october 2012 programmes



monday 8th october

6.30 pm The Foundations of Western Civilization – a video presentation

Lecture 17- The Roman Republic-Government and Politics

Lecture 18 - Roman Imperialism


wednesday 10th october

6.30 pm Installation: A contemporary dance performance by Anveshana Dance Theatre

saturday 13th october
1-2 pm Food Meditation # 27

 monday 15th october

6.30 pm  A vocal recital by Aditya Sharma

 wednesday 17th  october

6.30 pm “The Yoginis’ Oracle” a reading by Stella Dupuis and “The dance of the Yogini” by Madhura

 thursday 18th october

6.30 pm “Identity in a time of conflict” Take # 7 Zubaan Talkies

 friday 26th october

6.30 pm 'The Journey from Sadir to Bharatanatyam' a documentary film by Viveka Chauhan (35 min) & a short performance of Bharatanatyam by Aranyani Bhargav (15 min)

 saturday 27th october
6.30 pm “Agua de Rosas” a dance show of Sharmini Tharmaratnam

monday 29th october

6.30 pm The Foundations of Western Civilization – a video presentation

 Lecture 19    The Culture of the Roman Republic   

Lecture 20   Rome-From Republic to Empire




The Foundations of Western Civilization – an education in 24 evenings.  An Attic video presentation from The Great Courses taught by Prof. Thomas Noble, University of Notre Dame.

You can discover the essential nature, evolution, and perceptions of Western civilization from its humble beginnings in the great river valleys of Iraq and Egypt to the dawn of the modern world.

This is a series of 48 half hour lectures - 2 per evening. The events and the course are free. The title of each lecture is listed below.


 monday 8th october

6.30 pm The Foundations of Western Civilization – a video presentation

 Lecture 17- The Roman Republic-Government and Politics

 What does it mean to speak of the "constitution" of the Roman republic? What are the essential offices, procedures, and ideals involved, and how did the whole thing really work? The Roman republican constitution was a combination of institutions, ideologies, social values, and historical experience. The Roman system has been, in concrete institutional structures and in fundamental ideological notions, formative in later Western political development.

Lecture 18 - Roman Imperialism

 In this lecture, we will explore the emergence and early history of the Roman Empire and discuss some of the ways in which that Empire affected Rome. Rome acquired provinces all over the Mediterranean world, acquired that is an Empire. Amidst civil wars, Rome’s republic collapsed into a military dictatorship: The Roman Empire was born in the sense of a Roman regime in which power was in the hands of emperors.



"Western", "Civilization" and "Foundations"


History Begins at Sumer


Egypt-The Gift of the Nile


The Hebrews-Small States and Big Ideas


A Succession of Empires


Wide-Ruling Agamemnon


Dark Age and Archaic Greece


The Greek Polis-Sparta


The Greek Polis-Athens


Civic Culture-Architecture and Drama


The Birth of History


From Greek Religion to Socratic Philosophy


Plato and Aristotle


The Failure of the Polis and the Rise of Alexander


The Hellenistic World


The Rise of Rome


The Roman Republic-Government and Politics


Roman Imperialism


The Culture of the Roman Republic


Rome-From Republic to Empire


The Pax Romana


Rome's Golden and Silver ages


Jesus and the New Testament


The Emergence of a Christian Church


Late Antiquity-Crisis and Response


Barbarians and Emperors


The Emergence of the Catholic Church


Christian Culture in Late Antiquity


Muhammad and Islam


The Birth of Byzantium


Barbarian Kingdoms in the West


The World of Charlemagne


The Carolingian Renaissance


The Expansion of Europe


The Chivalrous Society


Medieval Political Traditions I


Medieval Political Traditions, II


Scholastic Culture


Vernacular Culture


The Crisis of Renaissance Europe


The Renaissance Problem


Renaissance Portraits


The Northern Renaissance


The Protestant Reformation-Martin Luther


The Protestant Reformation-John Calvin


Catholic Reforms and "Confessionalization"


Exploration and Empire


What Challenges Remain?








wednesday 10th october

6.30 pm Installation: A contemporary dance performance by Anveshana
                                    Dance Theatre


 In her newest piece of contemporary dance Sangeeta Sharma and her group of young dancers improvises and creates combinations of movement, sound, costume and props in spontaneous dramatic forms. They find metaphors and cluster images in an intense, creative and energetic choreography. Their  use of space which often involves the audience, use of unusual forms of music and spontaneity will make this an intense experience specially for those who need to break out of the traditional dance straitjacket. 

