Archive for Arts & Entertainment

Bharathamohanam – A Milestone

‘Rangapravesam’ a Sanskrit word, literally means ‘entering the stage’, a milestone in the life of a stage performing artist. On August 15, 2015 the audience at the Meadowvale Theatre witnessed one such milestone- classy and enthralling – by Joshini Joseph under the training and guidance of her Guru Smt. Mala Pisharody, the Associate Director, Adishankara Academy of Performing Arts – ASAPA, Mississauga, Ontario.Aptly titled ‘Bharathamohanam’, Joshini’s Rangapravesam was both in Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam. An Honours student, Joshini Joseph started her intensive training in Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam under Smt. Mala Pisharody when she was eleven years old.

The evening started with Joshini offering her Obeisance to the Almighty, her Guru, her parents, Orchestra and Audience. The welcome note was given by Shri Rajesh Pisharody who is the Founding Director of Adishankara Academy of Performing Arts. The opening Invocation was a Ganapathy Stuthi in praise of Lord Ganapathy followed by the Alarippu a piece that is based on intrinsic dance foot patterns and hand gestures. Joshini continued her performance with an interesting Mary Sthuthi in praise of Mother Mary, highlighting the birth of baby Jesus.Joshini then performed the traditional Jathiswaram. This was followed by a traditional Shabdam. Joshini’s expressions, intricate leg work and captivating eye movement kept us glued to our seats.

The orchestral ensemble comprised of renowned and seasoned artists, Shri Babu Parameswarn, the vocalist from California, Jayadevan Nair on the violin, Mala Pisharody – Nattuvangam, Sriram Suryanarayanan on the percussion instrument, the Mridangam and Mohan Ariyath on the Edaykkya a unique percussion instrument of Kerala in India.

The Varnam, a piece de resistance of a Bharatanatyamrepertoire show cased Joshini’s superlative grace, vigor and expressive brilliance in Nritha and Abhinayam. It was a dedication to Lord Nataraja, the Cosmic Dancer for whom the whole universe is a stage. Here the dancer highlighted the well-known episodes of the life of two staunch disciples of Lord Shiva, Markandaya and Nandanar. Shiva is depicted here as the vanquisher of evil and one who always blesses all his devotees.

The performance post interval brought in a different experience, taking us to the shores of Kerala, the land of Parashurama. Mohiniyattamis a very unique art form of Kerala well known for its sway and very curvilinear movements. The pieces that followed were rendered in equal brilliance, with the opening piece, a Cholkkettu which was a combined effort of Smt. A.P.Saraswathy (Mala Pisharody’s mother), a Sanskrit Scholar, Mala Pisharody and Shri Babu Parameswaran. The Padam that followed was a well-known composition of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal the King of Travencore, in which the heroine pines to be reunited with her Beloved Lord Padmanabha. This was rendered by Joshini with precision and flawless expression.

The Dashavatharam or the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu were portrayed through the very famous slokam from the Geetha Govindam of Mahakavi Jayadeva. Joshini’s depiction of each Avatar, be it the ferocity of Narashima, the strength of Vamana or playfulness of Krishna were portrayed in the choreography to touch the heart of even the youngest in the audience. It took many to another time and space.The choice of the composition,Vande Matharam was a special way to celebrate August 15th, India’s Independence Day, it shone light on Mala’s astounding creativity of entwining the traditional with the current. The Thillana is usually the finale in an Indian Classical dance repertoire of both art forms of Bharathnatyam and Mohinyattam and the Mala’s choreography of this piece brought out Joshini’s mastery of abhinaya and nritha. The evening’s recital ended with the Mangalam seeking the blessings of the divine.

