News & Notes
Nritya Parva-Festival Of Sattriya Dance
Nritya Parva—a three-day festival of Sattriya dance—was organised by the central Sangeet Natak Akademi in collaboration with the Directorate of Cultural Affairs of the Government of Assam, 15-17 November at Rabindra Bhawan in Guwahati. A lecdem series was also organised in the morning on the last two days.
This was probably one of the most extensive festivals devoted purely to Sattriya dance organised by the Sangeet Natak Akademi. Though this enthralling dance-form, now recognised as one of the major dance-forms of the country, figures these days in many of the dance festivals, a comprehensive festival of this nature, embracing the various styles that are today being witnessed within the broad tradition of Sattriya dance, has not been attempted yet on this scale. This is undoubtedly a welcome development, and will contribute immensely to the study and understanding of this form. The festival was perceived both by vidwans and the casual audience as an opportunity not to critique individual dance performances, but as an attempt to understand and study the dance-form. Performers and scholars who took part in the festival hoped to get additional critical inputs that would enable them to take the form further on its artistic journey.
The Footprints Of Bala
I saw T. Balasaraswati dancing in one of the Indian newsreels when I was a lad in school. Krishna nee beganey baro, although of short duration, had a tremendous impact on me. Since then I longed to see Bala dancing on the stage. But, as I was studying in a small place like Gadag and hailed from a poor family, I could not afford to go to any big city, like Madras, Bombay or even Bangalore, to see her performance.
Therefore, I myself could not believe it when I took her feet in my hands and pasted them with red and blue paints for transferring her footprints on to a white canvas.
A Belgian Painter & A Devadasi Dancer
I love people who cannot hide their love for India; who are so overwhelmed by the beauty of the light, the quality of the atmosphere, the all pervasive smells and colours.
It is hard to find someone who has expressed this love for the East better, or in a more penecrating way, than Guillaume Van Strydonck, a Flemish artist born in 1861 in Denmark.
As a painter, he was educated in the French style. He was a student of the famous Jean-Leon Girtme and of Eugine Fromentin, a French painter and art critic deeply interested in Oriental painting.