The beating heart of South Asian Dance in the UK.
#FlashbackFriday | While continuing to explore our archives, we have found this flyer from Natya Yantra, a weekend course on dancers' health organised by Akademi in 1994. Warm up, cool down, body conditioning, injury management - the course discussed many of the elements of safe practice which we also work with today, while drawing an interesting comparison of Eastern and Western methods. #Akademichronicles @acegrams @sanjeevinidutta @annemariezulkahari
#WednesdayWisdom | Hasta in Manipuri Continuing with our theme of hasta, this week we bring to you insights into the beautiful Indian Classical Dance style, Manipuri, which is rarely seen in the UK. It was born out of rituals that are danced by the Meitei community residing in Manipur in North-East India. The word for 'hasta' or 'mudra' is Khut-thek; khut means hand and thek is for gestural movement in Meiteilon, or Manipuri language. Khut-thek is mostly paired with the word jagoi – the word for dance. Manipuri is derived from each of these rituals – Lai Haraoba, Huyen Langlon, Nata Sankirtana and Raaslila. In part 1 of this series, Debanjali Biswas introduces us to the unique and rare single-handed and two-handed gestures as observed in Lai Haraoba and Huyen Lanlong. You can read more under news & events on our website. Contributed by @ilajnabed_ | Curated by @antareepa in collaboration with @suhani8 Designed by @apolloniamb
#wednesdaywisdom | Hastas from Bharatārṇava A Sanskrit text on 'Nartana' or #dance , Bharatārṇava is ascribed to Nandikeśvara (different from the author of the Abhinayadarpanam ). The text mentions various distinct single-hand gestures used in Some Indian Classical dances like Bana, Sarpachatura, Chalasarpakara, Khandachatura, Rekha hasta, Nakhahamsa, Ardhamrigashirsha, Ardhamukula and Patakachatura. Know more about their definitions and uses on our blog - https:bit.ly/2yk1K2h @aceagrams @istddance @pulseconnects
OPPORTUNITY | Akademi Seed Commissions Akademi is inviting proposals from artists practicing South Asian Dance to apply for five seed commissions of £500 each to test a new creative idea for a dance work in unusual settings or contexts. Find out more on our website under News & Events (link in bio ); application deadline is Fri 29 May. @aceagrams @pulseconnects @onedanceuk
In this week's blogpost, celebrated Kathak artist, @kathakashwini , takes us through the origins and distinctness of hasta in the Indian Classical dance style of #kathak . While it follows the popular dance text Abhinaya Darpanam as a guideline for hand gestures like most South Asian Classical dances, Kathak also uses ‘upaj’, (lit. extempore ), an element of spontaneity and thus, the use of these while performing are merely a result of ‘sahajta’ or naturalness. Some of the basic positions of Hastak are Naman, Utpatti, Sthir, Anjuri and Mridang. To know more, read the full blog here https://akademi.co.uk/hasta-in-kathak Curated by @suhani8 | Image feat. Siya Kalsekar @aceagrams @pulseconnects
#WednesdayWisdom | Mudras in Mohiniattam In continuation to last week's post, we are focusing on hand gestures used in Mohiniattam, as enunciated in the text Hastalakshanadeepika, which differ from those mentioned in the Natyashastra. The remaining twelve Mudras are Mukuram, Bhramaram, Suchikamukham, Pallavam, Thripathakam, Mrigashirsha, Sarpashiras, Vardhamanakam, Aralam, Urnanabham, Mukulam and Katakamukham (for the last two, visit our blog! ). These are the single hand gestures, read more about the uses as Samyukta mudras on the blog via the latest news on our website. Images & Compilation by @ranjithachowalloor | Curated by @suhani8
#WednesdayWisdom | Mudras in Mohiniattam The hand gestures used in Mohiniattam are mostly drawn from Hastalakshanadeepika, an ancient text in Sanskrit that articulates 24 mudras. The definition and usage are distinct from those mentioned in Bharata’s Natyashastra. They can be held in four different ways: Asamyukta Mudra (one hand ), Samyukta Mudra (both hands ), Samana Mudra (holding the same mudra on both hands ) and Misra Mudra (holding different mudras on each hand ). The first twelve Mudras are Patakam, Mudrakhyam, Katakam, Mushti, Kartarimukham, Shukathundam, Kapitakam, Hamsapaksham, Shikhara, Hamsasyam, Anjali and Ardhachandran (for the last two, visit our blog! ). These are the single hand gestures, read more about the uses as Samyukta hastas on the blog via the latest news on our website. Compiled by @ranjithachowalloor | Curated by @suhani8
OPPORTUNITY | Akademi is offering Learning & Participation Training Bursaries of £200 each to 5 professionals practicing South Asian Dance in the UK. This one-day training will take place during the week of 18 May 2020 and will involve online training and written tasks. If you are specifically interested in working with older adults & people living with dementia and have some background in Learning & Participation work with a South Asian dance form then please apply. Submit up to 300-words explaining why you would like this opportunity with respect to your current practice and experience, to info @akademi .co.uk by Friday 8 May 6pm. @aceagrams , @onedanceuk
#WednesdayWisdom | Samyuta Hasta in Odissi In continuation to last week's post we are focusing on double hand gestures unique to Odissi. These are Padma, Gabakshya, Mayur, Ubhayakartari, Pradeepa. You can find both blog posts in the latest news on our website. (Images from The Odissi Dance Pathfinder Vol I published by Odissi Research Centre, Bhubaneshwar, 1998 ) Compiled by @maryam_ ._shakiba | Curated by @suhani8
IMPORTANT UPDATE | Support from Akademi during COVID-19 We’d like you to know that even though our team is working remotely, we are very much available to share advice, guidance or just to have a chat to help you think through things and plan for the future. We have also put together a COVID support webpage (link in bio ) where we will be releasing useful resources, advice, and updates regularly and will also continue to share updates and information on our social media channels.
