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ART WITHOUT FRONTIERS - Classical Dance & Music of India by Sharon Lowen

Art Without Frontiers- Classical Dance and Music of India originated from the issues of Indian classical performing arts in the world context of presentation, performance training and learning traditions in the modern milieu by students and artists from non-traditional backgrounds. The ideas presented here were shared during seminars between 1990 and 2018 that brought together artists, gurus and arts scholars. The Art Without Frontiers seminars of the ‘90’s were in conjunction with a unique series of classical Indian dance and music festivals by artists of non-Indian origin (Videshi Kalakar Utsavs) that changed the perception that non-Indian practitioners of these arts could be regarded as artists and not merely students. The Manasa-Art Without Frontiers Dance Festival – Looking Back to Move Forward - revisited and explored the ongoing issues, challenges and shifting landscapes for classical Indian dance today. 


SHRINGARA - In Classical Indian Dance Edited by Sharon Lowen

Shringara in Classical Dance offers insights into both the shared and unique understanding and performance of shringara in various classical Indian dance traditions. Shringara (love) is the rasa, or aesthetic flavor, communicating unselfish, unconditional spiritual love through the metaphors of mundane human love.  Spiritual love through dance is intrinsic to Indian subcontinent aesthetic and philosophical traditions, documented in the 2000-year-old N??ya??stra and shared in temple dance and sculpture since then.  Performing artists recognized for their scholarship have written on Shringara interpreted in seven of India’s classical dance traditions – Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Vil?sini N?tyam, Mohiniattam, Sattriya, Kathak and Odissi. Respectively, Kamalini Dutt, Anuradha Jonnalagadda, Anupama Kylash, Bharati Shivaji, Anwesa Mahanta, Shovana Narayan and Editor Sharon Lowen, have shared their lifelong involvement with these aesthetic cultural traditions. Extensive photographs support the aesthetic pleasure experience evoked through Shringara Rasa.


THE PERFORMING ARTS OF INDIA by Sharon Lowen

The Performing Arts of India -Development and Spread Across the Globe investigates Indian classical performing arts in the world context of presentation, performance, training and learning traditions in today’s milieu by students and artists from non-traditional backgrounds. Artists are drawn to a particular aesthetic genre because of inner resonance with the form, which crosses boundaries of region and even nationality. As more non-Indians have been drawn to Indian classical dance in recent years, the standard has been improving.  Just as many of the top Western classical ballet and contemporary dancers are from Asia, traditional Indian classical dance forms are becoming international as boundaries fall between borders and art.  The many facets of aesthetic expression are potentially available to all without restriction of borders and boundaries, physical or conceptual.
 


DANCES OF INDIA (Series) - Odissi by Sharon Lowen

Odissi is a concise overview of the history, technique, repertoire, music, costuming and modern development of the classical dance genre of the eastern Indian state of Odisha.  Odisha is known as the land of temples and its dance reflects the sculpturesque poses adorning the walls of its myriad temples.  The style is particularly known for its lyrical grace, elaborate rhythmic variations and dramatic expression.  The earliest representation of the dance of Odisha is found on a second century B.C. relief sculpture on a wall of the Ranigumpha at Udayagiri, the earliest extant Sanskrit performance space or theatre. Perhaps the most significant shared aspect of Odissi to other classical Indian dance forms is the motivation of the dance from a spiritual consciousness.  The metaphysical import of the dance in the past and present is not limited to simple religious ritual, but aimed toward a transformational experience for audience and viewer. The parameters of classical Odissi dance continue to expand as the needs of the art dictate, as they have in the past.  


THE DANCING PHENOMENON – Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra
 

The Dancing Phenomena, When scorned by Banobihari Maiti who said that Oriyas didn’t know how to dance, Kelucharan remarked: It got into my heart that I will do more for the dance of Orissa; learn, study, and if I’m born in Orissa and have Oriya blood, I will definitely show what Odissi is. I have always considered Banobihari Maiti to be my guru because he inspired me to dedicate myself to Odissi dance, even though he taught me in a negative way. This Roli pocketbook introduces the great Odissi dance master with photos by Avinash Pasricha.