#Helen ji


Dance- through Photography

Many times words fail to describe- in exact way what eyes see? i have named these photograph as SPLASH. that’s the common theme in these photographs. Tell me what you feel?

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#Dance #DancingGirl, why they named it as #Indus Dance Girl? of #Harappa #IndusValley #civilization?

Indus Dancing girl as it is known  2500 BC Harappa  Mohenjo-daro   civilization in Indus valley

Many of us must be aware of this figure, nick named as Dancing girl of Harappa/Mohenjo-daro, found in 2500 BC old Indus River valley civilization. Indus river is know as Sindhu River in India. It has become world famous idol. People are researching over iconography etc things on this. But For me, I was amazed, why the name “dancing girl” is given to it?

How can historian/ archaeologist can name her as a dancing girl? She could have been any authoritarian figure? Priestess? or any sacrificial woman? Or simply a dream girl (muse) of an artist? Why not? But assigning this name in itself tells the attitude of society at large towards the word “dancing girl”. It is very easy to write “dancing girl”?

Is there anything such as Her ornaments, posture? hair plait? necklace? eyes? or any thing that can indicate her being a dancing girl? i Don’t think so?  This statue is from thousands of years old civilization? it is in Bronze? a difficult metal craft? and that too there was no Industrial revolution (as of UK) or #3D printer, not even elctricity for grill machine or tools? All there was traditional knowledge, hard work, enthusiasm and observing power of eyes? or even we can say power to imagine? People in Europe once upon a time imagined that earth is flat and if you walk accross a certian point you will fall down. That was imagination power?

If this statue is not observation then how one can imagine such thing? A Dream Girl? can we say?

It is still unknown as to what purpose this bronze statue served?

But it is certainly amazing that how this craft of using metals came to Indus valley civilization? It was done in lost wax technic as we know today? It is an example of Art of metallurgy prevalent in Indus River Valley civilization.

It’s not a dancing pose, it’s a standing pose. Even, sometime we stand like this, placing hand on waist. This statue was discovered in 1926 by a British serving officer (obviously) in colonial India. Now pakistan disputes it, I don’t understand why pakistan disputes it? earlier in that part of world everything Indian was destructed by the invaders from West Asia, and now after partition a newly born country claims to be owner of 3000 BC civilization. This itself indicates what they wanted to loot? What they are teaching in History books of Pakistan?- that Indus valley civilization grew and became Pakistan?

Lost wax method was used in Chola period also to make amazing beautifull Bronze statues. But for using that technic in Indus Valley there must have been some previous references? some education? knowledge transfer? passed on to generation to generation? it is not that suddenly one day, a man created bronze statue by using lost wax technic? it requires lots of things, planning execution. when wax is lost (melts away) the impression on the metal becomes visible and look artistic. isn’t it? At first a statue is created out of wax then covered by clay or mud, dried and then molten metal is filled inside, so that melted wax runs out from other end.

She can be any one? even a queen? or consort? any diety? why not? she can be even a gaurd/fighter? waiting to get her spear? or arrows ready from back, or something hidden at back? in olden times women gaurds were kept to protect princes queens or royal ladies and even for kings also? but in that time British officers were mostly amazed by the Nautch girls, dancing girls, tawaif or Devdasi traditions in India. Thus when someone in British Office/Archeologist? saw it, he immediatley imagined the dance pose of dancing girls that he had in mind imprinted so vividly that as soon as he saw this he named it dancing girl?

from wiki: This discovery indicates that they (indus civilization) knew metal blending, casting and other sophisticated methods. The bronze girl was made using the lost-wax casting technique and shows the expertise of the people in making bronze works during that time. The statue is displayed at National Museum, New Delhi.

Dancing_girl_second_prehistoric_bronzeA similar bronze statuette was found by Mackay during his final full season of 1930–31 at DK-G area in a house at Mohenjo-daro. The preservation, as well as quality of craftsmanship, is inferior to that of the well known Dancing Girl. This second bronze female figure is displayed at Karachi Museum, Pakistan.