Sangeeta Sharma is an Indian dancer and choreographer with over 26 years experience. She specializes in Indian and Western Contemporary Dance using theatrical pieces focusing on social issues and the internal conflicts of human beings.  She shares her spiritual search with the audience and explores it through a combination of dance and theatre.  

ICCR and Sahitya Kala Parishad have presented several of her productions in major national and international festivals ( Poland- 04, Taiwan 06, Singapore 07, DIG chain tour Germany 08 S. Korea). The Sangeet Natak Akademi presented her dance theatre productions in Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Kolkata.

She has worked on street theatre with the late Safdar Hashmi and also with filmmakers, visual artists and theatre practitioners.  Her latest work is Tota Kahani ( short story by Guru RabindraNathTagore) with students of Theatre Depart of Patiala.


Design, Direction and choreography Sangeeta Sharma

 saturday 13th  october

1-2 pm Food Meditation # 27 The Punjabi Cuisine series.

 For the next 3 months we are putting a few of our principles on hold (only for this winter) and introducing you to some great North Indian food. Today we serve one of the tastiest and unhealthiest north Indian dishes chóle - spicy chickpeas accompanied by bhatura – fried bread. This is normally served with raita (yogurt) and lassi. Today however we introduce a wonderful new untraditional hibiscus juice (this is healthy).


Rounded Rectangle: Menu    Chola Bhatura (spicy chickpeas with fried bread)  Raita  Pickles  Hibiscus juice     


Preparation Time : 45 mins. Cooking Time : 1 hour. Serves 4.

For the chole
1 cup kabuli chana (white chick peas), soaked overnight
1 tea bag or tsp tea leaves , tied in a muslin cloth
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1onion, finely chopped
12 mm (1/2") piece of ginger (adrak), grated
2 cloves of garlic (lehsun), grated
2 tsp chole masala
, 2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp dried mango powder (amchur)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tbsp coriander (dhania) powder
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera) powder
2 tbsp oil
, salt to taste

For the bhature (may the Good Lord and the cardiologist forgive us!)
1/2 cup plain flour (maida)
1/2 cup potatoes, boiled and grated
1 1/2 tsp oil
salt to taste
oil for deep-frying

For the chole

  1. Pressure cook the Kabuli chana with the tea bag for 3 whistles until they are soft . Drain and keep aside. Discard the tea bag.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds. When the seeds crackle, add the onion, ginger and garlic and sauté till the onion is golden brown.
  3. Add the chole masala, chilli powder, amchur, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin seed powder and salt and sauté for another minute.
  4. Add the Kabuli chana and 1 cup of water and mix well. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Keep aside

For the bhature

  1. Combine the flour, potato, 1½ teaspoons of oil and salt and knead into a firm dough without using any water.
  2. Knead the dough very well till it is smooth
  3. Cover with a wet muslin cloth and rest the dough for 10 minutes
  4. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and roll out into circles of 5" diameter.
  5. Deep fry in hot oil till the bhaturas puff up and both sides are golden brown.
  6. Serve hot with the chole, sliced onion and lemon wedges.


Participation is by registration on payment only. Call The Attic 23746050 or email: mina@theatticdelhi.org.

 Charges:  Rs 150


 monday 15th october

6.30 pm  A vocal recital by Aditya Sharma

  Aditya’s Indian Classical Vocal training began early in life and prepared him for a life-long musical career. Gifted with a sonorous and mellifluous voice, his grandfather late Pandit Ramesh Chandra Dutt who himself was a product of Gandharv Maha Vidyalaya, Lahore, established by Pandit Vishnu Digamber Paluskar, initiated him into music at the age of 4. He was further groomed by his father Dr Arvind Sharma, Professor, Punjab University, Dept of Music, Chandigarh and Mrs Anita Sharma, Principal, Gandharv Maha Vidyalaya, Panchkula.

  Aditya was the sole winner of  All India Radio Music Competition, and subsequently graded as a Radio Artist.

 He was selected by the ITC-Sangeet Research Academy in Kolkata to be one of the few residential Research Scholars. It was there that he began his advanced training under Padamshree Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar. Some of his noteworthy performances have been at Sangeet Natak Akademi’s “Sangeet Pratibha” (Patiala), Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi, Chandigarh Sangeet Sammellan. Bhai Mardana sangeet Sammellan, Patiala. Prasar Bharti (Doordarshan) New Delhi.

 wednesday 17th  October

6.30 pm “The Yoginis’ Oracle” a reading by Stella Dupuis and “The dance of the Yogini” by Madhura


  Tantric scholars have written about yoginis as independent, outspoken women with a gracefulness of spirit. They are the sacred feminine force sometimes represented by enlightened, passionate, spiritual women with deep insight. The core of the tradition of the Yoginis was introduced by Matsyendra-Pada (Matsyendranatha, The Lord of the Fish) around the 8-9th century.

