Shantha Ratii Initiatives: Indian Classical Dance Classes

Creating New Audience for Dance - Online Forum by SRI Singapore

Creating New Audiences in Dance a forum by Shantha Ratii Initiative SRI

How can we get more bums on seats, more eyeballs on our screens?

Expanding audience numbers for artforms especially in the field of dance has been a perennial problem, now exacerbated by the unprecedented pandemic that the planet is grappling with.

Some of the most distinguished leaders in dance from around the world come together in a succinct  and lively discussion of this issue with insights on how they tackle it.

Moderated by Actor/Voice Over Artist Chacko George Vadaketh based between Kuala Lumpur & Los Angeles, join the YouTube live forum to hear from:

1.Farooq Chaudhury OBE , Producer & Co-Founder, Akram Khan Company, London

2.Usha RK Arts Consultant, Director, Jawarhlal Nehru Culturual Centre, Moscow

3.Datuk Ramli Ibrahim, Chairman, Sutra Foundation, Kuala Lumpur

4.Shantha Ratii Artistic Director, Shantha Ratii Initiatives, Singapore

World Music Conference

Our prevalent circumstances have brought about unprecedented experiences and most of all uncertainties.  It has resulted in catapulting the global concern to mental-health and well-being.

We have over the past years created an awareness about eating right.

But now the spotlight has had to shift to the mental diet and emotional well-being.

As a dance-artiste I am privy to the several mental and physical benefits of dance, which are holistic experiences. I hope to share some details within these systems that hold the true power to our well-being! The New Frontier!

How our worldview drives our behavior, music stimulates our brain’s reward centres and how Yoga and Ayurveda too helps to enhance our lives. One might even venture to add that Yoga could be considered the Original form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

We delve a little deeper to see how we can achieve psycho-physiological balance and emotional resilience.

“Concept and Creation” for Natya Darshan Chennai

An artist’s fundamental need to create and communicate is difficult to ignore.

When thoughts, both linear and abstract lead to concepts, how does a choreographer/dancer explore different perspectives keeping the creativity and expressions relevant to a modern audience.

The first phase of dance making is when the concept becomes the focus of the impulse to create.

Foregrounding that impulse is a powerful ingredient – EMOTION!  Emotion that turns impulse into something meaningful and tangible.

What does it take to negotiate between the time-tested traditional concepts and the trappings of contemporary thought and expression.

While the impulse to create is fueled by our imagination and life experience, the need to express through contemporary sensibilities leads one to explore territories formerly uncharted.

Panel discussion on the film “Dance of Joy”

 We were delighted to partner Tagore Society and the South Asian International Film Festival (SG.SAIFF) for the screening of “Dance of Joy” – a documentary film by Aparajita Ghosh on Rabindra-Nritya, a dance form that Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore created, primarily because there was no dance-form in Bengal to call its own. What a mammoth task he undertook!

The panel discussion was moderated by Shantha Ratii with the distinguished panelist.

 The documentary gave a balanced view of the opinions of stalwarts, who were directly and indirectly involved both critically and otherwise like gurus, practitioners and historians, through lengthy interviews.

 It is films like this that trigger thought, enquiry and discussion. My panelist added much value to the discussion.

 The over-arching questions I had were largely based on the two wheels of the chariot that Rabindra Nritya rides on – the poems and the music. If it has evolved in the last 60yrs….And why it is the weakest link to Tagore and why it has not been able to move out of Bengal ?

 It was an engaging evening not necessarily because we arrived at answers but because we could explore the variables….

Aparajita’s  goal was to document the essence of Rabindrik dance styles and making it relevant to a younger generation by adding a parallel  narrative. Her passion to share the JOY of the dance was evident.

Moderator :  Shantha Ratii
Prof PK Basu, (senior economist and President of Tagore Society) Samit Ghoshal (Rabindra Sangeet exponent) and Aparajita  (Film Director)

Communication -The Eternal Theme For Dance

This year, on the occasion of the “200th Anniversary of Singapore’s opening up”, as a world-famous trading port.

The Singapore Performing Arts Association welcomed dancers from all over the world to gather in Singapore to talk about the past, present and future of dance art; in the perspective of dance, examine the opportunities and challenges that dance art faces in the course of history.

Main speakers:

  1. Lu Fenhua (Dance Professor of Stanford University, Head of the New Century Dance Company and Art Director)
  2. Pearl Lam (Hong Kong’s well-known dance choreographer, winner of the “Chenglong Charity Foundation” scholarship, has repeatedly served as a national dance competition review.)
  3. Anthony Peter Price (Australian expert, International Dance Teacher Association (IDTA) ballroom dance and Latin dance expert and scholar degree – the highest level)
  4. Meng Xiaoyan (Chinese expert, professor of dance school of Central Dai University, master tutor, president of China Minority Dance Society, director of China Dancers Association)
  5. Shantha Ratii (Indian Dance Expert, the leading leader of the Singaporean culture and classical dance world, a well-known celebrity in the global arena and widely recognized as one of the foremost “Kuchipudi” dancers of our time).