eX-Tradition (A Showcase)
60 mins, 2000


Dancers: Anita Ratnam, Aarti Bodani, Narendra Kumar L, Thiruchelvam, Neewin Herschell, Madhusudhan, Palani Kumar
Direction & Lighting Design: Mithran Devanesan
Set Design: Asma Menon
Produced by Anita Ratnam for Arangham Trust

A presentation of new solos and excerpts from full-evening works, developed over the last 3 years, by Anita Ratnam & Arangham Dance Ensemble.

Senior members of the Arangham Dance Ensemble showcase a series of dances that uses TRADITION as building blocks, surrendering to a new construct. After delighting in the representation that Bharatanatyam offers, Anita and members of the Arangham Dance Ensemble have sought with equal enthusiasm the modern statement which allows for contemporary expression of personal experience and conviction.

eX-TRADITION allows the joy and vitality of the art communicate itself to any audience, and offers a glimpse into the rich and complex repertoire that Arangham has been building over the years.

Programme Note

A showcase of performances by Anita Ratnam & Arangham Dance Ensemble Thursday, March 30, 2000, Alliance Francaise, Chennai

Pallavi (1997)
Based on the idea of sprouting, created during the visit of native American poet Joy Harjo to Chennai. A self-created score of music.

This is the Picture (1999)
Contemporary Dance - A collaboration with Jaan Freeman, New York Based on silence, uses a score by noted New York composer of the 60's and 70's, Steve Reich.

Ta-ki-ta-tease (1999)
Contemporary Dance-A collaborative work with Mark Taylor, Artistic Director, Dance Alloy, Pittsburgh, USA.
A duet depicting urban friendship between a boy and a girl.The music is from the distinctive work of the Afro-European women's group "Zap-Mamma".

Movements/Monuments (1997)
In collaboration with Hari Krishna (dancer) & Devesh Soneji(scholar), Canada Examines the relationship between movement and architecture. The music is by G Raghuram.

Unravelled (1998)
Contemporary dance inspired by the performance of American actress Jodie Foster in the film "Nell". Self-created live score by Chennai-based artiste, Kalairani.

The Churning (1999)
(An excerpt from Daughters of an Ocean, a contemporary dance theatre production) In collaboration with Krishna Devanandan. Combines the Indian tradition of "katha" with a variety of movement styles. Music includes live percussion as well as recorded mood music in classical Hindustani.

Critics Speak

A delightful evening of dance... Eclectic movement, visually beautiful setting and the aural elements all came together in perfect harmony.
- V R Devika, The Hindu, Friday, April 7, 2000

on "Ta-ki-ta-tease"

While Narendra brought out a lively hip hop kind of josh to his dance, Aarti Bodani retained a seriousness and gentleness in hers.
- V R Devika, The Hindu, Friday, April 7, 2000

Another piece that sent the crowds into the clouds was Ta-ki-ta-tease
- Kutcheri Buzz, April 2000

Ta-ki-ta-tease was particularly lilting based on a three beat rhythm (hence ta-ki-ta) Both Narendra and Aarti had a good understanding.
- Priya Murle, chennaionline.com, April 2000

on "Unravelled"

What was notable was that the "singer" for a dance was as exciting to watch as the dancer herself!
- Priya Murle, chennaionline.com, April 2000

"Unravelled" with live music was another audience favourite.
- Kutcheri Buzz, April 2000

Unravelled, A contemporary movement... with articulation of sounds brought the house down.
- V R Devika, The Hindu, Friday, April 7, 2000

on "This is the Picture"

This is the picture was based on silence and Anita presented it elegantly and gracefully.
- V R Devika, The Hindu, Friday, April 7, 2000

An exploratory piece that dealt with Anita's own mannerisms... translated into stylized movements.
- Priya Murle, chennaionline.com, April 2000

Audience Response

Hats off to Anita for the explosive new ideas! Creating a dance ("This is the Picture") from personal gestures takes imagination and guts! I never realized how much dance and rhythm lies beneath the surface of all Indians! The male-bonding in "Pallavi" was lovely and so was the friendship quality in "Ta-ki-ta-tease". What a refreshing change to leave a performance feeling light-hearted!
- MVN Murthy Kuchipudi Dancer & Guru, Chennai

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