The performance was a culmination of a journey, of Joshini’s years of dedicated practice, augmented by her family’s support and her Guru, Mala’s commitment to the art. Mala Pisharody and Rajesh Pisharody, the Artistic Directors of the Adishankara Academy of Performing Arts, Mississauga, Ontario, awarded the Institution Certificate to Joshini Joseph conferring the title “Natyakusumam” to Joshni, in recognition of her commitment to Indian Classical Dance. Mary Ashok, Managing Director of Dancing Damsels Inc, seamlessly took the audience through the entire program as its MC while the well-known Stage and Lighting Director, Bradley Trenaman, brought the stage alive with his aesthetic lighting. The performance concluded with Joshini thanking everybody who was involved in the performance as well as the audience that included renowned senior dance choreographers Janak Khendry, Lata Pada and Anuradha Jagannathan and well-known Indian dance & music teachers/performers, Sujatha Suresh Sujatha Ganesh, Preetha Kandanchatha, Roshini Ambat, Harikishan Nair, and Sandhya Shrivatsan, all based in Ontario.

Mala’s stunning Choreography, the orchestra’s impeccable musical renditions and Joshini’s exquisite dance performance presented the audience with an evening of Bharathamohanam that has set the bar even higher for the patrons of the Indian Classical Art.

Reported by: Kavitha Ariyath

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Divya Raj -the first Malayalee for Mrs South Asia Canada

Toronto: Divya Raj is the first Malayalee to be selected for the Pageant titled “Mrs South Asia Canada” !!

Divya is currently working as an IT professional and also pursuing her passion for fashion and dance. She is a trained Indian classical dancer and a model who has performed dance stage shows, fashion shows, and TV shows .

When she was 4 year old she has started taking lessons in Indian classical dance forms such as Bharata Natyam, Mohiniyattam, Kuchipudi and Kathakali. She was awarded the title “Kalathilakam” during her school and college days.
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Divya is an active supporter of many charity and fundraising events in Canada and India.

PUBLIC CHOICE AWARD

To vote for Divya Raj to win the “Public Choice” Award for Mrs South Asia Canada, Please ‘Like’ this FB Page:

DIVYA RAJ FOR MRS SOUTH ASIA CANADA

 

Divya’s vision for Mrs South Asia Canada is to provide a voice and motivation for all the married women who wanted to come out and showcase their talent. It is a voice for you!

Report by: Jaison Mathew (WNN)

 

 

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Harikishan S Nair- “Natya Kalarathna” of Canadian Malayalees

“Natya Shiromani”,  “Kala Prathibha”,  “Best Male dancer”-  HARIKISHAN S NAIR , Artistic Director of Regatta Kala Kendra is a GEM of male dance performers in Canada.

Harikishan S Nair is naturally endowed and with a solid training in Bharathanatyam under the tutelage of renowned Guru Smt. Girija Chandran (who was the disciple of Guru Padmasree Adayar K Lakshmanan. Smt. Girija chandran’s whole perception of aesthetics and perfections in training method and presentation turned out to a new dimension with the association of the Padmabhooshan The Dhananjayan’s) , continues his journey with his medium of expression, trying to explore the inner meaning and happiness from performing and experimenting his first love, DANCE.

Harikishan started learning dance at the age of 3. He started learning Bharathanatyam  at the age of 5.

Harikishan has also learned Kuchipudi under Guru Smt. Geetha Krishnakumar and  Guru Smt. Bijula Pramod who were the disciples of Padmabhooshan Guru  Sri. Vempatti Chinna Sathyam. And still continuing his Kuchipudi  from the Legendary Kuchipudi Dancer Smt. Uma Murali who is also the disciple of Sri. Vempatti Chinna Sathyam.

He was trained Kathakali under Guru Sri Nelliyodu Appu Nampoothiri .

Each performance for him is a tremendous learning experience, filling with a sense of euphoria because dance for him is a celebration of life.

He has presented numerous performances till date and has also worked with the productions of the Legends like Dr. Padma Subramanyam, Sri. Madurai R Muralidharan, Dr. Menaka Thakkar, Guru Kohinoor Sen Barat, Sri Janak Khendry, Smt. Uma Murali and so on.

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Harikishan has also performed for many Dance Festivals like Regatta Dance and Music Festival, Nishagandhi Dance and Music Festival, Soorya Festival, Nattyanjali Festival -Trivandrum, Malayali Festival -Gujarat and so on… and he has performed for North American Tamil Convention 2013 and also for North American Bengali Convention 2013 in Toronto, Panorama India shows for Indian Independence Day and Republic Day, Navaratri festival by the Tamil, Bengali and Gujarati  Associations of Toronto, Toronto arts festival, Kalanidhi Festival, Horizon series 2014,Harbour Front festival  and many other major festivals in North America.