An engraving on a piece of red potsherd, discovered at Bhirrana, India, a Harappan site in Fatehabad district in Haryana, shows an image that is evocative of Dancing Girl. The excavation team leader, L. S. Rao, Superintending Archaeologist, Excavation Branch, ASI, remarked that, “… the delineation [of the lines in the potsherd] is so true to the stance, including the disposition of the hands, of the bronze that it appears that the craftsman of Bhirrana had first-hand knowledge of the former”.

But I still Don’t agree with their Assumption? that her profession was dance? How they can presume? For Shri Ram at Aydohya few people are asking for a proof? here they are naming her as dancing girl without any proof? I think mystery of Harappa civilization can only be solved by deciphering the SCRIPT? So after reading all that is written in that script can tell something about lost civilization. But Pakistan cannot claim that it is their heritage?

Many miniature paintings also depicts lot of interesting things about these dancing girls of India. Which are often referred as Tawaif, courtesan, nachini,  domni, Kothewali, Derewali etc names aplenty but they have been at centre of life of any city, court/Mehfil or folklore.

Lucknow2When British came to India they became Gora Sahebs. Few gora sahebs started imitating mannerism of mughal or nawabs.

The dancing girls were the most evident in painting of that era. Also these gora sahebs were fascinated by these charming ladies. Gora Sahebs also patronized paintings.

These painting are called as Raj or Company school paintings.

Dancing girls, Ganika, NagarVadhu, Apsara concept has been in folk lore and mythology also. But when it became an ill famed custom we dont know?

Shakuntala was daughter of an Apsara, but she was a daughter of a Sage at first? Sage was solely responsible for birth of Shakuntala. But some how his name is not written in black color? only the characters of Apsara is much talked about? Irony?

I tried to search pictures on dancing girl? obviously through Google.

images (55)This pic must be from South India? the dhoti adorned by men is may be from Andhra, Karnataka or Maharashtra? Girls adorning the dress looks similar to worn by Sadir natyam or dassi natyam?

please note one thing in this pic that these girls are of very young age?


Nautch_dancerBeautifull Girl in this pic is again of a tender age? forced to dance? accompanying artists belong to a community? Tabla, the percussion instrument and sarangi are the accompanying musical instruments. This is probably of Mughal influenced era.


Below is another beautifull photo of a dance girl from Lucknow? See all beautifull things around her. Richly designed ornament/ jwellery and pure Gold or silver (not at all imitation) The curtains, the cushions, the mattress, the fashion? yes they were the fashion icons of those times. They make new styles of dress, specially custom made and wearing them they make it into fashion statements. As I understand they (these women) were actually master  entrepreneurs, as they supported or patronised many crafts. the dress designing, Textile weaving, tailoring, coloring of textiles, Jwellers, artists- painters, and all those trades which had these women as their clients?


Hand-colored photograph of two dancing girls, probably from western India, c.1890s
Dancers/Singers some where in Rajasthan, Gujarat?

Ancient Indian sculptures also depicted few of such fine example of good art.

e63d7c97b292b3808f58eadc32c0275aThe beauty at Sanchi stupa is a poetry carved in


The ornaments bangles, ear rings, necklace, waist plate and rings in leg all are extremely intricately designed.

Figurine, hair style and her skirt are all evident.





There are few other good examples of beautifull sculptures of Ancient India.  These are the most beautifull and umatched in world? Best poetic sculptures are found in Hoyasala, Belur etc in Karnataka. But still i can say there are thousands of such in South India.

These incredible statues carved in stone many centuries ago? No one can deny the hard work patience of artist or craft persons.

I have put these pics here just to show the dance in our arts. Compared to that statue found in Harappa. Can you say that statue was of a dance girl? I think in India our artists knew how to depict dance movements. Presumption is done by those not belonging to this land. Their assumption is made out to be a fact? That’s is wrong.


This statue reminds me of my favorite song from Pakeezah.  Thare rahio banke yaar re. Particularly the lines where Nayika (dancer in film) says bole payal nigodi…. and similar

pose. mudra is taken to indicate/depict that Bhaav of payal

nigodi……as is done in this sculpture on left.








cxiwoqguqaalf8a.jpgit looks as if master craftsman descended from heaven to create such intricate amazing beautifull sculptures. When you stand in front of these creations you can’t say it is created by men.  One life time is not enough to see all of splendour of India:

Ajanta Ellora caves, Elephanta caves, Belur, Hoyasala, Mahabalipuram, Konark, Khajuraho, Kiradu, Dilwara and whole of Rajasthan.