#WednesdayWisdom | Hasta in Odissi The South Asian Dance form Odissi uses some Hand Gestures inherited from local performing art traditions. These gestures are particularly used in expression (abhinaya ). They are Bastra, Puspa, Tambula, Bana, Sukachanchu. Read more in the latest blog post on our website. (Images from The Odissi Dance Pathfinder Vol I published by Odissi Research Centre, Bhubaneshwar, 1998 ) Compiled by @odissielena | Curated by @suhani8
#WednesdayWisdom for #WorldHealthDay | Dhanvantari Dhanvantari is known as the Hindu God of Medicine. Mythology narrates that he originated from the mystical churning of the ocean of milk. In Indian dance, he is depicted with his right hand in Alapadma or Padmakosha Hasta, holding the pot of amrita (nectar for eternal life ), and his left hand in Chatura Hasta, holding the holy scripture on Ayurveda, whilst standing in the Vaishnava Sthana (posture ). Compiled by @suhani8 Featuring @dancingdivyaravi
#FlashbackFriday | In 2017 our intergenerational project Bollywood for All brought together two groups from Holborn Community Association to learn and perform a routine at Senate House as part of Bloomsbury Festival. #AkademiChronicles Get inspired by their joy and maybe put on some Bollywood tunes this weekend to have a dance in your living room.
For #WorldAutismAwarenessDay , we are sharing some of our favourite pictures from our Reach Out and Reveal project to show the wonderful work being done by our dance artists at three SEN schools every week (under normal circumstances, that is ). The project explores how the unique movement vocabulary of South Asian dance can support the physical and communication needs of children and young people on the autism spectrum. We are eagerly looking forward to continuing the work in person, but for now we are finding alternative ways to support the young people at our partner schools, Papillon House School, Manor School and Cambridge School. We also recently completed the first phase of an R&D for a new live, interactive performance inspired by and for children and young people on the autism spectrum. This initial exploration was funded by The D’Oyle Carte Charitable Trust. Image courtesy: Vipul Sangoi and Emiko Ishii Featuring: Suhani Dhanki, Taylor Han, Seema de Jorge-Chopra and Anusha Subramanyam
#wednesdaywisdom | A study of Asamyuta Hasta After focusing on individual hasta for our last few Wednesday Wisdom posts, this week we wanted to have an in-depth look at single-hand gestures or Asamyuta Hasta. Head to our website for a fascinating look at the full history and context, in a blogpost compiled by #bharatnatyam artist, @suhani8 https://bit.ly/3bCoJUe Image credit - @simonphoto @pulseconnects @aceagrams
#FlashbackFriday | We are still working away on our Heritage Project and using this time to go through boxes of archive material in our homes. Kirsten found this gem the other day: original costume sketches for Escapade, our outdoor production at the South Bank in August 2003. #AkademiChronicles
#FlashbackFriday | As schools close across the country today, we want to look back at our visit to Papillon House School during the first year of our Reach Out and Reveal programme which places South Asian dancers ‘in residence’ at schools for young people with Special Educational Needs. #AkademiChronicles This is just a small glimpse into the remarkable work our wonderful dance artists usually do across our learning & participation strand every week and we want to take this opportunity to thank them for their endless enthusiasm and commitment. Akademi will once again continue to deliver our learning & participation sessions in a wide range of settings when the time is right. For now, please stay safe, stay home and stay connected!
Join the wonderful @cfperformanceandtraining for Core workout live on Instagram stories at 11am GMT.
IMPORTANT UPDATE | In the light of recent developments with #coronavirus and advisory from Public Health London, we wanted to let you all know of some changes we have made to our programme. Please see the full statement (link in bio ) from Akademi including an appeal to our audience to support all freelance professionals and small organisations. In these uncertain times, we've got to stick together. @pulseconnects @istddance @dancexchange_ @creative_fed @onedanceuk @natdancecatuk @southasianartsuk
#WednesdayWisdom | Mayura Hasta Named after the peacock, wherein the third finger of the Kartarī-mukha is joined to the thumb and the other fingers are extended. It is used to show the peacock neck, a creeper, a bird, vomiting, stroking the hair, an ornamental mark on the forehead (tilak ), scattering river-water, discussing the Shastras and to denote a famous thing. Compiled by @suhani8
OPPORTUNITY: Artist Surgeries with Akademi's Artistic Director | 13, 16 & 24 March As part of our commitment to artist development, we are delighted to be running three days of artist surgeries in March 2020. Akademi's Artistic Director, Suba Subramaniam, is eager to meet with the artists in 20-minute slots. If you would like to meet and chat with Suba, please reserve a slot online via the link in our bio.
#WednesdayWisdom | Kartarī-mukha Hasta The 4th single hand gesture is Kartarī-mukha (arrow shaft face ) wherein, in the Ardha-patāka, the forefinger and little finger are separated. It is said to originate from Lord Shiva, who drew a circle around the centre of the earth with his forefinger while fighting Jadandhara. It is used to show the separation of woman and man, opposition or overturning, stealing, the corner of the eye, death, disagreement, lightning, sleeping alone and falling. Compiled by @suhani8