He has done around 100 shows in Toronto within this one and the half years.

He was recently titled “Natya Shiromani” by the Tamil Community for the performance for Navaratri Festival .

He has also won the the title “Kalaprathibha” during his tender age for the youth festival competitions conducted in kerala.

His impressive stage presence and graceful movements have been appreciated by art critics.

Harikishan has taken his Graduation in Physiotherapy from India. He has recently migrated to Canada and is now the Artistic Director of Regatta Kala Kendra  in Toronto.

 

Report by: Jaison Mathew (Chief Reporter, WNN)

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“Neelathamara 2015″- Stage Shows in USA

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Star Entertainment presents: NEELATHAMARA 2015 stage show in North America (April -May 2015). Starring: Archana Kavi, Jaffer Idukki, Josukutty Vayalumkal (Akkara Kazhchakal fame), Ayyappa Baiju————>>and lot more. For bookings, contact: Joseph Idicula; (201)-421-5303 / George Varghese: (567)-698-STAR (7827).

Report by: Jaison Mathew (WNN)

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Bollywood Debut of Shweta Subram with Ayushmann Khurrana in Hawaizaada

Toronto: Indo-Canadian playback singer Shweta Subram officially made her entry into Bollywood!  You will hear her sweet voice in the beautiful song Dil-e-Nadaan, which she sing alongside the handsomly talented Ayushmann Khurrana. This is the title song for the upcoming movie, Hawaizaada, starring Ayushmann himself, Mithun Chakraborty, and Pallavi Sharda. The soundtrack has been released by T-Series.

Dil-e-Nadaan is a modern adaptation of the popular ghazal by iconic poet Mirza Ghalib. The song is mellifluously rendered and seamlessly incorporates itself in Hawaizaada’s storyline amongst breathtaking cinematography. The film brings forth the inspiring story of Shivkar Talpade, a man who is believed to have flown the first unmanned aircraft eight years before the Wright Brothers. This is directed by Vibhu Puri and celebrates the spirit of ‘Make in India’. Produced by Vishal Gurnani, Rajesh Banga and Reliance Entertainment, the film is scheduled to hit the theatres on January 30, 2015.

Watch the official video for Dil-e-Nadaan (Hawaizaada) [Ayushmann Khurrana, Shweta Subram] at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ms9oXS8W5w.

Shweta Subram primarily sings in Hindi, though she has also lent her voice to other languages. Shweta is the recipient of multiple awards including the North American Best Singer award from Sangam Kala Group, and Best Singer Award from Shankar Mahadevan Academy’s talent hunt, judged by Shankar Mahadevan himself. Shweta was an active participant in the International Indian Film Academy Awards (2011), performing with Bollywood music composer/director duo Salim-Sulaiman for IIFA Rocks in Toronto.

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Naach Meri Jaan 2015 – Season 1

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Toronto: Glitterati Entertainment and Sanskriti Arts present “Naach Meri Jaan 2015 – Season 1″. Naach Meri Jaan (NMJ) is an Indian reality dance competition. This competition was created to promote the awareness of talent specifically revolving around South Asian dance forms (Bhangra, Bollywood, Fusion, etc.), and is designed to showcase some of the most talented children, men, and women comprising individual contestants, couples, and dance teams. NMJ is the first of its kind in bringing an Indian reality dance competition to the United States and Canada.

Naach Meri Jaan is set to take place in over 12 Cities across North America, with semi-finals and finals set to be broadcasted by Star Plus. Three of India’s most renowned judges, Javed Jaffrey, Ravi Behl, and Naved Jaffri, have made India dance like no one else for nearly two decades, and are now set to team up with Pria Haider & Sparks to help make this the biggest dance competition to hit the continent.The Toronto finalists compete in North America finals in New York and the final winners go to Bollywood get to exhibit their talent in a Bollywood movie and a photoshoot with a Bollywood photographer.

