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A peek into Kanak Rele’s world


Me and My Mohini Attam takes you thru Kanak Rele’s journey of ardour and perseverance

Me and My Mohini Attam takes you thru Kanak Rele’s journey of ardour and perseverance

Mohiniyattam exponent Kanak Rele’s newest guide,  Me and My Mohini Attam, is each a biography and an autobiography. While the autobiographical sketches emerge from her single-minded pursuit to ascertain the primary dance coaching establishment in India affiliated to a college, the biographical narrations are by her niece, Radha Khambati.

The 17 chapters of the guide unveil many fascinating aspects of her life and profession that don’t discover a point out in her earlier works. The chapter ‘Parichaya’ talks about her sturdy bond with dance. “In the long life of mine, a life that I have lived and hugged and adored, there is one word that comes through as a thread that binds all the runaway strands into one graceful totality, dance,” writes Kanak. As you end studying the 331 pages of the guide, you might be really in awe of her ardour for dance, particularly Mohiniyattam.

The first seven chapters function a synopsis of Kanak’s life, proper from her delivery in 1937 to oldsters Shivdas and Madhuri. One will get a glimpse of Kanak’s days as a toddler in Santiniketan. “I was brought up in the lap of Nature and those experiences I cannot forget”. She was impressed by Tagore’s nationalistic outlook and zeal for Indian tradition. But she needed to unwillingly depart the establishment when World War II began. Back dwelling, she started to coach in dance.

Her assembly the good dancer Uday Shankar was unintended. He was stunned to know that the younger Kanak was already studying Kathakali from Raghavan Nair. She later got here below the tutelage of guru Panchali Karunakara Panikkar.

The Gujarat-born Kanak needed to cross insurmountable limitations as soon as she was initiated into the male-dominated world of Kathakali. Even because the coaching was in progress, a nagging ache in her leg on the age of ten was recognized as polio. But she overcame it together with her devoted dance observe. Later, if she might use dance as remedy for bodily challenged kids (chapter 11), the inspiration got here from her sturdy footing in Kathakali.

A few chapters within the guide deal with vital occasions in her life such because the loss of life of her father and her mom’s remarriage, stress from her household to grow to be a health care provider, marrying Yatin Rele, finding out International Law at Manchester University with specialisation in Civil Aviation and being supplied a profitable job by JRD Tata in his airways, Yatin’s battle in opposition to a critical sickness, the delivery of her son, her foray into Mohiniyattam below the steerage of P.N. Rajalakshmi of Kalamandalam, and her visits to Kerala for a movie on the exponents of the artwork type.

Kanak confronted a brand new set of challenges when she determined to ascertain the Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalay in Mumbai. The guide carries a vivid description about it.

Nalanda Dance Academy, now often known as Nalanda Dance Research Centre, got here into existence in 1967. Her penchant for each the theoretical and sensible features of dance examine made her introduce a level course in classical dance.

Her dogged pursuit resulted in Nalanda Dance Research Centre additional providing undergraduate, post-graduate and Ph.D levels affiliated to the Bombay University.

Creating a document

Kanak herself created a document by incomes her Ph.D in dance, the primary in India, in 1977. Her doctoral thesis was titled, ‘Mohini Attam: All aspects and Spheres of Influence’.

But a bunch of detractors claimed that her Ph.D was faux. Doordarshan that had deliberate to function her on the ‘Prathibha ani Pratima’ programme retracted resulting from this vicious marketing campaign. But Kapila Vatsyayan, who was her analysis information, intervened and the programme was cleared for telecast. The group staged a protest exterior the Doordarshan Kendra, Mumbai, on the day of the dwell telecast. The protestors even despatched an nameless letter to the Vice Chancellor, accusing Kanak of getting relationships with influential personalities, however he burnt it down saying, “This is what this filth deserves”.

Despite all this, Kanak remained unfazed, and continued exploring the artwork type. Her examine of physique kinetics of Mohiniyattam supported by sketches that have been seen in her earlier books are a part of this guide too. The delineation of nava rasas bear eloquent testimony to her abhinaya prowess.

Her interactions with famend theatre exponent and poet Kavalam Narayana Panicker, that motivated her to lend an indigenous flavour to Mohiniyattam, is defined lucidly. Sopana Sangeetham and talas launched as prompt by Narayana Panicker helped Mohiniyattam shed the ‘poor cousin of Bharatanatyam’ tag. She earned rave critiques for her choreography of his compositions.

Tributes by students, the workers of Nalanda, and her college students in direction of the tip throw a lot gentle on her contributions. But the guide might have been extra concise.

The author and tradition critic is a educated musician.



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