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The book by Pran Nevile describes in detail about the dance girls in colonical India.









System of nautch girls or dance girls was prevalent in this world from time immemorial. It was there in Kabul, Gandhar, Afghanistan, Kashmir & upto Kanyakumari in South India. Nomenclature differed, from Tawaif to Devdasi.

eggdance in bhopal court

In the said book there is a description that a dance girl kept whirling and keeping eggs on this loops tied with strings, he referred it as egg dance? not a single egg was broken.






These dancing girls were most innovative also. As is evident from dress they wore.










Indian films also had a hand in mystifying the dance girls. In many movies they are shown in some extra ordinary manner. I mean they are shown not in Authentic manner. Very few films had these dance girls in correct perspective.    I was in awe of Pakeezah, Umrao Jaan (Rekha ji) and this Chitralekha mostly due to my love for Meena Kumari ji.images (18)

belaBela Bose and Meena Kumari ji were there in this film. Many scenes Meena ji was behind the mask and some double must have danced.

But the Temple dancers from Orissa were totally different as i found out while reading many articles. These women never danced outside temples. They are called MAHARI, not devdasi. Two major class of Mahari was there, Bhitar Gauni and Baher Gauni. First was allowed to enter Garbh Griha, the sanctum of Temple and second class did seva outside the garbhgriha.images (79)

She is the last surving Mahari



images (15)images (77)it says Women of pride?


Why not?  They were bearer of our Arts? Traditions? Music and Dance with other attached traditions have been kept alive by such women and their families?

Thus naming them just as Dancing girl is not correct? For whom they danced? Who made them to dance? They were daughters of big VIPs and most respected Men of society, Kings, Dewan, Pundits- Brahmin, Priest, Business Men, Chettiar? Seth as we call. Merchant etc and etc. Thus degrading them is not in right perspective. Dancing Girl deserve respect?





Stand up, fight back; #Bullying seems common, but what is it?

Stand up, fight back was the topic of an article appeared in The Hindu of March 5, 2018 (EDGE page 3). Written by Ananthalakshmi Sekhar.

Bullies exist everywhere; nip their advances in the bud says the highlight of this article.

Bullying seems common, but what is it?

It is verbal or physical abuse with aliases being “intimidate”, harass. It is the sadistic feeling of joy one enjoys when victimizing the vulnerable target.

Who is bullied more- men or women? Bullying knows no gender; although women are easy targets, sometimes, men have no escape either.

It happens everywhere.

Reasons for bullying range from bigoted attitudes, poor upbringing, insecurity, aesthetic appeal, employment, earnings and more. Irrespective of the fitting reason behind this vilifying act, not all emerge stronger.

It is so strong that sometimes many have altered their circadian clock to end themselves. So how you handle bullying?

Say no to self-pity. Writer goes on to describe her own experiences and her attempts to overcome all that.

Those suffering bullying, remember, seeking assistance helps. Talk to your close friend or confidante, else to a professional. If bullied, speak out boldly to let your trauma known. Do not despair; with mental strength, you can fight back. Becoming vulnerable victims is not an effective solution.

Article ends there.

Since childhood I had been victim of bullying. Till recently, I did not know how to term that feeling now I know I was being bullied. Earlier in some writing that I have read that was equated as something due to peer pressure.

Since very beginning I started liking to dance. I don’t remember when for the first time I danced. But I do remember one incident when in Ganeshgunj, Lucknow we used to stay at ancestral home with a joint family. One song came on radio, Hawa me udta jai mera lal dupatta malmal ka. I still hear those voices in my ears.  Few people started calling loudly dance kamles dance and started clapping. I remember I was dancing on this song. Whenever this song came on radio I was encouraged to dance. I don’t know if dancing (making movements with music) came to me naturally?

