By Dr Wong Chee Meng, N Nedumaran
This autobiography written in the voice of K P Bhaskar (1925-2013) and posthumously published in 2015 is an important read in the Indian performing arts space of Singapore. K P Bhaskar is the first Singaporean dance pioneer in modern Singapore and his contributions towards the propagation of dance outside of India is noteworthy. The book chronicles his early life in Kerala and how he came into contact with various dance forms especially Kerala Nadanam and Kathakali. His journey from Kerala to Madras to Bangalore to Ceylon and finally Singapore makes for riveting reading and provides historical context on the intertwined relationship between celluloid-dance-music which K P Bhaskar witnessed.
He also names many individuals who helped and hindered him in his pursuit for dance and critiques his own community for their failings to support the arts magnanimously. The book should have had more photographs of his performances and greater insight on the continuation of his legacy and succession. There are many insights on his role and the Singapore approach to forge cultural identity through performing arts. The book raises important questions about the relationship between artistes, art companies, community and government. This is a must read for all Indian arts practitioners especially in Singapore.
The Bookshelf Books Banter To Odisha, with Love In conversation with Odissi exponent, Ileana Citaristi in the backdrop of the launch of her new book ODISSI AND THE Gita Govinda. Why the Geeta Govinda? What is your relationship with this text? Jayadeva’s Geeta Govinda poem was one of the first things which fascinated me when ... Read more
The Bookshelf Books Banter “What can Henry David Thoreau teach me about dance, wonders New York-based dancer-choreographer and academic, Maya Kulkarni letting us foray into Thoreau’s writing and her own response to it “ I have been re-reading Henry David Thoreau’s works, the Walden Pond, an all-time American Classic, particularly The Winter Walk, he wrote ... Read more
Sound of Silence – Rajkumar Bharathi’s Musical Quest By Asha Krishnakumar Simple, genuine, gifted, resilient… These are the words used most often to describe Rajkumar Bharathi, the great -grandson of Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathi, the legendary litterateur whose fiery writings stoked the patriotic fire of the people fighting colonial rule. Rajkumar has carved a niche for ... Read more
A Passion for Dance Yamini Krishnamurti With Renuka Khandekar Yamini Poornatilaka Krishnamurti, a little tomboy growing up in the temple town of Chidambaram, felt strangely drawn towards the dancing figures sculpted on the temple walls. When the time came for her to settle down to a formal school education, she astonished her family by declaring ... Read more
Master of Arts: A Life in Dance By Tulsi Badrinath Master of Arts: A Life in Dance Male dancers provoke extreme reactions-Who wants to watch hairy sweaty men dance half-naked? or Oh, they are so effeminate. Must be gay! or They would not find a job anywhere, thats why they have come to this field. ... Read more
Indian Sun is the first biography of Ravi Shankar. Benefitting from unprecedented access to family archives, Oliver Craske paints a vivid picture of a captivating, restless workaholic, who lived a passionate and extraordinary life – from his childhood in his brother’s dance troupe, through intensive study of the sitar, to his revival of the national music ... Read more
By Sunil Kothari and Avinash Pasricha One of the seven major classical dance forms of India, Kuchipudi in its solo avatara has acquired a status of a classical dance form of Andhra Pradesh. The story of Kuchipudi from its origin as a dance-drama and its emergence as a solo dance form is one of the ... Read more
By Leela Samson About the book: Rhythm in Joy is an authoritative introduction to five of India’s Classical dance forms. The intention of this work is to view the distinctive features of these forms through the eyes of a dancer- the historical and cultural context in which they evolved and the particularities of technique and ... Read more
By Dr Sunil Kothari Synopsis Bharata Natyam, the most popular classical Indian dance-form, has received universal approbation as one of the subtlest expressions of Indian culture. Its intimate connection with the temple, as a ritualistic art, mirroring the imperceptible feelings of a devotee reflects the inwardness of Hindu culture. “Its amazing inner resilience has once ... Read more
By Anjana Anand The Silappathikāram of Ilango Adigal (1AD) is a treasure-house of cultural information from the Tamil land of almost 2000 years ago. A Grammar of Dance looks closely at the third canto, Arangētru kādhai, which talks about the arangetram or debut performance of Madhavi, a courtesan in the Chozha court in Puhar. Ilango Adigal outlines the merits of ... Read more