october 07 programmes


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riday 5th october
6.30 pm ‘Yoga Dance Therapy’ – a talk and demonstration by Soraya Franco

Yoga dance therapy is an integrative art form that gracefully combines yoga, dance and the philosophy of ayurveda. The postural patterns and movements of yoga asanas are combined with Indian classical, ballet and contemporary dance to create body mind awareness and movement patterns for a therapeutic choreography. This cross training combination of yoga, dance and other holistic healing techniques creates a new philosophy of performance to transform and transmit energy to an audience through kinesthetic expressions of wellness.

YDT is a contemporary art form that uses ancient tools to create new forms and aesthetic experiences to explore philosophical concepts and

create awareness of emotions. It uses scientific methods to choreograph and create movements and dances that help to restore balance, health, and spiritual growth.

Soraya Franco started dancing Ballet in the Dominican Republic and later continued as a young soloist with the National Ballet of Cuba. In Paris she studied at the “Centre National de la Danse”, the “Theatre Contemporain de la danse” and the “Paris Opera Ballet”, and learnt dance with many international classical and contemporary teachers and choreographers. She has been dancing professionally for over twenty years and is also an accomplished ballet teacher and choreographer and she has participated as a soloist in many international dance festivals.

In 1995 she was selected for “Artists without borders” Unesco International award to study at VKV in India and graduated as a Yoga teacher at Kaivalyadhama Yoga College and Research institute in Pune. She studied and researched on South Indian Classical dances in Kalamandalam National Institute of dance and drama of Kerala with the support of the ICCR. She lives in India and travels to different parts of the world teaching her new method: Yoga Dance Therapy.

thursday 18th october
6.30 pm 'Expressionism and Music' a talk with lots of music by Dr. Punita Singh

Expressionism – an important movement in the history of western visual art in the 20th century, aimed to convey emotional experience, rather than realistic form. In expressionistic works of art, such as those of Edvard Munch or the Blaue Reiter group, distortion, caricature, exaggeration or fragmentation were some techniques used to communicate emotion and the subconscious.

Expressionistic concepts manifested themselves in the field of music as well. Post Romantic composers such as Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler paved
The Scream by Edvard Munch (1893) the way for further innovation with dissonance,
which inspired 20th century incongruity and alternative tonalities. Arnold
Expressionists Schoenberg and the “Second Viennese School” went
The Scream by Edvard Munch (1893) which inspired 20th century Expressionists

beyond the established norms of musical key structures altogether, in their experiments with tonality, timbre, texture and time. Later composers took such experimentation even further.

In this illustrated talk, Dr Punita Singh will focus on some of the startling developments that took place in 20th century music, leading to a complete paradigm shift in the way sounds were put together to express thought and feeling.

A special tribute will be paid to Arnold Schoenberg, whose contribution to music remains relatively unacknowledged, despite having changed the course of music making and listening forever.

Punita is a musicologist, linguist, psychoacoustician, editor and educator based in New Delhi. Special areas of interest and expertise include Christian sacred music, music of the Renaissance, twentieth-century music, Flamenco, and contrastive aspects of Indian and Western classical music.


friday 19th october
7 to 8.30 pm – ‘A Circle of Equals’ – a talk by Dr. Robert Fuller at 179 Golf Links.

The question is, which is the best way to structure a corporation, a society or even a country? The currently accepted structure is the Weberian model of a rigid hierarchy with a top-down approach and the management structure that has historically evolved is one of squares, boxes and pyramids. But we forget that the world is round and an international trend is emerging over a different style - participatory, circular management. Decisions are not imposed from the outside but generated from within and the CEO is at the

centre – coordinating, rather than at the top looking down. Leadership, authority responsibility and decision making is shared equally.

In his ground breaking works Dr. Fuller has identified a form of domination that everyone has experienced but few dared to protest: rankism - the abuse of power to exploit or humiliate someone of lower rank. This would include every form of social oppression – racism, sexism, homophobia and religious intolerance.

Dr Robert Fuller talks this evening about this new management style. He is an international authority on the topic of rankism, abusive, discriminatory or exploitative behavior and is in the forefront of the dignity movement which aims to overcome rank based abuse. He is a PhD from Princeton and has taught at Columbia University. He was a consultant to Indira Gandhi after the Bangladesh war and was later instrumental in convincing Jimmy Carter to establish the Presidential Commission on World Hunger. In his lifetime he has been a ‘somebody’ and a ‘nobody’ leading to his 2 books ‘Somebodies and Nobodies – overcoming the abuse of rank’ and ‘Somebodies, Nobodies and the Politics of Dignity’.

This talk is organized by the Viveka Foundation at 179 Golf Links. Tea and biscuits will be served at 6.30. If he is in the mood, Susmit Bose, urban folk singer and songwriter, will open the evening with a few songs.

thursday 25th october
6.30 pm ‘What is Indian Art?’ – a talk by Shakti Maira



Aihole Dwarapala 6th c.
India has a sophisticated aesthetic philosophy and an equally rich history of making everyday things beautiful. Yet, most Indians, and travelers to India, have also experienced the great contrast between its ingrained beauty and its contemporary ugliness. So when we examine what Indian art is, we must look at the many reasons that make this paradox. Both the ‘glorious past’ of the classical traditions and the present state of contemporary Indian art, as well its place in the global art world, must be examined. Where are its roots? What are its defining characteristics? What, indeed, makes Indian art ‘Indian’ and if it has such a rich
heritage of beauty, why is there so much ugliness in Aihole Dwarapala 6th c. modern India? Did we ever attain ‘aesthetic swaraj’?
Why have art and beauty disappeared from our
everyday experiences of life?
Shakti Maira will raise some of these questions, and will welcome a discussion with the audience. He is a noted artist and sculptor, and author of Towards Ananda: Rethinking Indian Art & Aesthetics (Penguin/Viking, 2006). He has had 24 one-person shows in India, the US and in Europe, and his work can be found at the National Gallery of Modern Art and in private collections around the world. He writes on art, aesthetics, culture and travel and is a columnist for Design Today magazine. He has prepared the UNESCO Asian Vision Statement for ‘Arts in Education: Learning Through the Arts’.

saturday 27th october.
6.30 pm “A Tribute to Miya Tansen” – a bansuri recital by Jay Thakkar

Miya Tansen was one of the greatest musicians of India. He went on to become the court musician at the Mughal emperor Akbar' court, where he was soon given the status of one of his nine gems (Navratna’s).

Hundreds of stories about Tansen speak of the powerful effects of his music on the emperor, his court and his subjects. His rendition of Raag Deepak could raise the temperature of the room in which the music was played or cool it down with Raag Megh Malhar. This kind of attunement with the forces of nature through sound frequencies and music is as rare as it is phenomenal.

Apart from being an excellent practitioner of Dhrupad style of singing Tansen was an excellent composer, too. The Raags he created have not just stood the test of time, but also reveal a rare musical genius far ahead of his times. Raags like Miya ki Todi, Miya ki Saarang, Miya ki Malhar, Darbari Kanada are some of his priceless creations.

This evening is a special tribute to Miya Tansen. It consists of a recital of two of his greatest creations, Miya ki Malhar (the King of Monsoon Raags - a fusing of Raag Darbari Kanada and Raag Malhar) and Darbari Kanada (a raag dedicated to Akbar’s court)

Jay Thakkar has trained in classical Indian vocal and on the Bamboo flute with Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. He is a BA in Architecture and has performed as a professional flautist in theatres, colleges, cultural centres, temples, planetariums in solo performances and with Hariprasad Chaurasia. He lives, works and performs mainly in Bombay.