Later as I grew up and started attending school at IITKanpur campus, one sport teacher spotted my talent. He used to encourage me to dance. In physical education period that was known to us as PT period, he would ask me and few others to show their talents. I used to sing and dance. Many times my PT sir praised me and my talent. So I felt special within myself. But on the other side all the class mates, more so all boys started bullying me. They used to comment on me. Few equated me with dancing girls. I was called The nauch girl, randi, tawaif, nachnewali. Few were more kind they called me hizra(eunuch) . Few friends called me a “girl”. All this happened because I used to dance.

In school few songs of mine were very famous. Nazar Lagi raja tore bangle par, inhi logon ne le lina dupatta mora and thare rahiyo banke yaar re from film pakeezah. I started iconizing Meena Kumari ji. Thus boys used to say “Thare Rahio” or “nazar lagi raja”.

I was nick named as gaurayia. It is common name of sparrow.

Later when I reached class VII or so while playing kabaddi, the boys tried to gag me and few tried to see whether I have male sex organs or not? When I went to other side on my turn, few elder boys caught me and pushed me down on ground. I heard them telling to younger boys that I am holding his hands and legs you just see in his pants whether he has that organ etc.

Meanwhile as I was growing up such miss adventures also were growing around me. So much was apprehension inside me, that while going out to buy something from market, if I saw those boys in the street, I had to change my direction. Or I had to stay back and wait for some time till they go away. There was a house of Agn….ri .and Du…e. Most of terrorists used to live those houses. I mean we were so much terrorized due to boys of those house.

Later we shifted to type two and came into high school. Then my classmates grew more mischievous. Few called me Bulbul, “nach meri bulbul paisa milega”. One gang sang “tauba eh matwali chaal”.

I grew up amidst such group of boys. Few boys didn’t take me seriously at all. I mean I didn’t have any say in that group or gathering. But I didn’t left my passion for dance.

Being born in a family that lived within a society, I cannot imagine that my family could have broken norms of society. I still feel that my father was very brave. I can’t imagine how much pressure he would have gone through accepting me and my passion for dance. Many times he voiced his anger and concerns on my habit of dancing. I really feel how great he was. His peer group might have commented or laughed at him while targeting me. He is most courageous man. He never directly stopped me, but few times alerted me.

Had we got some kind of facility of learning dance or music nearby our house, we would have got enrolled and could have learnt many things. It was beyond imagination of our family that a boy travelling few kilometres away from home just to learn dance. Such things were not considered good even in 1970s.

But yes, our family never desist or restricted me or my sisters from taking part in co-curriculum activities in school.

One neighbour with whom we used to leave keys of our house also commented once. We had so much trust on him and his family, as I said we used to leave keys of our house with them. He said “your father will have difficulty in arranging your marriage”. He said this due to the fact that I used to dance and I was famous as “A boy who dance”? Whatever were his thoughts about me, it didn’t really matter to me back then nor today.

Most of my peer group might have had some perceived thoughts about me. One classmate used to take my notebooks to complete his works. Once I went to house to talk to him, as our exams were very near. As I crossed one window, I overheard something, His mother whom I addressed as Aunty (with respect, as we were always taught to address other elders respectfully) she said he is not home. That was the last day I talked to him. Now he lives in USA, his daughters are learning Bharatnatyam. He daily used to comment on me. I have not made him friend on Facebook.

Few others are also living in USA and their daughters are doing dance. But when those girls were in my class they laughed at me. Now they are proud mothers of girls who dance Bharatnatyam.

One Marathi professor was there. He seemed to be on forefront in all cultural activities in campus, mostly classical music. But once I saw he strictly stopped his daughter from taking part in one program on stage. He was class conscious.

When I had to attend Degree College in Kanpur, I had to take bus to go to city. Many boys together went to college. On the way they commented on me. I could do nothing as I was one and alone among all those boys.

When I was student of IIT then also on few occasions I felt such bullying. The only cause was that I used to dance. I loved to dance. There was a group of ladies, they organized cultural activities in campus. I remembered once there was a dance drama “Chitrangada” of RabindraNath Tagore. One day I was asked to take part in dance sequence, there were few more boys. But I was chosen to dance on “Mohini maya elo” and I was told to choreograph few movements for the group. After few rehearsals, suddenly one day i was told that dance sequence will not be staged (or that sequence will not be part of this ballet). I think they tried to rope in my sisters and as a lollipop they might have thought to play this dirty game with me. I am at liberty to apply my mind and my perception to things happened with me.

