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"I didn't want to be a 'half-woman' in my art", says dancer Dr. Anita Ratnam
- Shweta Kumari
Dr. Anita Ratnam, a Contemporary  Dance Actor, and an independent mother of two has proved to the world that she is born to dance. 

Devi Diaries 2 grows from strength to strength
- Shveta Arora, delhiculturecomment.blogspot.com,  May 14, 2022
Anita R. Ratnam had first produced 'Devi Diaries' on Narthaki Official in 2020, and produced the second season in 2021. 

'It's a political act to decide to be a performing artiste': Anita Ratnam
- Arundhati Chakravarty
In Delhi to mark 30 years of Narthaki - an online platform she created to connect the dance community - dancer, writer and arts entrepreneur Anita Ratnam talks about issues surrounding dance in India, the impact of the pandemic and challenges faced by performing artistes.

'I didn't choose dance, it chose me': Anita Ratnam
 -  Judith Mariya Antony
In a candid conversation with Patriot, Ratnam talks about her passion for dance, the development of India's largest phone directory of dancers - 'Narthaki', its growth, and the invention of her dance style Neo-Bharatam.

Anita Ratnam celebrates World Dance Day with 30 years of NARTHAKI
Contributing profoundly to her beloved domain of arts and performing arts Dr. Anita Ratnam has always been on the forefront to propagate, nurture and protect the art.

Social media has turned us all into performers : Anita Ratnam
- Bhumika K, The Hindu, January 21, 2022
At 65, dancer Anita Ratnam has embraced all the permutations of the online world and is creating a digital legacy.

This online series looks at classical dance through the lens of cinema
- Priya Menon, Times of India, Nov 5, 2020
The first of the series, which was launched mid-October on Narthaki's Youtube channel, profiles Kamala.

It's time to make way for the next generation, says Anita Ratnam
- Rupa Srikanth, The Hindu, Oct 1, 2020
"Boxed - Dance Dletes Distancing" was born.  Through narthaki.com, her e-zine, Anita reached out to young dancers across the globe.

Dancing to the digital beat
- Gokul MG, Deccan Chronicle, 24 Sep 2020

Amping up the dance space
e-avatar - Neo Narthaki
- Deccan Chronicle, 16 Aug 2020

Dancing with the mind
Three stalwarts of classical Indian dance let the imagination run wild as they find a place for their art in a contemporary world
- Hamsa Venkat, Mar 3, 2020

The Hindu In Concert | Dance today lacks professional infrastructure that is sensitive to aesthetics, says Anita Ratnam during Margazhi music season 2019
Jayant Sriram, The Hindu, 2 Jan 2020

Interview with Anita Ratnam
- Nithya Nagarajan, Liminal magazine, Nov 2018

Anita Ratnam: Bringing Neo Bharatam to Australia
- Nithya Nagarajan, Peril Magazine, 19 Nov 2018

Anita Ratnam on creating her own language of dance
- Reshmi Chakraborty, silvertalkies.com, 15 Mar 2018
When life entered her art, Dr. Anita Ratnam  stayed true to it and created a new dance style called Neo-Bharatam.

  Outlook of Dr.Anita Ratnam

Veteran dancers Astad Deboo and Anita Ratnam reveal their fitness mantras
Snigdha Hasan, mid-day.com, Mar 5, 2018

From Bharata Natyam to Contemporary Dance
by Sushila Ravindranath, Madras Musings, Sep 2017

Anita Ratnam: Classical roots, contemporary expressions
By Sushila Ravindranath

The new dance order: Anita Ratnam's journey as a contemporary classicist
- Kumudha BharathRam, The Hindu, Friday Review, 6 July 2017

Changing paradigm
- Kumudha BharathRam, The Hindu, 7 July 2017
Anita Ratnam's approach to mentoring, which she thinks is necessary, hinges on the learner's inclination to question and create (Hindu link)

Directory of all things dance
- Ananda Shankar Jayant, New Indian Express, 1 July 2017
Selected to receive the Viswa Kala Ratna from UK-based MILAP Fest, Anita is brimming with ideas, to ease access to creative processes, and provide interactive opportunities for learning on Narthaki as she continues to dream of taking the enchanting world of Indian dance to the world.The word Narthaki means a dancer, but to all us dancers, it only means www.narthaki.com-a dancer’s almanac.

 Mapping the change
- Chitra Swaminathan, The Hindu, 18 Jan 2017
Sriram V and Anita Ratnam in conversation about the women who fought to break stereotypes and brought reform at The Hindu Lit for Life.

  As an artist, I realised that we have to move on with the times: Anita Ratnam
- Deepa Gupta, firstpost.com, May 08, 2016
Apart from dance, poetry and performances, Anita Ratnam speaks about neo-bharatam, her desire to learn flamenco and being a mother.

