Archive of Events - 2012

December 20 – 23, 2012 Chennai
Kartik Fine Arts in association with Arangham Trust presented EPIC WOMEN, Conference / Performance conclave
Reviews ; Participants speak
email: epicwomen12@gmail.com

December 5, 2012 Chennai
Prajnya presented ONE SUTRA, MANY STORIES - performance, stories, movement that re-created a woman's canvas featuring Anita Ratnam and Anil Srinivasan.

Venue: Amethyst, Next to Corporation Bank, Whites Road, Royapettah, Chennai 600 014 from 6:30-8 pm.

October 17, 2012 Surrey, UK
SEVEN GRACES - Discussion on Culture, Gender, Identity at Department of Dance and Performance, Roehampton University, Surrey, UK
For info, contact Dr. Alessandra Lopez y Royo: A.Lopez@roehampton.ac.uk

October 14, 2012, 2 to 5 pm
Contemporary Dance workshop - TEXT AND SUBTEXT - reading and moving between the lines at KORZO THEATRE, Den Haag, Netherlands

October 13, 2012
Chief judge at INDIA DANCE BATTLE, Korzo theatre, DEN HAAG, Netherlands

October 10, 2012
MA3KA - Performance Research Forum at Goldsmith's College, London

September 29, 2012 Chennai, 6.30pm
Anita Ratnam and Pritha Ratnam presented SWARNA KANNAN - The Golden One
A homage in dance to the poetic imagination of Ambujam Krishna
Program presented by the family of Ambujam Krishna
Venue: Music Academy, Chennai
Performance: Anita Ratnam and Pritha Ratnam
Direction and Choreography: Hari Krishnan and Anita Ratnam
Music: Sudha Raghuraman
Costumes: Sandhya Raman
Sets and visual design: Rex
Lighting: Victor Paulraj
Vocals: Sharanya Krishnan, Anusha Pradeep
Nattuvangam: L Subhasri
Flute: G Raghuraman
Mridangam: N K Kesavan

September 15 & 16, 2012 Chennai
Anita Ratnam presented AVANI...A HANDFUL OF DUST a dance theatre presentation. The choreography, music and film design draw inspiration from Tagore's poetry and its inflections, focusing on its nuances and subtleties. The First Handful – Dust, Second Handful – Words, Third Handful – Flowers, Fourth Handful – Leaves and Fifth Handful – Gold, uses a combination of contemporary and classical soundscapes, spoken text. The choreography draws upon diverse vocabularies such as Kathakali, Bharatanatyam, Butoh, meditative movement, rehearsed improvisations and theatrical interventions.
At: Eduoard Michelin Auditorium, Alliance Francaise, Chennai, 7.15pm
View Slide show

September 6 and 7, 2012 Koln, Germany
Dr. Anita Ratnam participated in the festival RAMAYANA IN PERFORMANCE as part of the events program DANCE CULTURES OF THE WORLD that was presented in the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum, Museum of World Cultures, in Cologne, Germany.

- On Sept 6, Anita Ratnam presented A MILLION SITAs. Through the lens of Sita, the timeless icon of womanhood, sacrifice, beauty, faith, constance and courage, Anita refracts and re-weaves the many strands of story, epic, myth, womanism and received lore. Five women are sketched in this work... Manthara, Surpanakha, Sabari, Ahalya and the eternal Sita, who holds them all together. She will be accompanied by Viji Krishnan (violin) and Subhiksha Rangarajan (vocal).

- On Sept 7, Anita was part of a round table discussion on the issue of 'Ramayana in Performance.'
- There was a special exhibit 'Rama and Sita: India's most beautiful love story' which displayed Indian miniature paintings based on the south-east Asian epos until mid September.

At: Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum, Museum of World Cultures, Leonhard-Tietz-Straße 10, D – 50676 Köln
For info, please contact Ulrike Nestler: ulrike.nestler@stadt-koeln.de

August 7 & 8, 2012

On August 7, 2012 Anita Ratnam was honored for her contribution to dance at Natya Pravaha festival by International Dance Alliance at Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai.

Anita Ratnam presented ANDARI - The Great Goddess on Wednesday 8th August, 2012
The dance illuminates the many faces of the DEVI prism.. gentle, generous and gory. SHE is the nurturing mother and the demonic annihilator. The music and choreography excerpts several familiar myths and shades of the Goddess lore from India and draws on the parallel mythology of other ancient cultures to create a template of the sacred and secular.

Concept Choreography and Performance Dr ANITA RATNAM
Costumes Sandhya Raman
Music and Sound Design Anll Srinivasan and Vedanth Bharadwaj
Sadguru Gnanananda Hall, 254, T.T.K.Road,Chennai- 600 018

July 29, 2012 Bangalore
Anita Ratnam participated in KALA VIMARSHANA – WRITING FOR THE ARTS, a day-long seminar organized by Usha RK.

July 22 - 28, 2012
Anita Ratnam participated in working group for discussions and performance on RELIGION, MYTHOLOGY AND PERFORMANCE at the annual IFTR (International Federation of Theatre Research) conference titled MEDIATING THEATRE – Opera, dance, acting, research, new media and ritual, Santiago, Chile.
American Carnatic, Chilean Odissi

Akhila Krishnamurthy, The Times of India, September 8, 2012

May 30 - June 5, 2012
May 30 & June 1, 2012 Sydney: Research Seminar with Dr. Anita Ratnam, Prof Isar and Prof Singh
Anita Ratnam met with classical music composer Nicholas Routley for a new project on the Mahabharata. She also presented HER AND BLISS for Mcquaire University, Sydney, Australia.

April 14 & 15, 2012
Kadam/Pulse with the Southbank Centre presented The Art of Critical Writing Two half-day workshops
Pulse magazine has been at the forefront of South Asian arts coverage in the UK for over a decade with its high standards of writing, design and production.

Two half-day workshops were offered aimed at developing skills in observing, planning and writing for reviews, interviews and features. Amongst the panel of tutors were established critics and journalists such as Sanjoy Roy (dance critic for The Guardian), Melissa Blanco Borelli (Dance Lecturer at the University of Surrey), Jameela Siddiqui (freelance music writer) and Anita Ratnam (Founder and Managing Editor www.narthaki.com).

