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Naachiyar - mystic search for the divine - Critics Speak
Dance Theatre Productions
75 mins, 2000

Andal Pravesham had a very interesting feature in a piece of tissue. The same piece of cloth was used so imaginatively- Now a screen, now a garland, now a mirror, now a flute, now a stream of water. The dramatic elements such at these do not detract from the orthodoxy of the tale, but certainly add to the impact.

"Naachiyar" transported the audience to a bygone era where art, culture and literature flourished. Anita Ratnam's graceful poses, adroit footwork, supple nritya exercises and contemporary sensibility stole the show... The smooh flow of interpretation and clarity of visualization were high points of the dancer's narration.

DEEPTHI R. NAIR, The New Indian Express, Coimbatore, Saturday July 3, 2004



The procession of the idol and the conducting Thillana were cleverly choreographed. The music was of a high standard... the temple "sevakan" with a large colourful "namam" played the conch with tremendous lung power and made a dramatic addition to the cast.

Shanmukha, A Cultural Journal, April-June 2004



On invitation to perform for the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Shanmukhananda Sabha, Mumbai, Anita Ratnam offered a lecture demonstration on her production "Naachiyar" on November 8, 2003. The details were well-received as reviewed below:

Anita Ratnam is a very articulate person and builds a good rapport with her audience and conveys her ideas with felicity. She demonstrated how a length of cloth could serve as a wonderful prop... becomes a co-dancer and creates its own personality. The use of several other props that she had collected from around the globe; how space opens up different dimensions; working with various levels, were also demonstrated by her.

NARTANAM, A Quarterly Journal of Indian Dance, Oct.-Dec. 2003



"Anita Ratnam impressed the audience immensely with a fluent communication of her ideas of contemporary technique for traditional themes.

Anita was precise, and well co-ordinated in thought and action, bringing up her views on conceptualisation of the different ideas and strengthening them with appropriate visualisation. "Penne, Penne," describing the faceless female in society, the use of cloth at various points of depiction for "Penn", and again in Naachiyar and Panchajanyam and finally the depiction of a discordant nightmare with movement technique, were some of the examples shown by Anita to support her presentation. The lines, diagonal movements and working at different levels, like low, medium, upper and aerial, used in group productions, were explained."

NANDINI RAMANI, The Hindu, Friday, Nov 21, 2003



She came and conqured Delhi's dance scene with her production NAACHIYAR. From the beginning to the end there was not a single slip. Anita had done her homework thoroughly. Carefully worked out concept, choreography, casting and costumes... a total presentation.

SUBBUDU, The Statesman, New Delhi, May 9, 2003



Having seen the work in Chennai last year, one remembers it for the neat choreography and visual aesthetics in presentation. Giving the story of Andal a special dimension and vitality was Revathy Sankkaran's vibrant acting and singing in the role of the foster mother. Anita herself as Andal gave her all to the part.

LEELA VENKATRAMAN, The Hindu, New Delhi, April 24, 2003



What set it apart in its unfolding was the entire modernistic approach of stylised choreography, elements from the twilight of dance's history...The transparent guaze curtain, part and parcel of ancient theatre practice isn't just a prop for entry but a host of interesting images, a garland, a mirror, then again a flute and a little later a stream of running water! Andal Pravesham is now acomplished, comfortably spanning several millennia.

SHANTA SERBJEET-SINGH, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, April 23, 2003



An aroma and substance quite different from the usual fare... Excellent choreography... a mature abstemiousness far from the insulting opulence one is often treated to in dance theatre productions... Anita Ratnam has found her place in Bharatanatyam, in off-beat creations rather than the Alaripu to Tillana margam format... The production touched all hearts."

LEELA VENKATRAMAN, The Hindu, Friday, January 5, 2001



Dancing to no rigid tune....bridging the gap between purists and modernists.

PREMA MANMANDHAN, The Hindu, Kochi, March 16, 2001