Friday, March 31, 2017

Proust Questionnaire Take 27 - N. Srikanth Natarajan & Aswathy Nair

Published by sathirdance on March 31, 2017

Photo by Madhuraj

Indian Dance Artistes - N. Srikanth Natarajan & Aswathy Nair, based in Kozhikode, Kerala, India. 

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Srikanth: Doing what you want to do to your heart’s content.

Aswathy: Living a life without restrictions.
    
What is your greatest fear?

S: That I cannot dance anymore.
   
A: That I might leave a lot of things undone when I die.
    
Which living person do you most admire?
         
S: My Bhagavata Mela Guru, S.Natarajan.

A: My father M.T. Vasudevan Nair.

What is your favorite journey?
        
S: My first ever trip on a flight to the USA and Canada with my Guru, Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam in 1995.

A: A trip to Goa with family and friends in 2014.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
       
S: Music, Dance and MADHAV.

A: Madhav, Dance and Books.
    
When and where were you happiest?
       
S: At Sabarimala attending the last pooja of the day in front of the shrine listening to “Harivarasanam”.

A: To get back to dancing in USA last October after a major health setback.
    
Which talent would you most like to have?
       
S: Cooking…for I love to eat!

A: Gardening.
   
What is your current state of mind?

S: Excited…getting a new car!

A: Calm...the storm is over!
             
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, who or what would you choose?
       
S: Singer, if I were to be born again.  

A: To be born as another Meryl Streep.
   
What is the quality you most admire in a man?
         
S: Being Sensitive.

A: Honesty.

What is the quality you most admire in a woman?
         
S: Inner strength.        

A: Sense of Humour.     
 
What do you most value in your friends?
         
S: Trust.

A: Trust.

Who are your favorite writers?
        
S: I am not an avid reader - the ones who wrote Amar Chitra Kathas, Chandamama and Tinkle☺

A: So many…Shakespeare, Arthur Hailey, James Patterson, Prem Chand, Ruskin Bond, Harper Lee, Ayn Rand...I could go on!!!

Who are your heroes in real life?
         
S: Simple living and great thinking people are my real heroes.

A: Unsung heroes who make a difference to society everyday.

How would you like to die?

S: Right after a bhagavata mela play with my makeup on…@melattur!

A: At night…in my sleep…alone.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Proust Questionnaire Take 26 - Avijit Das

Published by sathirdance on March 23, 2017
Avijit Das, Kuchipudi Dance Artist based in Bengaluru, India.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Happiness is a purely subjective feeling, it's almost impossible to define tangibly. But I feel that being truthful to my conscience, and to follow what my heart tells me will eventually lead to happiness and completion.

What is your greatest fear?

Losing my ability to dance irretrievably due to a mistake from my side.

Which living person do you most admire?

My father.

What is your favorite journey?

Not had it yet, I think. Perhaps it's​ the one I'm on now? Yes, I am on my way...

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My family is the greatest love of my life.

When and where were you happiest?

What gives me instant happiness is being at home with my parents. I'm also happiest in my dance class and after a performance when I can say - Today I tried to do my best!

Which talent would you most like to have?

The talent to use every single minute in a day fruitfully! I wish to be a successful dancer, and choreographer, and a loving teacher to my students. Doing all this without compromising is a huge task.

What is your current state of mind?

Dance! Trying to forget everything but dance... though that seems to be impossible.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, who or what would you choose?

To come back as myself, to finish​ all my incomplete work.

What is the quality you most admire in a man?

Gentleness.

What is the quality you most admire in a woman?

Women to me bear deeper depth than men. I wish they could utilise it for making this world even more beautiful.

What do you most value in your friends?

I'm an only child and consider my closest friends the siblings I never had. I value friends who go above and beyond for my well-being. Such friendships are the base of true love and are rare to find.

Who are your favorite writers?

Rabindranath Tagore is my all time favourite. Vivekananda, Rumi and Victor Hugo as well.

Who are your heroes in real life?

I consider Sri Vempati Chinna Satyam the hero and guiding light of my path.


How would you like to die?

I hope I can take my last breath on stage while dancing, quickly, like the flickering flame of a candle that goes out by a slight breeze.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Proust Questionnaire Take 25 - Dr. Saskia Kersenboom

Published by sathirdance on March 17, 2017

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Freedom in every sense.

What is your greatest fear?

Violence that invades and disrupts freedom in the private and public spheres.

Which living person do you most admire?

Difficult – perhaps Choreographer Jiri Kylian?

What is your favorite journey?

The Rasika Journey into poetry, music, dance, drama, ritual, architecture, nature...world-wide.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

What: LIFE - and the way Indian Performing Arts allow me to access its infinite complexity; they are my biggest, magnum size teacher.

Who: Gozso Szőrös my Hungarian Roma husband.


When and where were you happiest?