14th and 15th April 2012
2pm - 5pm (both days)
The White Room, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London

March 30, 2012, 6.30pm
Anita Ratnam presented AVANI- a handful of Dust, a solo Neo Bharatam dance theatre production
For NCPA's Timeless Tagore Festival
Venue: Experimental Theatre, National Centre for the Performing Arts, NCPA Marg, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021
Details: http://www.ncpamumbai.com/?q=event/timeless-tagore-avani-a-handful-dust

March 8, 2012
Anita was honoured by Neyveli Lignite Corporation on International Women's Day at company headquarters in Neyveli.

March 3, 2012
Talk on theme EKAVIRA...BE ORIGINAL BE DIFFERENT, excerpts from MA3KA, for TEDxKCG at Mirza Auditorium, KCG College of Technology, KCG Nagar, Rajiv Gandhi Salai, Karapakkam, Chennai 600 097, 10.30am.

February 25, 2012
Akademi, in collaboration with The Place, presented LOOKING FOR THE INVISIBLE: a symposium which uncovered the inner depths of the South Asian arts - an opportunity to engage in a cross-cultural, multidisciplinary dialogue between eminent artists across the world of art.

Photos: Simon Richardson, courtesy: Akademi
The symposium investigated where abstract lies in the South Asian arts through the work of six prominent creators. Invited artists narrated and presented their work through informal conversations with their peers and take participating audiences through a personal journey of artistic/creative discovery. With Sheba Chhachhi, Shobana Jeyasingh, Sadanand Menon, Anita Ratnam, Sonia Sabri, Anusha Subramanyam, Tim Supple and many more.
The Place, London, 2pm - 6pm.

Saturday, February 18, 2012
The Gateway Dance Theatre (GDT) in Des Moines, Iowa hosted Anita Ratnam in a special performance and workshop honoring the agency's 40th anniversary.
12:30 to 3:30 pm
A 3-hour workshop on creativity and performance skills incorporating movement and dance, blending traditional Indian movement with more contemporary steps.
Venue: The Gateway Dance Theatre Studio, 315 East 5th in downtown Des Moines.
7:30 pm
A public performance of MA3KA...the triad supreme, by Anita Ratnam using forms of classical southern Indian dance to honor the divine aspects of femininity. Ratnam uses choreography, Vedic hymns, tribal drumming, and spoken voice to enhance the performance. This highly-prized performance has garnered critical acclain worldwide as an "ode to feminine energy."
Venue: The Des Moines Art Center, Levitt Auditorium, 4700 Grand Avenue.

Gateway Dance Theatre is a non-profit organization that promotes intercultural awareness and an appreciation of diversity through the arts. Located in the heart of Des Moines' East Village, Gateway offers classes, special events, camps, workshops, and residencies in its unique educational setting.
View Photos & Responses

February 9, 2012
MA3KA...the triad supreme by Anita Ratnam for Kamala Nehru College annual convention New Delhi

Jan 16 & 27, 2012
Evam presented The Long Way Home
(English) 75 Mins (Without Interval)
Anita Ratnam in principal role in a new English play written by Chennai playwright Shekinah Jacob at Mumbai.

For WRITERS BLOC FESTIVAL At Prithvi Theatre, Mumbai, on Jan 16 at 7pm & 9.30pm
At NCPA Experimental Theatre, Mumbai, on Jan 27 at 7pm

Blood is thicker than water, but just how thick is the bond that holds a mother and her daughters together? Could it snap under the weight of an unforgivable mistake, or does it dissolve under the pressure of a lifelong betrayal? The Long Way Home offers us a keyhole view into the lives of three women with a shared past that both unites them and threatens to destroy them. It's a journey that they have been putting off all their lives, until now...

Cast: Anita Ratnam, Arya Raj, Lakshmipriyaa C, Amrutha Varshini
Writer: Shekinah Jacob
Director: Karthik Kumar
Producer: Sunil Vishnu K
Executive Producer: Pavithra Ramaswamy
Lighting Design & Execution: Vijay Saravanan

About the group:
Evam, an award winning theatre company was founded in 2003 by Sunil Vishnu K and Karthik Kumar who started their second entrepreneurship 'Sideways Training' in Feb 2011. evam is an 8 years young thriving organization with more than 25 plays and 400 performances to its credit.

January 21, 2012, 3 pm
Talk about PASSION vs PROFESSION... by Anita Ratnam to IIT students at SAARANG, the annual cultural fete
Venue: Central Lecture Theatre, IIT Madras.

January 20, 2012
FLOW OF LIFE - A corporate dance event to mark the golden jubilee of AUDCO, at Chennai Trade Centre, with 18 dancers from AVIGNA and DEVANIYA academies.

January 19, 2012, 5pm
2 shows of AVANI- a handful of Dust, by Anita Ratnam in Homage to Gurudev
as a solo NEO BHARATAM dance theatre presentation. The choreography, music and film design draw inspiration from Tagores's poetry and its inflections, focusing on its nuances and subtleties.
Venue: Bahomukh theatre, inside the National School of Drama, New Delhi
Time: 2pm and 6pm

January 12, 2012
UN-EARTH - a dance theatre work on ecology for Kala Vardini at Music Academy. Anita in a joint presentation with Aditi Mangaldas and Nrityagram dancers on the five yagnas for man.
View Details
About Pancha Maha Yajna - An Evening of Dance and Recognition of Inspiring Role Models

Archive of Events - 2011

December 23 - 25, 2011 Chennai
Kartik Fine Arts presented
MAD and DIVINE women
Mystic saint poets of India and beyond
Natya Darshan Seminar
Info: mad.n.divine@gmail.com

MAD AND DIVINE is the title for the three day dance conference and performance event that featured academics, poets, performers, writers, historians and cultural commentators who discussed and shared the many exciting and varied nuances of the magnificent poetry of India's beloved female poet saints. The raw passions of Andal, Mirabai, Akka Mahadevi, Lal Ded, Avvaiyar, Siddheswari and several others will come alive through dance, verse, music and talks.