Bharatanatyam with benefits
- Priya Menon, Times of India, Feb 28, 2016
Dancer and choreographer Anita Ratnam says Bharatanatyam has both physical and mental benefits. "The basic stance of araimandi (a squat in which knees are turned sideways) and keeping the torso steady while the hands and lower limbs are moving helps with balance," she says, adding that memory and imagination are stimulated as you have to remember long sequences and improvise when you forget on stage.

What lies behind the scenes?
- VV Ramani, The Hindu, Dec 1, 2015

"I am still a work in progress. Like my dance"

I'm a feminist with a sense of vigilant responsibility, says eminent artiste Dr Anita Ratnam
- Latha Srinivasan, dnaindia.com, Sep 4, 2015

Classical dancers should adapt to changing times or they’ll perish, says Anita Ratnam
- The Times of Mumbai, Sep 4, 2015

Chennai's continuing romance with jasmine flowers
Latha Srinivasan, dnaindia.com, Aug 28, 2015
Renowned danseuse Anita Ratnam doesn’t wear the flowers in her hair but carries a small bottle of jasmine essence in her purse. “The first thing I do when I check into a hotel is sprinkle some jasmine essence in the room and put out a picture of my family on my bedside. That for me is home. Mallipoo is associated with memories,” she explains.

But mallipoo has a strong historical significance in the state as well. Says Ratnam, “The flower carries with it not just the fragrance but the grand history of celebrations, of brides wearing it, of classical dancers, of queens in court, etc. It’s a flower that has regal opulence and is synonymous with luxury. It has an extremely sensuous fragrance and is very feminine.”

Winning Moves
- Treena Mukherjee, The Telegraph, Apr 12, 2015

Turning points came very early in my life - the first one probably the day that I was born.

The Morph Elegy
- Sudha G. Tilak, Outlook Magazine, Feb 16, 2015
Bharatanatyam's current exponents create a dance vocabulary all their own

In Conversation With Ms. Anita Ratnam, Dancer
- Ishika, The Beauty Reel, Jan 2015

The Red Kite, Vol. 2, Issue 1, January 2015

A note of dismay over inequality at music and dance festivals in Chennai
- Shoba Narayan, TheNational, January 3, 2015

There is so much more to do
- Anita Ratnam, Femina, 1 Dec 2014
Femina's 55th anniversary issue - My journey

Fashion finds a new rhythm
- Chitra Swaminathan, The Hindu, 8 Sep 2014
 Anita, whose dance productions stand out for the way the costumes are designed to bring out the mood and structure of the theme, has often transformed into a showstopper at fashion events. "The focus should be on the garment and not the person, which doesn't happen when designers rope in film stars," she says.

In a visually stimulated world, most dancers are learning how to enliven the performance space. "Stage setting matters as much as the art. And stage setting is not just about lighting and audio; it encompasses the right use of colours and clothes too. I sit with the designers for hours explaining to them every movement and scene. The synchrony between various elements of a production is what enhances the appeal."

And interacting with fashion designers, she points out, is like collaborating with cross-genre artists. "You need to understand their vocabulary of fabric, cut, stitch and use of multiple craft traditions."

But the most rewarding aspect of fashion today, says Anita, is seeing many of the couture-creators reviving our craft heritage and looking beyond glamour to make style a way of life.

December 18-22, 2013
Kartik Fine Arts & Arangham Trust
present Purush: The Global Dancing Male, Conference/Performance Conclave
at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Mylapore, Chennai


Portraying male power through dance (Preview)
- The New Indian Express, 21 Dec 2013

Say hello to Margazhi! (Preview)
- Neeti Jayachander, Femina

PURUSH - The Global Dancing Male (Preview)
- Pulse

Dance needs to be gender neutral
- Nandita Ravi, Deccan Chronicle, 16 Dec 2013

Dance like a man
- The Hindu, 14 Dec 2013
In a curious reversal of gender discrimination, the male classical dancer is being sidelined, says Anita R. Ratnam.

Dance like a man

- Indulge, The New India Express, 13 Dec 2013

October 29, 2013

Click on images to view enlarged version
At the 7th Guru Debaprasad Award Festival conducted by Guru Gajendra Panda's Tridhara, Anita Ratnam was honored with the GURU DEBA PRASAD AWARD for her contribution in the field of Contemporary Dance, (the first time a contemporary dance award is being given to a dancer) at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar.

Awesome foursome - Laurels for dancers

Artistes have enriched the art and culture of Odisha:Gov

Three day Debaprasad award fest concludes

Reviving an ancient art
- G. Srinivasan, The Hindu, August 22, 2013

Efforts are on to enact Kaisikapuranam at the Thirukkurungudi temple on December 13.