Thus I imagined, what might have been the cause behind this bullying?

Festival of Tribal Dance


This i had written after watching Festival of Tribal Dance, conceived by most renowned Theatre personality Ratan Thiyam. I had been his admirer since many years. At kanpur i used to get news about him through Doordarshan or News Papers. When i was in Delhi then he had shifted in Manipur. But when i heard the news that Festival is going to happen in Port Blair immediately i rushed to get a life time opportunity to see him live. Luckily i got seat just behind him. This concept of festival may be old but i got to know very recently. A good concept to combine the Song Dance and Theatre all together at one platform for Tribal communities to come and perform. All this happened under ageis of NSD National School of Drama.  In sidelines of this performances a workshop or seminar kind of thing was also there. Where various research workers and Tribal groups also interacted and presented their analysis etc. I was none of them but being an ardent lover of Arts- Dance i was attracted to this.




Song of Bird: Zohra Sehgal, the immortal, as i know

Sahibzadi Zohra Begum Mumtaz-ullah Khan  was the actual name of Zohra Sehgal ji.  But I knew her most energetic persona. Zohra Sehgal ji. Many years back I saw a TV serial Mulla Nasiruddin on Doordarshan. it was based on stories that we used to hear during childhood. But i had been admirer of Zohra Sehgal ji as i am a student of Dance. Thus anyone in India who is learning dance must know about Zohra ji. Beacsue she was the leading dancer in Uday Shankar’s dance troupe that toured the world in 1935? imagine that was before India got freedom. And in those days dancing by any girl of a respected family was something unbelievable, it was something like death. But Zohra Sehgal ji was always a fighter. However she got backing from her maternal uncle and few of his friends. With the help of her maternal uncle she went to Europe to study, but she also joined classes in Dance, modern dance. In material available in net she is termed as a tomboy? means during childhood she was not just a girl.

with her daughter Kiran Sehgal



Alice bonner, Uday Shankar, Beatrice, Uzra (Zohra's sister), Zohra Segal
with Uday Shankar
book by Kiran Sehgal on her mother Zohra Sehgal ji

img37 She acted in few plays, stage shows withe her sister Uzra in Lahore.


at her 100 birthday celebration

images (81) First Indian woman to learn ballet at Mary Wigman's ballet school in Dresden,

With Uday Shankar,


She worked in the Prithvi Theatre as leading lady/actor in many stage shows accross India, her sister Uzra ji was already a leading actor of Prithvi Theatre.



Zohra Segal icon of the stage and screen celebrates her 100th birthday with an official biographyimages (75)

She met Kameshwar Sehgal, when Uday Shankar started his dance academy at Almora(1940). Do you know our great film maker Guru Dutt ji was also learning dance at this academy. Zohra ji married Kameshwar Sehgal. Later they started as school at Lahore, Zohresh dance Institute. But they during migrated to Bombay, and She joined the Prithvi Theatre as an actor in 1945. She worked in few Hindi films also.

After death of her husband she moved to Delhi and then to London. There she worked in theatre shows also got opportunity to work in TV series, few on BBC also.

World famous and reputed Merchant Ivory production roped her in a film Courtesan of Bombay in 1982. This production house of James Ivory with the Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (the mysterious script writer) has always brought out interesting films on Indian themes. Thanx to Doordarshan that i was able to see few of them.

As she was dancer, she also did some choreography in films. most famous i remember the song (dream sequence) in Awara.

Her life in London was difficult to an extent but she some how established herself in TV series and films. Once somewhere i had read that she even did some stitching  work for  firm that was roped in for making curtains for the palace.

padma visbhusan
Honoured with Padma Vibhusan in 2010

On Doordarshan when i saw the Jewel in the crown i did not know that Zohra Sehgal acted in the film as lady chaterjee (lili). I only remember a British lady near the end of series says that India  actually is the jewel in the crown. Then she acted in Tandoori Nights.