This international conference was produced by Kartik Fine Arts for seminar NATYA DARSHAN as part of their annual December Arts Festival. For the years 2011 and 2012, Dr. Anita Ratnam has been invited to curate and convene the three day event. MAD & DIVINE was co-presented by Arangham Trust and the web portal www.narthaki.com which are both founded and managed by dancer-scholar Dr. Ratnam.

The morning sessions featured the academic talks, demonstrations and discussions. The evening sessions focused on dance performances illuminating the lives and poetry of the many female mystics discussed during the conference proceedings. There were three performances each evening beginning at 5pm.

Organizer: Kartik Fine Arts, Chennai
Convener: Dr. Anita R Ratnam
Associate convener: Dr. Ketu H Katrak

Dates: December 23 to 25, 2011
Venue: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore, Chennai, India

Schedule & Bios
Press - Previews, Reviews, Interviews

December 21, Chennai

Anita Ratnam & Pritha Ratnam presented 'ANDAL- ANDAL' at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore.
View images Reviews of 'Andal - Andal'
Moods of Andal
- Vidya Saranyan, The Hindu, Dec 29, 2011
(Anita Ratnam & Pritha Ratnam)

Margazhi Report: Anita Ratnam
Amrutha Ananth, Dec 23, 2011

November 29, Bengaluru
Anita Ratnam presented AVANI- a handful of Dust
At Chowdiah Hall, Bengaluru for Namma Dance Utsav presented by STEM Dance Kampni

November 26, Palakkad, 7pm
Anita Ratnam presented AVANI- a handful of Dust for the opening night of the Tagore theatre festival.
Festival jointly organized by Natyasasthra, Centre for Theatre studies, Katampazhipuram and Kazhcha Film Society, Sreekrishnapuram.
Venue: Natya Shastra Mandapam, Rangapeetom, Katampazhipuram, Palakkad district, Kerala
(about 30 kms from Palakkad town railway station and about 100 kms from Coimbatore).
View brochure

November 28, Chennai, 7 pm
Media Mix in association with British Council and Arangham Trust presented a performance by The National Dance Company Wales. Anita Ratnam was the cultural coordinator and her technical team was led by Victor Kennedy Raj.
At Music Academy
(Contact: 98846 63342 | info@mediamix.co.in)
View invite

November 3, Kochi, , 6.45pm
Anita Ratnam presented Neelam... drowning in bliss for DHARANI FESTIVAL
At: Kerala Fine Arts Auditorium, Kochi. Presenter Shyamala Surendran

October 22, Chennai, 7.30pm
Neelam... drowning in bliss at Music Academy Auditorium for Kala Mandir Trust

September 10 - October 10, Chennai
The Sartorial World - marking the visuality of adornment

October 7, 2011 NYC
Oct 7, NYC: Anita Ratnam sspoke to Uttara Coorlawala's students at Alvin Ailey American Dance Centre, New York City

October 3,4 & 5, 2011 CT
Oct 3, 4 & 5: Workshops and Teachings at Wesleyan University, CT

October 1, 2011 TX
Oct 1, Houston, TX: In the conference on INDIAN DANCE IN A GLOBAL CONTEXT, Anita Ratnam spoke on NARTHAKI.COM - The invisible journey through a digital world

September 17, 2011 Chennai

Oxford Bookstore and World Storytelling Institute presented Dr. Anita Ratnam in DANCE KATHA
story telling session with movement, music and gestures for children
At: Oxford Bookstore, Haddows Road, Nungambakkam, 5 to 6.30pm.
For more info, call (044) – 28227713

September 4, Chennai, 9.30am – 10am
Anita Ratnam presented her new work AVANI- a handful of Dust, a performance tribute to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore in dance-theatre with 3 excerpts that show the synergy of music, movement and metaphor of Bengal and Tamizhnadu traditions at The Fourth National Art Confluence Nritya Sangama: Remembering Tagore, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai.

August 24, 7 pm, Birla Sabhagar, Kolkata
Anita Ratnam premiered her new work AVANI- a handful of Dust, a homage to Gurudev in dance-theatre

For more details contact Ruchira at Happenings: + 91 9831256730
e-mail: info@happeningskolkata.org

July 15, 2011 Kolkata
Conclave in association with Weaver's Studio Centre for the Arts and Rhythmosaic Dance Company presented A DAY WITH THE LEGEND Anita Ratnam
Venue: Conclave, 5.30pm
5.50pm: Felicitation of Anita Ratnam and Guru Thankamani Kutty by Madhu Neotia and Priti Patel
6pm: Anita Ratnam performed HER AND BLISS IN CHAPTERS featuring excerpts from her repertoire, in Neo Bharatam dance style.
7pm: Interactive session with Anita Ratnam mediated by Oindrilla Dutt.
- Workshop conducted by Anita Ratnam: 11am to 3.30pm
Venue: Kolkata School of Music, 6B Sunny Park, Kolkata 300019
Contact: 98310 69211 / 98313 50670 / 98305 74658

June 3, 2011 at 6pm, Saptaparni, Hyderabad
Flo presented MA3KA...the triad supreme, a dance theatre performance by Anita Ratnam - a tribute to the women around us - grandmothers, mothers and daughters portraying the goddess triad of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Meenakshi as well as the modern obsession with fashion and cinema. Narration was by well known TV and film personality Revathi Sankkaran.
View Invitation

April 25, 2011, Calutta
Anita Ratnam presented HER AND BLISS... in Calcutta for Vikram Iyengar's Ranan.

April 5, 2011, California
Anita Ratnam presented Lecture and Demonstration of HER AND BLISS... at Univeristy of Irvine, California.

March 29, 2011, New York
Anita Ratnam presenteds HER AND BLISS... at Manhattanville Collge, New York.

March 18, 2011 Hyderabad, 6.30pm
Anita Ratnam presented NEELAM.. drowning in bliss for the 52nd Annual festival (Mar 18-22, 2011) of South Indian Cultural Association (SICA) at Ravindra Bharathi, Hyderabad at 6.30pm.

