RAKESH MATHUR'S INDIA MONITOR


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Childrens BookBritish Paintings of India.BBC plays Lila.Bharat Natyam. Punjabi Theatre. Meditation and Music. India Exhibition in Israel. Ritu Fashions..Chamatkar..Young Indians
Rakesh Mathur is a producer and journalist, internationally based, whose career spans various continents, cultures, and medias. He has been based in France, England, Germany, and India and has contributed to television, documentary films, print, and radio. His most recent work includes AIM HIGH & A STITCH IN TIME (documentary films), publications in PARIS MATCH, and presentations on BBC radio and television.

Rakesh Mathur has written the following books - The Movie ; Chapters on Indian Cinema ; La Cuisene Indienne and Ray at 70 - a homage

He is highly motivated with substantial international experience in T.V., press journalism, and broadcasting. He is multi-lingual and feels at home in all cultures. Further, he is very well versed in information technology. For more details, contact Rakesh on 100700.513@compuserve.com


A NEW CHILDREN'S ILLUSTRATED BOOK

In 1989, Wendy Ewald spent seven months living in the Gujarat desert in India, where she taught photography to the children of Vichya, a village of some 1,500 inhabitants. A book entitiled: "I dreamed I had a girl in my pocket" is the result of the time spent. The book contains photographs by both Wendy Ewald and the children, who also tell stories about their lives, giving a fascinating insight into life within the caste system.
In the opening essay, Ewald explains what it is like to find yourself in such a vast country, where 'time seemed to proceed forwards and backwards without pause, seamlessly', getting to grips with a totally different tradition and learning to let go of western habits.
Then we are introduced to the children. Ewald set up a crude portrait studio on her front porch, asked each child to look into the lens and then took a Polaroid photograph of them. Later she asked them if they would like to inscribe their names onto the negative and claim these first picture of themselves.
In the accompanying text, the children declare their intention to take pictures of their dreams and of God and tell stories of illness and death, school and work, ambitions and marriage. Samju, aged 11 explains that she doesn't want to marry because her inlaws will beat her. Kalu's father died of TB when he was just five years old. Sajjan's father, an opium addict, murdered her mother becuase she hid some money from him.
Even though none of the children are older than 12, they have seen more human suffering than many in priviliged wetern nations ever will.
The final sections contain photographs taken by Ewald and by the children. Ewald's pictures show daily village life: women washing clothes in the river, relatives of a potential bridegroom visiting to discuss a marriage, the harvesting of rice. The children's photographs are by turns both serious and playful, with captions such as 'my cousin sister is sad because she is poor and her sister is sick' and 'Grandfather is smoking on the ledge with the dog'.
Some of the stories are poignant too, for example, Jayanti, 11 years old from shepherd caste says: "God raises his hand and sends dreams to us. This morning in my dream I was wondering about when we die.... where we'll go. Is it America? My dreams come at midnight. I think I'll keep the camera with me and when the dream comes, I'll take the picture."
'I Dreamed I Had a Girl in my Pocket' by Wendy Ewald, priced 16.95 is published by W.W. Norton & Co. Ltd., 10 Coptic Street, London WC1A 1PU, Telephone Number 0171 323 1579.