Life ok(StarPlus) are broadcasters of the show in India. Bollywood Star Javed Jaffri and Bollywood actor Vatsal will be judging the Toronto show alongwith a local celebrity judge.

Report by: Puja Amin (Naach Meri Jaan Producer)

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Filming of Hollywood movie VAGATOR MIXER ends

 

Suneil Anand (Navketan Films) and his joint venture partner Deen Bakshi (Junix Entertainments Inc., Hollywood) have just returned from LA after completing the filming of their Hollywood movie, VAGATOR MIXER. The movie is a unique blend of romance, martial arts, and action. Suneil (A Wing Tsun exponent) plays the lead (VAGATOR MIXER) and Deen plays a pivotal negative character. The movie showcases some promising talent–Aubree (Leading Lady), Tatannia (Supporting Lady), Phillipos (Goan Drug Lord and Capoeira expert), Blake (F.B.I. Agent), Efka (An Ex-Special Forces Russian—Drug Lord), Tom (Hippie), and others.

VAGATOR MIXER has been shot on locations in LA and Goa, India. The Martial Arts fights for the movie have been composed by Grand Master Leung Ting (10th Level, M.O.C.), Founder and President of I.W.T.A, Hong Kong and direct student of the Late Great Grand Master Yip Man. The screenplay is by Doug Popovich and Roland Minez. Cinematography is by Scott MacDonald. The movie is directed by Suneil. The post-production is in process and plans are underway to hire the services of talented bands/ composers to score the sound track of the movie.

VAGATOR MIXER is expected to be released worldwide in the summer of 2015.

For more info about the film, click here: http://on.fb.me/1zt0EK9

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Thiruvathirakali

 

T hiruvathirakali, also knownas Kaikottikkali,is a very popular group dance of Kerala. Thiruvathirakali is performed by the women of Hindu community, often during festive seasons like Onam and the Thiruvathira day in the Malayalam month of Dhanu (December- January).

Performed by maids in order to attain everlasting marital bliss, Thiruvathirakali is a simple and gentle dance with the lasya element or the amorous charm predominating. The dance is performed around a nilavilakku (a ceremonial lamp) or a floral decoration especially during Onam. The dancers move in a circular pattern, accompanied by rhythmic clapping of the hands, to the tune of the Thiruvathira pattu. One of the performers sings the first line of the Thiruvathira pattu (song) while the rest repeat it in chorus. The songs are often narrations from the folk epics. . Today, Thiruvathirakali has become a popular dance form for all seasons and also a popular stage item.

The Costume
Dress code of Kaikottikali is hugely impressive as women folk neatly attire themselves in a typical Kerala style. They wear gold bordered traditional two piece cloth called mundu aeda100110Thiruvathirakaliand neriyathu; A mundu is a one piece cloth draped on the lower part of the body while neriyathu is worn over a blouse.
Women also beautifully tie their hair in a form of bun. A fragrant jasmine garland on the bun further enhances the charm of the dancer.

The Dance
Great coordination is depicted in Kaikottikali as the performers, usually eight to ten in number, clap in unison. Performers move in circles sometimes in clockwise and sometimes in anti-clockwise directions, gracefully bending in sideways as they do so. Dancers also beautifully co-ordinate their hand movements as they go clapping upwards and downwards in rhythm with the beat and in tune with the song they are singing. Generally, the girls move in a circle around an intricately decorated pookalam (flower rangoli) at the centre of which is placed a nilavilakku (traditional brass lamp). One of the performers in the first line start a line and the others at the back repeat it as chorus.

Tales depicted in Kaikottikali owe their origin to Kathakali, a profound dance form of Kerala. ‘Ragachaya’ of Kaikottikali derives its origin from Kathakali. Accordingly, the songs are based on episodes like Krishna-leela, Shakunthalam, Kuchelavritham and Dhruvacharithram. Greater emphasis is given to the rhythmic movements than mudra.

