Sunday, 30 July 2017

Tiger Dance of India

 By Felix Francis [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
 A pulikkali procession during Onam in Thrissur City

India is a land of varied cultures and traditions. It is said that, there is no better way to explore the vast cultural landscape of India than through its folk dance and song. Folk dances are performed to express joy and happiness. Some are performed for festivals and some to celebrate the arrival of seasons. On most occasions, the dancers sing themselves, while being accompanied by artists on the instruments. Many of such traditional folk dances have emerged centuries ago and gradually evolved in form. One such majestic folk dance is ‘Tiger Dance of India’. It is performed in Indian state of Odisha and southern states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. But it is known by different names and is performed at different occasions. Let’s dance through this folk dance of India.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Dhyan Chand : The Hockey Wizard

Dhyan Chand with the ball vs. France in the 1936 Olympic semi-finals

Dhyan Chand (29 August 1905 – 3 December 1979) was an Indian hockey player, widely regarded as one of the greatest field hockey players of all time. He is remembered for his goal scoring feats and for his three Olympic gold medals (1928, 1932, and 1936), during an era where India was the most dominant team in Hockey.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Raja Ravi Varma : A prince among painters and a painter among princes

Raja Ravi Varma is considered as one of the greatest painters in the history of Indian art. He achieved recognition for his depiction of scenes from the epics of the Mahabharata and Ramayana. His paintings are considered to be among the best examples of the fusion of Indian traditions with the techniques of European academic art. He was probably the first Indian artist to master perspective and the use of the oil medium; the first to use human models to illustrate hindu gods and goddesses; the first Indian artist to become famous, before him painters and craftsmen were largely unidentified; and the first to make his work available not just to rich elite but also to common people by way of his oleographs. 

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Gates of Vadodara

An old photograph of old Baroda around Mandvi

Vadodara (Baroda), a cultural capital of Indian state of Gujarat, was once a walled city. The old walled city has four gates on four sides for entering the city and the old city is settled inside those gates. Each gates has its own story to tell. Let me take you through the brief history of 'Gates of Vadodara'.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Kathakali : Traditional Dance-drama of Kerala

Bhoomi at Malayalam Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Enactment of Kauravas inviting Pandavas for a game of dice (from epic - Mahabharata)

Kathakali is a stylised classical Indian dance-drama that originated in the Indian state of Kerala. The story is enacted purely by the movements of the hands (called mudras or hand gestures), by facial expressions (rasas) and bodily movements. The expressions are derived from Natyashastra. Unlike other classical dances of Inida, which developed in courts and theatres, Kathakali devloped in Hindu temples and monastic schools.