The expanding canvas of imagination inspired by the genius of MS Subbalakshmi is the bedrock of NEELAM. The song "Ranga Pura Vihara" composed by the 18th century musical savant Muthuswamy Dikshitar was immortalised by MS in her prolific concert repertoire. The stillness and serenity of her musical presence has inspired the sound design by Anil Srinivasan and singer Sikkil Gurucharan. Anita has mapped the choreography through her 1971 memory of dancing before MS at the opening night of the Madras Music Academy festival. NEELAM - resonant of the many hues of Lord Vishnu, plays on the cultural memory of the Ramayana myth that inhabits the imagination of millions around the world.

Concept, choreography, performance: Anita Ratnam
Choreographic consultant: Hari Krishnan (inDance, Canada)
Music design: Anil Srinivasan, KSR Aniruddha
Narrator: Revathy Sankkaran
Music Director: Anil Srinivasan
Songs: OS Arun, Sikkil Gurucharan, Subhiksha Rangarajan
Costume & visual design: Rex
Lighting design: Victor Paulraj

Venue: Ravindra Bharati, Opposite Legislative Assembly, Saifabad, Hyderabad 500004.

Contact details:
R Chakrapani - 98491 24675
Rajasekar - 94408 84863
Dr K V Ramana - 92477 21233
Sabha - 23233672

March 15, 2011 Pondicherry
Breaking Boundaries: Shared Spaces
Asian Women's Film Festival was held from March 15-16, 2011.
at SOM Auditorium, Pondicherry University, Puducherry, India
which included Film Screenings, Seminars and Training Workshops.

Anita Ratnam, as Chief Guest inaugurated the two-day Asian Women's Film Festival organized by Department of Mass Communication, Pondicherry University in collaboration with International Association for Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) and addressed the students and faculty.

March 8, 2011 Chennai

Anita Ratnam was Chief Guest for The International Women's Day celebration at SDNB Vaishnav College and gave a talk and presentation of 'A million Sita-s'.
At: Shrimathi Devkunvar Nanalal Bhatt Vaishnav College for Women, Chromepet, Chennai-600044

March 3-5, 2011 Chennai, 7.15pm
The Madras Players presented "Karna".
Script, Design & Direction: Prasanna Ramaswamy
Featuring: P.C.Ramakrishna, Anita Ratnam, Vidyuth Sreenivasan, Mala Govias, Md Yusuf, Nikhila Kesavan, Vinod Anand, Anjaly Ariyanayagam, Karthik Govindaraghavan, Neeta Srikanth, TT Srinath
Singers: Swarna Rethas and Sandeep Narayan.
At: Sivagami Pethachi Auditorium, Luz church road, Mylapore, Chennai -4

February 16, 2011 Kozhikode, Kerala
Anita Ratnam presented 'HER and Bliss.. in chapters' at the CONTEMPORARY DANCE FESTIVAL at New Nalanda Auditorium, Kozhikkode.

February 22, 2011 Asia House, London, UK
Anita Ratnam presented 'HER and Bliss.. in chapters', a contemporary-classic, dance theatre solo work, channelling ideas of today's feminine divine followed by a post performance discussion.

Goda - the intoxicated, iconic devotee drowning in her bliss.
Sita - earth's daughter, abandoning her bliss
Tara - the fierce, primordial neo-woman embracing her bliss.

Choreography: Anita Ratnam and Hari Krishnan
Music: Anil Srinivasan
Costumes: Sandhya Raman and Rex

Time: 6.45pm
At: Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7LP ; www.asiahouse.org

Jan 31, 2011, 7pm, Chennai

Anita Ratnam presented A million Sita-s (abridged version with live music) at AMETHYST, Next to Corporation Bank, Whites Road, Royapettah, Chennai 600014

January 25, 2011 Bangalore
Natya STEM Dance Kampni organisedng GOING SOLO - a platform for soloists as a part of Bengaluru Habba 2011, on the 25th Jan, 2011 at the Natya STEM studio. 'Going Solo' has been conceived to promote solo performances, from the traditional and contemporary dance idioms and also to create an audience base which can appreciate solo performances. There were 3 performers representing 3 different forms of dance, each performing for 30mins (recorded music only). Anita Ratnam presented excerpts from 'A million Sita-s'- Contemporary dance

Anita Ratnam also conducted a workshop on Jan 25.
Info: stemdance@hotmail.com / 98868 54604.

January 23, 2011 Bangalore at 11am
Anita Ratnam presented NEELAM...Drowning in Bliss - lecture and demonstration on Music and Dance for the International Conference on Music and Aesthetics.

Archive of Events - 2010

Dec 25, 30, 2010, Chennai

Anita Ratnam presented a million SITA-s
a Neo Bharatam presentation with

Vocals: Lakshmi and Subhiksha Rangarajan
Violin: Viji Krishnan
Multi Percussion: NK Kesavan
Music Consultants: Anil Srinivasan and Vedanth Bharadwaj
Choreography: Hari Krishnan in collaboration with Anita Ratnam
Costume and Visual Design: Rex
Research and Text: Anita Ratnam and Rex
Lighting Design: Victor Paulraj

Through the lens of Sita, the timeless icon of womanhood, sacrifice, beauty, faith, constance and courage, Anita refracts and re-weaves the many strands of story, epic, myth, womanism and received lore. Five women are sketched in this work - Manthara, Surpanakha, Sabari, Ahalya and Sita who holds them all together.

After the acclaimed Neo Bharatam work of NEELAM in 2006, Anita returns to the more recognisable format of Bharatanatyam imbued with her eclectic accents of movement, life experience and theatre training.

a million SITA-s is a reminder that this Indian character has become much more than just a heroine of a popular story. SITA lives in all of us. In all Indian women and perhaps, in all women around the world.

