetry as an art form exists in most ancient
cultures it is believed to have originated in India.
With a wealth of styles and techniques - rod puppets,
string puppets, glove puppets and shadow puppets
and a variety of subjects - religious, balladic
and current social themes itinerant puppeteers travel
long distances performing at religious festivals,
harvests, melas and now at childrens birthday parties.
The fast moving little skits replete with garish
costumes and a sing-song narrative opens a window
into a simple and often comically exaggerated world
of entertainment. But puppets are not only entertainment
they are therapeutic, educational and instructive.
From the water puppets of Vietnam to the raggedy
dolls in Europe puppets are a part of both a universal
and a specific cultural experience.
This evening Anurupa introduces us to the fascinating,
colourful histories of the 22 living traditions
from around the country as also the works of modern
puppeteers illustrated with photographs. She will
explore and demonstrate the possibilities within
puppet theatre with live puppets from Kat Katha's
existing repertoire and video archives.
Anurupa Roy has been a professional puppeteer since
1998. She runs 'Kat-Katha' a puppet theatre company
which combines traditional puppeteering with dancers,
actors and digital artists. Their creative and collaborative
puppet performances incorporate a wide range of
subjects from Shakespearean plays, The Ramayana
and folk tales from around the world to more contemporary
stories of women living in conflict zones like Kashmir.
She discusses the future of traditional forms and
the place of Indian puppeteers in the international
monday 17th july
7.00 pm 'Odissi Dance'
by Somali Bose
is paradoxically one of the most ancient and yet
one of the most modern of the five classical styles
of Indian dance. Based like the others on the 5th
century text the Natya Shastra from which most Indian
theatre and dance takes its roots, Odissi as a dance
form had almost died out by the 20th century. Its
revival owes much to the work of three gurus who
through a study of literature, poetry, music and
sculpture recreated this dance form in the early
Somali's guru Madhavi Mudgal is one of the most
famous students of one of these gurus, Guru Kelucharan
Mahapatra. This evening Somali performs a traditional
Odissi repertoire. This consists of a 'Mangalacharan'
an invocation to a deity, in this case a hymn in
praise of Lord Ganesha. The next item is a 'Pallavi'
a pure dance piece to express joy in rhythm consisting
of abstract movement constructed to a particular
raag & taal (beat).
The third item is an 'Abhinaya' (expressional piece)
from the 12th century Sanskrit love poem the Gita
Govinda in which the dancer expresses the love of
Lord Krishna with his beloved the cowherdess Radha.
The performance ends with the 'Moksha' which marks
the dancers progression on the path of salvation.
Somali has been learning Odissi since the age of
nine and her graduation has given her an understanding
of the theory of dance and the ability to interpret
its subtle nuances. She has been the recipient of
a scholarship by the Government of India and has
performed both solo and in group choreographies
of her guru in India and abroad since 1992. She
lives and teaches dance in Delhi.
7.00 pm 'Sanskrit
Sahitya' Odissi dance by
foundation of Indian culture is based on Sanskrit
literature, theatre, poetry and dance. Bhartrihari
3 centuries of verses (the Subhashita-Ratna-Bhandara),
Bhavabhuti (Uttara-Rama-Charita), the Kavyas of
Kalidasa (the Raghuvamsa) and the Alankara-Granthas
of Jagannatha (rasagangadhara) are examples of this
great tradition in literature, poetry and drama.
Indian classical dance draws upon these traditions
specially Bharatas Natya Shastra to create an art
rich not only in movement but in poetry, literature
This evening Arushi amongst other items dances an
invocation to Lord Shiva from a 13th century musical
treatise, the 'Sangeet-Ratnakara' by Sharngadeva,
a verse from Kalidas's Meghadootam and an Ashtapadi
from Jayadeva's Gita Govinda.
Arushi comes from an illustrious family of musicians
(her grandfather was Pt. Vinaya Chandra Maudgalya
and father is Madhup Mudgal) and dancers. Her aunt
Madhavi Mudgal is also her guru. It was therefore
inevitable that she started learning dance at a
very young age and is academically qualified in
both Odissi dance and classical vocal music. She
has toured extensively with her guru in India and
abroad as part of her dance troupe and is also an
empanelled artist with the ICCR.
wednesday 26th july
7.00 pm Wagner 'A Flawed Genius?'
by R.P. Jain
Wagner (1813-1883) who regarded himself as "the
most German of men", typifying "the German
spirit" is not only known because of his 13
operas and numerous other compositions but also
because of his inevitable influence on our understanding
of German culture and history. He has been classified
as an anarchist, a socialist and simultaneously,
as a proto-fascist, nationalist and as an anti-Semite.
In fact his name has appeared in connection with
almost all major trends in German history of the
19th and 20th centuries.
Both his anti-Semitic sentiments and his music were
personally championed by Hitler with the result
that those who rejected Hitler also rejected Wagner.
R.P. Jain this evening with excerpts from Wagner's
major works and the feel of his majestic sound leads
us to fully understand the meaning of "Wagnerian",
his predominant position in the musical life of
19th century Europe and the necessity of judging
him today on the basis of his work and ideas.
R.P. Jain graduated with a PhD from the University
of Hamburg. He taught German language and literature
for over 22 years in J.N.U. His interest in Western
music grew imperceptibly, almost by osmosis from
his earlier years in London to his stint in Germany
where his interest in opera was kindled. He lives
a retired life in Delhi and is an active member
of the Opera fraternity.
saturday 29th july
7.00 pm 'On Style' - Interpretations
of Koochipoodi vocabulary by Amrita Lahiri
and Koochipoodi are intimately related dance styles
of southern India, sharing common systems of Carnatic
music, languages, poetry, similar costumes and basic
body postures. However, they have very different
histories, content, and choreographic aesthetics.
Amrita has been learning both styles from four gurus.
This evening, she explores compositions from three
of these gurus, each requiring a unique approach
to the choreography.
The first Raagamalika Jatiswaram is a steady exploration
of Bharatanatyam nritta, passed down over generations
in the Kalakshetra style, a piece that slides smoothly
between raagam, jaati (rhythm), and adavu (steps).
This is followed by Vempati Chinna Satyam's Koochipoodi
piece, Mandooka Shabdam, a narrative item which
sets the scene in the forest where the story of
'gajendra moksham' takes place. Usha Parinayam is
Swapnasundari's choregraphy of a favourite Koochipoodi
item, in which the dancer takes on the character
of princess Usha, new to the feelings of love. Amrita
concludes with her guru Leela Samson's Thillana
in Madhuvanti raagam, which goes deep to a dancer's
Each item is infused with the specific personality,
concerns, and visions of the masters who created
them. In the relationship between the choreographer,
the dancer, and the dance, while it may be a dancer's
duty to be faithful to the original intentions of
the choreographer, certain elements are lost and
gained in the process of mediation through the mind
and body of the dancer, with beautiful or disastrous
consequences. This is a significant site of vitality
and creativity in both forms for the dance changes
every time it is presented.
Amrita began learning Koochipoodi with Anuradha
Nehru in Washington, D.C. at the age of 7, and continues
to dance with the Kalanidhi Dance Company when in
the U.S. She is a disciple of Leela Samson in Bharatanatyam
since 1996 and a member of Spanda since 2004. She
has also trained in Koochipoodi with Swapnasundari,
Seetha Nagajothy, and attended summer sessions with
Vempati Chinna Satyam. In addition to performing
and teaching dance, Amrita has recently worked with