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Mind your language, a comedy TV series 1977, retelecast few times

zohra-sehgal-shammikapoorimages (35)INDn707c

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later in 90s she got some films also but she did plays with her sister also during this period. She appeared in Salman & Aishwaria starer, film Hum dil de chuke sanam.  on 9th July 2014 she passed away.  I think she should have got Bharat Ratna.

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Why she was most respected is that in-spite of the fact that she was born to a muslim family that too in a well to do family, in those times when purdah system was enforced she got education in school and went on to become s stage performer (dance & plays). Imagining about such a life one can really think of the hurdles she might have felt in her life. I or we must salute to the courage with which she worked all her life (independently on her own terms).

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youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQbGmnDW2nE

youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvuFvPNTgOU

youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Pai7G4JCfQ

youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1LTlEBeHXI

youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OYrBTtFoXo

NAVODIT 2016 at Port Blair, Andaman Nicobar Islands

Art has always fascinated me, particularly the dance. Now a days it is clubbed with performing arts. Do performing arts include dance, playing musical instruments, singing, plays-theatre etc? What about painting, writing, decorating home?

When I started appreciating arts at young age, I came to know few artists who were famous at national level; it was only due to the Doordarshan. That was the only channel and it was synonymous of TELEVISION. I saw Smt Swapna Sundari, Chitra Viswesaran, Alarmel valli, followed by Malvika Sarrukai, Prerna Shrimali, Veroniqa Azan, Shobha Naidu, Vanisri Rao, Charu Mathur, Malbika Sarkar etc they were called Young artist back then. Few were famous even more than few elder artists.

However young artists were always encouraged to show their talents at various stages, Yuva kalakar, Yuva Mahotsav, Sharadotsav etc.

Suddenly I saw a tweet of Ministry of art and culture stating that there will be a function at Port Blair named as NOVODIT. The department of Art and Culture Andaman Nicobar Administration is organizing in association with East Zone Cultural Centre on 25 November 2016.

I am a so called “art enthusiast” and I am very well known among few people and ill famous as a dancer.

Despite of well known in circle, I was not invited to the function. I mean I did not receive any invitation card. I don’t know whether there was any invitation card printed or not? But previous experience tells that I usually do not get invitation card. In some functions I had to plead with few officials shamelessly for an invitation card. Most of programs usually held free for public. But being in Government we often feel that if I get an official invitation then my social status seems to be enhanced.

img_9861But till 6 pm I could hold back myself, as the clock proceeded further I lost all resistance. After dropping my son for tuition class I just ran towards the venue, it was late though.

As I entered the auditorium with thumping heart I found Hon’ble Lt Governor of A & N Islands was addressing the gathering. Thus I felt some relief, and thought I am not that much late.

I was waiting for magic to happen. There was an  announcement that program will start with a song of folk singer from Bihar. Mr Dharmendra Kumar came to stage

Dharmendra Kumar from Bihar

He is a young artist from Bihar. He started singing folk Songs of Bihar. Then he sang a Purvi, poorvi? accompanied by musicians. These musicians hailed from Port Blair itself.

Sound was good with broad spectrum of octave, but somewhere it sounded that he lacked, what we call as   “Swar ki pakad” the mastery on swaras. But if he practices with a good guru, teacher then he can improve his art. img_9865

Priya Talukdar with her father

Another star of attraction was this girl named Miss Priyanka Talukdar. Her father Shri Talukdar has been teaching music in Port Blair for the last many years. I had met him back in 1998 when i was in Educatimg_9867ion Department. He worked as part time teacher then. But his efforts to teach students has bored fruits now after 20 years. The girl which we saw 18 years back is now performing on stage it was a good feeling.

She (Priyanka) sang a Tarana also. She rendered it in a simple way. But there is lot of scope for improvement. She has to get specialised training from some Guru at Mainland to hon her skills. her. Her स्वर  swar rendering is good.

Next was an item as they called it, the folk song of Bengal, but it was a Baul geeti, Baul songs by Dhanonjay Dhibar. He had a good powerful voice. But somehow he has to get into the true feeling of character of a Baul while singing.

He tried but as he himself said he was not able to dance as space was not enough in front of the stage.