- Dec 25: Krishna Gana Sabha, 7.30pm
- Dec 30: Karthik Fine Arts, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 6pm

Nov 29, 2010, Chennai

Anita Ratnam presented MA3KA...the triad supreme for SAARC Women's Entrepreneurs Forum at Taj Coromandel Hotel, Chennai

November 7 - 18, 2010 Tamilnadu
Arangham presented Ritual dance theater Kaisika Natakam
The temple at Thirukurungudi, in the Thirunelveli district in southern Tamilnadu is a sacred center rich in history and legend. A massive structure in the heart of a cluster of small villages, this Vishnu temple is home to an array of stunning sculptures and workmanship of the 12th century Nayak rulers.

Thirukurungudi is also the only sacred site for the annual ritual called Kaisiki Natakam. This is an all-night drama and dance performance laced with the story of a demon who demands the life of a devotee preparing to offer prayers to the Lord on this special night which falls in the lunar month of Kaisiki (mid-November/early December). The ensuing debate and the actual ritual, saturated with eloquent poetry in old Tamil, snatches of humour and dance attracted thousands to this shrine in the belief that it was a special blessing to remain awake all night in the presence of Lord Vishnu and witness this tale.

Alongside the revival of classical and folk arts in India during this century some of the obscure ritual arts had slowly drifted to atrophy. Traditional communities of dancers and musicians had fallen into disfavour with the elite and with them invaluable repertoire and literature of ritual-performances like Kaisiki Natakam.

Arangham has taken the responsibility of reviving this 10th century performance-art, unique to this temple. We have established an on-going support for the four remaining artistes, helped them to recollect and remember the text, movements and music of the Kaisiki Natakam. The responsibility extends far beyond the actual performance to social and cultural activism. Rekindling confidence in these artistes who are all between the ages of 65 and 80, renewing respect with the local townsfolk for this exquisite tradition and developing a new cluster of artistes who can study this ritual-art and perform it annually at Thirukurungudi at festival time is our multi-prolonged aim.

Considerable progress has been made since April 1998 in re-establishing the text, recording the music and recapturing some of the original dramatic narrative and movements. Aided by renowned Tamil theatre directors N Muthuswamy and Professor Ramanujam, the first phase of the revival performance of Kaisiki Natakam was held in December 1999 after a gap of 43 years.

November 7: Children's abridged version of KAISIKA NATAKAM performed at Rajagopalaswami temple, Palayankottai

November 8: A parallel group of adult artistes trained in Thirunelveli since 2007 performed at Varadharaja Perumal Kovil, Thirunelveli junction

November 14: The adult group performed at Thiruvenpathisaram

November 15: Principal Kaisika Natakam group from Tanjavur performed at Nanguneri Temple in the presence of His Holiness Vanamamalai Jeeyer. This is the main group that has been performing annually since the revival and reconstruction in 1999. This year marks the 12th revival performance of Kaisika Natakam.

November 17: KAISIKA NATAKAM on Kaisika Ekadasi day at the Big Temple in Tirukurungudi 8 to 9pm: Children's version of the abridged Kaisika Natakam performed by the children of Tirukrungudi 9.15pm to 10pm: Mohiniattam by students of Dasyam school of Mohiniattam led by Gopika Varma 10.30pm to 1am: Principal Kaisika Natakam group from Tanjavur performed KAISIKA NATAKAM

November 18: Arayer Sevai performed by the Arayer of Srivilliputtur, at 3am

Contact Prof. S Ramanujam: +91 94426 46889 / ramanujam35@yahoo.com
About Kaisiki Natakam

November 14, 2010 Chennai
The Chennai Storytelling Association (CSA) is a project of the World Storytelling Institute (WSI). On November 14, 2010 was the inaugural meeting of the Chennai Storytelling Association at Anita Ratnam's dance space in Chennai. The meeting was hosted by Eric Miller of WSI and Anita Ratnam.

It was an informal morning of meeting that was actually a reunion of about 25 people who have attended storytelling workshops of the WSI for the past 3 years, discussion about storytelling as well as the importance of storytelling to each individual present. A primary mission of the CSA will be to develop and share lesson plans for training people (children and adults) in the art of storytelling in English and Tamil.

Since Anita grew up listening to stories from her "kadhai vaadhyaar," she has always been interested in storytelling and weaves her performances with many narratives, both personal and from different cultures and mythology. She conducted some exercises in breathing and how to express certain reactions that lend drama to storytelling.
View Slide Show

October 29 & 30, 2010 Mumbai from 6pm to 8:30pm
Jnanapravaha Mumbai presented Dance and Discussion on the Divine Feminine titled HER and BLISS...in chapters, by Anita Ratnam. In her performance narrative, Anita connects experiences within the family to oral traditions and Puranic myths through examples like the historic bhakti saints Meera Bai and Andal, mythic Yashoda-Krishna's mother, legendary Meenakshi-the martial princess of Madurai, iconic Annapoorna-the goddess of abundance and compassion, Durga-goddess of rage/confrontation/restorer of balance, Shakti-the supreme one, Lakshmi-the face of plenty, Saraswati-the goddess of wisdom, Amman-the wild forest goddess of south India and the guardian of frontiers, Tara-the Buddhist goddess who uses shamanic trance in her journey to the final horizon.
At: Jnanpravaha, Queen's Mansion, 3rd floor, Ghanshyam Talwatkar Marg, beside Cathedral Middle School, Fort, Mumbai 400001. Ph: (022)-22072974/75

October 9, 2010 Washington DC
FACES: Blessed Unrest, a presentation by Anita Ratnam for Dakshina's 2010 FALL FESTIVAL, of some of the most familiar and loved personae from our cultural tapestry. Portraying varied sentiments, these FACES together traverse a spectrum of emotions, to finally surrender to infinite bliss. She went to Washington DC shortly after receiving her Phd in Womens Studies.
At: Lincoln Theatre, 7.30pm
Anita Ratnam discussed the inspiration and the process in creating Faces: Blessed Unrest.
Festival info: info@dakshina.org / www.dakshina.org

October 7, 2010 Washington DC
Anita Ratnam gave a talk at George Washington University, DC on MYTH, RITUAL AND THE FEMALE BODY.