A Journey Through India

Pictures of India by British Artists during the East India Company
A special exhibition is on display at Spink in Central London which explores the art created by the Brits during their age of fascination and discovery in Indian. 'A journey through India' covers the vast range of the subcontinent, reflects its extraordinary diversity of history, landscape, rulers and peoples. It also includes views from Kashmir to the southernmost part of Tamil Nadu and Mahabalipuram.
In the exhibition, The Gantz Group of watercolours of Mahabalipuram and the Daniell acquatints of Ellora record some of the splendours of the Pallavanand Dravidian civilisations. According to Karen Taylor, the curator of the exhibition, India provided eighteenth and nineteenth century British artists with an exciting new range of subjects, from the splendour of nature and the impressions of its cultural heritage to the exotic beauty of its inhabitants.
In the 1780s and 1790s, Hodges and the Daniells were the first British professional artists to visit India, encouraged by the increased number of British working in India and the spread of the British administration. In the early nineteenth century, views of India painted in the grand manner were supplemented by a more intimate approach to the country and its people whose chief exponent was George Chinnery. He arrived in Madras in 1802, moved to Bengal in 1807 and remained there until 1825. Chinnery was interested in the Indian village life and he had a wide influence amongst his numerous pupils. One of them, William Prinsep, illustrates the Calcutta social circle to which Chinnery belonged.
By the late 1820s, the romantic movement had made its impact upon paintings of India. The work of William Daniell was affected by this, and his drawings for the Oriental Annual published between 1834 and 1839 are much more romantic in flavour than his earlier work.
Two of the best known artists to visit India in the second half of the nineteenth century were William Simpson and Edward Lear. Simpson arrived in 1859 with a commission from the lithographers Day & Son, fresh from his success in the Crimea.
Lear was invited by Lord Northbrook in 1872, shortly after his appointment as Viceroy. His initial impressions echo those of so many travellers before and after him, 'Violent and amazing delight at the wonderful varieties of life and dress here...O fruits! O flowers! O queer vegetable! ....These hours are worth what you will'.
The exhibition continues until 1st November at Spink, 5 King Street, London SW1Y 6QS. More details can be obtained from telephone number 0171 930 7888 or on the internet: http://spinkandson.co.uk


BBC Symphony Orchestra played Lila

Royal Festival Hall, London was enthralled last Sunday when BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Martyn Brabbins played a new composition of Padamshree Naresh Sohal. It was a BBC commission which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Monday evening. Sarah Leonard was the soprano and the exprience of listening to instumental followed by female voice was a simple spiritual joy.

According to Naresh Sohal, the orchestra piece Lila has seven sections, representing the seven stages of development, with the following associations: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether, Consciousness and Yoga (union).
Throughout the piece, at the start of each section, the double basses provide a heartbeat-meditation, from which the first and ensuing stages of exploration, with their particular elemental characterstics, unfold.

This piece is about the process of attaining perfection. Its title, Lila, is a Sanskrit word meaning the play of nature. According to Indian philosophy, this is a cyclical process, with energy moving alternatively between potential and actual realisation. The structure of the piece is provided by yogic philosophy, which states that creative energy in human beings rises from the base of the spine to the top of the head through seven 'chakras' or nodes.

The flow of energy through each chakra represents a stage of development, as baser concerns are gradually cast off and the Self becomes submerged within the greater cosmic force. Each chakra, consequently, is associated with a particular colour, sound and elemental force.

The force and energy were the hallmarks of this concert.


Bharat Natyam

SHOBANA JEYASINGH IN WAKEFIELD

Winner of the prestigious 1993 Prudential Award for the Arts for making an outstanding contribution to dance, Shobana Jeyasingh Company makes a first time visit to Wakefield Theatre Royal on Thursday 17th October at 8pm with a brand new dance double bill
Shobana Jeyasingh was born in Madras and trained as a classical dancer in the South Asian dance style of Bharata Natyam. She now lives in London. Her company, founded in 1988, has been winning awards since its beginning and comprises of six dancers trained in the Bharata Natyam.
By training these dancers, Shobana has introduced Bhrata Natyam style to a mainstream British audience and enriched the development of contemporary dance in the UK.
The company is renowned for its interesting and stimulating collaborations with contemporary composers. The current programme includes: Romance with Footnotes. This is performed to a contmporary score played live by three cellos and a bass clarinet and is combined with traditional Indian jathis (spoken syllables). The piece is intricate and speedy.
Palimpsest is the second piece in which composer Graham Fitkin (in association with the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra) joins in. The sets and costumes by Keith Khan will be exclusive to this show. For more information, contact Wakefield Theatre Royal on telephone number 01924 215 534. The ticket prices are 8.00 and 9.00.


