Arangham moves boldly on with its unique blueprint for
the celebration of art and theatre in the city of Chennai (Madras),
India. Recognising the urgency to sustain and nourish all
talent at its nascency, as well as the imperative need for audience
development, where youth become a participative force in change,
festivals have been launched with their own well-defined goals for
- a one-day film festival was organised on International
Women's Day, 8th March,1997, at the South India Film Chamber of
The festival, which was part of the year-long celebration of India's
50th Anniversary of Independence by Arangham Trust, was inaugurated by
noted film personalities - Aparna Sen (Calcutta), Saeed Mirza (Mumbai)
and Kiron Kher (Mumbai), whose respective films, YUGANT, NASEEM and
SARDARI BEGUM were screened.
In August 1994, Arangham mounted its first festival, Old Texts, New Textures
- Explorations in Poetry and Movement. The 3-day event was dedicated to
group choreography, based on classical forms. In the spirit of
nurturing interaction among dancers and artists from other fields, this
festival included a seminar in which choreographers shared aspects of
their creative process with fellow dancers, theatre folk, designers,
painters and sculptors.
As co-presenters with Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai, Arangham Trust pioneered Past Forward
an exciting dance festival for talented young dancers / choreographers
to perform in Chennai during January each year. The festival ran for
three successful years, from 1998 to 2000
The festival showcased 3 performances either solo or by a group which
draws its repertoire from the traditional storehouse of Indian dance and
yet is influenced by the contemporary world in its artistic expression
The platform thus provided, encouraged innovation and creativity,
allowing the art form to flourish and scale new peaks – breathing new
life breath into the great traditions of music and dance – looking back
and looking ahead…
Past Forward Festival - January 2000
Anusha Subramaniam (United Kingdom) - January 10
Anjali (Anne Marie Gaston) (Canada) - January 11
Syed Pasha & Vyjayanthi Kashi - Pasha (Bangalore) - January 12
Past Forward Festival - January 1999
Navtej Johar (New Delhi) - Bharatanatyam
Sankalpam (United Kingdom) - "Ulaa & Sambavam"
Past Forward Festival - January 1998
Lata Pada (Canada) - "Timescape"
Tripura Kashyap (Bangalore) - "Festive Drums of Kerala"
Arangham Dance Troupe (Chennai) - "Movements Monuments"
In August 1995, Purush - Dancer, Actor, Hero
was conceived as a
multi-cultural two-day festival. It was structured as an evening of
classical dance featuring some of India's brilliant male dancers along
with artistes from New York's Battery Dance Company; and a second
all-day workshop with lecture demonstrations, performances, an art
exhibition and a film show that embraced the role of the male in visual
and performing arts.
Aug 19, 1995 at Music Academy, Madras
CV Chandrasekhar - Bharatanatyam
Arjun Misra - Kathak
Sasidharan Nair - Kathakali
Pasumarthy Vithal - Kuchipudi
Keertik Nair - Bharatanatyam
"Testimony to Nataraja" - Modern dance by Kevin Predmore and John Freeman (New York)
with Anita Ratnam as Viraaj - The feminine creative principle
VA Aravindakshan - Vocal and Nattuvangam
OS Arun - Vocal
NK Kesavan - Mridangam
Nakul Mishra - Tabla
Natraj Sastry - Flute
Curated by Anita Ratnam and Jonathan Hollander
Produced and Directed by Anita Ratnam
Aug 20, 1995 at Alliance Francaise, Madras
A festival of visual and performing arts
CP Unnikrishnan - Kathakali
Kalamandalam Gopinath - Kathakali
Laxminarayana Samaga - Yakshagana
Koothu-P-Pattarai - "Challenge" Silent Theatre
Francis Barboza - Religious and secular dance
CV Chandrasekhar - Bharatanatyam
Kanhailal and Sabitri - Movement Theatre of Imphal
"Expressions of Man" - Art exhibition and poetry reading by Ranvir Shah curated from the collection of "The Gallery"
"Impressions of Bhima" - A solo theatre presentation with Vinay Kumar directed by Veenapani Chawla
"Bhavanatarana" - A film on Kelucharan Mahapatra by Kumar Shahani
Anita Ratnam, Vasanthi Sankaranarayanan, VAK Ranga Rao
"I did not start THE OTHER FESTIVAL
as a sure shot. I knew that
it would be a long and lonely journey…but then I am a pioneer…I come
from a family of self starters...and we know what it is like to be out
there all alone hacking through the bushes...it will take time but I am
very, very proud of the Madras audiences who are the best and the most
mature in India for the alternative arts…" Anita Ratnam
The Other Festival was unlike any other in Chennai (Madras). Ever.
And has not been experienced in any other city, metro, town or village in India.
In short it was different.
ANITA RATNAM, noted dancer of international repute and art administrator and
RANVIR SHAH, theatre director, art critic and businessman
conceived, named and worked for this event from 1998 to 2006.
Aided by many professionals in the world of art, painting and advertising,
The Other Festival was a group effort.
For further details visit www.theotherfestival.com