Journeying through the dance repertoire of the past centuries

—Dr. Swarnamalya’s doctoral research was the historical exploration of the dances by the devadasi/courtesan/ bayadere through the Nayak period in South India. —She has rediscovered their dance repertoire that have literally been in the attic for long and reconstructed them.
—She has been working at documentation of several rare repertoires learnt directly from the descendants of devadasis too.
FROM THE ATTIC is a —multi lingual performance series. The historicity of various cultures through Tamil, Telugu, Sanskrit, Marathi, Persian and even  English will be etched. It is this immediate cultural memory from where the performing traditions of today have been culled out. Its copula to “Sadir-attam”, “dasi-attam” is undeniable The female dancer, her mind, voice and body were used as powerful tools to claim varied expressions. The concept of Attic is to talk of the glorious period of the imperial rule of the Nayak Kings of Tanjore, Madurai and Gingee under whose careful scrutiny both of fine and performing arts is what we have inherited as modern day Karnatic music and Bharatanatyam. The Nayaks were the chieftains who gained semi-royal status and kinship in the Vijayanagara empire. They were representatives of the emperor but ruled as local kings.
These kings brought with them distinct cultural practices and flavors. By a process of investigation of their own past memories, they endeavoured to structure their present.  Several dance forms and traditions  including influences of Persian, Maharashtra folk traditions, Karataka, Cambodia, Andhra, Kalinga can be etc evolved much under their patronage.  It is very interesting to see the pan-international connections Bharatanatyam has and its assimilation processes into its present form from the Nayak times.
FROM THE ATTIC is a journey through performance, art and lectures. It is an intermediate space between several years of research of academic knowledge and a lifetime of talking the stories, lives, values of the past as truth into the future. In this dual academic and artistic endeavour, FROM THE ATTIC (part I) premiere on March 19th is the grand marking moment. After this  Dr.Ganesh’s book on the same title will be published in the months to come. From the Attic is a series and this is part I and the others will follow. An inclusive exhibition curated jointly by Dr.Ganesh will roll out soon. We will tell you more in the days to come!_MG_0127

4 thoughts on “About

  1. Akka! You are truly inspiring. I still remember your passionate lectures in dance theory while studying in the univ. I’ve been following e from the attic blog and page and it seems too interesting. Looking forward for more.
    Vaishnavi m karthik

  2. great tribute to this classical dance by way of excellent illustration of movements n expressions from you which definitely will be a health tonic for youngsters, newcomers, etc.. who have passion for our culture… hats off to you Swarnamalya.. (jus visited this site further to your text to me a few days back)

  3. Also, if you know the meaning/lyrics of the kannada (?) song Adigo baruthi hani, could you please share? Much appreciated.


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