The venue was Sri Veera Narasimha Perumal Temple on the banks of the Vennar in Thanjavur. A group of artists was rehearsing under the supervision of "Nataka" Ramanujan, former professor of Drama, Tamil University, and dancer Anita Ratnam on August 17 and 18. They were practising Kaisikapuranam, a temple dance, which will be staged on December 13, (in Karthigai, Sukla Pakshami, Dwadasi day) at the ThirukKurungudi temple in Tirunelveli district.

For Ramanujan and Anita, reviving this temple art form has been a painstaking process.

Anita Ratnam presented ABOUT HER, a solo contemporary dance-theatre presentation in the NEO BHARATAM style at the ODISHA CONTEMPORARY DANCE FESTIVAL, 2nd edition of SAMAKALA FESTIVAL - 2013

Contemporary rhythms
- Leela Venkataraman, The Hindu, Friday Review, 20 June 2013

Anita Ratnam's "Sita", with a layered interpretation depicting Sita's refusal to seek the easy escape out of Lanka by riding on the shoulders of Hanuman, was a tame start to the recital. The next item though was evocative based on Muttuswamy Dikshitar's "Meenakshi me mudam dehi" in Poorvikalyani, which so impressed Tagore that he created a lyric in the very same raga and 'mettu', but with words on 'Basanti" in praise of Spring, for the Brahmosamajist Tagore saw divinity in Nature and not the fish-eyed Goddess Meenakshi. Superb recorded music alternating between lines of Muttuswamy's composition and that of Tagore, the silken changeover never losing raga flow, saw the dance interpretation in the seated position, even while classical abhinaya in tone, very moving. By far the best of the evening was Avani inspired by Tagore's epic poem, the choreography assisted by Canada's Hariharan and Rex. Prithvi or Earth as both Mother Protector and Destroyer, like the cat giving birth and devouring the last kitten of its own litter. The throbbing music in two tracks, one a base flute and the other sharper, with edekka and drums and ragas like Hamsadhwani and Desh (concluding obeisance to Mother Earth), the lulling music contrasted with mocking sounds of laughter, all added so much to the performance.

2nd edition of Samakala Festival
- Dr Sunil Kothari, www.narthaki.com, 18 June 2013
Anita's work is an example of collaboration with choreographer, lights designer, musicians, costume designer and visual designer, bringing to the production complete professional approach, perfection and finesse. She also takes help of a dramaturg who advises her for an overall presentation. Therefore, the productions leave strong visual appeal.

Body and Outside the Body- Second Evening of "Samakala"
Kedar Mishra, odisha.360.com, 13 June 2013  

Beautiful footwork mixing Bharatnatyam and Contemporary, balanced facial expression and exactitude of emotion through body movement, made the work quite moving.

Samakaala - A Festival of Contemporary Dances
Ileana Citaristi comments on a welcome addition to the national panorama of dance festivals.

The third segment Avani was the most well-articulated and complex among the three; inspired by the anguished cry of Tagore towards a Mother Earth which bears the wounds caused by the war, the piece very effectively brought out the intensity of the subject, leaving behind powerful images of a suffering and enraged Mother Goddess. The costumes and the lighting by Victor Paulras were excellent.

Inner strength and Celestial love bind us together
E Odisha Samachar, 16 June 2103

From classical to contemporary
Odisha is doing a fantastic job culturally.  The Tourism Department is doing a great job, which is more than my state Tamil Nadu. Odisha is hosting so many dance festivals and inviting artistes. The state has fantastic textiles,  art, craft, architecture, folk music, classical music and tribal traditions. Everything is so intense in the state. - Anita Ratnam
-  Deepsha Rath, The New Indian Express, 15 June 2013

Dance fest: Mesmerising concoctions meet mind-blowing concepts
The Pioneer, Bhubaneswar, 14 June 2013

Contemporary expressions
On the second evening, Anita Ratnam unravelled myriad expressions of womanhood through a fusion of Bharatanatyam and a variety of dance forms.
Diana Sahu, The New Indian Express, 15 June 2013

The dance disconnect
- Malini Nair, The Times of India, January 12, 2013
Excerpts from the article
Choreographer Anita Ratnam agrees with Bali's point of view that if, as a woman and a citizen, she wants to express her distress and rage at the way of the world she would rather do it outside the realm of Bharatanatyam.

"Classical dances are rooted in a time when society was not complex and lines were clearly drawn between classes, castes and genders. That world is gone but classical dances continue to resonate those social structures, " she says explaining the disconnect.

There is more scope for, say, dance theatre to connect with social upheavals than Bharatanatyam, she says. "You can't stand on stage, in a typical dancer stance, attired in silk and gold and talk angrily about AIDS and rape. It simply does not work to suddenly weave a campaign into a jatti. That would serve neither cause, dance nor activism, " says Ratnam.

