Ranjana Dave

Syndicate content

Was she born to be a dancer?


Think Indian dance, and one coherent image of its antecedents in sculpture is the Harappan “dancing girl”. One arm resting on her hip, she confronts you, sparks of impudence inscribed on every inch of her person. Found in Mohenjodaro and dating back to over 4,500 years, she is but a tiny bronze statuette the length of one’s palm.
Many girls train in classical dance at some point in their childhoods. One hears murmurs about men not being suited to dance or dance styles; it is seemingly more plausible for a woman to take to dance. It is this implicit acceptance that should bring us to question the order of things even more. That she was “born to dance” leaves a lot to the imagination. What are the paths that lead women to dance?

Appeasement and a tale of two women


The year 2012 is a year of many approximations. It began with the question of censorship being raised at the Jaipur Literature Festival. More unassumingly, it marks the sixtieth death anniversary of Bangalore Nagarathnamma, an important Carnatic musician and devadasi in the early 20th century. Also, placing these facts in the context of censorship, it is a hundred years since her edition of the Telugu courtesan Muddupalani’s erotic poem Radhika Santwanam (Appeasing Radhika) was banned.

Free! Free! Free!


Ever wondered why classical dancers never write to financial columns in newspapers and magazines, asking how to invest their assets? That’s because sweat-stained silks and paper flowers are not sound investment options. If a dancer is lucky enough to come out of a performance with a cheque, it takes a few minutes of discreet backstage envelope-passing for the money to spread itself thin and wear out. The half-rotten flowers that are handed out indiscriminately at dance programmes last longer.

Odissi’s odyssey

Come December in Orissa, and one is dazzled by the array of shiny costumes every Odissi dancer seems to possess, and unfailingly shows off during the busy performance season.

Tryst with Tagore

One couldn’t help empathising with the almost childlike glee emanating from the audience, as the stage of the Tata Theatre rotated at the beginning of Astad Deboo’s performance at the NCPA on Tuesday.

Spaces, interstices


Even a slithering arm can define space, or appropriate it — one begins to perceive years of polite armrest nudging afresh while watching Mandeep Raikhy’s Inhabited Geometry.

Dialogues through Danse

In a snippet from his work, Pichet Klunchun and Myself, Jerome Bel says, “They take a paid ticket without knowing what they will see,” even as his remark is greeted by a spell of audience laughter rem

A saga of nine yards


What is the most compelling memory that you have of the annual day gatherings in your school?

All the world’s indeed a stage


When the impostor chucking bread at the stage turned out to be a performer one evening at the Attakkalari India Biennial 2011, the audience was suitably shocked.

Time for the contemporary


The tiny window between the slushy monsoon and a slew of festivals, September is a month of exciting contemporary work.

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.