As we know  Baul songs are soul touching experience. To feel, to touch that feeling we can not resist dancing on those Baul musical beats coming out of the ektara- one string instrument. I loved the songs of Partha Das. I had a HMV cassette of his Baul Singing.


But in present times singers use electronic guitars and other electrical instruments. Dhananjoy also used an electronic instrument

Next was the Bharatnatyam item. As they announced the word “item” it sounded as a tailored item. It was Bharatnatyam by Sumita Roy.

Many senior artists often complain that few modern parents come and ask to teach “items’ to their wards. That sounds awkward to senior gurus. Now a days it is fashion to present an item on stage, instead of Dance.

Coming to the present function this item was a “thillana’ as was announced. Thillana is same as Tarana in Hindustani. We perform Tarana in Kathak similarly thillana is performed in Bharatnatyam. But the present item was little bit confusing, as it was little slow in temper. Usually what I have seen in Thillana it happens to be most energetic item in whole dance program, or it should be portrayed such. But those crisp beats, gaps all were missing. I mean as far as the image which I had of thillana, this item was not upto mark to that image. But the “adavus” poses mudras were quite fine. Thus she seemed to be a serious student. Movements of eyes, head, hands were all quite good.


Next came a surprising dance program. I am sure not many in audiences must have heard the name of Gaudiya Nritya.  Years back I saw the Satria dance, on Doordarshan, which took shape in Shatras or Chatras,  the ashrams in rural Assam.

But Gaudiya Nritya even i have not heard before, may be say 2000? But due to efforts of few dancers from Bengal Gaudiya is now developing into a full fledged dance.

Often it so happens that we have many rituals and keep on doing since ages but do not know the significance of these rituals. I am connecting to the origination of such dances. So at various religious occasions in rural India people perform dance and sing songs, but keeping all this as just ritual things. And we know in India many dances are associated with the Temple rituals. Even #Kathak was performed by the Kathakars- loose meaning is story teller,  in temples. The subject of these stories were mythological. As it is believed the dance as we know Kathak Kathakali Kuchipudi are all evolved from Temple dances. Thus very recently this dance the Gaudiya also have been researched and being presented as classical dance of Bengal.  Present dance was performed by the Satabdee Banerjee.

Next was the Kathak dance performance by Debjaya Sarkar. I had been s student of Kathak since 1975 in class IV, when one teacher came to teach dance at our school in Kanpur. Debjaya shown her caliber in the tatkar and layakari ang as we say in Kathak. She has got training and taken it seriously that reflected in her dance. but still as we all know that abhinaya aspect takes lots of time to be perfected. And experience also teach lots of things as we grow up performing programs.  I felt she must have learnt someone who is from Delhi or from Kathak Kendra, as she perfrmed some tukras which belonged to the school of Lucknow gharana and more particularly of Pt Birju Maharaj ji. But now days students learn many things from many teachers thus we cant claim that student belongs to a particular style of dance? whatever they perform is what they are taught?

Next came a very nice and serious performance by Sayani Chakraborty. She perfromed lots of adavus and javalis with abhinaya. I dont know but the music was little bit seriuos type for the audience. Those who know something about Bharatnatyam could have appreciated her performance better. I feel in such type of programms, dance with energetic music could have done justification.

Next was a nice performance of Kuchipudi by the Students of Gauri Shankara classical dance academy, Port Blair. The dance performed by the artists was very good being very young still they shown good potential.






 there was very much appreciation for these young budding artists from Port Blair.

There was this camera from Doordarshan. I tried to peep in to see how they are recording? and captured this screen.


this frame came while adjusting my camera and in between clicking the button.img_9976


The director, Shri OM Prakash Bharati, of EZCC East Zone Cultural Centre prposed the vote of thanks.


In end, the Chief Secretary, A & N Administration presented the certificates to all the participants



Programme ended with hope to see such events in future also at Port Blair. As such programs are rarely seen in this remote part of India. Due to its remoteness from Mainland this part remains untouched from the experiences, experiments, innovations etc going on in the filed of Performing arts in Mainland India. Thus such programs with more frequency are needed at such remote place like Andaman Nicobar Islands.