Popular ragas found in Kaikottikali songs include Hussaini, Bhairavi and Kamboji. Though on several occasions songs deviate from puranic stories and make use of folk tales. At times, devotional songs are also rendered in the worship of Saraswati, Ganapati and Krishna. Special songs are also sung in praise of King Mahabali as according to a popular legend, the festival on Onam celebrates the arrival of the king to the state of Kerala.

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“Siddique-Lal Speaking” Stage Show in Toronto

siddique-lalSIDDIQUE LAL SHOW 2015 BROUGHT TO YOU BY ST.THOMAS ORTHODOX CHURCH  TORONTO ON MAY 30TH 2015 AT THE MEETING HOUSE, OAKVILLE, ON
Toronto: St. Thomas Orthodox church Toronto is bringing you a wonderful experience with the hit makers from Malayalam Cinema. Director duo of super hit films Siddique and Lal is directing the show. Comedy skits, dance performances and songs to entertain you through a 3 hour program. Actors Biju Menon, Bhavana, Vijayaraghavan, Sreenivasan, Harisree Asokan and Ponnama Babu. Dancers Vineeth, Shamna Kasim and Krishna Prabha. Music director Deepak Dev and singers Afzal and Sayanora will grace the evening.
Our Mega sponsor is Roy George who is a well-known real estate seller in the GTA.
TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE AT:
1. COCONUT GROVE FOODS, 1325 EGLINTON AVE EAST, MISSISSASAUGA, ON L4W 4L9
2. ROYAL KERALA FOODS , 1738 LAWRENCE AVE EAST, TORONTO, ON M1R 2Y1
3. COCHIN FOODS & KERALA FOODS, 27 RUTH AVE, BRAMPTON, ON L6Z
4. KAVERI SUPERMARKET, 27 DUNDAS ST EAST, MISSISSAUGA, ON L5A 1V9
For sales and sponsorship contact Jerry Eapen @ 647 833 1763, Reji @416 833 8070, Sanjay Varghese @ 416 904 2587, Shaju George @ 647 960 4882 or T.K.Thomas @ 416 518 8985.
Report by: Ramon T K Thoovonu

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Kathakali: Traditional Dance of Kerala

 

Kathakali is an extraordinary combination of dance, drama, music, visual images and ritual to create total theatre. This is a highly stylized classical Indian dance-drama noted for its attractive make-up of characters, their elaborate costumes, detailed gestures and well-defined body movements presented in tune with the anchor playback music and complementary percussion. The Malayalam words quot;Katha” means story and “Kali” stands for play.

This is a form of dance formerly confined only to the festival stages in temples.

It is a mime show, dancing with mudras (formulated hand gestures conveying the text of lyrics) and specialised dancing steps following the song rendered in the background by a singer to the accompaniment of Chenda, Maddalam (country drums), Chenkila and Elathalam (Cymbals).

The face painted green and made up with a spot of sacred sandal paste on the brow, eye-lined with mascara, lip toned by cherry and white chin mask, the dancer dons a colourful costume and rich and impressive crown and jewellery.

A traditional pedestal Nilavilakku (oil lamp) with sixty wicks on both sides lit together lights the dancing floor. There are four types of make up. Pachcha (green) face painted green and adorning sober and beautiful attires denoting the godly or virtuous character.

Thadi (beard); divided into Chuvanna Thadi (red beard) depicting aggressive and demoniac characters, Karutha Thadi (black beard) depicting aborigines, cavemen and foresters and Vella Thadi (white beard) representing Rishis, Saints, Preceptors and other intellectuals. Kari (carbon black) representing mean characters and Minukku (refined) presenting women and Brahmins.

Ramanattam could be the ancestor of Kathakali, for very many similarities in the presentations, costumes, acting and background music could be cited in both.

Centuries down, there developed a branch of literature known as “Kathakali literature” and compositions of poet laureates like Kottayath thampuran, Unnayi Warrier, Koyithampuran, Vayaskara Mooss are milestones in the history of Kathakali.

Aattakkadhakal (stories for dance), the poetic compositions of legendary stories to special metric scale, set to music in classical Carnatic style are danced out.

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