October 4, 2010 New Delhi
At DESH PRAVA: FESTIVAL OF PERFORMING ARTS, Anita Ratnam's presentation MAALIE (mother) was based on works of Nigerian poets, Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Tony Marinho and the poetess Ifi Amadiume. Her presentation included dance sections, story telling with use of theatrical props. Multiple rhythms form the musical spine of the presentation.
Directed by: Parasuram Ramamoorthi
At: Sangeet Natak Akademi, Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi. Auditorium - Meghdoot III, 11am to 12pm
View Slide Show

September 12, 2010 Madurai
Anita Ratnam presented MADHURA SHUBA, a tribute through dance on MS Subbalakshmi.
At: Lakshmi Sundaram Hall, Madurai, 6.30pm

June 30, 2010 Chennai
AVAN NINAIVIL AVAL URUGA, a musical evening with dramatised narrative featuring the music of Anil Srinivasan and Sikkil Gurucharan with guest artistes Anita Ratnam and Revathy Shankkaran. This was a one time guest performance of a music and dance evening as part of the Yagnaraman festival.
Anita says, "This is the first time that my long term musical collaborators appear on stage with Revathi Shankkaran and myself. Music, movement, humour, story telling and performance in synergy."
At: Krishna Gana Sabha, Maharajapuram Santanam Road, T Nagar, 6.30pm

Sunday June 6, 2 - 3.30pm - Moving Traditions
at "Erasing Borders: Festival of Indian Dance 2010" presented by Indo-American Arts Council and Asia Society.
A thought-provoking discussion with leading dancers, choreographers and scholars who shared their insights into the changing world of Indian dance.
Moderator: Purnima Shah
Keynote Panelist: Richard Schechner (TBC)
Panelists: Anita Ratnam, Chitra Sundaram, Navtej Johar
At: Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street), NYC

June 4-5, 2010 Toronto, Canada
Anita Ratnam presented SEVENGRACES, a special site specific performance at the Signy and Cléophée Eaton Theatre, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, for Indance International conference on SOLO DANCE on June 4th.

Saturday, June 5, 2010, 4.00pm - 5.15pm
Roundtable Discussion
The Politics of Solo Dance: Perspectives from India and North America
Location: Theatre (Level B1)
Moderator: Hari Krishnan, Peggy Baker (Peggy Baker Dance Projects,Toronto)
Patricia Beaman (Wesleyan University and New York University)
Denise Fujiwara (Fujiwara Dance Inventions, Toronto)
Anita Ratnam (Arangham Dance Theatre, Chennai, India)
Leela Samson (The Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai, India)
Swapnasundari (Kuchipudi Dance Centre, New Delhi, India)

April 5, New Delhi, 7.15 pm
Anita Ratnam performed MA3KA...the triad supreme at The Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi.
Presented by Sriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra.
Post performance discussion moderated by renowned critic Shanta Serbjeet Singh.

March 24, 2010, Chennai, 7pm
Anita Ratnam presented MA3KA...the triad supreme in Chennai in aid of CANSTOP cancer awareness at Chinmaya Heritage Hall, Harrington Road, Chennai.
View the invite

March 18, 2010, Hyderabad
Anita Ratnam performedMA3KA...the triad supreme (excerpts) at the University of Hyderabad for Women's Month. Opening of the new Women's Studies department, Sarojini Naidu University Campus

March, 2010
Anita Ratnam and Arangham Dance Theatre performed PANCHAKSHARAM at four Natyanjali temple shrines.
Narrator and TV actor Revathy Sankkaran joined the group for the tour.
March 11: Tiruvarur
March 12: Nagapattinam and Tirunallar
March 13: Anita Ratnam lighted the lamp at the inauguration of the Kumbakonam Natyanjali and she performed at Tanjavur for the 1000th anniversary of the Brihadiswara temple festival.
March 14: Chidambaram

January 10, 2010 Chennai
Ranga Mandira Trust presented TS PARTHASARATHY MEMORIAL DANCE SEMINAR, at MGR Janaki College for Women, 9.30am to 4.30pm.
- Dance: It's interdisciplinary significance
- Dance music by Dr. N Ramanathan
- Dance sculptures, inscriptions and frescoes by Dr. Balasubramaniam
- Elements of natya by Gayatri Kannan
- Theatrical aspects in dance - excerpts of Ma3Ka by Anita Ratnam
Info: rangamandira@gmail.com

January 7, 2010 Bangalore
The Natya Stem Dance Kampni presented MA3KA...the triad supreme by Anita Ratnam - creator & performer, Hari Krishnan - choreographer & Rex- Visual designer. They presented excerpts of this new work & shared the conceptual/ creative process with the audience.
At: The Natya Stem studio, #37, 17th cross, Malleshwaram, Bangalore, 7pm

Matrika-the goddess that lives within us all....
The genesis of the idea for MA3KA came from Anita. She was seriously interrogating the matrix of India's primary Goddess triad- Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. Initially it was to be a contemporary/ traditional musical, choreographic exploration of the Divine Feminine, loosely tying into Anita's previous works on Goddess mythology, however with major rites-of-passage life experiences in her recent years she felt driven to morph MA3KA into a parallel non-linear storyboard of shifts in personal dynamics those experiences have wrought personally with, within and without her being. Hence, MA3KA in her new avatar will be a fluid, experimental, non-linear, abstract, modern, multi-media dance theatre solo-work, layered on a rich tapestry of warm, nostalgic/familiar traditional text and lyric based contemporary Carnatik music compositions, essentially creating a synergistic marriage of the past, present and future.

Archive of Events - 2009

December 30 & 31, 2009 Chennai
Anita Ratnam premiered her latest work MA3KA...the triad supreme

Dec 30: for Krishna Gana Sabha, 7.30pm
Dec 31: for Karthik Fine Arts at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Main Hall, 6pm

November 28, 2009 Thirukurungudi
The annual KAISIKI NATAKAM takes place at Thirukurungudi temple (in the Tirunelveli district in southern Tamilnadu), a sacred center rich in history and legend. A massive structure in the heart of a cluster of small villages, this Vishnu temple is home to an array of stunning sculptures and workmanship of the 12th century Nayak rulers. Arangham has taken the responsibility of reviving this 10th century performance-art, unique to this temple. Considerable progress has been made since April 1998 in re-establishing the text, recording the music and recapturing some of the original dramatic narrative and movements. Aided by renowned Tamil theatre directors N Muthuswamy and Professor Ramanujam, the first phase of the revival performance of Kaisiki Natakam was held in December 1999 after a gap of 43 years.
The research and recording has been made possible due to the continued support and encouragement from members of the international Bhakti List as well as patronage from the TVS business group since the Thirukurungudi village is the native home town of the company's founder, Sri T V Sundaram Iyengar.