Often yoginis are worshipped collectively and together, each one is enshrined in an individual position in a circular temple open to the sky. There are many temples of the 64 yoginis spread throughout India.

The teachings of Matsyendra-Pada in his Kaulajñananirnaya were aimed at empowering all men and women to develop their own capacities to deal with the challenges of life and how the energy of the Yoginis (our own energy) is integral to the process of transformation. The path was beyond gender and caste and therefore threatened the male dominated Brahmins who in the 11th century were able to diminish the influence of Yogini knowledge. 

Stella Dupuis, the indefatigable collector of Yogini folklore (this is her 4th publication on the subject) has published 64 cards with a handbook entitled The Yoginis’ Oracle, with original drawings. It can be a powerful divinatory and guiding tool (like Tarot cards) that suggest how to deal with different situations. She talks about her journey and her passion for the Yogini cult.

Her friend Madhura presents a dance in the Kathak style depicting some of the traits – power to destroy demons, strength to accomplish the state of yoga, sensuality and many other characteristics  found in the statues of the yoginis in Central and Eastern India.

Stella Dupuis is a Swiss novelist born in Panama. She studied marketing and advertising in Switzerland and Sweden before launching a successful business career in Latin America and Europe.  Since becoming a writer ten years ago she has published four novels in Spanish and English.  In her work she depicts a yearning for a spiritual destiny that transcends blind commitment, stereotypes, or religious fanaticism. For many years Stella has also been teaching Yoga and meditation in many countries. She is the author of  Memoria de viento, Madrid 2003; (English version USA 2005, In the wake of the wind); La Puerta de Jade, Madrid 2006; Teli-Ka Mandir, Madrid 2006; (English version USA 2006), The Yoginis Temples of India, Varanasi 2008; In the Belly of the Fish, Varanasi, 2010; The Kaulajñanirnaya (commentary on the esoteric teachings), New Delhi, 2012.

Madhura Phatak was brought up in Pune and became a student of her Guru Padamshri Shovana Narayan while studying at JNU in Delhi. She has been awarded the best dancer award of the Sahitya Kala Parishad as well as the Singar Mani title of the Sur Singar Parishad in Mumbai.  She is a graded artiste of Doordarshan and is also empanelled with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. Recently she was awarded the Guru-Shishya Parampara Award 2012 by CNN-IBN.

 Madhura has worked extensively in the past three years with Haveli Sangeet and Dhrupad, wherein she has explored the medium of Kathak in dialogue with this ancient form of Hindustani singing. She has also conducted workshops at Goethe Centre, Trivandrum for children to discover dance as an instrument of balance.

thursday 18th october

6.30 pm “Identity in a time of conflict” Take # 7 Zubaan Talkies 

Zubaan Books has been involved with the Northeast for over a decade. What we have as a result is an enviable list of some of the most compelling women writers from the region who have been writing about both conflict and the possibility of peace, and in the process, have been addressing issues crucial to what we call 'identity' and 'belongingness'. 

Recently, in Indian politics, our notions about rootedness, identity and belongingness were tested when violence and animosity towards people from the Northeast saw a sudden explosion. Rumor-mongering text messages were enough to send many Northeast students back to their individual hometowns by whatever means of travel possible. What the incident exposed were many deep-seated prejudices that continue to pervade the Indian psyche vis-a-vis the Northeast, a region that it has been much misunderstood, especially in the so called 'mainstream' media. 

Given this context, Take #7 of Zubaan Talkies would like to explore what it means to be someone from the Northeast. Does the very umbrella-term given for the diverse region annoy you? Does it agitate you? Does being from this conflicted region take over your identity so that it becomes the defining trait, more than being a man or woman? What comes first -- being Indian or being from the Northeast?  

Zubaan is not looking for easy answers, we are hoping to engage the audience in a serious discussion about issues that ought to be more debated. We have asked a panel of young people from the different states of the Northeast to talk to us through an article that in some way embodies this sense of belongingness and seeks to questions notions of identity and homeland or the 'native place'. There will be short readings and also a musical performance.


friday 26th october

6.30 pm 'The Journey from Sadir to Bharatanatyam' a documentary film by Viveka Chauhan (35 min) & a short performance of Bharatanatyam by Aranyani Bhargav (15 min)


 Most Indian art forms, including music, dance and theatre are said to have a common origin- the Natyashastra (200 bc – 200 ad). The dance form  Bharatanatyam  was used in temple worship throughout India but died out in the north. In the South it survived as Sadir Natyam or Dasi Attam. Sadir Nautch was the term used by the Maratha conquerors of the 17th century and Dasi Attam was used for the dance of the Devadasis, artists dedicated to ritual worship in the temple.  