She points out that it takes a backbreaking amount of planning, conceptualising and outof-the-box thinking to pull classical dances into contemporary themes. But that will fall into the category of dance drama with strong, spoken words worked around dance movements. Pina Bausch, she recalls, was one such dancer who could do so - have women lying still on stage and get a male dancer to do push-ups around the stage to indicate sexual violence and stereotypes.

Ratnam presented her curated show Epic Women during the season in Chennai, showcasing artistes' interpretation of legendary mythical and historical female characters. The stories of Yashodhara, Frida Kahlo, Draupadi, Kunti, Hidimba, Helen, Kannagi and Sita were told using classical dance only as a grammar.

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

Five in fashion
- Shalini Shah, The Hindu, Metroplus, Feb 6, 2012

Saluting womanhood
- Aishwarya Sati, The Hindustan Times, Feb 5, 2012

Panchvastra by Ritu Kumar
- Jaydeep Ghosh, The Sunday Standard, Feb 5, 2012

When Gandhari Walked the Ramp
- Prajakta Hebbar, indianexpress.com, Feb 4, 2012

Costume Drama
- Parul, The Indianexpress, Feb 2, 2012

The Dance of Renaissance
- Interview by Chitra Mahesh, Eve's Times, January 2012

Anita Ratnam & Pritha Ratnam presented 'ANDAL- ANDAL' at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore on Dec 21, 2011

Moods of Andal
- Vidya Saranyan, The Hindu, Dec 29, 2011
(Anita Ratnam & Pritha Ratnam)

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

In their own voice - Waiting in the wings
Anita Ratnam, kvivekshankar.wordpress.com, Dec 13, 2011

MAD and DIVINE women, Natya Darshan Seminar presented by Kartik Fine Arts

Social fabrics
T.Krithika Reddy, The Hindu Metroplus, September 20, 2011

Getting introduced to the world of folk tales
Prashanti Ganesh, Indian Express, City Express Section, Chennai, September 19, 2011

Her flight path
Nita Vidyarthi, The Hindu, July 21, 2011
Well-known dancer Anita Ratnam shares the trajectory of her journey through Bharatanatyam

Anita Ratnam, eminent classical dancer; Ethiraj College for Women, Chennai
- Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications, Mar 5, 2010

Anita Ratnam - The Dancing Diva

Dance is a challenge!
by Jaywant Naidu, Deccan Post, Mar 25, 2011
Anita Ratnam was in Hyderabad to showcase her dance production 'Neelam… Drowning in bliss' organized by South Indian Cultural Association ( SICA). She spoke to Deccan Post about her creative pursuits.

The Hindu, March 24, 2011

Response to Dance and Discussion on the Divine Feminine titled HER and BLISS…in chapters, by Anita Ratnam for Jnanapravaha, Mumbai on October 29 & 30, 2010
Details ; Responses

Presentation at DESH PRAVA: FESTIVAL OF PERFORMING ARTS on Oct 4, 2010 New Delhi
A wealth so uncommon
by Leela Venkataraman, The Hindu, Friday Review Delhi, Oct 15, 2010

I’m Most Articulate When I Dance!
- Interview by Samrat Chakrabarti, Tehelka.com, Dec 12, 2009

Review of Anita Ratnam's performance at Pluralism and Performance : The Many Voices in Ramayana for Adishakti's Ramayana Festival
A Modern Presentation of Ramayana - Dance in three parts and comments By Anita Ratnam
- Vasanthi Sankaranarayanan, March 30, 2009

A week long unique workshop on dance writing
by Chethana Radhakrishna, Mysore

Responses to Ahalya, Once again stone
at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha's Natya Kala Conference 2008

Anita Ratnam: I am not an export artiste
- Lalitha Venkat, narthaki.com, Dec 3, 2008

Diva in Focus: Dance-Actor Anita Ratnam

People of Indian Origin - Anita Ratnam

Women of India - Anita Ratnam

Neo bharatam, old natyam
- Malini Nair, livemint.com, 26 May 2007

Dances of India : Dancer : Anita Ratnam

Separate things into 'FOR STAGE' and 'FOR LIFE'? Cannot!
says Anita Ratnam to Lalitha Venkat, Pulse Summer 2005

More to technology
- Pulse Autumn 2003

Reveiws of
  • STONE...
  • Lotus Leaves, Water Words', a reading performance
  • SPIRALS, a convergence of dance, music and theatre
  • CIRCLES OF LOVE dance, poetry and...
  • AVANI.. a handful of dust
  • MA3KA...the triad supreme
  • Framing Five
  • Faces...blessed unrest
  • Neelam...Drowning in Bliss
  • Seven Graces.....the many hues of Goddess Tara
  • UTPALA...a thousand petals ...a thousand lives
  • Vaitharani- the crossing
  • Naachiyar - mystic search for the divine
  • Daughters of the Ocean
  • Adhirohana - The Ascent
  • Movements Monuments
  • Gajaanana - The God of Good Things

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