November 7 and 8, 2009 London
Anita Ratnam shared her journey through ritual, sound and gesture
A Neo Bharatam dance workshop session
Demonstration at BHARATIYA VIDYA BHAVAN in London on Nov 7 & 8, 2009.
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan,4a Castletown Road, West Kensington, London W14 9HE
e-mail: info@bhavan.net / Telephone: +44 (0)20 7381 3086
Participants speak

October 29 & 30, 2009 Long Island City, NY, 8pm
Journey to the West, First public showing of Work in Progress featuring Diane Wolkstein & Anita Ratnam
CelebrateStory and the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center presented: Work in Progress

Directed by Richard Armstrong
Choreography by Sat Hon

Monkey work sample Video

July 18 - August 2, 2009, Chennai
(Saturdays & Sundays), 5 p.m - 6 p.m.
Anita Ratnam conducted a series of Interactive theatre workshops for young adults and children at Hansel & Gretel Kids Centre.

With a rich collection of stories drawn from folklore, she enthralled children by narrating them in her inimitable style using voice, rhythm, musical instruments and fertile imagination. Along with her, children vividly recreated the magic of the stories, using creative role play and theatrical improvisations and tapped into their deepest interiors to bring out their creative best. This is a great way for children to discover their hidden potential, overcome stage fear and gain oodles of self confidence.
AGE GROUP: 8 years to 12 years
The 6 sessions are as listed below:
1. Sat, July 18, 5 pm - 6pm
2. Sun, July 19, 5pm - 6pm
3. Sat, July 25, 5pm - 6pm
4. Sun, July 26, 5pm - 6pm
5. Sat, Aug 1, 5pm - 6pm
6. Sun, Aug 2, 5pm - 6pm
Venue: Hansel & Gretel, 11 Jagadambal Street, T Nagar, Chennai 600017
Info: (044) - 28152549
e-mail: hanselandgretel.kids@gmail.com

July 18 - 24, 2009 Chennai
With the dance explosion all around India and elsewhere, the quality and vigour of dance writing has been woefully tame. Weak phrasing, tepid responses and boring summaries are mostly what passes for dance criticisms in Indian papers and online sites. This is the reason for the first of a series of dance writing workshops organised by narthaki.com, India's foremost portal for Indian dance. Now ten years old, this path breaking portal has become a watchword for dance conversations across the world.

"Churning out more and more dancers seems to be the sole mantra for the thousands of dance schools across India," comments Anita Ratnam, founder and managing editor of narthaki.com. "What about the many areas that support dance, like dance writing?" she adds. Led by senior dance critic Leela Venkataraman, the 7 day sessions also included mentors like dancer/scholar Nandini Ramani, theatre director, Veenapani Chawla, modern dancer Padmini Chettur and several classical dancers and groups who live in Chennai. Bharatanatyam, Mohiniattam, Kuchipidi and Kathakali were the styles that was discussed by the group. The session was open to select participants who also watched several dance performances during the course of their week long session in the city. narthaki.com believes that aspects of dance like lighting, costume design, stage management, marketing and the new media convergence are all aspects to be studied and incorporated into the world of Indian classical and contemporary dance. Intelligent and pithy dance writing and commentary makes up a very important part of this ongoing global discussion.

The workshop dealt with various aspects of dance writing including:
* The why of Dance Writing
*Ways of engaging with the dance
a) Research. b) Critiquing c) Documentation d) Writing about issues in dance scenario
*Writing Dance History, Documentation, Issues in dance

A certificate was given at the end of the session.

Preview of the workshop featured at narthaki.com
Review of the workshop by Chethana Radhakrishna, Mysore featured at narthaki.com

July 10 - 12, 2009 Chennai
Anita Ratnam in "One Day in Ashadha"

play by The Madras Players in association with Dia

May 3 - 31, Delhi, Pondicherry, Kolkata
May 3: Anita performed at the SNA book fair at Rabindra Bhavan in Delhi at 5pm, an informal contemporary performance with writer Rathna Raman who read from various texts. The 30 minute improvised show was a response by a dancer to the spoken word.
May 4 - 10: Anita attended the PERFORMERS TRAINING session at Adishakti, Pondicherry.
May 27 to 31: Anita participated in the National Choreography Seminar and Workshop at Kolkata organised by Padatik and facilitated by Ranan.

January 31, 2009 Toronto, Canada
CONTEMPORARY CHOREOGRAPHY IN INDIAN DANCE - INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE AND DANCE FESTIVAL, presented by Kalanidhi Fine Arts of Canada and Menaka Thakkar Dance Company (MTDC) from January 23 - 31, 2009. The two-day conference explored questions of what is "contemporary" Indian dance in India and Canada. Plus 6 nights of contemporary dance performances featuring 5 soloists and 9 dance companies from India, Germany and Canada.

