The extraordinary life of the man who brought India to the West.
An adventurous musical journey starting from Brittany, passing through India (Shantiniketan, Varanasi, Khajuraho, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Pondicherry), Berlin, Venice and Rome, following the story of the French-born Alain Daniélou, indologist and musicologist who mainly lived in India between the 30’s and the 60’s. In Banaras (now Varanasi) Daniélou and his life-partner, the Swiss photographer Raymond Burnier made for 15 years their home in Rewa palace, on the banks of the Ganga. Here Daniélou became a Sanskrit scholar, converted to Hinduism, studied Indian classical music, played the veena professionally and wrote books about Veda, Hindu philosophy and Shivaism. Since 1950 Daniélou is the curator of the first world classical music collection for UNESCO. From the 60s, come back in Europe, created the International Institute for Comparative Music Studies, in Berlin and then in Venice. Alain Daniélou spent last years between Rome, Lausanne, Berlin and Paris, his preference being or a large house hidden among the vineyards of the hills of Zagarolo, close to Rome. Indian Music, Dance, Religion, Tradition vs Modernity, Sculpture and Philosophy are explored in his documentary through the eyes and the autobiography of Daniélou himself The way to the Labyrinth, with the main focus being on The Music of Gods, the traditional Indian Music.
78′ / Swiss, Italy 2017
opening DWANI – Performance of CLASSICAL INDIAN BHARATANATYAM DANCE
with Apoorva Jayaraman, Shweta Prachande, Marianna Biadene, Giuditta De Concini
Apoorva Jayaraman has had the privilege of training under world renowned artist Smt Priyadarsini Govind for the past 16 years in Chennai (India). She was initially mentored in dance by Smt Padmini Ravi (Bangalore). She underwent specialized training in abhinaya from Padmabhushan Smt Kalanidhi Narayanan. She has featured as a prominent soloist in a series of international dance DVDs produced by Kalakriya that have gained worldwide popularity, earning her special recognition and acclaim among connoisseurs from around the globe. She has performed under the banner of several of Chennai’s most prestigious Sabhas, such as The Music Academy, Trinity Arts Festival, Narada Gana Sabha, Rasika Ranjani Sabha, Kartik Fine Arts, Yuva Utsav at Bharat Kalachar. She has toured USA, UK, Italy, and Germany, giving performances, workshops and lecture-demonstrations. She was awarded the Nritya Ratna – Best Dancer of the Year Award by Milapfest and the Arts Council UK (2014), the Vasanthalakshmi Narasimhachari Award by Narada Gana Sabha Chennai (2017) and Natya Ratna award by Trinity Arts Festival (2014). Her work has been featured in several leading international magazines and newspapers including the New York Times (USA), Physics World (UK), Pulse Magazine (UK), The Hindu (India), The Indian Express (India), Sruti Magazine (India), Aalaap Magazine (India) among others. She has explored her flair for choreography, and has created and performed in cross-style performances alongside Kathak and Odissi artists. She was invited by Natyarangam (Chennai) to be a part of commissioned choreographic works. She also presented, along with fellow artist Shweta Prachande, a duet production on Krishna Karnamrutham choreographed by them at the Natyarangam Thematic Festival. Apoorva is also an astrophysicist with a PhD in Astronomy from the University of Cambridge and a Masters degree in Physics from University of Oxford.
Shweta Prachande started learning Bharatanatyam from the age of 5 and is currently training from Guru Smt. Priyadarsini Govind after completing the five-year course at Kalavardhini Dance Institute under Guru Dr. Sucheta Chapekar. Having moved to Chennai in 2005 to pursue dance as a full time profession, Shweta has since come to be recognized as one of Bharatanatyam’s leading young dancers in today’s generation. Her dance is a concoction of crisp movements, fluidity of motion and energetic dynamism. Having learnt Kalaripayattu and completing a diploma in Contemporary Dance Studies from The Trinity Laban Conservatory of Music and Dance, London, the aesthetic amalgamation of these styles and techniques makes her dance unique and enthralling. Shweta is the assurance that Bharatanatyam is a timeless art. She is known for her impactful and energetic portrayal of nritta and presentations of abhinaya that is deep and mesmerizing. She has trained in Nattuvangam and Carnatic Music. She has also completed her Masters in Fine Arts in Bharatanatyam from the Bharathidasan University and her Masters in Commerce from The Pune University. Winner of many national scholarships, she has many awards to her credit and has won almost all major dance competitions across the country. She has performed extensively in India and abroad to critical acclaim and is a regular feature every year during the December Music and Dance Festival in Chennai. She has also been featured in a number of programs for many famous TV Channels like Doordarshan and Star Plus.
Marianna Biadene: Dancer/choreographer and dance teacher, Marianna started her training in classical, contemporary and classical Indian dance at an early age. She continued her studies in London (2000-2012) at the Place School of Contemporary Dance (contemporary dance) and at the Bhavan Centre (Bharatanatyam dance). She supplemented her training with frequent study trips in India, under the guidance of great dance teachers from the Kalakshetra Academy in Chennai (Savitry Nair, Ambika Buch and Pushpa Shankar). She has also attended masterclasses and courses at professional level with renowned maestros of Bharatanatyam dance (C.V. Chandrasekhar, N.S. Jayalakshmi, Leela Samson, Bragha Bessel, Mavin Khoo). Today she is recognized as one of the finest interpreters of Bharatanatyam dance in Italy and regularly performs in prestigious theatres and cultural festivals in Italy, India and Europe. She has often collaborated with internationally acclaimed artistes of the Indian dance scene in India and abroad. As President of the Associazione Gamaka, since 2011 she has organised performances, dance festivals and masterclasses, hosting many internationally-acclaimed dancers and dance-teachers.
Giuditta De Concini: Both a dancer and teacher, Giuditta commenced her studies in contemporary dance in 1996 in Italy under the guidance of Roberta Zerbini, and later under Nicola Laudati and Simona Bertozzi. In 2002 she started to study Bharatanatyam dance with Nuria Sala Grau, later continuing under the guidance of Indian dance teachers, and in particular with Priyadarsini Govind by attending a series of study programmes both in India and Italy. In addition to her work as a dancer and performer, she has also taught dance since 2007. She has collaborated with the Department of Dance and Performance of the University of Bologna since 2009 for which she curates an annual programme of classes and performances focused on the dance of South Indian. She is President of the Associazione Jaya (Bologna) and organises a series of courses, seminars and events connected with Indian culture involving many internationally-acclaimed professionals and students. Among her most significant artistic collaborations are those with the dancers and teachers Monica Gallarate, Haru Kugo and Marianna Biadene, and with the Sufi dancer and musician Dhamal Ayub Noor Muhammad.
Photos: Mario D’Angelo