There has been a gradual change in the dance form along with a shift in social structures through the journey of the dance into the contemporary. The formative years of the revival movement (1920’s) saw a shift away from some of the erotic, sensuous 'Shringaar' aspects of the dance to a more choreographed, structured form, aimed at making it more acceptable to society and at removing the stigma that had been attached to it. 

This documentary traces the history of this form including demonstrations and interviews with some of its leading proponents today as well as some traditional practitioners.  

It will be followed by a 15 min Bharatanatyam piece by Aranyani Bhargav and a discussion with the film maker and dancer.

Viveka Chauhan

She is a Delhi based filmmaker. She completed her bachelors in sociology and Psychology followed by a postgraduate course in filmmaking from the Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communications, Delhi.

Her documentary, 'Rup Rupantar' recieved the special jury award at the India International Youth film festival and she was recently awarded in the Best Music Video category at the 5th IDSFK, Kerala, 2012.

She has worked on stop motion animation PSA's for UNESCO on the equal education for the girl child campaign. 

Aranyani Bhargav began to dance when she was 5 and has been trained by Leela Samson. She is an empanelled dancer with the ICCR. She has received training in Ballet and Contemporary dance from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, completed a Diploma in Movement Arts and Mixed Media from Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts, Bangalore. She has worked with Sadanand Menon to help set up the archive for the works of Chandralekha, the legendary Indian ‘contemporary’ dancer. 

She performed ‘Shyamasundara: the beautiful, dark one’ at the Nehru Centre, London and has also portrayed Mary Magdalene through Bharatanatyam and Contemporary dance.  

“Watching Aranyani’s Bharatanatyam is like being in a Hindu temple and suddenly seeing one of the sculptures come exquisitely to life.  You are carried back through the centuries and into the great Indian epic tales. Magical.” – (Andrew Graham, Master of Balliol College, Oxford)



saturday 27th october
6.30 pm “Agua de Rosas” a dance show of Sharmini Tharmaratnam


 Agua de Rosas is an extension (smaller version) of the work "Agua" that Sharmini Tharmaratnam inaugurated in 2000.  It is inspired by a Sufí parable of Idries Shah about a stream convinced that it is its destiny to cross the desert without losing its essence and identity. Rose water is a symbol of Sufism and water is an important element of this performance.  

A profoud message, told in a serious, happy, funny, graceful way with dance, with voice, with the flavours of Kathak, Flamenco, Contemporary Dance and Yoga. With special costumes and a dvd fusing an original soundtrack with images in a variety of styles.  

Sharmini Tharmaratnam, of Tamil-Dutch origin was trained at the Academy of Arts in Holland, and in Kathak by Pandit Rajendra Gangani. She studied the artistic link between the music and dance of India and the gypsies of Spain. She formed a group “Korathi” with gypsy musicians she had met during the shooting of Pedro Almodovar’s movie “The flower of my secret”, and performed weekly in many theatres and clubs in Spain. She initiated herself in the Theory and Philosophy of Sufism, and was taught spinning meditation by Dr. Orüç Güvenç, a music therapist and Sufi from Turkey. She has also performed with Tibetan monks in Madrid. 

During this performance she will playfully and with total freedom show that we can all speak universal languages, and all return to one single Mother Nature.  

Sharmini will continue her tour of India with her Company production "Rewind" in theatres across the country and abroad.  

Dvd: Albert Figueras

Costume and Sound Design: Sharmini

Photography: Paz Corrales Martín.


monday 29th october

6.30 pm The Foundations of Western Civilization – a video presentation 

Lecture 19 The Culture of the Roman Republic   

 The Romans "did" more than war and politics. They created a distinctive culture that flowered in magnificent lyric and epic poetry, assimilated profound Greek influences, and gave us Cicero as Rome's greatest booster and toughest critic. Like its politics and diplomany, Roman republican culture was staid, stable and serious.  


Lecture 20  Rome-From Republic to EmpirePictures of Julius Caesar - Caesar

 The 200 often-turbulent years between the murdered reformers Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus and the rise of Octavian saw the old Roman system drown amid overwhelming temptations and tensions brought on by Rome's very conquests. We’ll ask why a system that was so stable for so long collapsed. Was the system itself intrinsically flawed? Did the men who operated within this system in the last century of its existence twist it all out of shape?