- Anita Ratnam presented '7 Graces', a solo multi-media dance work which references the Buddhist Goddess Tara in a modern context, offering a journey to aesthetic eternities, exploring the aura and grace of the feminine transcendental on the 31st at 8pm.
Venue: Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto

Archive of Events - 2008

December 30, 2008, 7.30pm
FACES...blessed unrest
Venue: For Kartik Fine Arts at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai

December 18, 2008
Anita Ratnam performed Ahalya, Once again stone (Neo Bharatam & Contemporary) at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha's Natya Kala Conference 2008
Theme: Ramayana in Performing Arts

November 27, 2008
Chief guest at book release of GURUVAYOOR temple "HEAVEN ON EARTH"
Venue: Taj Coromandel Hotel, Chennai

November 22, 2008
Special dance for 100th anniversary of Church Park Convent. Meenakshi Chittaranjan, Urmila Satyanarayana, Srilatha Vinod and Vyjayantimala Bali also performed.
Venue: Church Park Convent - school auditorium, Chennai

November 13, 2008, 3pm
Dance and storytelling session with professional story teller's group from USA
At her residence, at Studio Arangham
Click here to view a slide show

November 2, 2008 Chennai, 7pm
As part of Bharat Sangeet Utsav 2008 organised by Carnatica.com, Anita Ratnam presented FACES...blessed unrest (with guest artiste, Madhu Natraj).
At Narada Gana Sabha.
Click here to view a slide show

October 26, 2008 New Delhi at 7pm
Anita Ratnam performed FACES...blessed unrest as part of Raja and Radha Reddy's PARAMPARA festival
at Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi
Click here to view a slide show

October 19, 2008 Chennai, 6pm
Anita Ratnam and Revathy Sankkaran presented POORANII - THE DIVINE FEMININE
For the final day of the 25th year celebrations of dance and music magazine Sruti, Anita Ratnam and Revathy Sankkaran presented POORANII - THE DIVINE FEMININE with songs by Subhiksha Rangarajan, Ganjira by BS Purushottaman, Nattuvangam and Konnakkol by L Subhasri, Music Arrangement and Direction by Anil Srinivasan At: Alapana house on JJ Road, the location that Sruti started.

October 3 & 4, 2008, Wesleyan University, CT
Anita Ratnam performed and conducted workshop

Bharatanatyam dance performance
Friday, October 3, 8pm
Crowell Concert Hall

Bharatanatyam Dance Workshop
Saturday, October 4, 11am
Crowell Concert Hall

Performance contact:
Hari Krishnan
Artist in Residence, Department of Dance
Wesleyan University
e-mail: hkrishnan@wesleyan.edu

Performing for the first time in the historic Crowell Concert Hall where the great Balasaraswati once danced and sang, Anita revived her acclaimed Ragamalika varnam Nitya Kalyani, choreographed by her guru Adyar K Lakshman. This varnam, created especially for the opening of the 1971 Music Academy Dance Festival, was performed in the presence of singing diva MS.Subbalakshmi.

The performance by Anita featured two sections. The first was with live music, on special request by the University Dance Department. Singing for Anita was Shobana Raghavan, who has worked with Anita in Chennai for productions like Naachiyar, before moving to New York City. Ravi Srinivasan played the violin and Bala Skandan the mridangam. The first section had three dances.

1. Ambika Pallavi - hyms from the Lalitha Sahasranamam, tuned by OS Arun
2. Sirulu Minchina - A rare sabdam on Lord Vishnu from selected verses of the Janardhana Ashtakam - music by Vidwan Madurai N Krishnan
3. Nitya Kalyani - the song made popular by Devadasi artiste Bangalore Nagaratnamma and visualised in dance.

The second section of the programme contained the recorded score of the acclaimed solo from NEELAM...Drowning in Bliss. Sikkil Gurucharn's rendering of Anil Srinivasan's concept of a ragam tanam pallavi of Ranga Pura Vihara by Mutthuswamy Dikshatar.

"I am excited and honoured to have been invited to dance at the Navaratri festival. The stage contains the vibrations of many great artistes and is always a challenge to share one's art with a serious crowd of rasikas in the US. Having taught and lectured for a master class some years ago, I am acutely aware of the keen insights and intelligence of the dance and music students of the Unversity," said Anita.
Click here to view a video of the show

Monday September 8, 2008
Anita Ratnam's NEELAM...Drowning in Bliss performance
at Nani Palkhiwala Auditorium, Coimbatore for Rajalakshmi Fine Arts

August 22 - 24, 2008 Zurich, Switzerland
Anita Ratnam and Arangham Dance Theatre performed for Grüezi India Summer Festival

Organized by GRUEZ INDIA an organization that is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the signing of the India Switzerland treaty in August 1948. Switzerland was the first country to sign a treaty with independent India in 1948. The logo for the summer festival is a peacock, India's national bird, holding an Edelweiss, the national flower of Switzerland, as a gesture of friendship.

The culmination of a month long celebration all over Switzerland was the MEGA MELA on August 22, 23 and 24th at the ZURICH HB (the old railway station) and visited by 300,000 people daily. The venue was transformed for the weekend to a little India... to accommodate the opening dance performance by India's Anita Ratnam and her artistes from Arangham Dance Theatre. A special 30 minute non stop performance was choreographed for the venue and the semi open air atmosphere, keeping the large crowds and the festive mood that prevailed. Anita Ratnam created a montage of dances including classical Bharatanatyam to folk and a jugalbandhi with Kathak artiste Madhu Natraj.

Images of Saint Andal, Prince Rama, Hanuman, Ganesa, Devi and a final folk drummer led the audience in a procession around the station. Renowned tabla artiste Zakir Hussain followed Anita Ratnam's dance performance with his own concert. Asha Bhosle was also an invited singer for the weekend festival.

Anita Ratnam also conducted a drumming and folk dance workshop for children the following day and delivered a lecture on contemporary dance trends in India to an invited audience from universities and museums.

July 23, 2008, 8pm, Hyderabad
ANITA RATNAM performed during the National Festival of Numbers at the Rabindra Bharati Auditorium, Hyderabad.

The Sangeet Natak Akademi of New Delhi celebrated the National Festival of Numbers Natya Sankhya Utsav with a dance festival showcasing the significance of numbers and numerology with a performance for all numbers from 10 to 0 where each number was performed by a renowned dance performer. This festival was conceived by Padma Shri Ananda Shankar Jayant.

Anita Ratnam performed FRAMING FIVE using her signature movement aesthetic named NEO BHARATAM where voice, movement and text mingle. The number 5 stands as a mystical and significant number for many cultures across the globe such as Hindu, Jewish, Islam, Christian, Sikh and Shinto.

Dance legends such as Padma Subrahmanyam, Sonal Mansingh, Radha and Raja Reddy and Swapnasundari also participated in the series.

Archive of Events - 2007

US Tour

Dec 28, 2000

PURVA at Bharat Kalachar, Chennai

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