FIRST PUNJABI THEATRE CONFERENCE IN BRITAIN

Balwant Gargi, the leading authority on Punjabi Theatre comes to London to address the first National Punjabi Theatre Conference to be held at the Civic Centre, London Borough of Houslow, Lampton Road, Hounslow on 25th September 1996.
More than 150 delegates have been invited to attend this conference.
Amongst various other speakers who will address the conference are the well known producer and director Jatinder Verma, Shakila Mann, theatre director and film producer.
The conference will discuss issues relating to future development of Punjabi theatre in Britain, the empowerment of youth and women, options for funding and the formation of a National Punjabi Theatre Network. Conference proceedings will also be published in the form of papers and recommendations emerging from workshop sessions.
Surinder Kochar and Badi-U-Zaman will present "Mein Keha Ji", a small play to entertain the delegates. The Punjabi Theatre Academy will also showcase work in progress.
The conference will be opened by Councillor Rajinder Bath, chair of the Equalities Committee of London Borough of Hounslow.
Further information about the conference can be obtained from Chaman Lal Chaman on telephone number 0181 862 5807.


FLAVOUR OF INDIA IN ISRAEL

Those who are going to Israel during the month of October will be able to taste the best India. Tel-Aviv based Film company, Cinematyp Ltd has organised a mini festival of India at the Cinematheques of Tel Aviv (1,2,3 Oct), Jerusalem (7-9 Oct) and Haifa (20,21,21 Oct) during which there will be a fashion of show Indian saris, folk dances, small Indian bazaar for speices , Indian food and Indian music will be presented.

Moreover three Indian films have been selected for screening at the Cinematheque. These are 'Hum Aapke Hain Kau' starring Madhuri Dixit, Salman Khan and Anupam Kher. The film is directed by Sooraj Barjatiya.

Second film to be screened will be 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge' with Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Amrish Puri. This film is directed by Aditya Chopra and the music is by Jatin Lalit and the last film will be 'Raja' with Sanjay Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Mukesh Khanna. This film is directed by Indra Kumar and music is provided by Madeem Shravan.

For more information contact Patricia Hochman at Cinematyp, 108 Igal Alon St. Tele Aviv, Israel, Fax No. 972-3-5624257.


THE LION'S ROAR

Three intensive seminars by Aditya M Nowotny are going to be held in Central London this weekend. The Lion's Roar, on Saturday 21 Sept at 2pm will explore the noble art of meditation. The seminar will help to experience one's true identity in full immediacy, an experience likened to the sudden roar of lion. It will be held in room G50 of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh St. WC1 in the University of London. Nearest tube station is Russell Square.

Second Seminar is entitled Music and Meditation which will also take place on the same day 21 Sept between 7pm and 9.30pm. Initiation through spiritual music to the inner worlds of consciousness and a live performance of Sri Chinmoy's meditation music on the Indian instrument esraj. This will take place on the 1st floor of Quaker International Centre, 1 Bying Place, Malet St. London WC1

On Sunday 22 Sept. The Path of Love will be held between 10am and 12.30pm at Room 3a, University of London Union, Malet Street. Aditya M Nowotny of Salzburg, Austria has been studying meditation with Sri Chinmoy for many years. He gives clear, practical exercises and insights into meditation. These seminars are free and organised by London Sri Chinmoy Centre. For more information, contact 0181 876 6049.


RITU BOUTIQUE CHANGING THE FASHION STYLE IN LONDON.

Ritu Kumar is one of India's foremost designers who has developed a unique style of her own, reflecting age-old traditions of Indian craftsmanship in a contemporary vocabulary.

For over 28 years, RITU, the trade name under which the company is known, has applied itself to the revival of skills such as weaving, block printing and embroidery using as design base, the rich heritage of the Indian textile world. These traditions and skills go back to the world of antiquity and were a major attraction for the European traders till the advent of the Industrial Revolution.

RITU has twelve retail outlets in India backed by a versatile yet integrated manufacturing base and a design and development studio which is active in original work as well as sourcing. RITU, now in London is changing the fashion style of Indians living here.

