News & Notes
Kundanlal Gangani Nritya Pratibha
Kathak Kendra, New Delhi, has decided to hold annual festivals outside the capital zone. This is a wise move and just what is needed to get away from the capitalcentric focus on the arts.
The Kendra accordingly held its annual Guru Kundanlal Gangani Nritya Pratibha, 28-30 November 2001, in Hyderabad, with the cooperation of the Department of Culture of the Government of Andhra Pradesh. The festival is named after the late Jaipur gharana guru Kundanlal Gangani who served the Kendra loyally and, in the event, passed the mantle on to his son Rajendra Gangani, now one of the ablest of teachers at the Kendra. Its emphasis was on middle level and young practitioners of Kathak.
Semmangudi: A Living Legend
This tribute is prompted by the Sruti publication, titled Semmangudi: A Mosaic Portrait, which came to my attention only recently. The book consists of reprints of articles published in Sruti in a special feature on this multi-faceted personality.
Together they cover every aspect of the musical giant, who is affectionately referred to as the Grand Old Man of Carnatic music. I have benefitted greatly by reading these articles and have made use of them in my tribute.
Montreal Marks Dual Milestone
It would be an understatement to say that Bharatanatyam has a healthy base in Montreal. The multicultural Montreal society is blessed with as many as five functioning institutes training Bharatanatyam students, and two of these celebrated significant milestones this year—Nrithyalaya, the oldest of the schools, its 25th anniversary and Kala Bharati the completion of 20 years. Looking at it another way, there are at least five arangetram-s every year.
Nrithyalaya was founded in 1976 by Vasantha Krishnan, herself trained in the rich and illustrious traditions of Kalakshetra and Kalamandalam. She did not intend to start a school, with all that it involves. But it just happened.