Difficult to choose. I have experienced intense happiness at several, totally unexpected moments, as a child, an adult, a traveller, a researcher, as an artist, and “in-love” - What these moments share is: they catapult me out of my little frame into dimensions of LIFE beyond my own time and space – close to obliterating me. It’s like an ever fresh amazement at the cyclic return of seasons, like waking up to the sound of the waves of the sea (Pondicherry), breathtaking sunsets, the moon rising behind the trees in our garden, or, that same moon over Agnishvara temple in Tirupugalur, the abating heat of the stones under our feet in its outer prakara, the depth of historical time (Siena), or, my student on stage - dancing a choreography, taught by me, in my costume, to my music - totally pulling me inside out...so much…as if rocked by the gods…

Which talent would you most like to have?

To be able sing Carnatic music in full depth, especially Padams, Javalis and Varnams – the Shringara rakti repertoire.

What is your current state of mind?

I fully believe in total commitment in whatever you do, but also in parting, leaving, letting go when life’s vitality has evaporated. Looking back, I have separated myself from my parental home and family, from teachers, from a former marriage, from my country of birth by emigrating into Hungary and from Academic life (after forty-two years). Now, I find myself in a stage and state of mind that was predicted by my Indian astrologer Mrs. Bhama in the 1990-ies: living in a beautiful remote village, surrounded by nature and FREE ! to fully devotee myself to what I love most: Indian dance, music and culture.

With Paramparai Foundation my husband and I have created a Time-Out of the stressful urban and global rat race through summer residencies where the only thing that counts is artistic development and growth. The remaining time is dedicated to reconnecting the Devadasi cultural heritage to the living traces of its original contexts: the temples and royal courts of Tamil Nadu. These experiments are the four weeks Winter Residency called Yatra and the two week Repertoire Workshop “Mohamana” - studying this famous Varnam in Tiruvarur District. Amazing encounters emerge between the local inheritors of this old world and modern performers from India, USA, Canada, Italy, Switzerland, Singapore and New Zealand who are open minded, curious to come face-to-face with their roots and critical of (post) colonial, national narratives on the Performing Arts. For the first time, after 23 years Associate Professorship, I can teach Devadasi Heritage in the way I feel it should be taught: in situ, in dialogue with its practitioner, inheritors. And, most importantly, meeting with participants who are highly skilled, informed and motivated, critically inquisitive and creative. Every participant - so far - has transformed the Workshop Residency experience into a new, personalised project. In short, a dream coming true!

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, who or what
would you choose?


Uhm...as a Sarasvati Vina.

What is the quality you most admire in a man?

Sensitivity, intelligence, generosity, decisive yet gracious.

What is the quality you most admire in a woman?

Sensitivity, intelligence, generosity, decisive yet gracious.

What do you most value in your friends?

Empathy, mutual care for each other.

Who are your favorite writers?

Milan Kundera, Sandor Marai, Isaac Bashevis Singer, John Fowles, Ruth
Prawer Jhabvala and Gita Mehta among many other contemporary Indian writers.


Who are your heroes in real life?

The Obamas as beacons of Hope and shining role models for Civilised
Priorities in life (on a long distance scale), Ranvir Shah for his idealism,
visionary generosity and sustained efforts in and support of culture, for his sincere devotion to Shri Tyagarajasvami of Tiruvarur (on a closer scale), and, my private, life-time Hero Gozso Szőrös - who knows Love.


How would you like to die?

In an unending kiss... but that's a bit selfish...

Saskia Kersenboom was born in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and grew up there. Indology and Theatre Studies took her to India for the first time (1975), where she started her training in Bharatanatyam with Smt. Nandini Ramani. In the following 42 years, she spent 32 years in Tamil Nadu for shorter or longer periods, studying dance, vocal music and Veena in Chennai as well as Devadasi ritual song and dance with Smt. P. Ranganayaki in Tiruttani. As a performing artist she has worked in several Conservatories as Guest Faculty and performed widely in Europe, USA and India. Saskia is probably best known for her fascination with Devadasi Tradition. Her PhD NITYASUMANGALI (18 May, 1984, Utrecht University, The
Netherlands) drafted a vast map of a research-field that has been travelled by many scholars until today, covering a broad range of disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences. NITYASUMANGALI – Devadasi Tradition in South India was published by Motilal Banarsidass in 1987 and has seen five editions so far (2016). This work and the later Word, Sound, Image, the Life of the Tamil Text with interactive CD (1995, Oxford, Berg Publishers) underlie her Associate Professorship at Amsterdam University (1990-2013) subsequently in Linguistic Anthropology, Musicology and Theatre Studies.


In 2006, Saskia Kersenboom emigrated to the village of Legend in Northern Hungary. Since 2013 she and her husband Gozso Szőrös dedicate themselves full-time to Paramparai Foundation, convening Summer Residencies in Legend, and Winter Residencies based in Tirupugalur, Tamil Nadu.
www.paramparai.eu - www.facebook.com/paramparai

Photos:
* In the dressing room
* Singing for Saint Nicolas
* New directions: Marriage in Legend