From a boutique in North Audley Street, in Mayfair, London, RITU is presenting a multi-facedted showcase with the very best of Indian design as well as a special range of Western apparel in silks, cottons and leather. This East meets West range includes a selection of ladies and mens wear, gifts and home furnishings.
RITU can be contacted at 16 North Audley Street, London W1Y 1WE, Tel: 0171 409 2971


Chamatkar

Chamatkar is a condition when imagination, free from all interference transcends into a world of fantasy and leads to a magical or mystical experience. An exhibition is being organised in London in which the Indian contemporary art will recreate this experience.
Over 125 different artworks, never seen before in the UK, including painting, graphic art and sculpture will allow the viewer to trace the evolution of the contemporary Indian visual language. The exhibition will bring into focus tradition and modernity, the change and the continuity in India's visual vocabulary.
This exhibition will show the complex interplay of the devotional, symbolic, mythic, emotional and fantastic influences and concepts behind Indian visual imagery. One hundred of the contemporary artworks in a range of media are by 33 leading artists from across India. Whilst 25 paintings illustrate the folk and tribal section collected from different regions and 15 photographs illustrate the Classical period within the exhibition.
Whilst illuminating the devotional nature of much artisitc work, the exhibition will also illuminate through folk and popular art, the influence of Indian line, colour and image on artists all over the world. The exhibition concludes with the convergence of Indian and Western ideas and techniques that is influening the evolving Contemporary Indian art scene with its use of international state of the art technologies.
The exhbition has four distinct sections that progress from a theoretical and historical introduction to Indian Art using photographs of early art works, through to contemporary canvasses, sculptures, oleographs, and prints. The information boards, throughout the exhibition will be printed on lavishly evocative Indian silk.
Amongst the influential Indian artists participating in the exhibition are:

Manjit Bawa, Jyoti Bhatt, Bikash Bhattarcharjee, Arun Bose, Sakti Burman, Jogen Chowdhury, Dharmanarayan Dasgupta, Atul Dodiya, V S Gaitonde, Seema Ghuryya, Laxma Goud, Satish Gujral, Bhupen Khakhar, Prabhakar Kolte, Tyeb Mehta, Anjolie Ela Menon, Madhvi Parekh, Baiju Parthan, Ganesh Pyne, A Ramachandran, S H Raza, Jehangir Sabavala, Gulam Rasool Santosh, Lalu Prosad Shaw, Gulammohammad Sheikh, Nilima Sheikh, Arpita Singh, Paramjit Singh, Mahinder Soni, K G Subramanyan, J Swaminathan, T Vaikuntam. The exhibition is organised by the Centre of International Modern Art, Calcutta. CIMA was set up in 1993 under the auspices of the Ananda Bazar Group of Publications, the second largest media conglomerate in India. The group has recently tied up with the Financial Times and Penguin Books. Over its 70 year history, Anand Bazar Patrika Group has always promoted Indian arts. CIMA has 11,500 sq. ft of floor area in Central Calcutta, housing 9000 sq ft of state of the art galleries, with a comprehensive data base, restoration and evaluation facilities. Chamatkar exhibition will take place at Whiteleys Art Gallery at Whiteleys, Queensway, London W2 4YN between 29 October and 15 November 1996. Details can be obtained on tel: 0171 229 8844.


YOUNG INDIAN ARTISTS IN ROYAL EXHIBITION

Three young Indian artists, who reflect the diversity of Asian artisitic life, have been selected for the Royal Over-Seas League 13th Annual Open Exhibition. Bharti Kher was born in the UK and currently lives in Delhi. Amrit Singh was born and works in the UK, and Pradeep Sukumaran lives and works in Kerala state.
The exhibition is unique in bringing together work by young British artists with their cotemporaries from the Commonwealth, and over the past thirteen years, has established its reputation as a discerning showcase for young, contemporary artisits.
More than 50 works have been selected from a submission in excess of 400 by artists upto the age of 35, from 21 different Commonwealth countries. This is reflected in the selection which includes works by artists from Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, India, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Republic of Ireland and South Africa as well as from the UK. Most of the overseas artists are exhibiting in the UK for the first time.
More than 7,000 is awarded in prizes and travel scholarships, including a first prize of 3,000 and a trophy commissioned from the ceramic arist Mary-Jo Doherty, an MA graduate of the Royal College of Art. Sponsors and donors include the Sir Ernest Cassel Educational Trust, Coutts & Co, Champagne Pommery, the John Ellerman Foundation and Pearson Lowe.
The Royal Overseas League will be open daily 10am to 6pm from 4 to 15 September. The exhibition also tours to the Edinburgh College of Art from 23 September to 18 October 1996. The address of ROSL is: Over-Seas House, Park Place, St James's Street, London SW1A 1LR, Tel: 0171 408 0214